You have the technology – it’s your choice to use it for good or evil

A parking ticket machine

Image via Wikipedia

Some time ago I lost my car parking ticket in a local shopping centre. I had only been there for 30 minutes and it must have slipped out of my pocket when I took my wallet out.  After a quick retrace of my steps I concluded that it was lost for good so I went off to find a real person who could help.

The problem with a totally automated parking ticketing system there is no need for a real person to apply common sense to the situation. The solution – use the ‘lost ticket’ button on the autopay machine and it will kindly charge you a ‘lost ticket fee’. This is coincidentally the equivalent of the maximum rate for the day. My 30 minutes of shopping just cost me about $50.

Last week I heard about someone having a similar experience with a very different outcome. This person parked at their local council car park and lost their ticket. They contacted the parking area administration who were able to go through the surveillance video footage to identify the number plate of the car and the time it entered. The person was able to escape the car park and only pay the correct fee.

The technology is often available to provide excellent customer service, however a lot of organisations choose to let bureacracy get in the way. It’s much easier to say ‘no we can’t do that’ than to look into how we can help. It’s actually got nothing to do with the technology itself but more to do with the attitude of the people running the business.

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