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5:38pm on Tuesday, 28th August, 2018:



I went to London today, for one of my periodic convivial lunches with Eric Goldberg. I needed to pay for car parking at the train station, so used the Dash app that enables me to do so remotely for a mere 20p surcharge.

On this app, you have to pick which station you wish to park at, taken from a list. The default location, for reasons to do with car park numbering, is Thetford in Norfolk. In the past, I've looked at this and thought, "hmm, that's just the kind of thing a lot of people will miss, in the belief that it will default to the last car park they used instead".

It's an easy mistake to make, and I made it. I booked a parking space at Thetford train station. I did think it was less expensive than usual, but only checked after I'd paid. With no way to cancel, I had to suck it up and pay for a second parking slot at Colchester North station.

Normally, lists have a first element of "- - Choose from this list - -" to avert such errors, but I expect that enough people make it every day that it's quite a money-spinner for NCP, so there's no incentive to change it.

Annoyingly, if it had been more expensive than I was expecting then I'd have checked sooner. These car park app designers have the psychology worked out perfectly...

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).