‘Regulations gone mad’: Parking fee row erupts at Horsham supermarket

A Horsham man who popped into Sainsbury’s just to collect a prescription ended up embroiled in a parking fee row.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 3:45 pm

Martin Kulin was told by a staff member that he had to spend £10 in the supermarket to qualify for free parking at the store in Worthing Road.

“I only went in to pick up a prescription,” he said. “It’s regulations gone mad.”

Martin, who needed pain killers after suffering a slipped disc, went to Sainsbury’s after the store was listed by the NHS as a late-night chemist.

Martin Kulin was told he had to spend £10 in Sainsbury's to qualify for free parking after just dropping in to pick up a prescription. Pic S Robards SR2111231 SUS-211123-134846001

“The chemist said it would be a while for them to prepare my prescription,” said Martin. “I waited and collected the drugs and then realised I needed to get the parking ticket approved.”

By that time the free half-hour parking allowed to customers by the store was nearly up and Martin said he couldn’t ‘hobble to the exit in time.’

He was then told by a staff menber that he had to spend £10 in the store to get the ticket validated.

He said he was ‘horrified’. “I told her: ‘But I only came here for my medicine.’ She was most insistent and I refused.

“I did not go there for shopping, I just wanted to go home,

“I said I’d like to speak to the manager, she stated he was not available and it would make no difference as staff were not allowed to let anyone exit the car park without a spend of £10.

“I politely argued that’s ridiculous, the chemist could not offer the approval and so surely if a customer is carrying a medical package from the chemist they should be able to exit the car park?”

Martin eventually explained his plight to another staff member who validated the ticket. Other staff members, he said, agreed ‘its’s a crazy rule.’

Martin has now formally complained to Sainsbury’s and told them there should be clearer signs at the entrance to the store and at the shop’s pharmacy.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said: “We’ve looked into this and there may have been some confusion, as parking is free at this store for the first 30 minutes. “This is explained on signage in the car park and the terms of use after 30 minutes is listed on there too.”