Barking pensioner wins parking fine overpayment battle
PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 February 2019
A pensioner has won his refund battle after the Post intervened when he was refused one for accidentally paying a parking fine twice.
Retired insurance clerk Alan Dennison of Hockley Mews, Barking, was fined for not displaying his blue badge correctly when parked outside his doctor’s in Bastaple Avenue, last October.
Barking and Dagenham Council fined the 80-year-old £65 which he paid seven days after the ticket was slapped on his windscreen.
The council then sent him another demand in November to pay £130 saying they hadn’t received anything within the 14 day ‘grace’ period before the initial fine amount increases.
Unable to remember if he had paid the first time around but wanting to stay on the safe side, Alan coughed up the full amount.
But when he checked his bank statement soon afterwards and saw he had actually paid twice the council’s mistake became clear.
He went back to Barking and Dagenham with a copy of his bank statement to ask for the overpayment to be refunded but they told him his case was closed and wouldn’t be reopened unless the payment was ‘dishonoured’.
Alan said: “This was a case of right and wrong. Unfortunately, they were in the wrong and they weren’t listening.
“Something really was wrong here. They missed the first payment somewhere along the line.
“It was a case of, ‘We’ve got the money so tough, you can’t have any back’.”
He admitted to not displaying his blue badge properly but added it was unfair of the council not to refund the extra £65.
However, the council has since sent Alan a letter of apology and refunded him £135.
A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said the first payment didn’t include the parking fine reference number meaning it didn’t register on their system.
“Following correspondence from Mr Dennison, we have since refunded the £135 and have sent out a letter of apology.
“We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused,” the spokesman said.
A happy Alan said: “It’s brilliant. All I can say is thanks to the Post and I will watch out in future.”
But he warned other blue badge holders: “When you put your disabled badge down make sure both parts are showing and make sure you have a receipt showing [a fine] was paid.”