Friday, October 03, 2008

Relaunching the 'Angry Button'

I've been meaning to do this relaunch for a week or two - ever since I started my other blog in fact.

Don't think for a minute I haven't been angry all this time! I just haven't communicated it. then someone I talked to suggested it might actually be therapeutic.

Now there are things in my personal life which make me VERY angry which I shall not be covering here. People, events and injustices that have forced me to bottle up for far more than the year since I first blogged here.

However blogging about other things I encounter in daily life in the UK that annoy me just might help to ease some of the stresses overall.

So, what has got under my skin today?

I do mystery shopping, I get jobs from a couple of agencies that send me to banks, shops, petrol stations or even to websites. They give me a list of things to ask or do and I get paid. Not a lot, its true and I suspect that their clients pay them a lot more than I get. Another story for another day.

Today, my assignment took me to Chichester which is a really nice shopping centre, with plenty of parking spaces in car parks run by the local council. You would think that an hour in one car park would cost the same as an hour in another one, given that they are all much the same distance walk from the central pedestrian precinct. WRONG. Some are £0.80 per hour, some are £0.50 per hour.

What is worse NONE of them give you change. This is a trait repeated in car parks closer to home in Havant and Emsworth. Forgive me guys but I think this is a form of legalised theft. If it's 80p and I only have a one pound coin, why can't I have extra minutes up to the value of the money I put in?

I can understand that a machine giving change might not be feasible in outside locations, but giving me the minutes I PAID FOR is a matter of simple electronics. Alternatively put a phone number on the machine and let me call it from my mobile to pay for my parking. Use your imagination and stop ripping us off. You know we mostly pay for more time than we ever use anyway.

Let's say I paid for an hour and 15 minutes with my £1 coin. I might well have visited one of Chichester's many cafes or pubs or gone in a few more shops and brought more trade and money to the city. Instead of which I dashed back to my car to ensure that the 'nasty brigade' of parking attendants didn't get to me and give me a ticket.