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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Credit card use at new meters canceled

City halts use of credit cards at new meters - The Boston Globe:
"Boston's new multispace parking meters along Newbury Street stopped accepting credit and debit cards yesterday, as city officials acknowledged that their minimum payment requirement appeared to violate Visa and MasterCard regulations.

Tinlin said city officials were not aware of the rule until the Globe reported on it yesterday. 'It has never come up,' he said.
Amazing.
Tinlin said he didn't know whether the city could afford to alter the meters to allow people to pay with credit or debit cards for whatever amount of time they want.

'It's good government that you want to cover your costs,' he said. 'With every transaction, there's a transaction fee.'

Tinlin said he didn't know the size of the city's credit card transaction fee."
Even more amazing.

4 comments:

  1. Steve, I think you brought this story (the minimum time purchase and credit card agreement violation) into the open. Too bad you didn't make a video ;)

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  2. Pittsburgh uses this kind of meter. There's not technically a minimum purchase, but I think one does buy in $0.25 increments. Credit cards and debit cards work -- it's easy to use.

    I'm surprised that the meter vendor didn't point out to Boston that they couldn't set a minimum charge. Surely this issue comes up every time these meters are installed.

    I wonder if this is really tied to the greedy side you pointed out -- they had their eyes on the 20% increase in revenue due to the end of piggybacking.

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  3. go boston, go boston, go go go boston

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  4. Hopefully the change is only temporary until the city gets their act together and waives the minimum charge.

    Meanwhile the meters are making the news yet again, as bicyclists complain the change leaves them fewer places to lock their bikes: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/city_region/breaking_news/2006/11/back_bay_bike_p.html

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