“To Me, It’s like a Contract”   

Let’s tell it like it is. Our industry has a bad reputation. Garages are dirty, filled with crime. Prices are through the roof ($30 for the first 10 minutes in some places). Citations are given without forethought. PEOs are so afraid of their customers that they mail in citations rather than face the drivers on the street. What is the parking world coming to?

Taylor Swift is a hot ticket these days. She is worshiped by fans young and old. And of course she fills parking lots around her venues. Go Taylor!

The parking reservation companies eat these concerts up. They provide prepaid parking months in advance for those fortunate to score tickets. The fans are happy to pay in advance for a space on concert night. That is, if they still have a space on concert night.

According to a story on Cincinnati’s WLWT some folks who paid for parking and were given a space in advance of the concert, received emails the day before the concert telling them that due to “demand” their space was no longer available. This happened at Swift’s concerts in Detroit as well as Cincinnati.

Seems the price for parking skyrocketed and well, why sell a space for $30 in November when they are going for $75 or $100 in June. Read all about it on parknews.biz.

As one frustrated parker said:

“I’m sorry, you know, in November, you didn’t realize that this was going to be as big as it was. But I booked it in November. You need to honor that,” Bolger said. “To me, it’s like a contract.”

From my point of view, it’s not “like a contract”, it is a contract.

Once again our reputation gets it in the neck. You are either in the reservation business or you are not. If you provide a space in advance, and undercharge, that’s your problem, not your customers. The concept behind your business is that people get a guaranteed space by paying in advance, sometimes months in advance.

A friend of mine who ran some surface lots around Staples center in Los Angeles would personally go down to his lots on game night. He would start with signs at $25. Then as the game got closer and his lot still had spaces, he would raise the price to $35. Then as the tip off drew neigh, he raised the price to $50 and got it. His experience told him when to raise the price based on what was happening on the ground. No fancy apps, no cancelling reservations, just good old parking knowledge.

Folks who arrived late to an event knew they were going to pay more for the spaces, and were glad to get them.

We tout technology. We promote apps and reservations, and lower prices to fill our locations by selling spaces in advance. Fair enough. But we do ourselves a disservice when we cancel the agreement we made with our customers for short term gain.


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One Response to “To Me, It’s like a Contract”   

  1. Marc Slavin says:

    I came back from a long trip recently at 11 pm. When trying to leave the parking facility the gate was stuck down and 8 vehicles were lined up. No attendant on duty. I proceeded to go to the island and found the power switch (not locked) knowing if I killed the power the gate would go into default mode and open. Behold it opened and we had a lot of happy customers leaving the facility without paying. Too bad for the operator (who I will not mention even though I should). This is commonplace more than people think. Our world is turning into a no-human service society. As far as the pilot, I feel bad for him for two reasons, he probably flew for 14.0 hours and was tired as hell and just wanted to get home. The second is he couldn’t break the damn gate. I would have gone through it with my truck. The operator should pay for the gate because they should have been there to help and probably knew that they equipment was not functioning properly.

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