Change this ‘no change’ policy

"No change given, overpayment accepted.”

These are the words that could easily be applied to my children. Probably all children come to think of it. They are cash black holes.

To be fair, it has been the case for some time. I can remember being sent to the corner shop for my mum to get milk and returning with the milk, no change, but eating a Mars bar. “The milk was more expensive than usual,” I told my mother, “But, hey, it came with a free Mars bar!”

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My how I laughed, as did my mother ... with every blow she delivered to my backside. Ha, ha, yeouch.

As it is, the words “no change given, overpayment accepted” are usually found on car parking payment machines.

We live in an age of incredible technological advances yet, even though I believe change machines have been invented, they cannot be connected into the workings of car parking payment machines. It’s impossible, apparently.

This strange quirk means that car parking companies and councils benefit from the overpayments. Fancy that!

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Of course, “no change is given” is clearly marked ... in very small writing.

We were in a seaside town recently. We drove into the first car park we saw. They charged £2.50 an hour. “No change given, overpayment accepted.” But weren’t we already overpaying? I wanted to speak to the car parking team as they cleaned my car. There was no car parking team and no complimentary car cleaning service.

It appears the £2.50 an hour gives you just a patch of gravel and the promise of a £50 fine if you stay over the hour. I checked the back of machine. There were even more caveats written in even smaller writing. Apparently, if you leave the car unlocked in the car park, management reserve the right to rifle through your boot and flog anything of value, with the proceeds going to a council booze-up for staff.

Check it out if you don’t believe me, though I reckon the council will rub that bit out after reading this column.

After devouring our cash to loiter in their town for an hour, it turns out they also charge for the privilege of using their toilets. 40p!

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