I think this thing needs some work


I think this thing needs some work

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…


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. Ever notice that people with convertibles and motorcycles don’t leave their Ipods hanging from the rear view mirrors?

  2. The only personal electronic device that we should ask customers to use to pay for parking is the cellphones those customers already have. Asking them to buy and maintain a seperate, dedicated device, and charging them fees for the privilege, just strikes me as crazy.

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