People parking in the Shopping Car Parks in Christchurch automatically receive a tear-off portion with the ticket which can be used to obtain a refund in selected shops. A notice by the ticket machines explains the scheme. It states that, if they visit one of the shops
displaying the appropriate sticker and then spend £10 or more at that shop, the shop will reimburse the cost of up to 1 hours’ parking.
When customers spend over the qualifying amount at your shop and present the tear-off portion of the ticket, then you will normally reduce the total charge to the customer by the current 1 hour parking charge. Alternatively, you could do a separate paid out from your till. It is up to you and your shop policy, but in practice we find that
many shops need to do both, because sometimes customers forget to hand in the ticket until just after they have paid. If you are not going to permit refunds after the till transactions are completed, we would recommend that you put up a notice to this effect to save problems
The refund cost is borne by you. [Note: some shops have been in the scheme for many years and they report the cost as about 1p for every £100 of turnover. This is an insignificant figure, but the scheme is much appreciated by customers.] There is no other cost to you, unless we decide from time to time on a newspaper advert listing all the shops in scheme – subject to joint agreement. [Note: Christchurch Council supply the ticket machine rolls
and printing, and the Chamber of Trade pays for the ‘smiley car’ promotional stickers and the notices.] The list of the shops taking part is supplied to all shops in the scheme and
it is hoped that they will display it in their shop window – good joint promotion for all of us. This list is also displayed in the Information Centre.
Shops can withdraw from the scheme by removing the sticker and the list of shops from their shop front, but they must also tell us so that we can delete their name when the next list is
produced (please note that, in addition to the lists prepared for shop windows, the lists in the car parks have to be laminated so it is quite an expensive
and time-consuming exercise). Please therefore give us due notice of your wish to withdraw to avoid being pested refunds you do not wish to give. Finally, in the past some shops have been
disappointed if they have not received many of the parking ticket slips. If this happens to you, please don’t think that you are somehow missing out. The main idea is to get as many shoppers into Christchurch as possible. When shoppers do come to town, they have the opportunity of shopping at any of our shops, no matter which one of us provides the reimbursement.