I heard on the news this morning that the Registry of Motor Vehicles had just adopted a policy of charging a $5 fee for everyone who has to talk to an RMV employee, whether by phone or in person. According to the RMV, it is doing this to encourage more people to go online for their transactions. In the eyes of most people in Massachusetts, it is just another outlandish attempt by the government to take even more money out of our pockets. Having dealt with several of the government run websites, it is interesting that this would be allowed since the government websites are so often insufficient in the information they provide and often fail to do what you need them to do. All thoughts of whether this is a good idea or not aside, it did get me thinking of what life would be like if all agencies functioned like the RMV. Let’s consider some scenario’s:
Someone call’s 911 for an emergency, but in order to talk to an actual operator they must first enter their credit card number so they can be charged the appropriate fee. What if the 911 call is a robbery and you no longer have your wallet?
Fire Station: I am sorry sir, but we can’t spray water on the fire until you pay the fee for water dispersment or “I am sorry, but your cat will stay in the tree until we receive the $5 cat rescue fee.
Policeman: Could you imagine a ticketing fee? Paying to get a ticket or paying a fee for the police officer to let your car go by the construction site?
A $5 fee to ask a teacher a question might encourage more people to join the teaching ranks.
A fee to get your kid on or off the bus would be creative.
Churches could really benefit from following the RMV’s example. A bulletin fee, paying a fee to talk to a greeter, or even to meet with the pastor. Could you imagine what a hospital visit might cost?
Do have any thoughts of how things would be if everything functioned like the RMV? Please share them in the comments.