Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Hate Paying for Parking

Just got back from seeing The Hurt Locker at Westfield Century City (review to follow...). I validated my parking at AMC, which in the past buys an extra two hours over their standard first three hours free. After the movie, I did some leisurely browsing (scored 3 cami tops at Lucy for $6.99 each!) and after about 3.5 hours at the mall total (including 2.5 hours for the movie when you factor in previews, etc.), I headed back to my car.

Westfield has automate pay stations now and this usually entails slipping the parking ticket into the slot, a bit of whirring of the machine which then calculates that I owe no money and spits said ticket out again for me to use when exiting the parking lot.

Imagine my shock when instead of spitting my ticket out, the machine indicated I owed $3 for that extra 30 minutes. WTF?!!! I looked at the parking rates and sure enough, that validation from AMC bought me an up to two hour grace period--for $3.00.

Smart move, Westfield! I mean three hours is barely enough time to see a movie these days when you account for arriving a bit early to buy tickets, popcorn, find a seat plus previews. Forget about getting out of an epic blockbuster like Harry Potter in less than three hours--not gonna happen. So now, instead of seeing a movie and then doing a bit of shopping afterward (I mean, as long as I'm already here!), it behooves the financially conscientious not to linger after the credits roll, but to high tail it out of there before racking up a $3 parking charge!

Way to go, Westfield! In the midst of a recession, you've found the perfect way to drive your customers away from the mall...

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