A motorist was nearly charged more than £500 after mistakenly putting an old parking ticket into a payment machine.
At 10.19am yesterday (August 8) the driver went to pay at the machine at Fremlin Walk's multi-storey in Earl Street, Maidstone, when he saw the huge sum come up on the screen.
He said: “As I was in a bit of a rush to get where I needed to go, I forgot that I had put my ticket in my pocket. I grabbed an (almost) identical one from the console of my car – but instead of using the card that I had received just over an hour prior, I used one from the middle of June!
“There must have been at most two seconds in it – I already had my phone out ready to pay and was about to tap when I glanced at the screen.
“I was expecting it to be about £3.50 – I was only out by a factor of about 150.”
A parking fee of £545.30 came up on the screen, despite the ticket having been purchased and paid for already more than a month before.
The car park, which is run by Saba, recently went cashless and payment can only be made using credit or debit cards, or via Google or Apple Pay.
“While the system works pretty well in terms of ease, I don’t understand why it wouldn’t be programmed to detect when a ticket has been paid for already,” he said.
“Obviously there’s a certain responsibility that you have to take as the person paying, but it’s not something you tend to think particularly hard about and as, to my knowledge, there aren’t any bins in the car park where you could throw away your used tickets, it’s easier than you might think.
“I was about to pay with contactless on my phone, which has no limit on what you can spend with a tap, so it would have gone through.
“I would like to think that the company would refund that money but I’d imagine it would take a while.
“Thankfully, it’s a lesson that I’ve been able to learn without paying a considerable cost.”
Saba has been contacted for a comment.