A man was fined $50 for parking in a supermarket carpark after he ran in to buy light bulbs - but then left to meet a friend for coffee.
The park at Quay St Countdown in Auckland allows 90 minutes for shoppers and Allen Xu parked for only 60 minutes. But the food chain said shoppers can park free only while they are at the supermarket.
A regular customer, Mr Xu said he went into the complex and spent $20 on a light bulb.
"But a friend is calling me to have a coffee. A lot of people park there and walk away too because they don't realise they can't stay 90 minutes [if they leave the supermarket]."
Mr Xu and a friend were seen heading for Britomart by an employee of Parking Enforcement Services, which monitors the store's undercover carpark.
Countdown spokesman James Walker said customers can park in its carpark free of charge for up to 90 minutes "while they shop with us".
Signs around the carpark explained this and it was the most simple way to ensure parks were available for other customers.
Mr Xu said that to make his visit to the store even more expensive, he forgot about the ticket.
Finding it in a jacket pocket, he was jolted into making urgent contact with Countdown and Parking Enforcement Services.
"But while I was in negotiation with them to reconsider, they just put it up another $20.
"How can they put up the bill at that stage?"
The company said Mr Xu appealed the breach notice outside the appeal and payment timelines and two days after the $20 administration fee had been added, as per its breach notice, 16 working days after issue.
Mr Xu responded: "I will pay the $70."
Early last month, shoppers in West Auckland were warned their vehicle could be clamped, towed or ticketed if they were parked wrongfully - either in a disabled area or in a spot where they were not shopping.
The signs outside the Topwest Plaza warned that the parking lot was available only to customers shopping at five local stores.
"All others will be enforced (clamped, towed, ticketed) at a cost of up to $450.00," the sign read.