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World’s most retarded parking system

I’m on my way to London for a reception for Digital Mission companies and it’s turning into a mission.

First of all I tried to get the Oxford Espress and they don’t take cards – I can understand that, but not having a cash point at the park and ride bus station is stupid. So back into the car to drive to the train station in Oxford city centre. I already knew that I would have to pay for parking, but it’s not an obvious system if you haven’t used it before – which I hadn’t.

  1. There are no obvious signs in the car park when you first arrive saying that you have to pay by phone. I knocked on the door of the hut and the guy in the hut told me I had to pay at the station.
  2. So I arrive at the station and it is a voice activated system to pay for the ticket. Now I use the excellent SpinVox for my phone voicemail and it is an excellent system. However, not so the one used by RingGo to pay.

The main problems I had was that you have to stand by a stand on the platform next to the tannoy. Trying to speak your registration number, brand of car and colour whilst an announcement is being made doesn’t work. If you shout ‘piece of crap system’ at it, it puts you straight through to an operator. This wasn’t much better as he couldn’t hear me and got my details wrong the first time.

If you’re in a hurry trying to get all of this done before you get onto the train would be a nightmare. I had 5 minutes to spare and still only just did it before the train arrived. As there is a person manning the carpark, why can’t I pay him instead?

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