Published: 06:00, 13 September 2020
A woman who fled from an Aldi supermarket as parts of it ceiling started to collapse has received a parking fine for not logging her car registration.
The 60-year-old shopper from Deal has spoken on her frustration that she has had to appeal the £70 charge and told to wait up to 28 days for a response.
She was inside the West Street store on Friday, August 28 when heavy rain forced ceiling tiles to drop "one by one" around the store.
This allowed water to leak onto the shop floor, with staff shouting for customers to leave.
Usually shoppers are expected to log their car registration at a machine at the end of the tills to entitle them to one and a half hours of free parking.
But pictures show the kiosks at the front of the store is where the majority of the tiles were falling.
It was for this reason, and the emergency situation the shopper found herself in, that she thought exception would be given.
She said: "I find it a real inconvenience.
"I wasn't aware that in that situation I had to put my registration in.
"We were being evacuated from the shop and there was no time to do this.
"The machines are right at the front of the store which is exactly where the tiles were dropping, and the exit door was blocked.
"There was a good handful of us in the shop, have all of us received fines?
"It's just more stress having to chase this up. I've now been told I've got to wait 28 days for a response to my appeal."
She acknowledges that the letter has been sent by a separate company Parking Eye Ltd, but thinks Aldi should have contacted the company to make them aware of the situation on the day.
She continued: "Aldi said on the phone if I haven't heard within 28 days then the appeal's been successful but I'm old fashioned, I'd like to know either way.
"Aldi is a big company. Surely they can deal with this more quickly than that."
Since KentOnline has contacted the supermarket chain, they say the fine has been cancelled - although the shopper herself says she has not been informed of this.
An Aldi spokesperson said: “We have asked the company that manages the car park at our Deal store to cancel this customer’s charge.
"We are happy to review all cases if a customer believes a parking fine has been issued in error.”