Thursday, December 10, 2009

Paying pennies for convenience, not what you think...

I occasionally park in a car park in the lovely Mediterranean city paradise that is Woking, There was a simple and convenient system for parking in the council owned car parks...

Of a moonlit winters morning, I'd drive, in the deep,dark gloom into the car park, park the car then:

  1. stick a credit card into a machine
  2. press a button to indicate the number of hours I was parking for
  3. put the ticket in the car
  4. that's it, simple, dare i say convenient.

There's a new system now, the credit card slot has been disabled by the skilled application of some duct tape, so,
the first time I tried to park I had to:

  1. dial a telephone number on my mobile
  2. dictate my registration number 7 digits
  3. confirm the description of my car 1 digit
  4. input a code for the particular car park 4 digits
  5. input the number of hours I wanted to stay 1 digit
  6. Input my credit card number 16 digits
  7. the expiry date, 4 digits
  8. the validation number 3 digits
  9. Then, adding injury to insult, listen to the voice of the machine informing me that, (over and above the cost of the call) there would be a 20p convenience charge

Admittedly all my credit card details are now recorded on a database somewhere which makes it easy and convenient for Them to take my money in future, and admittedly there's value and convenience to Them in centralising and outsourcing the management of their parking facilities.
What I'm annoyed by is that I'm being charged 20 english pennies and paying for a phone call and being told how convenient that is, to me?

I don't see it.


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