I grew up on the Isle of Wight and it was a pleasant place to spend my childhood, unsullied by many of the advances happening on the “Main Land”. Countryside, summer holidays on the beach, horse riding, camping, compared to much of the UK living on the Island was like being in a time warp.
I remember when Tesco opened their first store at Ryde, shop keepers were up in arms at the prices Tesco were offering and many immediately starting shopping at the store as it was cheaper than their normal suppliers for the basics like bread, tinned foods, milk and pretty much everything. Strange that whilst they were vociferous in their condemnation that they instantly used Tesco as a new wholesaler. In some ways Tesco arriving on the Isle of Wight is somewhat akin to the disruption the Internet has caused to high street retailers in more recent years.
I have to visit the Island this month and the Internet has well and truly taken hold. It’s cheaper to book ferry tickets with WightLink online and avoids a £4 surcharge for booking by phone and a £10 surcharge for turning up and booking in person.
What did pleasantly surprise my though was that I could pay with PayPal. No more filling in bank card details (welcome as I got a new debit card this week I haven’t learnt the number yet), a couple of clicks, email and password and my ferry tickets were booked and paid for.
I don’t know why I’m surprised that Wightlink accept PayPal, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t and every reason that they should. I guess I’ve been so accustomed to the Isle Of Wight being a decade behind the times I just never expected them to have caught up with the rest of the UK.
Well done Wightlink, you saved me a couple of minutes today! I look forward to finding the next company to surprise me and accept PayPal.