Shopper issues warning after being hit with £100 car park bill at Galashiels store

A warning sign at Home Bargains in Galashiels.
A warning sign at Home Bargains in Galashiels.

A shopper has issued a warning to others after she was hit with a £100 fine for overstaying her permitted time in a Galashiels supermarket car park despite having just spent £80 there.

Rachael Cuthill took to Facebook this week to share her experience at Home Bargains in the town’s Stirling Street.

Home Bargains in Galashiels.

Home Bargains in Galashiels.

She incurred the fine after going 15 minutes over her allocated hour and a half in the store’s car park.

Rachael, of Hawick, accepts there are signs in the car park warning motorists they face fines for parking over the stipulated time, but she considers the charge unfair and has pledged not to shop at the outlet again.

A spokesperson for Home Bargains said an external firm was brought in to control illegal parking in the car park due to some workers parking there all day and leaving no space for shoppers’ cars.

Rachael said: “I was fined even though I had spent over £80 in that shop that day.

“I’m not asking for sympathy, and I know it’s my fault for not paying attention.

“I just wanted to give a heads-up for other folk like me who do not pay attention to these details.

“Make sure you are out of their shop and car park before one and a half hours or you’ll be sent a parking fee of £100.

“I will not shop there again. I think I will stay in Hawick as we’re a friendly bunch.”

Rachael’s warning has created a stir on social media, with dozens offering both support and advice.

Carley Timms commented: “The same thing happened to me at B&Q in Inverness. I sent my receipt for the £600 I’d spent in the store that day and told them I’d be returning everything I’d bought to pay for the parking ticket. It soon got quashed.”

James Brierley said: “If it’s a fine from a private parking company, you are not required to pay this. Private companies can issue parking tickets and may call them parking charge notices, but they are not the same as a penalty charge notice. They are not backed up by law.

“They are invoices for a breach of contract.”

A spokesperson for Home Bargains said: “The charges were brought in for the benefit of the customers to free up spaces because people who worked in the area were parking up there for eight or nine hours and customers at the store were not able to park.

“That’s why an external company was brought in to control it.”

Rachael’s boycott of the Galashiels store is unlikely to prove too much of an inconvenience to her as Home Bargains is opening a new branch in Hawick on Saturday, August 24.