In general use not only is the valve handle inconveniently placed within the locker, the job of removing this valve for service or replacement is notoriously "fiddly". So my own solution to both issues is to leave the original in the open position, and fit a new single union end of line dump valve to the terminus of the waste pipe outside the van, solving two problems in one go. Also, the cost of a generic, almost identical valve is less than half that of the genuine article, and the similarity is uncanny, as can be seen in the next image.
The valve doesn't stick out of the side of the van, and isn't as low as it appears in the image, no lower than the exhaust tail pipe, still allowing room for a grey waste container underneath if required.
Finally to the point of my story, and the title of this post. This type of fitting has no inbuilt seals and requires a special PVC glue that bonds the individual parts together. The domestic pipe fittings are push fit with inbuilt seals - and of course, just as logic would suggest (not), are all incompatible with each other.
This led me to visit my local small hardware store today - wishing to give them my business rather than the large multiple DIY chains, to obtain the necessary PVC cement. Sure enough, there it was on the shelf at £3.45 a tube - (£2.98 in B&Q). The only problem was I only had £3 in cash on me, so I presented my Visa DEBIT card to pay. OK - the transaction was under £5 but - "That will be £4 please". WHAT? a 16% surcharge just to pay by debit card? Needless to say I left the item on the counter and left the shop empty handed.
From 6th April 2013 the Consumer Rights (payment surcharges) Regulations 2012 came into force in the UK which legislates that traders must no longer charge their customers more than the actual costs to process the card payment. Although there are certain exceptions, this relates to most transactions that have been the subject of public complaint in the past, including payments for air travel, hotels and restaurants. Reasonable amounts have been stated to be no more than 20p on any debit card transaction regardless of its value, and no more than 2% of any credit card transaction. Small traders such as the one I visited today had until June 2014 to comply with the new legislation, but large organizations should have complied immediately in 2013.
The more consumers that now vote with their feet as I did today will hopefully hammer home that we will no longer be ripped off. (I was a small trader for many years before retirement, and never imposed card transaction charges no matter what their value). I have even taken a debit card payment for a 30p newspaper.
You never know when a customer will come back in the future to spend much more - a disgruntled one will never return.