A motorist was driven ’round the bend’ after she used her mobile phone app to pay £1:20 to leave her vehicle in a council car park for ONE hour – and was charged nearly #7,000.
Accountant Ruth Ritchie, 60, used her credit card and parking app PayByPhone to make the payment, which should have cost £1.20.
But she was horrified to receive a call from her bank’s fraud squad – to say she had just spent £6,561.20.
Swindon Borough Council, which own the car park, claims Ruth had accidentally selected to pay for 4,000 parking hours.
But Ruth said: “I’m an accountant so I’m used to keying in numbers. It’s absolute rubbish. Plus how can someone even pay for 4,000 hours of parking upfront?
“I very clearly paid for one hour of parking. There must be a fault on the system as it kept cutting off when I was trying to pay.
“I don’t see how this could have happened, I just hope no-one else has been stung by this.”
“To say that and there not be a one day maximum car parking limit is outrageous, this needs to change.”
Ruth, of Swindon, Wilts., contacted PayByPhone only to be told she would have to wait ten working days for a refund.
She added: “I told them, of course I wouldn’t pay six-and-a-half grand for car parking. I was horrified that this could have happened.
“The man on the phone’s reaction was an instant ‘oh my god’ and he said I had paid until May next year.”
Ruth contacted her local ward councillor Gemma McCracken who guaranteed a refunded in five working days.
A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “Unfortunately, the customer made an error in keying in her details and asked for over 4,000 hours of parking instead of one hour.
“The system always asks drivers if they want to authorise any payment before money is taken, and approval was given.
“PaybyPhone log all transactions, including all the details that are sent to them by customers, so they can trace clearly what has happened.
“They have systems in place to spot very large transactions that are outside the normal range and would have contacted us, but on this occasion the customer spotted what had occurred fairly quickly and raised it with us.
“We have been advised the money will be refunded very shortly, if it’s not there already
“This does happen from time to time, although seldom for such large amounts.”