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P(r)ay and Park February 11, 2009

Posted by Chatore Diaries in India, Maharashtra, Pune, Society.
Tags: , , ,

How many times have you ventured out on an evening with the family, taking off time from a bloody tight schedule, just to unwind yourself, and ended having a god awful time simply because of a parking problem? Either you did not find a good parking spot, or you did not find a spot at all. Or even worse you decided to use the pay and park facility, only to find your car scratched or dented on your return?

Although not new, the pay and park facilities have become more of a menace than anything else. The other day, my wife and I decided to catch a late night show at E-Square, one of Pune premier multiplexes. Due to lack of choice, I had to park within the premises, in the ‘parking lot’. I had to shell out 40 bucks at the entry, before I even parked. I was told that there was ample space in the parking lot. When I did reach the parking space, I could see an endless queue of cars waiting to be parked, by a ‘valet’. There were at least 10 cars that had to be parked before mine. And to top it off, there wasn’t a single parking slot available in the so called parking lot. I decided against giving my car for ‘valet’ parking, as it is fundamentally against my principles to simple hand out my keys to any valet. He could be Michael Schumacher for all I care. Luckily I found a parking spot waiting to be taken on the exit ramp.

What infuriates me about such pay and park services, is that :

1. Parking at owner’s risk: – Then what the fuck am I paying you for?

2. Management will not be responsible for any losses – Like hell they won’t be! The parking attendants are your employees, and my car is not for your employees to fuck around or dent. If there is a dent, or so much so as a single scratch, I will take personal care to fuck your happiness.

 3. Please carry all your Valuables; – Does that include the engine as well? Fucking moron, isn’t it your responsibility to see that my car is secure and safe till my return? What the fuck are you charging me for?

4. Pay in advance – What for you dip shit? What if my car has a scratch when I return? Or worse, what if it is not there in the when I return? Who do I go running after then?

The truth is, that most of these ‘pay and park’ scams are run my local corporate and / or goons. Since the returns are huge, without any substantial investments, barring the usual under the table hand greasing, a lot of ‘people’ want contracts for pay and park schemes. Someone once told me, that multiplexes are not supposed to charge for parking, since it is a civic mandate, I wonder which one, that all commercial establishments must provide for parking space. Since the land on which the establishment is constructed is either bought or leased, money cannot be made on parking charges. I still need to verify the facts though.

Not that I mind paying for parking, after all it is supposed to keep my car safe. What I have a problem with is the ‘fuck-you-and-fuck-your-car-but-pay-me for parking’ attitude. Aren’t there any rules and regulations against such activities? I am too pissed right now to think.