I've had a very unfortunate experience of Waitrose today, not here in Formby but in Stroud. On the way back to Formby after a brief visit to Taunton I called into Stroud because I've always admired the efforts that the local Town Council have made there to improve the lives of the residents. I parked in the local Waitrose car park where the sign indicated the following:
This compares with the following sign here in the Formby store:
The're not the same, the fines are different and the agents acting for Waitrose are different, but more importantly the policy is actually identical in so far as it's the same 'rule' about 'leaving your car here for any other reason than to shop in Waitrose' but they are are applied differently in different towns. Here in Formby. residents and customers are accustomed to the idea that they can park, leave the car-park and return to shop in Waitrose without fear of penalty unless you exceed the time or fail to shop.
In Stroud, if you assume the Formby policy operates, you do so at your peril. I parked at 10.45am, after I came back from the Stroud Town Council offices and shopped in the Stroud branch completing my purchase at 12.06 I then found I had been given a ticket! I'd actually been watched by an attendant who saw me leaving but made no attempt to advise or warn me that he was going to book me, he simply waited and immediately issued the ticket, time of issue 10.45am!
My advice to Formby residents is now don't use another branch of Waitrose unless all you intend to do is shop there immediately and then leave. Better still check with the Formby shop whether you too could be fined in the way I have been.
And of course when you look more closely, which I suppose is the real moral of this story, you can find even more inconsistency, here's another sign also at Formby:
Make up your minds Waitrose, what is the policy? How far do you really believe you're a 'community focused store'? Where's the evidence that you treat all your customers equally well wherever they live?
Just by way of clarification all of the photos above were taken after the ticketing event but they illustrate the apparent lack of common practice in the Waitrose stores chain.