On November 11 at 9pm, Alishea Foreman, of Ham Road, Worthing, parked in the Union Place car park before meeting friends.
She said black bags were taped over the pay machines so she could not pay, and did not have her mobile with her so could not pay by phone.
Mrs Foreman said she left without seeing if there was another machine because she felt unsafe due to a lack of lighting: “I haven’t got a problem with paying for my parking, but I did not want to wander around in the dark.”
Later that month, she received a £100 fine and appealed it on November 26 – but NCP rejected it in a letter sent on December 8, claiming the machines were in working order.
An NCP spokesman said: “We have reviewed this customer appeal again and can confirm that we believe the PCN was correctly issued.
“It would be unfair for us to cancel this parking charge notice when many other customers parked in this car park and used the correct machines.
“We did have bagged machines which are the old decommissioned machines on site, as we had invested in a recent pay machine upgrade and were waiting for them to be taken away, but the new upgraded payment machines are clearly on display on the entrance to the car park.
“We do offer an alternative method of payment for our customers, so that they have a choice. On the evening in question we had new payment machines working, and pay by phone options also available.
“We are sorry that we cannot help on this occasion, but we believe that it would be unfair to our paying customers if we were to accept these reasons for non-payment.”