Recently, Yours Truly received a traffic ticket. But this rant isn’t a woe-is-me tale. My focus is on how monopolies are inherently bad. And that the very worst monopolies are government-run monopolies.
Here’s the deal: to pay off my $80 ticket, I was given three options.
I could pay in person, which is a free service to the consumer albeit a bit of schlep. Yet, keep in mind that this is also the most expensive way for the city to process tickets given the inherent staffing costs.
Or, I could mail-in my payment, which means I’d have to spend a buck on postage. And there would still be a cost to the city, given that a staffer would have to open those envelopes to process the fines.
But then there’s Option #3:
Go online and pay the ticket. Handy for me and by far the lowest-cost option for the city.
Get this, though: upon going online, the city nails you with a $3.50 “convenience fee.”
Compare this to how the city treats online payments to the way the privately-run 407 toll highway operates.
WATCH as I show how this private company incentivizes users rather than penalizing them, the way government does.