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Wellington City Council: where the process dies...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-Jul-2008 08:53

On a rainy day I parked on Tory St, Wellington and used the convenience of paying my parking via SMS. That would be $4 for two hours, plus $.50 for the privilege of not having to carry coins. But instead of getting the little piece of paper with the ticket to put in my windshield, I got an error message:

"Transaction rejected"


Interesting. But I immediately got a SMS back from Telecom saying "thanks, we debited your account for $4.50".

Bummer. So instead I decided to use a credit card. Again I got an error message:

"Transaction rejected"


Hmmm. It looks like the machine may be out of paper, but the developer for this company decided to stupidly save some bytes instead of providing a meaningful message - and a transaction rollback.

So I walk to the next machine, pay and display the ticket in the windshield.

But I wouldn't be short of $9 today, right? I called the Wellington City Council, explained what happened, and was assured someone would call me back to arrange the refund.

You guessed right. No one ever called me back.

Like so many other New Zealand businesses, getting you off the phone is what they want to do. The Wellington City Council is quick to slap a fine on your car if you are over five minutes in the parking lot, but they don't want to move a finger to refund you money that they took without providing the service.

By the way I am looking at my credit card statement. This was on 17 June. More than enough time for the Wellington City Council to come back to me.

End of rant of the day.

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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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