Another Business Joins The Bandwagon of Paid Parking Lots

Uncontrolled avarice continues to grow in this vibrant metropolis.  Recently I wrote about the growing trend of businesses charging for their parking spaces.  Many of these firms chain their premises to avoid customers from parking their cars there unless they pay a fee which is usually four cents per minute or $2.40 an hour.

Yesterday we went to Supermercado El Machetazo to buy our groceries and noticed access control equipment strategically distributed within their vehicle parking lot.  Another business has joined the trend.  This is bad news for us, since it’s the place where we buy our stuff.  As a retiree, any recurring increase in expenses, drills a hole in our budget.  We don’t get any increments in our paychecks from the Panama Social Security.  Therefore, every time a service or products goes up, it hits our pockets in a negative way.

I’ve been thinking about this absurd financial strategy adopted by numerous greedy businessmen.  For the sake of an argument, let’s imagine the following hypothetical scenario:

John Doe and his wife decide to go out one evening to celebrate their wedding anniversary at a posh restaurant.  They want to spend a splendid evening on this special occasion. After enjoying a delicious meal, they asked for the check.  This is what they received:

  1. Meals:  $62.38
  2. Linen:  $2.75
  3. Cutlery:  $3.50
  4. Air Conditioning Charge:  $1.50
  5. Administrative Expenses:  $1.00
  6. Parking Space:  $5.35
  7. Tip:  $11.46
  8. Total:  $87.94

When Mr. Doe reads the amount charged by the restaurant, he’s enraged.  And he has every right to by angry.  He has been charged for operating expenses which should have been absorbed by the restaurant; not added to the cost of the meal.

This is analogous to what is happening with the parking lots in this city.  Where will the business owners draw the line?  Will there be other charges in the future?  We do not know.  We can abstain from buying from these businesses, but if they all drink the same Kool Aid, where will we go to buy our groceries?  I rest my case.

Below are pictures of El Machetazo’s access control, road blocker and parking system.  I understand this equipment was purchased from JSST (Shenzhen Jieshun Science and Technology Industry Co., Ltd)  in China.  JSST is the leading manufacturer of this type of equipment in China.

Snapshot of the modern access control, road blocker and parking system at Supermercado El Machetazo at their San Miguelito’s branch. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

4 thoughts on “Another Business Joins The Bandwagon of Paid Parking Lots”

  1. Morning Barbara,

    Glad to know you’re on my side on this issue. Enough is enough! Money can not, and should not be the only item on a company’s agenda. Lehman Brothers and other Wall Street banks went under in 2008, precisely because of greed and excessive hubris.



  2. Hola Omar,
    Panama City has grown so much it is unbelievable how crowded it has become. I have a feeling that multi-level parking garages are soon going to battle for skyline next to the rascacielos. Here in Fort Worth we now have a website of just parking!

    Our advantage is that the city can just keep spreading out. That’s not possible for most of Panama City (unless they plan on filling in the bahía, which I know has started). I still believe that the businesses should not charge parking for those people actually buying products. That is just wrong.

  3. Hi Jim and Nena:

    Yes Sir. This business practice is dead wrong and should be fought all the way. There is no way you can have a shopping mall, or a restuaurant, or a hardware store, or whatever without a parking space for customers. This should be part of their business infrastructure to bring customers in.

    San Diego based, PriceSmart has four warehouses in Panama. None of them charge their customers for parking their vehicles there. It’s customer service.



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