In case you didn’t know…

I read in the papers not too long ago the report on the local assemblywoman making some noise about the new parking rates at the Sibu Airport after it had been taken over by the Malaysian airport authorities…

Malaysia Airports Sdn Bhd
*Sdn. Bhd? I wonder who owns it?*

…and it has increased from RM1.50 to RM2.00. Well, it sure did not get me pulling all my hair out – after all, what has not increased in price? Besides, I do not go to the airport all that often.

Well, it so happened that I had to do just that the other day as my cousin and her hubby from the UK were dropping by Sibu for a couple of days and to drive into the parking zone, I had to press a button and get a card. I did not have a problem with that.

There were lots of parking spaces, obviously due to the price hike – that is quite typical of the people here and pretty soon, they will forget and the place would be quite full and one would have to park one’s car far far away from the terminal building.

A friend of mine happened to be there, about to leave, and he stopped his car beside mine and told me that they were using the auto pay system now and one would have to pay at the counter beside the Sugar Bun outlet there…

Sugar Bun Sibu Airport
*Archive photo*

…before one could get out of the place. When I shared about this matter on Facebook, another friend told me that she was stuck there for half an hour the day before because many people did not know this.

Again, I was fine with it, thanks to my friend for letting me know. As I was walking to the counter, I saw a few auto pay machines but there were signs on them stating that they were “under maintenance”. What? I thought they just started not too long ago. I wonder how much they paid for those machines and if they did work at all when they first started this whole thing.

Silly me!!! I went and paid…

RM2.00

…straight away thinking that I would have an hour since the time of entry and I waited for my cousin and her hubby to arrive. We were lucky that day as the flight was neither delayed nor cancelled. It was pouring cats and dogs when they landed and I told them to wait for me outside while I went to get the car to drive over and pick them up.

So there I went in the heavy rain and when I put the card into the machine, I saw the digital thing on it saying that my “grace period had expired”. I tried again and there was a voice on the intercom telling me to go to the counter beside Sugar Bun and pay. There was a car behind me and he honked at me impatiently. @#$%^&*!!!!! Blardy road bully, kurang ajar!I quickly reversed and re-parked my car and went back to the counter and paid an additional RM1.00…

RM1.00

…to get out of the place. The guy manning the booth said, “Lain kali, uncle, mahu jalan baru bayar!” (Next time, uncle, pay before you leave). Tsk! Tsk! I thought I could pay first and relax after that, no need to worry about it as I would have an hour at my disposal.

Well, in case you didn’t know all this, now you do! I wonder how long the “grace period” is because honestly, it is not near at all, the counter from the parking zone and imagine the not-so-agile warga emas (senior citizens) like me having to walk all the way there to pay and back again to the car to drive out of there! I hear at the UTC (Urban Transformation Centre), they have this autopay system too and it is printed in the payment chit that you have 30 minutes to get out of there – I did not see anything in the two that I got here that day.

Yes, by all means, increase the parking rates but they should, at least, make sure that the change is for the better and that their system is user-friendly, easier or more convenient for the people concerned…not worse!

 

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

10 thoughts on “In case you didn’t know…”

  1. Like all shopping mall this one is no diffrernt. After paying, have to leave within half an hour.

    We only have one here at the UTC multi-storey car park and there is a machine on every floor, I think. Went there once only with somebody and we parked on the first floor and paid at the counter there, right beside the car park. I thought it was very convenient…and at least, they tell you in your payment slip that you must leave within 30 minutes.

    This one, I would probably need 5 minutes to walk from the counter in the terminal building, the nearest machine is at one of the entrances into the terminal building (I saw two only – the other one is inside) and the car park is huge – what if I have to park at the other end and walk all the way, ten minutes at least. What if some flights have just landed and there is a long line of cars all waiting to go out – only one exit…and even when we had to pay manually, some people are very slow!

  2. Usually those in shopping malls allow 30 minutes time to exit so you only pay when you want to go out.

    RM2 is cheap

    Yes, no complaints about the increase…or the use of the autopay system just that it is not user-friendly. They should have some of those machines in the car park itself and make sure they are working – the terminal is not that near the parking area and as far as what I saw, besides the payment counter, there were only two machines, one inside and one outside, beside one of the entrances – both not working. Kinda silly, I think – if I were in the terminal, I could just go to the counter to pay, no point having those machines there, so close by.

  3. A few years ago they changed the parking kiosks in our town, too! It still confuses everyone. I don’t think they have fully worked since they installed them either! YIKES!

    Oh dear! Personally, I would prefer that human touch, not crazy about machines but as long as it is user-friendly, not such a hassle, I guess one would have no choice but to keep up with the times.

  4. She truly would have a fit if she saw the parking rates at KLIA!

    Yes, I thought RM2.00 is cheap. I don’t see why she saw it fitting to make a press statement – there are lots and lots of other issues and things of greater concern. After all, we hardly ever go to the airport, only when someone is leaving or going somewhere or someone is arriving.

  5. i guess a 30 percent price increase sounds steep, but if they haven’t increased prices for many years, it might be reasonable considering the inflation rate. the other alternative might be to increase the price by 5 percent every year, but that would be even worse for our wallets!

    I don’t think there has been an increase since time immemorial. I don’t mind the increase, not at all – after all, when it was RM1.50, I would just pay RM2.00 and say keep the change and drive off as soon as the bar was lifted – no need to waste any more time. If only it is more user-friendly, I would love this new auto-pay system and furthermore, the poor guy would not need to sit in that hot little booth all day at the exit – at least, their payment counter now is inside the terminal, air-conditioned.

  6. Wow. It’s crazy how things change so quickly. Including pricing or rates of our commodities and necessities.

    Quickly? We haven’t had an increase since they built the nice airport here…with a huge parking zone, bigger than the airport…and what is RM2.00 compared to what people have to pay elsewhere.

    I don’t mind that little increase at all had the change been for the better. What I am not too happy about is the hassle, the system as it is right now is not all that user-friendly – going all the way to the payment counter in the terminal to pay, two payment machines, one inside the terminal and the other beside one of the airport entrances…none in the parking zone…and both were not in operation.

  7. When the auto pay machines were first implemented at Kuala Terengganu’s first ever shopping mall, it caused quite a stir as many were not aware or familiar with it.

    We have a few at the multi-storey car park at the UTC here. I did not hear any complaint or of anybody having a problem there. Probably there are lots of people around, ever willing to help. Imagine some illiterate individual coming to the airport and there is not a single living soul in the parking zone.

    But generally here, people will just park by the roadside some distance away and when whoever they are waiting for has arrived, he or she will call…and they will drive up to the arrival exit at the terminal to pick them up. When sending somebody, they will drop them off at the departure entrance and go off, no need to park the car. That day, I did not have a choice as my cousin and her hubby did not have a local contact number and we could only communicate via Messenger on Facebook when they are at places with free wifi, like at the hotel, for instance. She uses whatsapp with the others but poor me, no smartphone so I don’t have that. 😛

  8. The grace period at the carpark at my house there is 10 minute…

    Oh my!!! Pity the older people, not very mobile, very slow…but I guess in Singapore, they do not drive, do they?

  9. I don’t like these automated parking systems. Luckily I don’t have to go the these often. Only good thing is they now accept credit cards, so I don’t have to search for change.

    Had a problem at the London underground – it rejected all my cash in hand and it was approaching midnight – I was putting up at Malaysia Hall and they locked up at 12. Luckily, the nice couple behind me had enough change for their own tickets and mine and I paid them instead. I always prefer the human factor but these days, we have to put up with these machines more and more.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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