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THAT'S FINE WITH ME!

Byline: By TOM MULLEN

A BURGER fan has won his fight against McDonald's after being hit with a pounds 120 parking fine.

Loyal customer Chris Rookledge was given the charge after overstaying the restaurant's 90-minute parking limit.

But the company director protested, claiming he hadn't seen the warning signs and pointing out how three of his friends had been spared the fine.

Now McDonald's has agreed to waive the fee and a spokesman said: "On this occasion we realise the customer was given a ticket and unfortunately did not see the signs.

"Based on the information we have received we have decided to withdraw the ticket and will not be pursuing this any further."

Chris, 39, loves the restaurant and regularly holds business meetings over burgers and chips at the Park Road restaurant in Gateshead.

He was left speechless when a pounds 120 ticket dropped through his letterbox this month, which had to be paid within two weeks.

But burger-chain bosses agreed to withdraw the charge after Chris was eventually put in touch with the area manager.

Chris, of Bensham, said: "I had a chat with the area manager and it turned out I hadn't been able to get hold of him because he was on holiday.

"It was quite lucky he let me off, because I didn't realise he was the one who had the power to lift the fine and when he called I was quite rude to him.

"But he asked for my details and said he appreciated I was a genuine customer and said he would do his best to get the fine cancelled."

Many McDonald's restaurants around the country have adopted the parking charge system which sends an automatic pounds 120 fine to customers staying for longer than 90 minutes.

Number plate detectors sense when vehicles enter and leave the restaurant, and offenders are sent the fine notices through the post.

The idea is to deter non-customer from using the car parks.

Chris added: "I can sort of see why they do it, but it seems a bit much really.

"The warning signs should be in big bold letters."

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CHARGE WAIVED: Chris Rookledge will not have to pay a pounds 120 parking fine after bosses performed a U-turn
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 28, 2007
Words:375
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