Clampers add £100 'swearing' fine

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The Independent Online

A clamping company has been accused of "fleecing the public" after charging victims £100 for venting their fury at attendants.

Bulldog Services, which patrols the car park of the retailer Comet in Bath, Avon & Somerset, is levying the "abusive behaviour" fee on top of its £125 release charge. The RAC Foundation said that Bulldog was taking advantage of the situation, but there was nothing in law to prevent the practice.

One couple, who did not wish to be named, were ordered to pay the fine when the husband swore after discovering the clamp. The housewife, 33, said: "My husband turned to me and said, 'This is fucking silly', but that was all. The man said, 'That's just cost you £100'.

"My husband in no way swore at the attendant. A policeman came along and said there was nothing he could do because the dispute was on private grounds." Signs warn that there will be a charge if abusive behaviour means extra staff have to be called. But no back-up staff had been summoned.

The RAC Foundation's deputy director, Sheila Rainger, said: "It is just another example of how clampers are fleecing the public."

A spokesman for Bulldog told The Bath Chronicle: "The charge is enforced to stop abusive behaviour towards the attendants."

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