Thursday, January 8, 2009
You can take your service charge and....
Picked up a parking ticket in Ottawa last night. Long story but we knew better, took a chance, and lost.
But here’s the rub – payment options:
1. By phone with credit card and service charge.
2. By internet with credit card and service charge.
3. By mailed cheque with no service charge.
Think about that for an instant.
If you mail in a cheque it has to be delivered, handled by the city’s mailroom staff, physically sent to the appropriate department(s) for processing, bundled up with all the other cheques, carried to the bank, deposited, and then reconciled against the receipts. For all that effort there’s no fee. But if you pay online everything is done electronically and the city has to do absolutely nothing except to confirm receipt of the money in its bank account. For that option there is a $1.50 credit card processing fee.
As my dear old Dad used to say, “That’s ass-backwards, son”.
If the city was really interested in reducing costs they’d knock $10.00 OFF the ticket for online payment and save all the handling costs associated with a physical cheque. But no, that would make too much sense. So instead they get to deal with people like me who will send in a cheque because it costs me no more to do so and (the best part) it makes them work harder for my money.