Payment confusion sees woman face £160 charge for 'few seconds' stop

Helen Caswell of Swannington is pictured with her parking fine letter 

Helen Caswell pictured with her parking fine letter - Credit: Submitted

A  woman was hit with a £60 charge for stopping in her car near a hospital "for a few seconds" - which was then more than doubled amid confusion around whether she had paid.

Helen Caswell, 59, of Swannington, initially received a letter to pay £60 after dropping off her sister for an appointment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) on March 3. 

Having accepted the penalty charge, Ms Caswell subsequently received an enforcement notification from TNC Group Services to say she had not paid the fine, and therefore owed £160. 

She is adamant she paid the initial £60 notice, but the company behind the charge has no record of receiving it.

Ms Caswell said she had provided her details on an automated line and rang back to check the fine had been paid.

"We have been toing and froing with numerous emails going backwards and forwards," Ms Caswell said.

"I do not accept that there was no record of the call. There must be a glitch in the system because I paid £60. I want to make people aware as this could happen to anyone." 

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Pic: Nick Butcher.

Helen Caswell said she accepted the original £60 fine for parking in a restricted area of the NNUH in March - Credit: Nick Butcher

She described a "heavy-duty person" calling her back two months later for debt recovery, but described the man as not being interested in her plight, and "just being there to collect the money".

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Ms Caswell said: "I am so upset that I have just been made to feel like a statistic who doesn't pay her debt and they at no stage have they given any explanation as to why my phone call wasn't captured.

"Surely they have a techy team who could look into this. Surely their system isn't infallible?"

Julie Lecaille, director of National Parking Enforcement Ltd, said she would be willing to refund £60 to Ms Caswell as a "gesture of goodwill".

She added: "I can only suggest that the information entered was not correct. When paying by telephone, at the end of the transaction the caller is offered a copy of the receipt. 

"Our payment system is a secure automated portal which requires certain criteria to process a payment.

"If any of the information, including pcn reference, vehicle registration, incorrect card details, incorrect security number, are wrong then the transaction will not process."