‘Cowboy’ airport parking firm changed number plates on my £25k Land Rover and left me with £4,200 damage
A DRIVER returned from a three-week holiday to find her Land Rover had new number plates and £4,200 worth of damage.
Daniella McCready left her £25,000 motor with a parking firm at Heathrow Airport before flying to South Africa to visit family.
But on her return to the UK she says she discovered there were dents and scratches all over the bonnet and driver’s door and a chip on the front windscreen.
The rear wiper had also been snapped in half, the seats reclined and there were crumbs and wrappers in the footwell.
But most alarming of all was the fact Daniella’s registration plates had been replaced, with glue left dripping down the paintwork.
Daniella said: “I was distraught.
“I was already exhausted from a long-haul flight but when I saw my car and discovered what had been done, I felt betrayed and totally violated.”
Daniella paid £122.99 for her grey Discovery Sport to be kept safe while she was in Johannesburg from September 30 to October 24.
Platinum Car Parking promised to provide a “reliable and professional service” – but Daniella thinks it was anything but.
She said she first realised something was off when she called the firm after collecting her bags at Terminal 5 at 6.30am.
An automated message told her the phone number was no longer available and she had no other way to contact the company.
Daniella tried every number and email address she could find online before ringing the police to report her car missing.
Three hours later, cops finally managed to get hold of someone at Platinum, but almost five hours passed before she was reunited with her vehicle.
The staff member told her they had sacked the person responsible for the damage and “messing her around”, but he failed to recognise the extent of the problem, Daniella said.
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“They completely abused my trust and property,” she added.
“It was clear my car was damaged, had been used to carry passengers and people had been eating in there.
“But there was no explanation as to what happened.
“I complained to the managers and kept calling but then they refused to answer me at all.
“I also contacted the police and airport but no one will take responsibility and no one will help me.
“I find it truly shocking and irresponsible that the police are aware of these activities but won’t do anything about it, and Heathrow’s attitude is ‘not our problem’.
“I don’t want others to go through the same horrific experience as me.”
On top of the £4,200 repair costs, which thankfully she could claim on her insurance, Daniella also had to pay a further £80 for valeting.
The Sun approached Platinum Car Parking for comment.
A spokesperson for booking agent EzyBook apologised for the inconvenience, while Heathrow urged drivers to use only official operators and log any complaints with Trading Standards.
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