Open Letter Re: Bonifacio High Street Parking

Dear Ayala Property Management Corporation,

I am a regular patron of Bonifacio High Street, one of your properties within Bonifacio Global City. Aside from its accessibility and availability as a training ground for runners, I also just love spending time shopping at its establishments and enjoying its park-like atmosphere.

When you raised parking fees last June from P25 for 3 hours and P5 for succeeding hours to the current rate of P30 for 3 hours, P10 succeeding, I continued to patronize the open parking area despite no improvements made to the parking facilities. (In fact, you decreased the total number of paved parking slots and charged the same increased rate for the unpaved parking areas around BHS.)

However, recent events have given me cause to write this open letter, because I have been overcharged for parking not once, but twice already. Tonight, as I exited the elevated parking area behind R.O.X., the cashier charged me 50 pesos for 5 hours of parking. I do not normally distrust cashiers, but after I paid and left, I checked my parking stub and realized I had only been parked for 4 hours.

BHS Open Parking stub
my parking stub

I had entered the parking area at 1744 hours (5:44pm), and exited at 2135 hours (9:35pm). At 6:44, that was one hour of parking. At 7:44, two hours. 8:44, three hours. I had exited before 9:44, but that fraction of an hour counts as one hour. That’s a grand total of FOUR hours. Why did the cashier charge me for FIVE hours?

Your cashier does not know how to count. I should have argued with her, since this is not the first time one of your cashiers has assessed me an extra hour of parking.

The first time this happened (some time in July), I was on my toes and feeling combative, so I argued with that cashier and paid the proper amount. Tonight, however, I was off-guard. When I realized the mistake, I wanted to go back to the cashier and ask for my 10 pesos back.

Instead I chose to sit down and write this open letter because I am sure other people have fallen for the same thing. I believe it’s my civic duty to expose this practice and make people aware that they may be getting overcharged and scammed at your parking facility.

There is one reason this problem occurs time and again. Manual, non-computerized ticketing and charging.

  1. Upon entry, the parking cashier handwrites the plate number and time of entry on a ticket stub, which has been manually stamped with the date.
  2. Upon exit, the cashier writes the time of exit on the stub, mentally counts the number of hours the car has been parked, and requests an amount for payment.
  3. Upon payment, the cashier tears off half the parking stub and gives it back to the car driver. There is no written record on the parking stub of the amount that was charged.

One would think that with the parking fee increase, Ayala Property Management Corp. could afford to use a computerized ticketing system. If not, you could at least educate and/or screen the people you hire to be your cashiers to make sure they know how to compute parking correctly.

There are two implications should you allow this practice of overcharging to continue.

  1. If you are not aware that the cashiers are doing this, and you argue that the cashiers pocket the extra hour’s worth of parking charge, know that your company’s name is on the line. People will still think that you are complicit.
  2. If you are aware of this practice, you will most certainly be pocketing the extra money. That makes your company’s parking practices dishonest, and that is unacceptable.

I think your company can afford to use a register that prints receipts recording the amount being charged, at the very least. I hold Ayala commercial areas in high regard and know you will do the right thing, which is to put into place safeguards against overcharging. We are willing to pay, but let it be the correct amount.

Sincerely,
Noelle De Guzman

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