• Friday, December 02, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Nurse accuses airport parking company of taking her BMW on 600-mile joyride

Kajal Bhagwandas, 30, said the car was out of engine oil, the brakes were worn out and there was gum stuck to the ceiling.

Representational image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

An NHS nurse has alleged that a Gatwick parking company took her BMW on a huge road trip while she was abroad, according to a media report.

Kajal Bhagwandas, 30, has said that when she returned from a week-long family holiday in Mexico the car had 600 extra miles on the clock.

Besides, her car was out of engine oil, the brakes were worn out and there was gum stuck to the ceiling, the MailOnline reported. According to Bhagwandas, there was also a tourist map of Bristol in the boot, which she has never visited.

“The car was filthy, with mud splashed across the outside of the blue vehicle. They didn’t even try and get rid of the evidence, they didn’t clean the car. It’s obviously been used but there’s no cover up at all. They just didn’t care,” Bhagwandas was quoted as saying by the MailOnline.

“The first thing we noticed was some mud which was sprayed across one side, and we thought it must have been parked in a muddy field. We got into the car and on the screen inside, a message popped up to say the brake pads were worn and thought that was a bit odd. Then as we started the car, we looked to see there were 600 miles which had been added to our mileage. We couldn’t believe it.”

Bhagwandas and her husband Praven drove the car home to Kingston-upon-Thames. They later found more indications the car had been used while they were away.

The couple parked the vehicle at the facility on August 20. They returned to the car park eight days later and paid £115 as parking fee.

The healthcare worker said that they had to wait for over an hour for the vehicle to be driven back to them.

“When we came back, the guy handed us the keys and basically ran off. He didn’t give us a chance to check the car or anything. In the terms and conditions, it says if you don’t mention any concerns you have to the person handing over the keys then the complaints are void,” she told the newspaper.

The couple claimed the mileage had been 133,400 when they dropped it off and showed 134,000 when they returned.

Later, Bhagwandas shared her experience on social media. There many people reacted saying that they also had similar experience wit the parking firm. Now, they have lodged an official police complaint about the incident.

Other customers also raised complaints such as extra mileage on their cars, dirty vehicles and even McDonalds bags and crisp packets left inside

A Gatwick Airport spokesperson said: “The airport has no relationship with these firms and, like other airports, Gatwick cannot prevent competitor parking companies from operating on site, provided they abide by bye-laws and terms and conditions of use of relevant facilities.

“Any passengers affected by the actions of rogue parking companies like this should contact Trading Standards, which should be able to investigate the matter. Gatwick Airport strongly recommends that passengers use official on-airport parking.”

Meanwhile, the parking company denied knowledge of the incident. The firm said that its staff are not allowed to remove cars from the business.

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