Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Rip-off Files 2: Park'N'Pay at Hong Lok Yuen

Living in Taipo, I sometimes drive over to Hong Lok Yuen to shop at the Park'n'Shop International (its new label) supermarket there, the best in town for non-Chinese food items. There is a free short-term parking area in front of the supermarket for use by shoppers. If (as often happens) this is full, you have the option to park in the nearby covered carpark free of charge, so long as you spend a designated amount at Park'n'Shop.

Until recently, this amount was HK$150. A couple of weeks ago I presented my parking ticket at the checkout, only to be told that it had been raised to - get this - $300, a mere 100% jump! Given that the carpark was rarely more than half full at the previous level, it is difficult to see any justification for this outrageous increase.

I don't know who expects to profit from this, the supermarket or the Hong Lok Yuen management, but I have no hesitation in declaring it a rip-off. It is hard to see how this stupid move will benefit anyone, either: shoppers are being inconvenienced; residents will face greater air pollution, as drivers wait for a free space with their engines idling rather than use the covered car park; car park revenue will not increase; and driving away customers can only reduce the rent that the estate is able to charge the shops there; some may even close down altogether, to the detriment of the residents.

1 comment:

962 said...

The problem with Gweilos is they always try to find a sensible reason for irrational behaviour.

The reality is that the owner of the car park envisaged that he would make more money so park and shop decided that they would not pay and make you pay instead.

It follows what I call the stupid lanlord syndrome. These are guys who will wait months to rent a flat instead of accepting a slightly lower offer.