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Inadequate disclosure of Canberra Centre parking credit card processing fee

By ScottyW - 11 August 2015 11

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With the introduction of the new parking machines and gates the Canberra Centre has also snuck in another change – a processing fee for using a credit card to pay for parking.

I found this out after I saw a medium sized sign in the carpark foyer saying something like “you can now pay at the gates…” .  So I though I’d do that and give it a go, even though there was nobody at the machines as I walked past.

Once I did it and a receipt was issued I noticed a whole ten cents was added to the price of my $4 parking ticket when I had a closer look after leaving the carpark.  I then considered whether I saw any signs advising I would be charged a fee for using a credit card, and I didn’t think I had.

Ed the parking manager advised me the surcharge was mentioned in writing on all 32 entry/exit points of the building, as well as printed on each of the machines in what he described as ‘very, very small writing’.  He also said he’s getting lots of complaint calls.

I’d consider if the writing was so small you can’t read it at the point you need to use it – the exit gate machine – then it’s not actually effectively disclosing the fee.

Oh – and it’s not about ten cents – it’s about the principle.

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Inadequate disclosure of Canberra Centre parking credit card processing fee
La_Tour_Maubourg 6:52 pm 26 Aug 15

Has the Canberra Centre replaced the old machines, or enabled credit card payment on the existing ones? Last time I went the machines were all out of order

dungfungus 3:48 pm 26 Aug 15

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

I used one of the new “card only” ticket dispensing machines at the NGA yesterday.
Whoever designed the machine did not take into account that when rain spatters on the glass the display behind it (which is barely readable anyhow) is impossible to read. One has to use a second pair of hands to wipe the glass clear. There is no “feel” in the touch buttons either and the ticket takes a long time to come out – great when one is standing in the rain. The display is set too low so I don’t know how tall people will be able to use them.
These things are a disincentive to going out. I saw a Victorian tourist trying to use it as I was leaving – he gave up in disgust, went cursing back to his car and drove off.
Are you reading this, Tourism Directorate?

Completely agree. the machines are not user friendly, especially regarding credit cards. The button have no movement or response to them to know you’ve pressed it and the screen is hard to read at times. Makes you wonder who they got to work out the best machine and if this was the best, how bad are the other ones they turned down!

If we both agree on this it must be a serious problem. Let’s do some research and see what we come up with.

watto23 3:02 pm 26 Aug 15

dungfungus said :

I used one of the new “card only” ticket dispensing machines at the NGA yesterday.
Whoever designed the machine did not take into account that when rain spatters on the glass the display behind it (which is barely readable anyhow) is impossible to read. One has to use a second pair of hands to wipe the glass clear. There is no “feel” in the touch buttons either and the ticket takes a long time to come out – great when one is standing in the rain. The display is set too low so I don’t know how tall people will be able to use them.
These things are a disincentive to going out. I saw a Victorian tourist trying to use it as I was leaving – he gave up in disgust, went cursing back to his car and drove off.
Are you reading this, Tourism Directorate?

Completely agree. the machines are not user friendly, especially regarding credit cards. The button have no movement or response to them to know you’ve pressed it and the screen is hard to read at times. Makes you wonder who they got to work out the best machine and if this was the best, how bad are the other ones they turned down!

dungfungus 10:58 am 26 Aug 15

I used one of the new “card only” ticket dispensing machines at the NGA yesterday.
Whoever designed the machine did not take into account that when rain spatters on the glass the display behind it (which is barely readable anyhow) is impossible to read. One has to use a second pair of hands to wipe the glass clear. There is no “feel” in the touch buttons either and the ticket takes a long time to come out – great when one is standing in the rain. The display is set too low so I don’t know how tall people will be able to use them.
These things are a disincentive to going out. I saw a Victorian tourist trying to use it as I was leaving – he gave up in disgust, went cursing back to his car and drove off.
Are you reading this, Tourism Directorate?

montana 9:23 am 26 Aug 15

After having used the credit card payment at the boom gate exit, i will unreservedly urge people to NOT pay this way! Why?

1. When you pay at the usual booths it stops the counter from charging you at that point in time. Let’s say you pay at the station at a parking duration of 0:59 minutes, you get charged $3. But if you had decided to pay at the gates, it will take you longer to walk to the car and exit, which would then clock your time as over 1 hour and be charged more.

2. The booth payment is ridiculously slow to process. Maybe the pay station machine is really slow too, but at least you wont be holding up cars behind you for what seemed like 30 seconds.

So please, don’t use the gate payment!

watto23 12:45 pm 11 Aug 15

Grail said :

CC transactions cost money. You have to expect that either I get a disclunt for paying cash, or you pay more for paying by CC.

Except that cash incurs costs possibly greater than cards. Every time they need to go collect the cash out of the machines and take it to a bank/vault etc costs a significant amount of money. Reality is its easier to slug CC users a fee. Meanwhile the cost of doing cash business is being covered by CC customers also.

JC 11:28 am 11 Aug 15

Grail said :

The place to disclose the processing fee is at the front gate, then again at the pay machine right there next to the credit card icon: “2.5% surcharge on credit card transactions.”

Of course if there wasn’t a surcharge on CC transactions, it would be me complaining that I am subsidising your payment option.

CC transactions cost money. You have to expect that either I get a disclunt for paying cash, or you pay more for paying by CC.

Cash also costs money. Just a lot harder to whack a cash surcharge on things, when in reality both should just be factored into the cost of business.

Ghettosmurf87 10:56 am 11 Aug 15

Grail, I think you are ignoring the cost that cash/coin transactions incur for operators too. There is an increased physical security component of the design of the pay machines so that they aren’t broken into and robbed of the money within. I imagine this makes the machines that accept coins far more expensive than the gate sections which only accept cards. There is also the cost of hiring security guards to collect the currency from the machines.

So card payers subsidise those elements they don’t use and coin payers subsidise other elements they don’t use.

Perhaps the cost should just be standardised across all users?

dungfungus 10:22 am 11 Aug 15

This is one of the “benefits” of a cashless society.

Grail 10:13 am 11 Aug 15

The place to disclose the processing fee is at the front gate, then again at the pay machine right there next to the credit card icon: “2.5% surcharge on credit card transactions.”

Of course if there wasn’t a surcharge on CC transactions, it would be me complaining that I am subsidising your payment option.

CC transactions cost money. You have to expect that either I get a disclunt for paying cash, or you pay more for paying by CC.

Dame Canberra 10:10 am 11 Aug 15

This is super sneaky. The print is so tiny that it’s almost deliberately misleading.

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