I had no change so resorted to calling the "helpline", whereupon I was told that the debit card facility was not available, which I had just told them and that I'd have to use cash, which I'd already mentioned to them was a non starter as I didn't havine any change. In fact, nothing smaller than a £20 note. I also made the point that I shouldn't have to do their work for them. It wasn't my fault that their equipment wasn't functioning.
Then, the individual came up with a very kind suggestion. "We are only five minutes away from where you are, in our office. I can bring you change of a £20 note if you like" Not the ideal solution but one offered, it seemed, in good faith, so I agreed.
"There will be a service charge of £45 though. If you give me your debit card details I can take that payment now" When I questioned this exorbitant charge I was tartly reminded that it was I who didn't have any change and was asking THEM for help. I felt it incumbent upon me to remind her that, in fact, it was HER faulty equipment that was at the root of the problem.
As you may surmise, I wasn't at the hospital as a tourist, and in fact was in some considerable pain but managed to maintain a modicum of good manners when I then suggested that she should, rather, take my parking fee payment by debit card bearing in mnid that it was their faulty equipment that was causing the problem in the first place.
"Sorry, we can't do that... but I can take the service charge payment now and then somebody will be with you within the hour."
Hmm... what happened to "five minutes away".
Rather than give vent to my true feelings, I put the phone down, just in time for a taxt driver to stop beside me, roll his window down and offer me change for the machine. It seems that I wasn't the first hapless mug of a patient to fall foul of APA's kind offers in recent days.