Concerns raised over valet parking service at Darlington's Sainsbury's supermarket

PARKING PERIL: Fears have been raised over a valet parking service at Sainsbury's in Darlington. The store is pictured during a 2012 extension

PARKING PERIL: Fears have been raised over a valet parking service at Sainsbury's in Darlington. The store is pictured during a 2012 extension

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AN insurance expert has called for a car valet service in a supermarket car park to be scrapped, claiming there is a risk to shoppers’ vehicles.

The service at the Sainsbury’s store, in Victoria Road, Darlington, is offered to customers wherever they park, rather than in a set area of the car park.

A third-party business, Car Park Valeting, runs the service which includes cleaning and washing.

David Seymour, of Cleasby, near Darlington is concerned that valet staff could accidentally damage the vehicles of unsuspecting shoppers.

Now retired, 78-year-old Mr Seymour is a former insurance company director.

He fears anyone trying to make a claim for damage arising from an accident during the cleaning of a car in a neighbouring bay would find it unnecessarily complicated.

Sainsbury’s has pledged to take Mr Seymour’s comments on board.

Mr Seymour said: “I went to Sainsbury’s and there was quite a gaggle of people in yellow working uniforms, at first I thought they were security.

“They turned out to be a team of car valeters.

“Apparently, Sainsbury’s has brought this in on a trial basis and has chosen Darlington as one of a number of outlets to offer this service.

“That causes me enormous concern.

“I would describe the parking bays at the store as being at a comfortable minimum, they are not designed to have work done on vehicles parked there.

“In fact, it already requires a certain amount of care even parking there as it is.

“It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to realise that, if there is damage done at some stage, the owner of the vehicle that is damaged is going to have to prove that the car was not damaged before they brought it in.

“There is a general disclaimer by Sainsbury’s that cars are parked there at the owners’ risk, nothing unusual there.

“I just feel there is a certainty that damage will follow, there must be thousands of cars coming into Sainsbury’s each month.

“I feel this venture ought not to be pursued.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “Many of our customers value the service provided by Car Park Valeting and we only ever work with reputable companies to deliver services in our stores.

“We’ll certainly take on board Mr Seymour’s feedback and we’ll share this with Car Park Valeting so it can provide the best possible service to its customers.”

Comments (22)

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4:09pm Mon 5 May 14

LUSTARD says...

lots of damage to be caused with a wet sponge, must take all precautions, high risk venture,and certainly dont wash your own car on the main route thru cleasby , jeez risking it thier
lots of damage to be caused with a wet sponge, must take all precautions, high risk venture,and certainly dont wash your own car on the main route thru cleasby , jeez risking it thier LUSTARD
  • Score: -36

5:39pm Mon 5 May 14

BornInTheNorth says...

Car washing in supermarket car parks isn't new, and isn't going to go away. The title of the article is somewhat misleading though, as "valet parking" tends to mean that you are met by a valet who parks your car for you, not washes it! Every supermarket where I live has a hand car wash facility, most shopping centres the same, several petrol stations also, and almost all derelict petrol stations also. Time to embrace the 21st century, stop using damaging mechanical car washes and pay someone a few quid to do it for you instead.
Car washing in supermarket car parks isn't new, and isn't going to go away. The title of the article is somewhat misleading though, as "valet parking" tends to mean that you are met by a valet who parks your car for you, not washes it! Every supermarket where I live has a hand car wash facility, most shopping centres the same, several petrol stations also, and almost all derelict petrol stations also. Time to embrace the 21st century, stop using damaging mechanical car washes and pay someone a few quid to do it for you instead. BornInTheNorth
  • Score: 12

5:51pm Mon 5 May 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

78 year old Mr Seymour is an interfering old busy body and it's him and the likes of him that are the reason this country is in such a mess.

I remember cleaning cars for money when I was young. It was enterprising, fulfilling and a great way to make a few quid. Sadly these days theres always a Mr Seymour telling everyone why we shouldn't be doing things. He and his industry are a disgrace.
78 year old Mr Seymour is an interfering old busy body and it's him and the likes of him that are the reason this country is in such a mess. I remember cleaning cars for money when I was young. It was enterprising, fulfilling and a great way to make a few quid. Sadly these days theres always a Mr Seymour telling everyone why we shouldn't be doing things. He and his industry are a disgrace. thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 13

6:30pm Mon 5 May 14

stevegg says...

He has a valid point, this parking site isnt suitable as its always full on the ground floor where they operate. The parking bays are not big enough to move around and wash a car in situ when other cars can potentially be parked on 3 sides. There is at the very most only 18 inches between parked cars. How do you know when you leave your car that another car is not going to park next to you with the owner wanting it washing, answer - you dont! Obviously the valeters are going to be more careful with the car their washing than those left or right. Pretty sure most people who find dents/scratches that werent there when they parked will be complaining and contacting police/insurance ref damage as the valeters will never admit causing unintentional damage. Their should be designated bays set aside or it should nt be allowed.
He has a valid point, this parking site isnt suitable as its always full on the ground floor where they operate. The parking bays are not big enough to move around and wash a car in situ when other cars can potentially be parked on 3 sides. There is at the very most only 18 inches between parked cars. How do you know when you leave your car that another car is not going to park next to you with the owner wanting it washing, answer - you dont! Obviously the valeters are going to be more careful with the car their washing than those left or right. Pretty sure most people who find dents/scratches that werent there when they parked will be complaining and contacting police/insurance ref damage as the valeters will never admit causing unintentional damage. Their should be designated bays set aside or it should nt be allowed. stevegg
  • Score: 56

6:55pm Mon 5 May 14

maw.si says...

I was at darlington store today and was asked if I wanted my car washed,err no thanks I like my car dent free, but if I was to put a helpful thought into it they should have a the cleaning of cars to the top level of the car park only.
I was at darlington store today and was asked if I wanted my car washed,err no thanks I like my car dent free, but if I was to put a helpful thought into it they should have a the cleaning of cars to the top level of the car park only. maw.si
  • Score: 28

7:47pm Mon 5 May 14

PJ Chingford says...

My car isn't the flashiest in the world but I wouldn't let anyone near it! Especially so called valets.
My car isn't the flashiest in the world but I wouldn't let anyone near it! Especially so called valets. PJ Chingford
  • Score: 18

9:06pm Mon 5 May 14

Asdf123 says...

Moan moan
Moan moan Asdf123
  • Score: -25

9:35pm Mon 5 May 14

oliviaden6 says...

I dont think you need worry about the valeting i am more worried about the state of the decking on the upper level. It looks as if it about to collapse at any moment?????
I dont think you need worry about the valeting i am more worried about the state of the decking on the upper level. It looks as if it about to collapse at any moment????? oliviaden6
  • Score: 17

1:51am Tue 6 May 14

snudge says...

Silly old f--t !!!!!
Silly old f--t !!!!! snudge
  • Score: -18

7:29am Tue 6 May 14

Jonn says...

And who is going to make a claim on their insurance if their car is scratched by one of these car 'valeters'? The excess on most policies these days doesn't make it worthwhile claiming for minor damage and then when you come to renew your policy, they whack it up because you made a claim even though you were not at fault. Car insurance itself is one of the biggest scams going today.
I'm more concerned by fellow drivers who don't give a toss and open their doors onto your car, causing dents. It happened to me while I was sat in my car, a totally blatant act and the driver couldn't care less despite me confronting her.
Don't park in Sainsburys if you value your car.
And who is going to make a claim on their insurance if their car is scratched by one of these car 'valeters'? The excess on most policies these days doesn't make it worthwhile claiming for minor damage and then when you come to renew your policy, they whack it up because you made a claim even though you were not at fault. Car insurance itself is one of the biggest scams going today. I'm more concerned by fellow drivers who don't give a toss and open their doors onto your car, causing dents. It happened to me while I was sat in my car, a totally blatant act and the driver couldn't care less despite me confronting her. Don't park in Sainsburys if you value your car. Jonn
  • Score: 16

8:39am Tue 6 May 14

charliebrown1 says...

I saw a bloke with his valet trolly and sign offering the valeting services the other week and thought that it was a little daft doing it in the very tight spaces, would have been easier for Sainsburys to offer up a corner for him to do his work.
I saw a bloke with his valet trolly and sign offering the valeting services the other week and thought that it was a little daft doing it in the very tight spaces, would have been easier for Sainsburys to offer up a corner for him to do his work. charliebrown1
  • Score: 28

8:45am Tue 6 May 14

reasoned view says...

Has the retired old fool nothing better to do than poke his nose in? No doubt he has many stories from his life in the insurance industry where he declined valid claims, and now wants us to "benefit" from his experience.
Has the retired old fool nothing better to do than poke his nose in? No doubt he has many stories from his life in the insurance industry where he declined valid claims, and now wants us to "benefit" from his experience. reasoned view
  • Score: -9

10:54am Tue 6 May 14

kirstey16 says...

What has this paper become?! This is not news! This is the view of ONE person, he does not have the right to speak for everyone!!
Have any cars been damaged?! No. What a pointless, pathetic news article! And you wonder why people don't buy it anymore.....
What has this paper become?! This is not news! This is the view of ONE person, he does not have the right to speak for everyone!! Have any cars been damaged?! No. What a pointless, pathetic news article! And you wonder why people don't buy it anymore..... kirstey16
  • Score: -7

1:21pm Tue 6 May 14

marilyn49 says...

I won't be shopping in Sainsbury's, for all the reasons already stated .Thank you Northern Echo for flagging up this issue. The increasing number of unpleasant personal comments on the website saddens me I wonder if people would be so unkind in a face to face situation?
I won't be shopping in Sainsbury's, for all the reasons already stated .Thank you Northern Echo for flagging up this issue. The increasing number of unpleasant personal comments on the website saddens me I wonder if people would be so unkind in a face to face situation? marilyn49
  • Score: 22

4:28pm Tue 6 May 14

Rover13 says...

I don't like the idea of a valeter coming near my new Mercedes, their are plenty of car cleaners around Darlington without them being in a car park at a supermarket.
I don't like the idea of a valeter coming near my new Mercedes, their are plenty of car cleaners around Darlington without them being in a car park at a supermarket. Rover13
  • Score: 16

6:25pm Tue 6 May 14

The Sleeper says...

Why not give the service a go before being so negative. I am sure the valets would have liability insurance to cover any damage or Sainsburys would not allow them on site. There is risk in everything we do in life so if you want them to wash your car then go ahead. If not then don't...
Why not give the service a go before being so negative. I am sure the valets would have liability insurance to cover any damage or Sainsburys would not allow them on site. There is risk in everything we do in life so if you want them to wash your car then go ahead. If not then don't... The Sleeper
  • Score: -11

10:55am Wed 7 May 14

delboy1977 says...

I remember a time when people used to wash and clean there own cars !!
I remember a time when people used to wash and clean there own cars !! delboy1977
  • Score: 18

12:18pm Wed 7 May 14

Lionel1 says...

Rover13 wrote:
I don't like the idea of a valeter coming near my new Mercedes, their are plenty of car cleaners around Darlington without them being in a car park at a supermarket.
Wooooh, a new Mercedes! Aren't you flash...
[quote][p][bold]Rover13[/bold] wrote: I don't like the idea of a valeter coming near my new Mercedes, their are plenty of car cleaners around Darlington without them being in a car park at a supermarket.[/p][/quote]Wooooh, a new Mercedes! Aren't you flash... Lionel1
  • Score: -1

8:36pm Wed 7 May 14

359282 says...

Shock-Horror !!
An ex insurance company director thinks that insurers may find a way not to pay a claim- don't hold the front page, eh ?
Shock-Horror !! An ex insurance company director thinks that insurers may find a way not to pay a claim- don't hold the front page, eh ? 359282
  • Score: 1

12:14pm Fri 9 May 14

LUSTARD says...

LUSTARD wrote:
lots of damage to be caused with a wet sponge, must take all precautions, high risk venture,and certainly dont wash your own car on the main route thru cleasby , jeez risking it thier
a little light hearted comment zeroed by the serious minded
[quote][p][bold]LUSTARD[/bold] wrote: lots of damage to be caused with a wet sponge, must take all precautions, high risk venture,and certainly dont wash your own car on the main route thru cleasby , jeez risking it thier[/p][/quote]a little light hearted comment zeroed by the serious minded LUSTARD
  • Score: -6

10:34pm Sun 11 May 14

robbiejay says...

Valet parking is something entirely different!
Valet parking is something entirely different! robbiejay
  • Score: 5

2:58am Sat 17 May 14

pensioner2 says...

thetruthyoucanthandl
ethetruth
wrote:
78 year old Mr Seymour is an interfering old busy body and it's him and the likes of him that are the reason this country is in such a mess.

I remember cleaning cars for money when I was young. It was enterprising, fulfilling and a great way to make a few quid. Sadly these days theres always a Mr Seymour telling everyone why we shouldn't be doing things. He and his industry are a disgrace.
Actually its because of the likes of this "interfering old busy body" that you are still free to post something like that and that you are not squished under some Nazi Soldiers jack boot. The reason the country is in such a mess is because of the incompetance of the previous labour administration in government and the continued ineptitude of the current coalition government, helped along the way by bankers ripping the country off. It doesnt help by the fact that despite the uk's current financial crisis "we" or rather our government continue to give away billions of tax payers money to foreign powers such as India, Pakistan, China etc so they can maintain and update a nuclear weapons programme, continue to send rockets into space, (paid for by british tax payers of course) £27 million to china (2013 alone) who can afford to build a rocket to the moon apparently, £446 million to Pakistan (yet their own politicians- or at least 70% of them- are so corrupt they don't even pay income tax in their own country) They are concerning findings, given that David Cameron has decided to give India £1.4 billion between 2011 and 2015 we even send aid to Russia! The uk gave away £8.3 billion in 2012 (the latest year i could find an admitted figure for) AND THAT MY FRIEND IS REALLY WHY THE COUNTRY IS in such a mess. The daft thing is the uk has to borrow that money and pay interest on it, only to GIVE IT AWAY!! -the economics of a mad house! As for car washing in Sainsburys, it should be done in a special bay away from other peoples cars, the working space between vehicles in normal bays is quite insufficient without the risk of damage from buckets hitting other cars or what ever other equipment they use there. If you cannot see the sense of that then one can only draw the conclusion that you are either employed there or own/are family of the valeting service running the "business". I wonder if Sainburys consulted the council over this measure as far as i understand it the council are joint owners (if not outright owners and renting it to Sainsburys under an agreement) of Sainsburys car park -hence the reason your reg number is photographed on entry/exit to make sure you do not over stay the permitted free parking limit- I doubt Sainsburys ior any supermarket would impose a limit on how long their customers can stay in their shop spending money and its not just to deter full day time workers or people parking and visiting other shops either. Perhaps Sainsburys or the council would also like to send a traffic warden around the car park a bit more often too. I have spotted a large number of lazy bone idle drivers parking without blue badges parked in the disabled bays. Ditto at Morrisons i have seen drivers park in the parent and child spaces on many occasions at Morrisions North Road too without a child anywhere in sight (and definately not picking anyone up with a child either. While on the subject of parking, when did they legalise parking on the pavements? or do the police just not bother anymore? I have seen mums with kids in pushchairs and people in mobility scooters having to go onto the road to get past cars and vans which are taking up half the pavement and leaving no room for anyone with a child in a pushchair to get past on the pavement. One day some poor child is going to be killed thanks to these inconsiderate and illegal parkers- but of course it won't be their fault will it!.
[quote][p][bold]thetruthyoucanthandl ethetruth[/bold] wrote: 78 year old Mr Seymour is an interfering old busy body and it's him and the likes of him that are the reason this country is in such a mess. I remember cleaning cars for money when I was young. It was enterprising, fulfilling and a great way to make a few quid. Sadly these days theres always a Mr Seymour telling everyone why we shouldn't be doing things. He and his industry are a disgrace.[/p][/quote]Actually its because of the likes of this "interfering old busy body" that you are still free to post something like that and that you are not squished under some Nazi Soldiers jack boot. The reason the country is in such a mess is because of the incompetance of the previous labour administration in government and the continued ineptitude of the current coalition government, helped along the way by bankers ripping the country off. It doesnt help by the fact that despite the uk's current financial crisis "we" or rather our government continue to give away billions of tax payers money to foreign powers such as India, Pakistan, China etc so they can maintain and update a nuclear weapons programme, continue to send rockets into space, (paid for by british tax payers of course) £27 million to china (2013 alone) who can afford to build a rocket to the moon apparently, £446 million to Pakistan (yet their own politicians- or at least 70% of them- are so corrupt they don't even pay income tax in their own country) They are concerning findings, given that David Cameron has decided to give India £1.4 billion between 2011 and 2015 we even send aid to Russia! The uk gave away £8.3 billion in 2012 (the latest year i could find an admitted figure for) AND THAT MY FRIEND IS REALLY WHY THE COUNTRY IS in such a mess. The daft thing is the uk has to borrow that money and pay interest on it, only to GIVE IT AWAY!! -the economics of a mad house! As for car washing in Sainsburys, it should be done in a special bay away from other peoples cars, the working space between vehicles in normal bays is quite insufficient without the risk of damage from buckets hitting other cars or what ever other equipment they use there. If you cannot see the sense of that then one can only draw the conclusion that you are either employed there or own/are family of the valeting service running the "business". I wonder if Sainburys consulted the council over this measure as far as i understand it the council are joint owners (if not outright owners and renting it to Sainsburys under an agreement) of Sainsburys car park -hence the reason your reg number is photographed on entry/exit to make sure you do not over stay the permitted free parking limit- I doubt Sainsburys ior any supermarket would impose a limit on how long their customers can stay in their shop spending money and its not just to deter full day time workers or people parking and visiting other shops either. Perhaps Sainsburys or the council would also like to send a traffic warden around the car park a bit more often too. I have spotted a large number of lazy bone idle drivers parking without blue badges parked in the disabled bays. Ditto at Morrisons i have seen drivers park in the parent and child spaces on many occasions at Morrisions North Road too without a child anywhere in sight (and definately not picking anyone up with a child either. While on the subject of parking, when did they legalise parking on the pavements? or do the police just not bother anymore? I have seen mums with kids in pushchairs and people in mobility scooters having to go onto the road to get past cars and vans which are taking up half the pavement and leaving no room for anyone with a child in a pushchair to get past on the pavement. One day some poor child is going to be killed thanks to these inconsiderate and illegal parkers- but of course it won't be their fault will it!. pensioner2
  • Score: 0

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