OK here’s the deal. The City of Tampa has instituted using a new in car parking meter. Its about the size of a credit card and hangs from your mirror — read about it here. I’m probably going to get into trouble with this comment, but it never stopped me before.
First you pay $20 for the gizmo. Then you pay $5 to have money placed on it. Then every time you add money (in amounts of $50 or $100) you have to pay an additional $5 "adding money" fee. You can do this 99 times then you have to throw the sucker away and buy a new one.
Now I like the idea of the in car meter. Its a great idea. However from my point of view, it seems a bit restrictive. Lets say I go downtown a couple of times a month. Maybe I don’t want $50 on the thing, but $20 would be just right. Plus a $5 charge to give my money to the city in advance for parking. That seems a bit steep. Why should I be charged at all. They are getting the use of my money for weeks even months before I decide to park. Why should I pay them for that privilege.
If they want to get people to use these suckers, then why not do it the other way around and give me $55 worth of parking for $50.
Also, I have to come in and buy the critter. Why not allow me to order it on line and have it mailed to me. And from then on, I can plug it into my computer and add money with my credit card over the Internet.
Now, that would be a great customer service way for me to pay my parking. Plus the city wouldn’t have to have a bunch of people dealing with these things in their office, and I for one certainly would be more likely to purchase one. In fact, why sell them at all. Why not give them to the people with a Deposit that covers their cost and return the money if they are returned in working order. That’s even a better deal.
But then, what do I know…