Woman Fined $43 For Visiting Grocery Store Twice In One Day Says She Won’t Go Back

Her love of the grocery store Tesco has come to an end.

Emily Smith, Tesco LinkedIn & Alastair Wallace / Shutterstock

When you forget something at the grocery store and come back later to pick it up, you wouldn’t normally expect to be hit with a $43 dollar charge for your return visit, but that’s exactly what one woman in Whitfield, Dover in England experienced when she received a Tesco parking fine.

She went to the British grocery store twice in one day — once for groceries and a second time for fuel — but when she went to leave after the second go around, she was charged a parking fee by the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system.


She received a Tesco parking fine after the system said she was parked there for 10 hours.

Emily Smith, a Charity manager, decided to visit the Tesco Extra store in Whitfield, Dover but was incorrectly fined after she visited for the second time in one day — to her, it felt like she was being penalized for making the return trip, vowing to never shop at their store again.

“We are being treated like criminals, there is no innocent until proven guilty,” Smith told Mirror UK. She believes that the ANPR system that Tesco employs in their parking lot had made an error and never picked up that she had left, only that she had been there within a 10-hour span.


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Fortunately for her, they were able to plead their case. “We have now found some proof because we use a tracking app with my eldest,” but she feels she shouldn’t have to, saying “It’s bonkers, and trying to prove where we were is quite hard.”

Smith claimed that she was very disappointed in the way the grocery company handled the situation, especially when she pushed back against the Tesco parking fine she received.

The $43 dollar fine, which is equal to £35, would be doubled if the ticket wasn’t resolved within 28 days. This is another issue that Smith had — she found this practice to be quite predatory and was fearful that it would intimidate other people not to fight their fines.


“I’m worried that this is going to happen to other people who may just pay the charge because it is really quite frightening,” she said of her fight, adding that she received pushback from the enforcement company after she said she would fight it.

“I think it is a money-making tool for Tesco and the parking company. Because you are told the fine is less if you pay within 28 days, most people will pay it because they don’t want the hassle.”

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Emily Smith claimed that she would switch her allegiance to Lidl.

“I am deeply disappointed in Tesco — I am not going to risk being their customer again,” she said of their response, explaining what happened. “When my husband called Tesco, he was told ‘Our cameras do not lie’ — we were basically accused of lying. We had to give our time and energy to get this resolved when we did not do anything wrong.”


She’s hoping that the German grocery chain, Lidl, wouldn’t do her wrong in the way that Tesco has, and she believes that other people should make the switch as well, lest they be trapped in the same situation that she was.

“People need to know they have the choice to shop somewhere that will not fine them if they visit more than once in a day,” she said.

A spokesperson for Tesco spoke with Mirror, and had a short message, saying “We are sorry to hear about this and have ensured the charge is canceled.” Maybe if she had been shopping with Lidl the entire time, there wouldn’t even have been a charge to cancel.


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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.