Purchasers of Rolls-Royces or Bentleys would never dream of paying online. It’s so vulgar. They expect a chauffeur to pick them up, along with the chequebook, and ferry them to the showroom. Complimentary Champagne is often a feature of such transactions.
Now, we’re not expecting such a high level of service from the Civil Aviation Authority. But with CAA labour charges now well north of what you’d pay a Roller mechanic per hour, you can add value by making the experience just that little bit more intimate.
For example, if you would like to feel as if you are getting some value for money for your $313 medical application fee, a GAA reader has suggested that you do not use the online payment system (which has been designed not for your convenience, but for that of the CAA).
Instead, why not pick up the phone and have a nice conversation with one of the lovely ladies in the accounts department at Featherston Street?
You can discuss the weather, express your dissatisfaction about having to pay this ransom, make polite small talk, and eventually give her your credit card details, which will then need to be entered manually into the system. An added bonus: By doing this, you are also not accepting the CAA terms and conditions (which you must when making a payment online), and this may make subsequent disputes more productive.
And why not close the conversation with a cheery “Have a nice day”?
If you have received an account, then ask for an itemised one to prove that you are genuinely receiving value for money. Never miss a chance to query all charges. It’s a small gesture, but it shows you care…
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