‘£100 for a mistake?!’ says wife upset with Luton’s Smart Parking

Nikki. Now early payment period has ended the parking charge has increased to �100.
Nikki. Now early payment period has ended the parking charge has increased to �100.

A frustrated couple are upset by their treatment from Smart Parking, Luton, after receiving a fine for entering a wrong number plate code.

Nikki Pike, 42, and her husband, of Potters Bar, visited the Flowers Way site in April, but were unaware they had typed in a zero instead of the letter ‘O’ when buying a ticket.

Because their actual number plate was not registered, they now face a charge.

Nikki claims: “It’s hugely unfair, as we bought a ticket and paid the full amount - we didn’t intend to defraud them.

“My husband did put in a zero by mistake but it was very dark. Smart Parking are now looking to make £100 from us.”

When they first received the parking charge letter, the couple didn’t understand why they had to pay.

Following this, the second parking charge letter the company sent had the couple’s number plate written incorrectly - with a rogue ‘Y’ - so the couple still didn’t understand what was wrong.

Nikki wrote a letter to Smart Parking to protest on May 9, but is upset that she did not receive a reply until May 30, after she claims early payment period ended on May 12.

The May 30 letter confirmed that the couple had entered a zero instead of ‘O’.

A Smart Parking spokesman, said: “The car park at Flowers Way is very busy, and Smart Parking manages it to make sure everybody gets an equal chance to park.

“There are 24 signs across the site which clearly highlight the terms and condition of use. Included in these terms, is the condition that motorists must enter their full, correct vehicle registration when using the payment machine at the car park.

“Smart Parking are members of the British Parking Association and strictly follows its guidelines. We did highlight to Mrs Pike that as she disagrees with our decision, she can contact the independent industry Ombudsman POPLA. Any final decision taken by POPLA we will abide by.”