Fine refunded thanks to Social Networking

£60 parking fine being refunded thanks to a Google+ post. I left my car for a couple of hours for a full valet at the Park Inn hotel in Telford.

A month later I received a bill from Parking Eye for £100 (£60 if pay quickly) for parking on the hotel’s car park without paying. As I had no proof of the valet, I decided to pay up.

I know many now argue that private fines have no standing and also realise I could have appealed but frankly I did not want the hassle, and these things can drag on a long time and potentially incur a lot of other costs. I am sure there were plenty of signs up telling me what I should have done, but it did not cross my mind, not least as I know of other hotel based car valet services that also use number plate recognition for checking use of the car park but also ensure they record the number plates of any cars being cleaned.

I posted about the fine in the Telford community on Google and an hour later there was an exchange on Twitter between @TelfordLive and @ParkInngTelfordresulting in the manager of the latter getting in touch and arranging a refund as a good faith gesture. (Good to see the manager active on social networking as well, will move this hotel up my list of recommendations for colleagues working in the area.)

It must be difficult for hotels and the like to avoid their car parking facilities being abused. There is a danger though ofundermining the customer service ethos though in trying to police the car parks as cost effectively as possible.

Great to see social networking working.

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