05 April 2006

Speeding Penalty

I was once a car owner, and liked to drive to different places to explore the new world. While driving, I listened to my favorite songs. Although I ain't a good driver, It's hard to imagine that I was caught speeding one day.

When you commit a crime, you better acknowledge it and accept the responsibility quickly in order to avoid any further trouble and unnecessary harassment. I am a lazy person and it's my natural tendency to proscratinate on things I deem unimportant. It's not surprising when I was asked to pay an additional penalty. I've totally forgotten to pay the fixed penalty on the payment due date.

In order not to suffer from extra financial hardship, I immediately set myself off to settle the "debt", but the payment channels are limited, which is an inconvenience.

01) By cash or by cheque.
- Payment may be made personally or by an agent at any of the magistrates' courts. The Magistrates' Courts receive payments during the hours of: Monday to Friday 0900 to 1300 and 1400 to 1700; Saturday 0900 to 1200
- If payment is made by cheque by post, please mail directly to the issuing Magistrates' Courts.
- Please note that payment cannot be made at post offices.

First of all, the locations are not easy to reach, and the hours available match exactly the office working hours. The option is simply not feasbile.

02) By HSBC / Hang Seng Bank ATM
- You may pay at any of the HSBC / Hang Seng Bank ATMs with the "Bill Payment Service" signage.
- You can also settle your payment through HSBC automated Phonebanking / HSBC online banking / Hang Seng VRS Phone Banking / Hang Seng e-banking services.

If one wants to settle the payment via bank, it is only available at 2 banks in Hong Kong: HSBC and Hang Seng Bank. Is this an discriminatory practice? Is that fair trade? There are more than 10 banks in Hong Kong, but the Government of the Hong Kong Special Adminstration Region (HKSAR) only forms relationship with these 2 banks. I don't have accounts at both banks. This option is ruled out.

"When there is a will, there is a way."

I finally settled the payment, given the tremendous difficulties the HKSAR kindly offers.

This is not just a speeding penalty, but also a negative deliverable touchpoint experience. The HKSAR should provide convenience but definitely not difficulties to citizens trying to use public services, especially when it is about money! If tax can be paid at almost all channels, why not penalty???

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