Let Me Pay My Ticket with My Credit Card Now!

Not me but I was just as pissed!

I completely deserved it. I will not try to plead my innocence. I am guilty and had an idiotic moment as I went and parked my car in the wrong direction on a bustling main street in Babylon. Of course, they would ticket me. I didn’t even realize my mistake until I came out and a pedestrian pointed out my error. Yup. Sometimes, I believe I am experiencing senior moments in middle age. I don’t know how my driving abilities will fare as I continue to mature like a fine wine or more likely an aging vinegar. However, I think that I am not alone in doing something completely stupid while driving or parking.

I willingly went down to the Babylon Village courthouse to pay my ticket. I mean, I fess up. I did it and was going to take my lumps as they took my $75. I arrived at least an hour before they were scheduled to close at 5pm on a weekday. Government office hours are so very convenient for those that actually work. I had my credit card. I was ready and willing, but no.

Your Plastic Isn’t Good Now

The Babylon Village courthouse teller couldn’t take my credit card for payment. Actually, they couldn’t take my card from 3:30pm to 5pm even though they were still open to take payments on tickets. From 3:30pm on, they are only willing to take cash. What the? I am sure that I am not alone in using my credit card for most of my financial transactions. I pondered this inconsistency at the window a moment. And then, being the curious creature that I am, I asked the teller:

“Why don’t you take credit cards after 3:30pm?”

She told me that they had already tallied up the transactions of the day. However, the cash transactions would still be accepted and scheduled for the following day. Uh huh. They are still open until 5pm but officially close out credit card transactions an hour and a half before closing for business on weekdays. They have the terminals on hand to take additional transactions but 3:30pm is the time deemed appropriate to remove the ability of individuals to pay their ticket via credit card and force them to dig up cash or make an unforeseen trip to their local bank or ATM to draw the funds needed and then come back to make a payment. Why would I expect anything close to common sense from this agency?

In my mind, it doesn’t make sense. In this day and age with so many people using plastic for payment, why would any institution only take cash at certain periods of the day? Imagine this occurring in a retail or franchise setting. You walk into Macy’s, Bed, Bath and Beyond or Advance Auto Parts and find out that they decide to only take cash at the end of the day. It isn’t because the point of sale terminals do not work. They just need to close out the credit card tickets an hour and a half before they close for business that day. What about their customers? They don’t care about the inconvenience to their customers and would rather that you come back at another time if at all rather than make a payment by credit card there and then.

Absolutely Dumbstruck

Wow. I just assumed that they would want their money in any form available. I obviously am mistaken. I wonder how this change in payment accepted is communicated online.

As I go online, I find that there is an additional fee for either making payment online or over the phone. Of course there would be. I can make a payment by phone weekdays from 7am to 9pm and even on Saturday and Sunday. My best guess here is that they would accept my credit card payment. However, I am inconvenienced with paying more on top of my ticket. To get this out of the way, I process my payment online at www.babylonparking.com and pay an additional charge of $6 for a bot to process the transaction. I do it. It’s done.

However, just to inform all of those that actually might not want to pay additional fees on top of their ticket and are willing to stop by the Babylon Village Courthouse, please note that nowhere on their website are individuals informed of the following items:

· The Babylon Village Courthouse does not accept Personal Checks.

· The Babylon Village Courthouse operates weekdays from 9am to 5pm but only accepts credit and debit cards until 3:30pm.

These arbitrary decisions made by the powers that be are not important enough to be included on their website. Rather ripped off pieces of paper taped to window displays at their teller window are the only notification given to individuals that wish to pay in person. You didn’t know about our made up rules? You have to find another form of payment to take care of your ticket? We are so sorry about it — nod nod wink wink.

This is an example of Babylon tax dollars at work. This is how communications are managed in a digital age. Why don’t we all pay our tickets online and provide no reason for them to retain their current staff numbers or actually force them to take transactions in a form convenient for individuals during their open hours? Passive aggressively, I am thinking that a pennies for parking tickets initiative would be a lovely way to show our disdain. Please pay up with pennies for your outstanding parking tickets from 3:30pm to close. Give the workers a reason to accept plastic until closing. What is your gripe about Babylon Village or paying off your ticket in your area? Share your story below and let’s commiserate together!