After contacting WMATA about how I got overcharged for parking at the White Flint metro garage earlier this month, I received refund instructions and was able to reclaim my $3.50. However, in their explanatory email, there was no acknowledgement about my suspicions on the cause of the problem.
Well, it happened again yesterday. Yes, I’ve sent another email about the overcharge, and I’m now 100% certain that my initial suspicions were correct.
I entered the metro system yesterday afternoon from Bethesda with $21.90 on my card. Exiting the system at White Flint, my card was debited the $2.60 peak rate and the remaining balance on my card was $19.30. Since my autoload threshold was $20 (note the past tense), the next tap would add $20 to the card. That next tap came about 5 minutes later as I drove out of the White Flint WMATA garage. The autoload happened, but so did the $8.50 non-rider parking rate.
So again, I’ve email WMATA requesting a refund, and reiterating the problem. I suppose they consider people who don’t realize that this problem exists is another stream of revenue or something. In the meantime, I’ve disabled autoload, a wonderful convenience that just isn’t worth the hidden surcharge.
My bigger gripe is with how governments and quasi-governmental agencies are so completely tone deaf when the citizenry tries to help by pointing out problems in their systems. I have the same beef with Alert Montgomery, who cannot send a coherent SMS message if my life depended on it (which, theoretically, it could) and completely ignored my attempt at suggestions on how to improve it.
Hey, guys, you’re here to service us, your constituents and riders. Pay a little attention, why don’t you?