EzeParking fined for using Southampton council car park
A cruise and airport parking company and its boss have been fined for using a council car park to store vehicles.
Staff at Alan Naylor's EzeParking Ltd used a Southampton City Council multi-storey, despite advertising a "private, secure car park".
CCTV captured them driving the cars out again, tailgating a car owned by Naylor through the barriers without paying the parking fees.
The company was caught on two separate occasions leaving three customers' cars for a total of 11 days each.
EzeParking's website promises a "premier service for meet and greet parking" at Southampton cruise ship port.
It charges around £100 for 11 days and promises that vehicles will be "safe and well protected".
Naylor, from Fareham, Hampshire, was sentenced and fined £500 at Southampton Crown Court on Monday, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to breaches of consumer protection legislation.
The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs.
The court heard that a duty manager had been responsible for parking the cars at Eastgate Street car park in December 2018, because the company's own parking site had issues with its gates.
Southampton City Council said EzeParking's customers were not clearly informed that their vehicles would be kept in a public council car park - not a "private, secure car park" as advertised on their website - nor that their vehicles would be removed from the car park in a way that risked damage.
Sentencing, Recorder Kate Brunner said it was not a large-scale persistent fraud, but limited occasions involving six cars when the company behaved in a way which cheated its customers.
She also said Naylor's business had been severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis, with cruise holidays on hold.
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