Happened to be over in the Oakland / Berkeley area yesterday and needed to park to meet a friend near Jack London Square.

IMG_3246… and of course I was faced with the inevitable parking meter. I am used to keeping my quarters in the cup holder – and so fully prepared.

<<< This is the meter.

Truly a gorgeous day, bright, bright sunlight making the LCD screen very hard to read. NO matter, I know how a meter works – I dumped 8 quarters into the slot.

Quarters deposited – and …. crickets. Nothing had registered. No parking time had come up. No way to get the money back. Time honored option … leave note in the windscreen pointing out that I had paid – but something was wrong with the meter. Problem – I am 100% digital. I just don’t use pens anymore. Everything is captured on phone, pad or computer. The only thing I have that is even close to resembling a pen is a stylus, that I use for visual ideation on my iPad.

I was thinking and noticed that the screen suddenly flashed. It had returned to the starting position, waiting for the next new customer. Very annoying.

And then I looked more closely. At the bottom of the screen in a small font already faded due to the sun shining directly onto the screen was a little message ….

Credit Card or Phone Charges Only

Quite why they allow you to put money into the slot, in full cognizance that it will not register on the meter is beyond me.

Actually – it isn’t. I wonder how many people do that regularly and the coins are just collected anyway and added to Oakland’s coffers. The meter is a couple of blocks away from Jack London square … I guess Oakland have logged onto the idea of Tourist Trap.

File under #PennyPinching . #Scam and #WeDontGiveADamn