A woman has been slapped with a £100 parking fine after an automated system decided that she'd spent ten hours in McDonalds.
Jacqui Ash, 45, from Essex, popped into the food outlet one Sunday earlier this month on the way to Dover, and then called in again on the way back.
However, it appears that the camera system failed to record her car leaving the car park in the morning - meaning that it registered her as having been there all day. As a result, she received a letter from MET Parking Services demanding £100, which would be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.
Woman fined after queue to leave car park
"We went to Hastingwood McDonald's and the camera took a photo of us coming in but did not take a photograph of us coming out. We were coming back, it was getting late and I didn't want to cook so we went to McDonald's and the cameras only photographed us coming out," Jacqui told Essex Live.
"I have got a notice saying I have a parking charge of £100. They were saying I was there for 518 minutes and we were allowed 90 minutes free parking. We were there ten minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening."
Jacqui says she has emailed MET Parking Services, but hasn't received a reply.
However, she's contacted Dart Charge, which runs the Dartford Crossing, and says she's been able to get hold of photos that show her passing through.
"I am fighting it. When I saw the £100 I thought 'what the hell?' and I remembered it was the day I went to Dover," she says.
"There is no way I could have been there, and I felt really angry they could get away with these things."
Grandad fined for staying too long at McDonald's - despite spending less than 30 minutes there
It's not the first time that cameras in a McDonalds car park have made precisely this mistake. Last summer, for example, we reported on the case of Robert Newton, who called into the drive-thru at a branch in Kent, then returned later in the day with his grandchildren.
A couple of years ago, a 71-year-old man from Caerphilly parked up at a McDonalds at 5am, eating a Happy Meal and then falling asleep. He was issued with a £100 fine - which was then increased to £200 when he didn't immediately pay.