A mother hosting a birthday party for her eight-year-old son at McDonald’s was left with a surprise a few weeks later when she received a parking fine in the mail.
Leisa Maia hosted her son Oliver’s birthday at a Macca’s in Indoorpilly, Queensland, on January 20 with friends and family.
But, a few weeks later, she received a parking breach notice in the mail, as did some family members, by a third party company hired by the fast food company.
Leisa took to Facebook for help with the “unpleasant situation”.
“I hosted an 8th birthday party for my son at McDonalds Indooroopilly in January, which lasted less than 3 hours,” she said.
“I have since received a fine in the mail for $135 from a third party hired by McDonald’s saying that I overstayed an apparent 90 minute parking limit.
“What’s makes matters worse, is that other party guests received a fine too. I have contacted the third party with photos to prove we were in the restaurant the entire time, with proof that we made multiple purchases of food over the time we were there. McDonald’s staff were aware that we were hosting a child’s birthday party.”
She said despite this, Smart Compliance Management is insisting the “parking breach” be paid otherwise it will be passed on to debt collectors.
She said she had tried to contact McDonalds but to no avail.
“I am outraged that my son’s birthday has turned into a nightmare for us and our party guests!!! Never again will we have a kid’s birthday party at McDonalds! Please let this serve as a warning to you also if you were thinking about hosting one there,” she said.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s told news.com.au that after reviewing the situation, the fine had been waived.
“Like many businesses, some McDonald’s restaurants engage a third party operator to manage their car park,” the spokesperson said.
“This ensures customers have a convenient place to park when they visit our restaurants and is part of our commitment to providing a great customer experience.
“We have reviewed the information provided and on this occasion will arrange to have the fine waived.
“Where parking limits apply, customers who intend to dine-in longer than the parking limit allows should speak to the shift manager on duty.”
In Queensland, only governments or councils can issue fines but companies such as Smart Compliance Management still try, despite not being legally enforceable.
Queensland’s state government has described the behaviour of private parking companies as opportunistic and disgusting and has vowed to take action.
“It appears to me to be a rip off … I think it is disgraceful and disgusting,” Transport Minister Mark Bailey told 7 News.
“People are being intimidated, being made to think that they’re being fined when in fact under the law you’re not allowed to be fined,” Bailey said.
News.com.au has contacted Queensland Transport and Smart Compliance Management for comment.
Story Credit: news.com.au