The people of Angus voted with their feet, shunning off-street car parks in protest against parking charges on the day of their introduction.
Normally-packed town centre sites were almost deserted as motorists lined side streets to avoid paying up to £4 for the day.
Confusion also reigned among those trying to pay for their tickets, with many struggling to get to grips with the new system.
Small queues formed as motorists made repeated attempts to pay using a debit or credit cards, with many left frustrated and angered when they were unable to pay by cash.
One shop-worker who paid £130 for a six-month permit was unable to log on to the council system at 8.30am when the charges were introduced.
The female, who did not wish to be named, explained she had tried to get ahead but could only register online on Tuesday.
She said: “I was told I had to log-in on Thursday but have tried and cannot find where to log-in.
“I’ve tried to pay using my bank card but that has been rejected.”
She eventually scanned the QR code on the side of the ticket machine with her mobile phone and that worked.
Another woman in Arbroath, who also did not wish to be named, was furious when she successfully paid by card, only to find the transaction failed.
She had to re-join a queue to try again.
The normally full Myre car park in the centre of Forfar had only 42 cars parked by
9.20am, and it was a similar story across Angus with on-street parking at capacity.
In Brechin not one car was parked in the small car park in Market Street by 12.30pm.
Bruce Robertson of The Hardware Stores posted photographs on Facebook of a near empty car park at the rear of his shop.
He called on Angus Council to introduce a one-hour period of grace in the off-street car parks.
Photos of two car parks in Brechin this morning. Is this Angus Council working for the community they represent? I guess…
He said: “I don’t disagree with charging for parking in the Angus burghs but disagree with not allowing customers to have a period of grace somewhere between half an hour and two hours.
“We need to give customers time to do their shopping.
“Although there is a half-hour period of grace for on-street parking, that’s not long enough for the elderly.”
Mr Robertson, who has been in business in Brechin for 22 years, the last 11 at the Hardware Stores in St David Street, also criticised the payment machines for not taking cash.
“We have customers who never use a credit card or debit card, they don’t have mobile phones and wouldn’t know how to use a phone on these machines.
“They are limited to where they can park. A lot of them are infirm, we are sometimes the only people they see during the day.
“If they have a blue badge they can park in the car park free of charge, but a lot of them don’t meet the criteria for a blue badge.
“I was in business 22 years ago when there were parking charges, when they were abolished it was a Godsend.
“The challenge for us now is, we pay rates to be in the town centre, whereas bigger stores on the outskirts have their own car parks.
“This is great for them, not so great for small town stores.”
Addressing some of the issues experienced on the first day a spokesperson for Angus Council confirmed it was remotely monitoring the new system regularly.
Regarding those unable to log on to the council system, she said: “We would need to know the details of the individual and can look into this for the customer, based on their personal detail, but if they have purchased a permit they would have been able to park this morning.
For those struggling to use the machines she added: “There is guidance on the machines with full instructions on how to use them and further guidance on our website.
“In addition, people can call ACCESSline for further information and guidance. The machines follow standard chip and pin technology. We will continue to monitor the situation and promote the cashless system.”