To whom it may concern

I was extremely upset this week to receive a parking fine from an outside company – Parking Eye – as a consequence of parking in Aldi car park, Didsbury, to shop in the store! I am a regular shopper at this store and know that a sign has been visible on the back wall of this car park stating clearly that the car park is for customers and shoppers in Didsbury Village. I also know and am recognised by the elderly gentleman who has been attendant for some time in this car park and indeed, usually speak and pass the time of day with him. When did this arrangement change? When was the car park handed over to an outside source and a time limit of two hours imposed?

If your photographic evidence shows my car entering and leaving the car park with a discrepancy of 25 minutes from the new regulations, presumably it also showed me arriving in TORRENTIAL rain, with a small boy and a new baby. It presumably also recorded me trying to put up my pram in TORRENTIAL rain and usher my small son and new baby to do our shopping. Perhaps it also recorded the later shower of rain, which meant I stayed in a local bookshop with my children so they did not get completely soaked before returning and packing up my pram again before departing at 15.39. I did not see the parking attendant that day – has he been retired in favour of this new system? I did not see any ‘clearly visible’ notice. Nothing was clearly visible in those conditions.

What I am most angry about is that for the past couple of years during term time, I have dropped my son at school on Monday morning and come and parked at Aldi at 9am, waited for the store to open and regularly done my shopping spending at least £35 to £40 per transaction, before using other local traders, the post office and the bank in Didsbury village. Please feel free to check this – you can have my Switch card number if you would care to ring me. Since my husband was made redundant and I have been on maternity leave, money has been very tight in our household and I am really cross that a regular customer should be penalised like this. I read in the local paper that the car park was to become pay and display and even checked with the attendant if this has happened. That would be a far more fair way of monitoring parking and customers could pay if they need more than the two hours – it’s quite hard with small children to do a supermarket shop, then any other chores and be back in two hours. Sometimes you need to stop and sit down and feed a small baby if they wake and cry.

Having been a regular customer for so long, this has really put me off shopping at the store, which is a shame as the staff are always so pleasant and efficient and the selection of stock great. You really need to rethink this impersonal ‘initiative’. £70 fine on top of my shopping bill hardly constitutes your ‘Spend a little, live a lot’ slogan, does it?

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

jo 27 February, 2010 at 1:20 pm

We went for a family meal with a pregnant relation and two small children. When we drove into the car park, we were busy looking for a car parking spot, we did not see any signs and we were not aware of any changes to the parking arrangements nor in fact that Aldi owned the small parking area behind the chemists. We would have parked by the Slug and Lettice, but that pay and display carpark is always full. We parked and went for the meal, two cars were involved for the birthday meal, there would have been a third, that would mean a total of £120 our family would have had to pay out for the priviledge of parking for 23 minuets. We were parked from 5.15 till after 7. The Aldi carpark itself was not full even though the store was still open, so were not hindering the store from earning money by taking up valuable car parking space. As a family we always use Didsbury for eating out and Aldi for shopping, but I am very happy in finding other places to eat and shop. The company invovled in collecting the monies for Aldi, are very good at using language that would make you pay up with threats of further cost. But the company has failed to create signs that are visisble, especially in the dark, they have not made it clear and as for the 24hour rule, you need to right up to the sign to read that this is envorced for 24 hours. In all fairness we are used to parking rules that allow you to park for free especially after 6. Aldi and Priviate Eye have a responsiblity to the customer to at least make the notification big enough so you realise you have an obligation to park in accordance to what the landowner requires. This is not a consumer friendly policy, and yes companys’ have to look at their costs, but so do their customers. The company Private Eye do not give you the time to pay, they already send letters out before the time allocated and when they do send letters they give you exdended time from when they send the letter, and their letter can take up to 5 days to arrive to you have therefore missed the deadline, is this fair, this is bullying people into paying. Our family have been told to pay £140 for staying over the allocated time. And there is a threat the family will incure other costs, is this fair.

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Jo Heathcote 3 March, 2010 at 8:18 pm

So sorry to read of this. Outrageous. It’s just like a money making scam not an attempt to enforce parking restrictions and yes, you are right, the nature of the letters is bullying – they are threatening and the time span is inappropriate.I paid up and was promised a refund by Aldi but have not had a penny back. South Manchester Reporter perhaps? We should both email in our stories – I bet it’s happened to loads of other shoppers too.

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Kim Summers 27 April, 2010 at 12:45 pm

It seems MatthewBarnes and Graham Hetherington of Aldi stores have a good money making scam with teir Car Park penalty fines.
My father in law recently had a £70 fines issued for exceeding his parking times by 15 minutes.
So both he and I no longer shop at Aldi – ( Brownhills – West Midlands).
My father in law has lost £70. But Aldi have lost over £2000 per year since we switched to Tesco.
Will these plonkers nver learn?

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Karen 4 January, 2011 at 9:21 am

Exactly the same thing happened to me- the reason I was over the limit by 15 mins was a long queue in Aldi, making me late to set off to pick up my son from st Catherine’s- I should have just driven up to the school and parked there and added to the chaos. the car park wasn’t even busy and I might have made it if I hadnt had to load 2 children, shopping, pushchair, buggy board and scooter into the boot

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anon 9 January, 2011 at 7:34 am

simply don’t pay. it’s a numbers game for these guys, unfortunately by not paying you are in the minority but spread the word to change this. Ignore “Parking Charge Notices” and read more…

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?287965-Morrisons-Parking-Eye

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aj 11 October, 2012 at 8:48 pm

We also just received a parking ticket.

The thing that surprises me is with a company such as Aldi would do things in a more legal and proffesional way.

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Dave Smith 11 March, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I parked on their Wollaston car park on a Sunday evening after the store was closed to g0 to an Indian restuarant. Got my £70/40 fine a week later. I understand the need to check parking when the store is open. When it is closed there is no reason for it other than a quick buck.

Another lost customer for life..

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carole 31 May, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I have also recieved a notice for over-staying by 20 minutes (didn’t know there was a time limit) I spend between £80 – £100 every week at Aldi,and will definitly be doing my shopping elsewhere. Also there is no way that I am going to pay this rediculous fine.

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Derek 9 June, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I have done exactly the same as Dave Smith – I parked at their Wollaston car park late at night (it was past midnight for crying out loud!) to pop to the Indian restaurant across the road. The supermarket was long since closed, there were plenty of spaces and I could see the car from the restaurant so I knew it was safe. Really, just what is the harm in that?

Got my find through this morning – £70/£40.

Dave – did you pay yours?

I will be appealing and writing to Aldi to tell them this is outrageous. I must spend towards £1000 a year with them and, if this fine is upheld, I too will be a customer of theirs lost for life.

What angers me even more is that there was a police car also parked in the car park! Did they get fined too?

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Natalie 17 June, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I have also received a letter in the post saying final notice £70 however I never received a ticket on my car or either of the first 2 warning letters. I have come to the conclusion that they are just money grabbers and I am therefor not paying the fine. It says in the letter in order to contest I must send them a copy of a receipt or bank statement but how is this possible when you pay cash and the ticket is dated for a month ago? I don’t keep receipts for food shopping as I would never need to return anything so how am I supposed to provide evidence?!

I urge everyone not to pay their fines as eventually they will give up as a collegue of my friend did this and eventually the warnings subsided!

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emma 27 July, 2011 at 11:29 pm

i have also received a paking eye fine from my local aldi store car park i was 15 mins late back to my car as aparently i only had an hour to do my shopping with my 2 children who both have special needs and my mother who is disabled. the shop was really busy the ques were rediculus and to top it off an item i perchased was broken so i had to go back into tbe shop to sort it out, which with the stupid queing it made me even later to my car. i got so upset by this fine as tbings are tight for everyone at this present time, and to think they want proof of your sho pping bill or bankstatement to show u shopped in aldi! i tbink not! they can stick their fine where tbe sun dont shine and if they want to take it further than i will gladly see them in court along with my daughter whos going blind and is partially deaf and my son who has too many problems to list. maybe they should watch the cctv camera and really see who tbe crooks are! not a mum doing her weekly shop thats for sure.

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Anne-marie 26 August, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I parked in the Aldi carpark in Didsbury. I did some shopping in Didsbury village and then did my weekly shop in the store. I had been recommended to try their skin care products so unaware I was on a time limit I spent some time looking at these. I also spent time looking at the wine of which I bought two bottles. I then went to pay for my goods and as usual there was only one person on the till. My goods came to approx £20 obviously it took some time to put all my goods in the car and take my trolley back and drive away. All in all I was 20 minutes over the strictly 2 hour policy. (which was new to me as there was an nice gentleman attendant there before).
A few days later I received a £40/£70 fine. I was outraged as my shop was now about to cost minimum £60. I appealed this and sent my receipt only to receive a reply, without my receipt saying I didn’t have enough evidence! What more evidence other than a receipt for shopping in the store could you have! It seems there is no way out of paying this fine other than maybe if you’d died. What is the point of appealing!
I have paid the fine today only because I’m a law abiding citizen and having already received another reminder for this so I suppose I was abit scared.
Needless to say I will never be shopping at Aldi again and have told my friends the same. Hope anyone reading this will do likewise.

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Derek 27 August, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Further to my post above about being fined in Wollaston (Stourbridge) Aldi, I didn’t even bother appealing it in the end.

Instead, I did a bit more research and found many claims from people saying they had completely ignored the so-called “fines” and eventually the problem had gone away.

Although sceptical, I am delighted to confirm that this was, indeed, the case with me – in fact, many others say they got threatened with debt collectors and all sorts before Aldi/Parking Eye “gave up” chasing them – all I got was the initial letter and the reminder and that’s all I’ve had in two-and-a-half months.

My advice: IGNORE THEM!

And, Anne-Marie – whilst I have every respect in the world for your wish to be a law abiding citizen, I would argue you are perfectly law-abiding by ignoring it completely. See my previous post above – you were clearly far more ‘within the rules’ than I was!

Remember: these are not “fines” – they have no legal power to “fine” you. They are invoices for a service (i.e. a parking facility), and the terms and conditions which you sign up to (which you automatically sign up to by using their service) state that you agree they can invoice you should you break them.

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mr c perry 24 October, 2011 at 12:59 pm

yes we had a ticket from parking eye,i went onto a foram site and read that if you are disabled you get extra time ,but they dont tell you on there notice board,so we sent our details off and a letter came back saying we were let off.
On studying the photos of my car, the pictures both in and out are taken just outside of their car park enterance, with my car still on public highway double yellow lines.-This cannot be right .I will be talking to highways and the police about this matter.
By the way this is the wickford essex store .

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stuart morgan 4 November, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I spent a few days in Brecon last week, a half term break for my wife, I was asked to move my car out of the hotel park to enable the painters an early start. As the Aldi car park was opposite and we had been spending money with them I moved the car into there. Just had a Parking charge notice from Parkingeye.

Next time I go walking in the Brecon region we will be staying self catering in a location outside of the town.

My wife and her mother have been regular Aldi customers since they opened in Shrewsbury and Wellington, there are plenty of other options and I do not like the way Parkingeye operate, they can happily pocket my fine but Aldi are going to lose two families weekly shopping as of now.

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baden 17 December, 2011 at 11:36 pm

There’s an app on IPHONE,BLACKBERRY, ANDROID NOKIA & WINDOWS Phones
called mindmymotor, that stops you getting parking tickets it’s
AMAZING! Check out mindmymotor.com please pass this on and we can all
stop getting tickets! ;)

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Mark 27 January, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Most of the petty moaners here clearly knew the rules – the signs are there for all to read. At my local store, you get two hours free. Stay longer and you get fined. Who is to blame for you losing out because you took a risk which failed miserably?

Had you been trying to park at Aldi and discovered the car park was full because the occupants were busy shopping elsewhere, you’d be moaning about people doing exactly what you chose to do. Hypocrites!

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Gez 23 March, 2012 at 7:52 pm

What a clever dick you are Mark – just the sort of idiot that these companies love. Ask yourself – why didn’t Aldi make everyone on their mailing lists aware of the new parking system via email? – why don’t store staff just mention to customers the need to input their registration number? – why not tannoy announcements instore to remind customers of the parking restrictions? etc, etc. Don’t be gullible and shallow Mark – think a bit more deeply before slagging off others, there’s a good boy.

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Richard M 4 March, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I have been a fan and regular shopper at Aldi for years. This Sunday I visited Aldi Stockport.
I saw no signs saying that the parking arrangements were different from my local store.
The only reason I escaped a fine was because the customer in front of me at the till asked about the arrangements. Aldi, you are on a loser here. Can you see any regular shopper returning after being given a hefty fine? I for one will not visit Aldi Stockport again, or any other Aldi store that operates this rip-off system. I would avise others do likewise.

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Janice R 16 April, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I am at the stage of having a letter from a firm of debt collectors threatening me with court action and the fine has now risen to £112 – has anyone experience of beyond this stage if you ignore further?

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Lilly 19 April, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Apparently on Watchdog tonight at 8pm there is something about private carparks & people getting letters demanding payments for overstaying time limits.
The following forums all say that you should not pay these demands as only the Police & Council can issue parking fines. All other demands for money are invoices and cannot be enforced.
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2576819
I hope this helps.

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Janice R 19 April, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Many thanks Lilly – I will watch this evening – yesterday I had a phone call from the debt collecting company asking for my husband as it was his car I was driving – they wanted him to ring them back which we have not done. Has anyone any experience of the phone calls?

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Shareen Shaw 5 May, 2012 at 12:31 am

I got a parking notice through the post last week for parking in aldi Ilkeston for 1 hour 43mins. I was shopping with my 16 month old daughter and I was heavily pregnant with hip problems, so took my time around the store doing an £80 shop. A few days later I was shocked to get the notice letter in the post. I googled parkingeye and aldi and read the blogs and decided to email my appeal with photos of my shopping receipt. The next day I visited aldi and asked to speak to the manager who said that parkingeye should cancel my notice no problem, and gave me their landline number 01772450970. I phoned this number in store and spoke to someone immediately, who took my ref no and personal details and said she would put a hold on any further charges until my appeal had gone through. 4 Hours later I received an email from parkingeye stating that it was cancelled and I had no outstanding balance. Result! Especially considering the fact that they state on their automated email reply that they never reply by email and would write to me within 10 working days.

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Carol from Australia 7 July, 2012 at 6:21 am

Hi all,
just a quick email to let you know that Aldi is doing the same thing in Australia. Send you a letter for a fin then follow it up with a letter from a solicitor threatening court action. In Australia private carparks cannot issue fines. They do not have the power to do so only the authorities ie Police, Parking officer. My son received one such fine and had never been there. The time and dated stated he was 10 hours away at a wedding. We are patiently awaiting the court paperwork. Should be very interesting in court.
It would appear that this is just another way to make money and anyone that has received such fine I would suggest legal advise and notify all government bodies that you have in England.
Someone needs to stop this illegal activity.
Good luck to all.

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Hannah 5 December, 2012 at 11:32 am

i am disgusted with Aldi in Heswall, who have begun fining £40-70 fines for parking over the time limit not clearly shown on small print signs. This occured on a sunday, not a busy trading time and a mostly empty car park. i used to shop regularly at this store but as i have plenty of choice of alternatives in this area and will never shop at an aldi store anywhere ever again. This sort of thing is not good for customer relations and only puts people off ever spending money in your stores and word will get round! i suggest Aldi cease to continue with these parking restrictions before they damage their reputation and custom further.

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jo 22 December, 2012 at 3:28 am

Reading all the above comments regarding Parking Eye contractors to Aldi. I have today 18/12/12 received a Parking Charge Notice for the sum of £70, £40 if I pay within 14 days for overstaying the 1hour 30min by 12mins at Aldi, Drove Road, Swindon, Wilts.on 11/12/12. As the ‘Notice’ refers to Schedule 4 of the ‘Protection of Freedoms Act 2012′ – ‘Changes to Private Parking’ I immediately checked the new Act which came into force on 1/10/2012. The Notice received shows 2 photo’s of my car with the Arrival Time 12.00.32 on one and the Departure Time 13.43.16 on the other. The photo’s also depict that my car is still on the ‘Highway’ approaching the entrance to Aldi’s Carpark ie the ‘Relevant Land’ and then again on the ‘Highway’ having departed the ‘Relevant Land’. According to the above ‘Act’ I enter into a ‘Contract’ with Aldi/Parking Eye. Schedule 4 2 (1) states ‘Relevant Contract’ means a contract (including a contract arising only when the vehicle was PARKED (my capitals) on the relevant land) between the driver and a person who is – (a) the owner or occupier of the land, or (b) authorised, under or by virtue of arrangements made by the owner or occupier of the land, to enter into a contract with the driver requiring the payment of parking charges in respect of the ‘PARKING’ (my capitals) of the vehicle on the land. So in this case what are Parking Eye/Aldi doing erecting their CCTV cameras recording times of Arrival and Departure whilst vehicles are on the Highway ? ? ie drivers never having had the opportunity to find a ‘Designated Parking Space’ according to their signs ‘if any are vacant’ and at the same time complying with the above Act. According to the photo’s sent to me and as Parking Eye/Aldi’s CCTV includes a fairly wide area of Public Highway used by parents and children to and from the nearby Primary School one would think that the ‘Public’ should be made aware that they and their children could be shown on these Parking Charge Notices. There are no persons on my ‘Notice’ photo’s it was lunch time.
I have today approached the Manager at Aldi, Drove Road, Swindon, Wilts and thankfully was able to produce the ‘Relevant Till Receipt’ which showed I spent £69.22 at 13.35. I still had this receipt due to the Xmas post and not having received my Bank Statement to check before destroying it. The Manager has stated that the Charge will be cancelled because he believed me from my looks he said. I am nearly 70 years old with a heart problem and cannot dash about anymore and definately spent all the time I was ‘PARKED’, in the store shopping for my families Xmas visit. How long was I actually ‘PARKED’ Parking Eye do not know, Aldi do not know and neither do I. Did I have a problem to PARK waiting for other vehicles to manouvre around when I arrived and when I departed did I have to wait for others ? I cannot remember.

What to do now ! ! Well, there are other Authorities I will endeavour to involve in my case. After all how many drivers have been charged £70 since the new Act came into force by being timed BEFORE PARKING and AFTER they have left the PARKING space?

I would like to hear from anyone with their comments. Has anyone received a Parking Charge Notice relating to this Swindon Aldi store since 1/10/12.

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Shanette 19 February, 2013 at 11:03 am

Today I have just got a parking ticket from Aldi Feltham so Angry with them I was shopping in their store I will NEVER SHOP THERE AGAIN nor will any of my family I have a large family they have lost over 10 customers no wonder the stores not very busy when customers are treated like this I wouldn’t have minded the fine if I was doing something wrong and Not shopping in there Store
ALDI HAVE LOST OUR CUSTOM FOR LIFE

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andy 11 July, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Hi I parked on aldi didsbury in the evening not from the area was meeting a friend, few days later 40/70 fine didn’t give me a chance to pay the smaller amount like they kept the letter a few days so you don’t get a chance, been in touch appeal not valid still have to pay, tried to contact them fully automated system not happy sending money to a po box number, the letter they sent back to me hasn’t even got a contact name or address. Any advice?

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hasan 19 July, 2013 at 3:09 pm

yes do not pay money making machine . over 30 pounds shoping should cancel the so call fine send the 78 pound bill still they send letters .i shoul send them my invoice writing letters to them. aldi you wont see me or my family in your stores

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james 30 August, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Just been reading all the above victims of these cowboys. Get this people.the only persons who can issue a legal parking penalty are,council traffic wardens and police officers. these charges are not legal penalties as prescribed by act of parliament for parking out on the public highway. The attempt to extort money from shoppers is a cowboy operated scam and not worth the paper its printed on.DO NOT PAY THEM, never never never pay these con men,they do not have a leg to stand on,they are playing on peoples fears of the law,they do not any statute in laws which gives them the power to enforce the demand for payment.Stand up to them and watch them cringe under the stones they come out from.
what kind of people have you all become living in fear of con merchants.This country fought to stay free from people like these. they are nobodys.low lifes who will be taken to task.DO NOT pay them.
Let the stores who are involved with them know that they will lose customers,start local boycotts of the
stores who employ them.PEOPLE POWER is great if you all stand and use it. Hit the stores in their pockets
once tills stop rattling they will grovel at your feet.

Good luck to you all and stand firm.Hold the line and we will win.
we in Glasgow will not tolerate them,they will be sorry they ever came up here.

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Tracy 10 October, 2013 at 8:39 pm

I had a fine from parking eye and sent the payment off 40.00 to avoid the 70.00 late payment.. But I received a bill yesterday for the 70.00.. I have emailed the crooks who u cannot talk to on the phone stating my cheque was sent a week before the deadline… It is wrong that no one can talk to them to sort it out!

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Zed 1 November, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I shopped at Aldi for the first time in Boscome a few days ago, I cannot find my receipt to take in and complain at being fined £70 for parking there to shop!!!!! It’s insane, why on earth is Aldi doing this??
there was no ticket on my car, no ticket machine fro pay & display.
I had no idea until a freind told me that there is a machine somewhere in the shop where you have to enter your reg number! For one, I never saw such a thing and the nice girl at the checkout did not mention I needed to do this whereas in all other stores we are asked if we have a parking ticket to reimburse. Secondly, I did not know the reg of the car as I had only used it a couple of times. I suppose I was meant to go out into the car park, get the reg number and re-enter the shop… or would I have been fined for that too as I see you get fined for returning with in 4 hours also!!! Are they quite mad? Do they not want customers?? I will never shop at Aldi ever again & all my freinds will hear about this too.

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