Shoppers visiting Sainsbury’s in Worthing Road say the new system takes longer, wastes paper and can lead to unexpected ‘fines’.
Previously, buyers retrieved a ticket from an automaton at the entrance to the car park, had it validated after their shopping and reinserted the ticket in the automaton when leaving.
From now on, after having paid for their shopping, the customer must give their receipt to customer service, which then issues a bar-coded ticket to be inserted into a vending machine outside the store.
Parking is free if people spend more than £10 in the store.
Some people say they were surprised to later be fined £85 – despite having their barcoded ticket scanned.
Many shared their experiences on social media.
One woman said: ‘You have to wait for the staff to check your receipt and give you another piece of paper, why not print a QR code on the receipt if people spend more than £10?’
She said she was surprised to be fined in the post, despite spending over £35 in the store.
Others say the position of the parking validation machines close to the supermarket doors leads to rush hour crowds.
Another woman described the new system as ‘boring’ and said: ‘I did the machine every time but still got an £85 warning ticket! Now I get a receipt every time I go just to be safe!”
Another said: “When you’ve followed the right steps, this shouldn’t happen. It’s stress that no one needs.
“Sainsburys should help customers fight unfair fines, loyalty is a two-way street.
“It’s a system designed to find faults, as others have said the QR code should be on the receipt.”
Some say they have started shopping in other supermarkets where parking is easier.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: ‘We have recently overhauled our Sainsbury’s Horsham car park system to ensure our customers can still secure a space when shopping with us.
“Colleagues must provide a parking voucher to all customers at checkouts which they must then scan at any parking kiosk on their way out of the store.”