On street parking in Dublin city centre can be a real headache. I’ve parked a few times, walked up to the meter only to realise that I had no change in my wallet. The vast majority of meters don’t accept cards, so you’re left running to the nearest shop for change or giving up on the parking space altogether. In this situation I had tried ringing Payzone’s pay by text service to register but they told me I had to register and have a tag posted out to me – this didn’t really help my immediate predicament. Now Payzone have upgraded their Parking Tag system to help the stranded motorist but it comes with some additional fees.
The new parking process allows first time users to complete the registration and activation process in one phone call so they can park immediately. Parking Tag users pay for parking by sending an SMS and can extend parking time with an additional text. Payzone will remind users by SMS 10 minutes before their parking time expires.
Users register on the system with a laser or credit card and must deposit a minimum of €20 into the account. A tag is no longer required with the new system. Parking inspectors will now be able to check if a car has paid the fee by looking up the license plate in a centralised system.
There is however a catch. Users have to sign up to a direct debit where once the balance on your account drops below €10 the account is automatically topped up by €20, so Payzone permanently holds on to your extra €10. They also charge a hefty cancellation fee of €6.17. The final snag is that the ‘handy’ reminder text will cost you 20 cents each time it is sent. So a little like the automated tolling system you pay a premium not a discount for signing up to an automated system that should reduce costs for all involved.
Surely a system could be developed with co-operation from the mobile phone companies where the charge is added to your monthly bill, with no need for direct debits and extra charges for texts?
Developed in association with Dublin City Council, the Parking Tag can be used in the following Dublin City Council areas – Dublin 1 to Dublin 12 and parts of Dublin 13, 14, and 17.