'Most expensive coffee I've ever had' - friends given £100 parking fines after Costa Coffee trip
PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:00 13 April 2019
Two friends from Ipswich say a trip to Costa in Martlesham ended up being the most expensive cup of coffee they have ever had - after both receiving a £100 parking fine a few days later.
Jennie Cassidy, 57, and Sharon Green, 48, thought they would try out the new Costa, at Beardmore Park, on March 27 - so both drove there to meet for some coffee and cake.
They spent just over two hours in the cafe, drinking coffees and having a snack, before heading home to Ipswich.
However, they were shocked a week later when both of them received parking fines through the post for overstaying in the car park.
Mrs Cassidy said the rules on how long customers can park were unclear, as the nearby Tesco supermarket has a three-hour stay limit.
They argued the cafe should have a sign by the till warning people they have to drink up within two hours.
Mrs Cassidy claimed when she went to complain to the manager, she was told four people had already called and complained about the same issue that morning.
“They have now lost two very good customers,” she said. “We go to Costa together quite a lot, that was out first time at the new Martlesham one.
“I hadn’t seen Sharon for a few weeks - we ended spending around £15 each on snacks and coffee.
“We had also waited in the queue at Costa for half an hour before we got our drinks.
“It ended up costing us more than £200 between us for some coffees. “It’s the most expensive coffee I’ve ever had. I will never go back into Costa or any other Costa after this.
“They should put up a notice warning you only have two hours. Someone must be raking it in with parking fines.”
Mrs Green said: “You meet someone for a coffee but if you want to stay longer, there’s no pay and display to top up.
“Do they want you to get in your car, drive in and out of the car park and come back if you are nearing two hours?
“Because Tesco is nearby, a lot of people assume when you go for a coffee you have three hours.
“I am sure a lot of customers don’t know the time limit and I am sure a lot more parking fines will be issued.”
A spokesman for Costa said: “We’re so sorry to hear that these customers received a parking ticket whilst visiting Costa Coffee, Beardmore Park in Martlesham.
“Whilst we do fully sympathise, unfortunately we have no control over the parking charges in this area as it is completely regulated by a third party.
“Precautions have been made in regards to signs that are visible in the car park and these clearly state the time constraints to customers.”