KIDDERMINSTER supermarket chiefs have apologised after a woman was fined when her disabled badge fell off her dashboard while parked in its car park.
Pauline Knott, of Kidderminster, told The Shuttle she had to fork out £56 after she was slapped with the penalty notice while parked in Tesco car park, in Castle Road, in December.
Despite being told by the supermarket giant that the fine would be waived if she sent a copy of her badge, Mrs Knott’s fine went up from £40 to £1,000 after Tesco claimed it did not receive her appeal.
A spokesman for Tesco, however, said the supermarket was sorry for its mistake and would be contacting the 54-year-old to resolve the issue.
Mrs Knott explained she paid the fine - reduced when she made a complaint - for “peace and quiet”, after receiving letters demanding payment.
“I phoned Tesco within a few minutes of getting the fine to explain and they said it wouldn’t be a problem and the fine would be wiped out,” she said.
“I sent my badge off recorded delivery and then I had a letter saying the fine had gone up from £40 to £70, so I sent the copies off again.
“It then went up to £1,000, as they said they hadn’t heard from me.
“I just accepted the fine in the end because they threatened me with court and a £1,000 fine. It was quite frightening.”
Mrs Knott, of Cherry Orchard, said she did not notice the badge had fallen off the dashboard because she was driving a hired car, as her car had been vandalised outside her home.
She explained she had put the matter behind her until she read a similar story in last week’s Shuttle involving the same car park. The Shuttle reported that Elizabeth Harrison was wrongly fined for parking for more than two hours when she claimed she was only there 30 minutes.
“It just makes you wonder how many other people have been in a similar situation,” said Mrs Knott.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We are sorry to Mrs Knott for the inconvenience caused and our customer services team will be in touch to resolve this for her.
“We take abuse of blue badge spaces seriously but, in this case, it is clear a mistake has been made.”