zaterdag 24 september 2011

bicycle becomes buycycle

Schools force parents to buy named bicycle brands. In The Netherlands many schools allow only specific brands on their property. Other bicycles are not allowed in the neighbourhood.

It is more and more common that schools allow only bicycles of the Gazavus brand on their real estate. Bicycles from other brands are not allowed entrance or even forcibly removed from the premises. Parents that bring their children to schools sometimes get into fights with school staff. When the children are old enough to get their own bike, they must use a Gazavus or they cannot park their bike at school.

But the policy is not restricted to primary education, the situation at high schools and universities being even worse. There students are forced to park their non-Gazavus bikes far away, intended to make them walk longer distances than fellow students that own a Gazavus. Bike parking lots are adjusted to the brand-specific design of the Gazavus bicycle (for free of course), so that other brands do not fit the parking holders. And other bicycles parked loosely, not in a holder, can of course easily be removed by school's staff.

Gazavus started this development by providing bicycles cheap or for free to school staff, but only if the brand-specific bicycle holder was included in the deal. This prevented parents and students from occupying holders when they arrived with another brand of bicycle, giving staff more room. Once it was obvious that other bicycles were warded off, the company started to offer bicycles to the parents as well, often at reduced price if bought through school. Cycle shops in the neighbourhood were awarded extra incentives for the promotion and sale of Gazavus bikes. Some schools were awarded financial incentives as well.

The Ministry of Transport stated, when asked for comment, that a school's policy was a matter of the Ministry of Education. The last Ministry said that schools have freedom to choose what they want, even if this means that parents and students have to spend more money, just to be able to park their bike.

Since bicycles are also used off school premises, people start to ask for special Gazavus parking lots in towns and villages as well. And within families pressure rises on family members to buy similar bikes, just because they want to share the same parking spaces. Schoolchildren and students are excluded from school events and outings if they use other brands.

And so the bicycle becomes a buycycle.

[Read Microsoft for Gazavus, software (on computer, pad, mobile) for bicycle, network or connection for parking. For the rest, the above story is unfortunately true]

1 opmerking:

  1. I wish it wasn't true, but it unfortunately is. Hopefully this analogy will allow me to show just how ridiculous the current situation is. I am getting severely angered by constantly being told "go and buy Microsoft products instead, it's your own fault" by the school's administration.