A Lidl shopper managed to overturn a £90 parking fine, thanks to his detailed stick drawing.
Teacher Steve Crowley, 40, received a demand through the post asking him to prove he’d shopped at his local store in Yate, near Bristol, when using the car park.
Unable to find the receipt from his shop, he decided to draw them a picture instead.
His detailed sketch of the family shopping trip features a stick-man self-portrait with a speech bubble that reads: ‘Hey kids! It’s approximately 12.30pm on 01.04.16! Time to go shopping!’
It also depicts a Lidl employee leaning against a wall ‘having a sneaky cigarette’ when he really should be ‘accurately inputting customer vehicle details into their computers’.
Steve then submitted the drawing via email as supporting evidence in his bid to overturn the fine.
Incredibly, it was accepted as sufficient proof he’d been shopping at the store. It probably helped that he called it the place ‘where dreams come true’.
Athena ANPR Ltd, acting on behalf of Lidl, wrote in response: ‘Thank you for your email in regards to the above parking charge.We can confirm that the above parking charge has been cancelled.’
Steve had fallen foul of a new parking system introduced at his local store, which recently installed CCTV cameras in the car park. Customers are allowed 90 minutes of free parking, but anyone who doesn’t visit the store is liable to a fine.
Shoppers have to register their car number plate details at the checkout, which Steve failed to do during his shop back in April.
He received a letter the following week demanding that he pay £45 within 14 days, or it would rise to £90.
After attempts to argue his case failed, Steve decided to submit his tongue-in-cheek recreation of events that day.
‘It’s hilarious that they accepted it,’ he said. ‘Their car parking policy isn’t about protecting Lidl customers – it’s about making money.’
Lidl say there are clear signs around the car park telling shoppers what to do (Picture: SWNS)
An Athena ANPR Ltd spokesperson said clear signs are in place to inform motorists of the rules, but they’re happy to correct any fines issued in error.
‘If a genuine customer does receive a charge and they can prove that they shop at the store then we will be happy to cancel the charge,’ they said. ‘At the end of the day, we want Lidl’s customers to be able to park in the Lidl car park, and shop in the Lidl store.’
Maybe we just need to get a little creative the next time we get a parking fine in the post.