Customer Obstruction: Shopping Centre boom gate


There is a small shopping centre that I visit every week for the weekly groceries. A few months ago they installed a boom gate at the entrance. No payment is required, but you must roll down your window and press the button to open the gate.

This is annoying. It serves no obvious purpose. It’s a customer obstruction.

Now I finally developed a theory as to why they installed it. I think it’s because of the Consumer Protection Act which requires that a supplier must make the consumer aware of “any risk of unusual character, reasonably expected to be aware of, could result in serious injury or death and the consumer must have signed, initialed or acted in a manner acknowledging a notice written in plain language before entering transaction, begin to engage, enter or access a facility”

So here’s the problem, if that’s the reason, why don’t they explain it. A simple notice would have worked:

“Dear Customer, we’re installing this boom gate, not to annoy or irritate you, or to create a customer obstruction, or to take up more of your valuable time, but because the law requires us to do it and we want to cover our asses in case you want to sue us”


But wait, there’s more. The gate now provides an excellent spot for the flyer guys to stand and hand out their pamphlets. And you have no choice but to open your window to press the button and have 2, sometimes 3, non-smiling, non-speaking “marketers” thrust their papers in your face.


The obstructed customer