Modern life is rubbish. It makes no sense and costs a lot.
Latest update on Ken Livingstone’s Extended London Congested Zone…
The C-Charge website, where you must go to pay, is:
b) utterly awful
c) so badly designed that, after a while, you realise you must deliberately click on the wrong thing to find what you are after.
d) run by Capita
So this is what I now know about the Congestion Charge (after talking to a C-Charge Capita employee on the phone…
If you are rich enough to live inside the C-Charge Zone and own a car, you are entitled to a residents discount. And the discount is amazing. For just £4 you get a full 7 days in the zone.
You can’t pay for less than seven days though, so if you only use your car once a fortnight, you have no option but to pay for a full seven days. My immediate thought was ‘well I’ve paid for seven days, I’m going to use it every day to get my money’s worth.’
Bear in mind the charge is designed to deter people using their cars.
Would you rather pay £4 per week and use your car or £5.40 per day and use the overcrowded and mostly stationery public transport? That’s the choice now for London’s richest residents.
The rich of Kensington etc. save money and get richer! Yay. The poor of Shepherds Bush and beyond get poorer (It’s £8 a day for them).
Let’s Talk About Capita
Let’s take a minute to get to know Capita, the world famous piss-poor outsourcing company who believe it’s not important to get it right the first time and who make profits of £200million a year.
The Boss of Capita is one of these people who gave secret loans to the Labour Party (in exchange for lucrative contracts) and, some say, honours.
Google for news on Capita and what you get back is a cascade of failure and semi-criminal activity. Yet time and again they bid for that contract and, by jove, they get it. Here’s just a quick sample:
Capita subsidiary fined by the FSA after some of its staff helped to defraud customers.
Capita school registration system (paid for by Red Ken!) leaves hundreds of children without a school.
Capita, after a catalogue of failures running London’s congestion charge is been fined £1m
Capita’s systems used by The Criminal Records Bureau criticised after it fails to check staff working with children.
Tens of millions of pounds of government money defrauded from an adult education scheme run by company Capita.
It goes on and on.
And one final thought – since we registered for the congestion charge, we’ve mysteriously started receiving daily telesales calls, almost as if our details were sold on to third parties.