As you know, I have been death on the show “Parking Wars.” I say it provides no positive reflection on our industry. Its producers, the IPI, and the Philadelphia Parking Authority which stars in the show, disagree, and feel that it helps the authority with its street rep. I have always said baloney. Thanks to Wanda over on our Facebook page, I have some grist for my mill
A number of people in the media in Philly, including Stu Bykofsky of the Philadelphia Enquirer and Philly dot com, are really down on the Authority. His latest attack is here.Following is from the column:
Rather than just bitch, Ronnie (another Philly reporter) had proposed a five-point plan for making PPA more accountable and customer friendly. Since PPA has not responded to her, I’m putting them out there again, even if I don’t agree with it all. Here are Ronnie’s Rules:
1 Cancel the contract PPA has with A&E to produce “Parking Wars.” To me, that’s a side issue.
2 Triple the number of customer-service reps, currently four. Hire as many as are needed.
3 Start evening hours for hearings. Daily hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. isn’t good enough. Give the accused citizen the option of all-day Saturday hours and weekday evening hours.
4 Open a hotline so blatantly bad tickets can be dismissed over the phone.
5 Publish phone numbers and e-mail addresses of PPA board members, so citizens can contact them directly with problems and complaints.
PPA’s answer thus far has been the sound of crickets.
These seem like common sense suggestions (Particularly the first one, although the author disagrees). I agree with “Ronnie” and disagree with Stu. Putting the authority up as a paragon of parking virtue on Parking Wars is certainly sending the wrong message if it is not perceived as handing day to day operations well.
They need to focus like a laser beam on their customer service, training, and getting their public relations house in order. Preparing for their closeup should come later.