From the article:
After paying, parkers get a receipt showing when their time expires. The meters recommend posting the receipt inside the vehicle's curbside window using the removable sticky backside as tape.Umm, recommend? Sounds like a requirement to me.
Two things he writes about make me mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.
Piggybacking and Minimum Charges.
The article states:
The city had projected about a 20 percent increase overall because drivers no longer could piggyback on others' time.I'll have to go down to Newbury Street and research the issue, but doesn't is sound like the driver leaving the space that has time on it could hand over his/her receipt to the new driver taking the space so that they could use the remaining time?
I'd do that. Boston is a friendly city, right?
Second, Minimum Charges.
The meter requires a two hour minimum purchase with a credit card. Based on my research it looks like the minimum charge requirement is prohibited by credit card companies.
In the article, Daniel Hofmann , deputy director of Boston's Transportation Department says:
...the city decided to require a two-hour purchase with credit cards because of the convenience offered and the fees involved in processing payments.The problem for the city is that credit card companies do not allow minimum charge requirements.
I found this information about minimum charge requirements.
Visa's and MasterCard's regulations prohibit minimum charge amounts. American Express's regulations do not explicitly prohibit minimum charges, but its policy is to discourage any merchant practices that create a "barrier to acceptance."
From the official Visa USA site:
"Minimum PurchaseSounds like we have some work to do.
Visa merchants are not permitted to establish minimum transaction amounts, even on sale items. They also are not permitted to charge you a fee when you want to use your Visa card.
If you run into a problem like this with a merchant, please notify the financial institution that issued you your Visa card. These institutions have access to the appropriate Visa rules and regulations and can help you document and file your complaint. You'll find their address and/or telephone number on your Visa statement. Their telephone number may also appear on the back of the card itself."
Please help me out and make some calls about the minimum purchase amount.
If you are down on Newbury Street and use a meter, see if you can give your receipt to the next car entering your spot. Observe how the system works. Is there an easy way to leave your recipt with unused time for the new person?
Please post your thoughts and observations in the comments here.
Boston.com has a forum where people are discussing this story.