Monday 26 September 2005 3.30pm
There are clearly marked road signs that warn you BEFORE you go into the zone that you are about to go in the zone and (I'm pretty sure about this) giving you a number to call.
When I google "congestion charge paying", the first answer is a summary of how and where to pay, and the third answer is the website for CCLondon (the body in charge). They're hardly keeping it a secret.
If you were unable to use a computer on the day in question to check what you needed to do, then the simple method of asking anyone on the streets (perhaps another car driver) would have easily got you the info you would have needed.
Failing that any of the shops, petrol stations, etc displaying the pretty clear "C" sign on posters saying things like "You can pay your C-Charge here" might have given you a clue.
And the idea that they would send you a bill, rather than you actually having to take the initiative and pay yourself, is delightfully quaint but I struggle to think of any other life situation where it works like that.
So I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm an uncharitable soul.
...if you press it, they will come.