Monday, March 19, 2007

How DST cost me $5

So in the US we started daylight savings time (DST) three weeks early. I'm sure most of you received the wonderful emails from the IT department that outlook entries would be tenuous for the weeks between March 11 and April 1. I figured I'd just have a few meetings that were messed up and nothing major.

However, after returning from a Liberty Alliance TEG meeting in Ipswich, UK, I got a rude awakening. I did the normal airport procedures and paid my parking fee in the terminal using the "pay-and-go" ticket I had received when entering the parking lot 7 days earlier. The parking receipt is below. Notice that the payment time is 16:25pm.

I then walked to Daily Garage 1 (about 5-8 minutes), put my stuff in my car and proceeded to the parking lot exit. Normally, you just put in your ticket and it raises the gate and off you go. Not so this time. I received a screen on the monitor stating that the "grace period" (the time between paying in the terminal and exiting the parking lot; around 45 minutes) had expired and I needed to pay and additional $5 or press the button to speak with someone over the intercom. Without thinking, I just put in my credit card and paid the $5. The receipt for that is below.

Then as I was driving home (in the surprise snow/sleet/ice/rain) I realized that there was no way my approximately 10 minutes between paying in the terminal and exiting the parking lot could have been more than the grace period allowed. The time in the machines must be off. This turns out to be the case. The time on the second receipt is 17:35pm which should be 16:35pm. I'm guessing the machines in the parking lot initially didn't adjust so they were adjusted manually. Then a "software update" came through and adjusted the times again.

Unfortunately, I have no excuse as to why I didn't think this through before paying :(

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