Aldi have stepped in after a car in which a 90-year-old woman in wheelchair was travelling was clamped at their Marshes Store.
The car parked in a disabled bay but did not display a disabled badge, despite the fact that one of the occupants was wheelchair bound.
When the lady and the son-in-law returned to the car after shopping they found the car clamped.
Despite arguing the case with RFC - the private clamping company that enforce parking restrictions at the car park and are employed by Aldi - the granny was forced to stump up €120.
While the incident happened two weeks ago, it came to light this week when a picture of it was posted on Facebook.
There was an online uproar over the incident. The Dundalk Democrat spoke the the son-in-law of the 90-year-old who was driving that and day and requested a statement from Aldi on the matter.
Speaking to the Democrat, Gerry O'Neill said: “I put up the post on facebook about my mother in law and wife getting clamped in Aldi Dundalk.
“First she has to hold her hand up to say that she had no sticker on display on the car.
“My wife goes every Friday with her mother in a wheelchair and parks in the wheelchair spot.
“She took her mother as normal into aldi in the wheelchair but when she came out her car was clamped.She asked for it to be removed but clamper refused so my wife rang RFC car park management who refused to release the clamp and put the phone down.
“A 120 euro fine had to be payed but my wife did get a photo of the clamp before it was taken off.
“I would like to state that I fully blame the clamper and not Aldi. Aldi have since tried to repair the damage done by this incident and have said that my wife will get a refund of the 120 payed to RFC.”
Commenting, an Aldi spokesperson said:
“On learning of the situation, we contacted the customer the same day so that we could look into the matter further. We have arranged for the customer to be reimbursed in full.”
“Our customers are our number one priority and providing them with the best shopping experience possible every time they shop at our stores is of the utmost importance to Aldi. With this in mind, we provide over 10,000 free car parking spaces across our 128 Irish stores, including designated spaces for disabled drivers and young families, so our customers can enjoy free parking when shopping at Aldi.”
“In order to ensure the availability of free parking for our customers, it has been necessary to implement a clamping service in some stores including at our Ramparts Road, Dundalk store. We are investigating the issues raised with RFC Car Park Management, who are employed to manage our Ramparts Road, Dundalk store car park.”
This is the latest in a number of contested car parking incidents in this particular car park. Aldi started using RFC Car Park Management after a minority of people started taking advantage of the free parking at the store, just minutes from pay parking at the Marshes.
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