A BUSINESS owner enjoying a meal out in Ocean St, Maroochydore, on a Friday night ended up stuck in the Big Top car park unless she paid for a security guard's call-out fee.
Melissa Bruce of Clever Paws canine training had gone to Ocean St on Friday night for dinner with friends.
But as Ocean St is now closed to cars on weekend nights to allow for the popular markets, Ms Bruce looked to park at the Big Top shopping centre.
"As the street parking was blocked off, all parking on the lower level of the Big Top was full," Ms Bruce said.
"I felt quite unsafe about parking down one of the side streets at night. I parked on the second level and headed off to dinner."
When she returned to collect her car just before 10pm, a security guard tapped on her window and said she would be unable to get out unless she called another security company to let her out.
Should more parking be available late at night around Ocean St?
This poll ended on 29 November 2016.
Yes. It's there, why not make it available?
No. People just need to be aware where they can and can't park.
Maybe people should have to pay.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
And that there would be a call-out fee.
"I was a little shocked, but I was in a rush to drop another friend at the airport, so I called, and was informed I would not be let out unless I had $35 cash ready to go," Ms Bruce said.
"Upon mentioning there was another car as well, I was told we would be charged $35 per car, not just for the call-out fee."
With two cars locked inside and a plane to catch, Ms Bruce had no option but to agree and pay the $70.
She paid the security guard, but he refused to give her a name or a receipt.
The entire experience has left her "reeling".
The security guard pointed out signage which advised the car park was closed beyond a certain hour, but the signage was "on the up-ramp where no one is looking because they're driving".
"Other than that, nothing else stood out to tell you the car park servicing a late night venue gets locked early," she said.
The Big Top owner, LaSalle, has not responded to the Daily's request for comment.
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