Is the borough council deceiving everyone?

Signs like this one have appeared in a number of places around Main Square car park.  They’re probably elsewhere too.  And the pay machines display the message ‘you could save up to £1.20 off your parking by downloading… and using the Glide parking app..’

So, you access the App Store, download the app, and off you go.  Save, save and save.

Fantastic.  But if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  So, a question to our readers.  What’s the snag?

Well, as far as we can tell from the poster, from the pay machine message or the app store, there isn’t one.  But there is.  If you dig into the council’s website, you’ll find:

“Glide are sponsoring a time limited promotion… Once this promotion is over, parking fees will return to the standard level.

This is an external promotion and Surrey Heath Borough Council have no control over when the promotion will end.

So, you’ve handed over your credit card details yet again for what?  Well, we’d guess that the promotion won’t last longer than a month, after which there’ll be no savings to be made.  Now, we’ve no objection to the various methods of paying for car parking by phone or app.  We take advantage of them ourselves.  But, given that it’s only a few weeks since the local paper said “Surrey Heath drivers wrongly charged more than £700 for 20 minutes’ parking amid online ticketing malfunction”  shouldn’t the council make it clear that the benefits of supplying your credit card details aren’t as great as it might seem?  After all, the council is supposed to help residents, not scam them.


12 thoughts on “Is the borough council deceiving everyone?

  1. Gosh, is that how much it costs to park in Camberley???? No wonder the roads around here are full of cars and I take my life in my hands each time I try to get out of my own house…

  2. Why isn’t there a low 30 minute rate? If they pedestrianise the High Street, people passing by and coming into town simply to go to the bank, chemist or bakery for example, will end up paying £1.80 for a trip that could take 10 minutes.

  3. I have downloaded the app as that is a great saving for me as I work in the town everyday – haven’t used it yet as I would want to pay monthly – it doesn’t work !! States it is coming soon ……when is soon ?????

  4. Being fair here, you’d still save money on your parking. It’s not like the charges will go back up *higher* than the standard prices, or that there are any ‘hidden’ charges for using the app (unless you’re paying for your phone time, but you probably know that anyway!). The only question left is how much you’re going to save and if you think that’s worth it for giving up your credit card details to the car park operator and the council.

    • Quite right, Ian. As I wrote, I’ve no objection to the scheme or others like it. My criticism is that the information exaggerates the benefits by not saying the prices shown are an introductory offer. Daily car park users will benefit from them a lot, but many others won’t.

    • Actually, if you read carefully, I didn’t call it a scam. But the council has a duty of care, and its communications must be crystal clear to everyone, some of whom won’t be of above average IQ. (As it happens the council had to issue a ‘clarification’ yesterday about its proposals concerning keeping dogs on leads. Enough people were mislead that they raised a petition. Better communication would have avoided the widespread alarm and criticism of the council)

    • I wasn’t questioning the scheme, of course. My criticism was of the advertisements that highlight the financial saving without pointing out that this is only temporary. Handing over credit card details involves a risk – as demostrated by the parking system only too well recently. Customers need to know what the true benefits are – not a distorted view.

  5. Camberley parking solution at its best! No wonder its reduce parking if you use the app. Don’t bother, it’s a pain to see and really bad to set up, and uses a pay system that is unknown.

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