Sainsbury's charge customers up to 33p per minute for parking

8 September 2009

Bitterwallet reader Lynda has sent us a photo taken at her local Sainsbury's in Kettering. The supermarket has just unveiled new parking charges for customers:

Bitterwallet - £50 parking charge at Sainsbury's in Kettering

At £50 for 150 minutes, that's 33p per minute. It might be a mistake. If it's not, is this an indication that businesses are backing away from using private towing and clamping companies? Given the dubious nature that many of these companies appear to operate under, imposing ludicrous parking charges themselves would be one way for Sainsbury's to profit from the situation without the rotten publicity - stating the fees in public makes the process transparent. It's obviously a deterrent to stop people parking up to then shop elsewhere, but a £50 car park charge is hardly going to see people sending bouquets of flowers, now is it?

TOPICS:   Motoring


  • Jo
    I believe the store has a cafe, so if I do a months shop and have a cuppa and lunch after, maybe browse the cars, pop to the looits going to cost me £50.00 I think they have lost my custom.
  • Joff
    Sainsbury's Kettering is in the centre of town, so parking spots are as rare as a quality article from Bitterwallet (joke).
  • Shazzam-ass-master
    Why on earth would you want to go to Kettering anyway? Even people that live in Kettering won't admit it!
  • Paul S.
    If it's good enough for the BBC and the Telegraph to steal, Joff... :) Do you know if they previously used the likes of private firms to clamp and ticket cars? £50 is a very steep deterrent, and would undercut what a clamping company might demand for release.
  • Geoff J.
    It's the same in Luton, to stop people parking there and going to the football
  • Phil
    "Over 2½ hours £50", then in the next breath it says "Maximum stay 2 hours".
  • Joff
    Personally I know nothing. I didn't even know where Sainsbury's Kettering was - I had to ask someone.
  • Nobby
    At £50 for 150 minutes, that’s 33p per minute. Then only stay for 149 minutes at a cost of £1. Does anyone need over 2.5 hours to do a shop?
  • Mike
    Bargain, however quite a few shops that clamp dont actually own the carparks.
  • Mr S.
    They are not charging customers anything - If you shop and spend a fiver its free. Numb nuts!
  • Mike
    it doesnt say that on that picture tho
  • ince
    thats because the picture is not complete it more likely says this is a pay and display car park. free parking for Sainsburys Customers (subject to spending £5 within Sainsbury's this is obviously to stop people using the car park and not shopping at the store. as said above likely for footy fans abusing it. fools (the posters above not the footy fans
  • Gunn
    Why not does have validate parking? Free for shoppers who purchase but a fee for those who don't based on the time of the ticket.
  • evilnoodle
    I wouldn't pay the 50p for car parking and as it takes longer than that for any shopping short of a quick sandwich then they would NOT be getting my business - period!
  • Joe B.
    Mr Sainsbury: Comprehension fail.
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGay
    It's obvious that you get your money back if you shop there....
  • Joe S.
    Yes, we're missing the right hand side of the picture. It's clearly one of those free for our customers, hence we can see part of the text that would say that :)
  • F888
    "obviously a deterrent to stop people parking up to then shop elsewhere" Yes well done, they do this in many supermarkets to stop people using their carpark for hours while they go and shop in primark
  • Shane
    This is obviously either a mistake or an alternative to clamping. It quite clearly states maximum stay of 2 hours, so you get half an hour grace after that, then you get a £49 fine.
  • Alex W.
    Our local sainsbury has 18 checkouts. Even on Christmas Eve there are only ever 8 or 9 open. I've lost count of the number of times I've politely asked them to replace all the defrosted frozen food when I've eventually been served. Perhaps if they had less numpties manning the customer service booth with their silly headsets on and more people on tills we as customers would have a better chance of not spending 2.5 hours in store doing a weekly shop and queuing up to pay for it :)
  • Paul S.
    ince / F888 - if you guys want to read the post, the question posed is that given this is charge has just been introduced to deter non-customers parking, is it replacing a previous clamping / towing scheme that operated there? If it is, that's pretty significant.
  • Lynda H.
    Kettering Sainsbury's parking used to be free all the time. It has only changed in the last 3 years or so when a car parking company began to run it. You first have to buy the ticket - and then get your refund from the till after a £5 spend, if you remember your receipt. The many times I stopped the queue for ages trying to find which pocket I put it in and then eventually leave without the refund! Worse still, if you only need a loaf of bread and a pint of milk, you have no choice but to buy a ticket and forfeit the £1 or £.50 parking charge - or risk a ticket. You don't really get 15 minutes free at all! I have been in the queue to buy a ticket from the machine and the guy was already writing me up! Most of the machines are out of order and you spend a lot of time wandering around looking for one that is working. The guy at our Sainsburys is pretty tough and many families end up with a ticket. I spent £150.00 in Sainsburys just before Easter and by the time I grappled through the crowds and queued for ages, my parking had expired and I had a ticket. Apart from that, you can only buy enough time for 2 hours. after that, you get fined. But £50 is a LOT of money! I realize that the parking here in our wonderful town is a rarity, but it is still another big stress where it is not necessary.
  • zeddy
    Try something different. Yes, stick it up your arse Sainsburys.
  • huh
    Whoever posted this article is a frickin RETARD! It CLEARLY says "OVER 2.5hrs - £50" and " UP TO 2.5hrs - £1" (assuming "up to" means including the 150th minute)
  • Brian2
    Hi Brian here. If you wank stains made a REAL SHOPPING LIST, as i do when i visit Sainsbury's with my mother, you would be out of there in 14mins 59 seconds
  • Strawberry D.
    Brian2, do you really go shopping with your mother? That's nice.
  • Debs
    to huh: Huh? to brian2 I think you are adorable ;) To Sainsburys, the store, not the poster: You should be ashamed.
  • Mark W.
    OK - but are these charges even enforceable? I suspect they're not!
  • Sammy E.
    Duh, utter idiots posting here. It's to stop people using the car park for all day parking.
  • Lynda H.
    Since sending this to Bitterwallet in September, Kettering Sainsburys have now taped over the £50.00 charge for over 2 and a half hours! Thanks Bitterwallet! Not that I would overstay but it was a bit unfair! x
  • Sainsbury’s B.
    [...] the oafs in charge of her local Kettering Sainsbury’s car park had gone off their heads and were charging a flat rate of fifty quid to anyone who dared to park for more than two hours. That’s 33p a minute maths [...]
  • Stuart
    I wish people would stop using the word 'fine'. Only a court of law can fine you, the parking comnpany is issuing an invoice, for which non-payment is a civil, not a criminal matter. Your call as to whteher you pay these unenforceable invoices as they have to prove who was the driver, for which the contract is with. Which is why Parking companies never progress non payment to a small claims court. It is not cost effective, and since the amounts they are claiming would be deemed a penalty, which they cannot charge, would lose any court action.
  • Supermarket B.
    [...] unfair charge of course, was the one brazenly advertised by Sainsburys in Kettering which was a whopping £50 for a stay in excess of two and half hours. Thankfully, the charge has since been amended, as has [...]

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