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ECP/Sainsburys-to leave or not to leave?

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Towards the end of last year I received a parking fine from ECP for parking on the Sainsbury’s local car park near my house.


Car park details

It is a free car park

There are signs displayed in the car park stating that only customers are allowed to park and 90mins is the max stay.

There is no camera covering the car park only one in the store watching the entrance (which is nowhere near the bay I parked in)

The store security guard is who monitors the car park and occasionally (I’ve seen them twice in 1 year) an ECP employee will come and look around the car park.

According to the store manager Sainsbury’s lease the land to ECP

According to the deputy store manager, all employees have the right to issue tickets (when I questioned using info I found in the forums, she retracted her statement and said that only managers could).


I returned to the car park after approx 100mins and found the ticket under my wiper. I ignored the ticket as I wasn't prepared to pay for something that was free. A few weeks later I received a letter from the lovely ECP detailing the fines against me (£50). Having recently studied contractual law in university I thought the fine seemed a tad unfair so searched the web to confirm my suspicions. It just so happened that I stumbled across this brilliant forum, and decided to fight these bully boy tactics!


I chose to ignore the letter and wait to see if the wrote again...

Which of course they did!!

This letter kindly indicated that the fine was no longer £50 and now stood at £75 and had been referred to the debt collection department. I replied to this letter in the form of an email using legal references that basically said that I was not paying and to f**k off.


Of course they did not listen and sent yet another letter that had the parking fine attached (the time on the fine showed I was there from 19:00-20:30) and a few paragraphs on how legal action may, not will, be taken against me.


My father (whom I had told about the situation and was helping me fight these **** bags) helped to compose a letter to both Sainsbury’s and ECP. The letter questioned how Sainsbury’s can endorse these 'bully boy' tactics and again provided legal references to show how this fine was not payable, and what they were doing by this continued harassment.(sent 11/3/09)


Nothing has been sent to this day so two weeks ago my father called Sainsbury’s who 'investigated the letter' and called back. They claimed Sainsbury’s do not own the land and had 'no comment' on the other matters. I then called the collections dept of ECP and was told by the devil on the other end that my appeal had been upheld.




Two days ago I went in store and asked whether I could park on their from 20:00 until later on that evening as my girlfriend lives across the road and parking is limited, keep in mind they close 22:00. Of course he refused and said I would be ticketed.


Do I continue with this or just give up...I’m just not sure they comprehend.

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The letter questioned how Sainsbury’s can endorse these 'bully boy' tactics


My friend, there is nothing honourable about supermarkets. Ask food suppliers, I am sure they will tell you many a tale of 'bully boy' tactics. Thats another thread though.


With regard to the parking, you did more than you had to. The majority of caggers advocate the ignore, ignore, ignore approach. It certainly worked for me.



09/07/09 :)Business Studies BA(Hons) 2:1:)


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Part settled for £48 - 01/03/08

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Settled in full before county court hearing - 01/09/09

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Valley Leisure - complaint about collections agent

£160 part refund of gym membership in compensation - 01/02/09

HFC Bank - complaint about payment deducted from my account on wrong date

GOGW £10 - 01/05/09

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Hi, well at my Sainsbury's we have a 2hr limit...and it is on the border of the congestion charge. I attended a computer course just next door and like you, parking is also limited so I did use the carpark, going over the 2hrs each time... I did spot the "official guy" too from time to time who pulled up in a car with his machine but realised it was a random "morning" and "afternoon" check so I continued to park there. Maybe you were unlucky, maybe I was lucky but I do shop at that Sainsbury's (I have a reward card with all movements recorded) and I did use the branch on the occasions I parked there so I figured that if I did have a problem I could produce a shopping receipt for that day. I never needed it but it seemed like a good idea. I was going to fall back on Sainsbury's customer services to come good I guess. Go and buy your wine to drink at your girlfriends from them!! Good luck

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