Wednesday, May 14, 2008

'Improved' Parking At Tesco Penang

By improved, they meant to say PAY UP BITCHES!

Tesco Penang Parking

Yes, the days of free parking at Tesco Penang is coming to an end. Many Penangites have dreaded for this day to come but ever since they installed barrier gates and autopay machines, it's only a matter of when and not if our privilege of free parking will be taken away from us.

They are currently testing out the system for a week for any kinks and we need not pay for parking yet till the 18th of May 2008. How much they intend to charge us after that is still anybody's guess. To claim that it will be a better and easier car park however is absolutely ridiculous. Other than inconveniencing customers with having to pay their parking tickets before they leave, I don't see how the carpark is made any better or easier for us.

I suppose they had no choice but to start charging since the free parking is always being abused by non-Tesco customers. People patronising the outlets at e-gate just across the street are known to park their cars at Tesco and walk over to e-gate. To be honest, I've done that a couple of times myself. :P You can't really blame me since the parking space at e-gate is very limited and expensive! However, I would like to say in my defence that I'm quite a frequent shopper at Tesco and it's not like I hardly do any shopping at Tesco but utilise their parking space all the time. I do contribute to the profit margins of Tesco too! :P

The situation is not helped by the completion of the Bayswater Condominium project and people started to move in after all their renovation work have been completed. What I cannot understand about people buying such condominiums is that if they can afford to pay that amount of money for their new abode and spend so much money on so many cars, why is it so difficult for them to purchase an additional parking space for their 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th cars? The going rate for a parking lot in condominiums and apartments nowadays is RM10,000 but you'll be hard-pressed to find any takers. It's just silly when you see cars parked illegally by the roadside but when you go to the carparks inside, the lots are practically empty.

The parking problems at Tesco have been apparent for quite awhile now but I believe their hands were forced when residents at Bayswater Condominium started parking their cars at the free shaded parking spaces at Tesco. The maximum four hour parking ruling must have not worked. In fact, I've heard some really absurd stories such as people parking their cars at Tesco and carpooling their friends/relatives/colleagues cars to go somewhere else. I think that's going a little too far.

To be fair to Tesco, they are offering free parking to their customers. You only have to validate your parking ticket at the checkout counter or the autopay station although they've yet to inform us what the terms and conditions are to qualify for the free parking. Fair enough but how if I intended to buy something at Tesco and like so often, the thing you want to purchase is out of stock (which was exactly what happed to me yesterday, not for the first time)? What then? Do I still have to pay for parking? Sure, I can just grab anything to qualify as a Tesco customer but in times of economic uncertainties, I'm not planning to make any unnecessary purchases just so I can get free parking.

Also, do I qualify as a Tesco customer if I make purchases or dine at the other outlets like Popular Bookstore, Courts Mammoth, Pizza Hut and McDonald's? Do I get free parking too if I make purchases at those outlets? I for one (and I know quite a few who does this too) sometimes go to Tesco not to shop at Tesco but to dine at the food outlets or shop at the various outlets there. If we have to pay parking for patronising outlets other than Tesco although they are within the same building, there's bound to be some effects on the sales of Tesco and the other outlets.

The attractiveness of shopping at Tesco and the various outlets under its roof is the free parking. It doesn't add to the overall cost of your shopping and you can leisurely make your purchases or enjoy your meals without having to worry about increasing parking rates. Once you take free parking out of the equation, you're bound to lose some customers.

I do not know how much they intend to charge but I bet it has to be high enough to stave off residents from Bayswater Condominium or patrons of e-gate from parking there. One thing is for sure, I will be frequenting Tesco and e-gate less often after this. I would rather drive further down to Queensbay Mall where they have more outlets for me to choose from and the environment is more enjoyable although they recently introduced new parking rates which are still reasonable, IMHO.


  1. There's a Tesco in Penang!! God Kshern, I'll never be able to get away from them now..... hope all is well with you.

  2. haha...they're actually quite popular here in malaysia. i'm coping, thanks. nice to hear from you after such a long time. your blog is not updated as frequently as before now. hope all is well.