Refund and abolish consumer parking penalty charges.

Refund and abolish consumer parking penalty charges.

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Daniel Wong started this petition to Dr Andrea Coscelli and

Those of us still frequenting 'bricks and mortar' businesses as well as, or instead of online shopping are taking an ever increasing gamble.

I was reminded of this last week when my wife found an invoice for a penalty charge for using a McDonald's car park while we ate in their restaurant, complete with all it's distractions of toys and cards included with our daughters' meals, tablet computers installed on the tables, even the staff handing out colouring sheets and pots of crayons.

A brief search revealed McDonald's own the freehold to all their sites and lease them out to franchisees, with 'parking control' being presumably contracted out too. McDonald's franchise managers have also been dealing with consumer complaints for several years, usually putting quite a bit of effort into fighting their customer's corner for them.

The problem with this preying on consumers is, there is no longer any real choice out there. Parking control companies are like a prolific, multifaceted cancer that has spread throughout society from McDonald's to supermarkets, from hospitals to retail parks.

They're obstructing consumer rights, there's no Distance Selling Regulations protecting you in a Currys store, if you don't take the time to make sure that £3000 iMac is compatible with your peripherals, you're at the mercy of the seller.

It's disability discrimination, amongst my disabilities, I have a collapsed lung, a kidney injury and cognitive defects, all of which slow me down a fair bit.

In some implementations in hospital car parks it must be a human rights violation, surely?

It's predatory, in the McDonald's case, I can see their opening hours as I drive past at 30mph, the children see the sign and scream from the motorway, you have to seek out these restriction signs.

The argument non customers were abusing the carpark may well be valid. When I want to stop people parking on my land, I shut the gate. I'm sure these megacorporations can afford automatic barriers and point of sale equipment to facilitate an exit. If the barrier is thought to be offputting, just restrict half the carpark, leave the rest unrestricted.

These are often dominant organisations, with no nearby alternatives and attract more new trade than any regular customers they might alienate through such practices. They're resilient to normal market forces.

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