FREE PARKING on First Fridays – and a new mobile app!

New from the Downtown Business Association
NEW PARKING Mobile Phone App.

This First Friday we are excited to be rolling out “Park Now” free mobile app which will allow your customers to park for FREE for EVERY First Friday when they use their mobile app. Instructions are clearly marked on the meters and there will be many BPA representatives on hand to assist individuals with navigating through the 4 ways you can use this app. We have also attached this handy and informative “table tent” to display in your shop to assist your clients through this change. Included in this promotion is $2,000 worth of free parking that will be given away this evening. Our interns will also be around today and tomorrow to drop a few off at your business (if you haven’t gotten them already). I hope you find these helpful and please let us know if you have questions during this transition.
Loly Reynolds
LolyR@lehighvalleychamber.org

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Notes from a first time user
This isn’t an advise or tech column. Goodness knows there are many more tech-savvy folks than me. These notes from the experience I had so that you can avoid my personal frustrations with the new system. If convenience and less parking tickets are the goal, I’m happy to try any new process.

I added the free app on my iPhone, and started plugging away information by registering my new account there. I didn’t receive an email message about my new account, so I went to the website and tried logging in. The account didn’t register on the website. After calling the company assistance line, I hung up after 2 minutes on hold. Why? I won’t use up my cell phone minutes on bad music. That, and the dryer repairman just showed up.

Second time calling their company, my call was answered immediately, then I was put on hold for another 3 minutes to clear up the account. The company was quick to charge my bank, though. I cancelled the account and started again with a new one.

Both times with starting the account, the first time I registered a payment, the “bank refused” the transaction. Entering the exact same account information the second time (iPhone and website) was successful. Note: write down your Park Now account number as soon as you see your account is registered on the website or smart phone app. I have yet ot receive account confirmation from the company. Maybe my expectations are high; but there are standards for eCommerce.

I started with only a $10 amount. I have yet to see how this plays out in the “Free Parking” on First Friday. My experience with this company doesn’t give me full confidence. However, I’m willing to try any new system that intends to provide more convenience to a frustrating experience. I’ve had too many meters expire while I’m in meetings. While I’m OK with convincing myself that my parking ticket is a nice contribution to the BPA improvement plan, but my generosity has its limits.

Best advise: register your account online before you head out. There’s nothing convenient about downloading a smart app when you may have limited signals to consider as well.

I did finally get an account confirmation – only 15 minutes wait time. And a personal email from the company president.

Good luck to all who try. Please add any advise or comments about the new system. There are more ways to pay than by the smart phone app. The more we share, the better.

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