GreenP Mobile Payment For Parking… Not Ready For Prime Time

A few months ago, I wrote about GreenP and their new app that allows you to pay for your parking by phone in the City Of Toronto. At the time I thought it was a cool idea, and to some degree for the following reasons:

  • It would allow me to not have to carry around change to pay for parking at the parking meter or in a healthy number of GreenP lots.
  • It would allow me to have better tracking of my parking habits if I needed to bill my customers for parking.
  • I can extend my parking time by the push of a button if required.

But a recent experience with GreenP has really dissuaded me from ever using this app again. Here’s why. For a variety of reasons that I will not bore you with, I had to change my my mobile phone number. The problem with that is that the GreenP app is tied to the mobile phone number and not to the person. And according to the FAQ on the GreenP website, you need access to the phone to close the account and get your money refunded as per this:

capture

That’s a problem in my use case as I no longer have access to the phone number in question because to validate you, the system sends a text or calls the phone number associated with the account. If I had known that, I would have taken care to do that before changing my mobile number. But I didn’t, so I looked around the FAQ and found this:

capture2

Okay. I am not in that specific situation. But I figured that someone at that number could help me.

Boy was I wrong about that.

I dialed in, and after listening to the options available to me, I chose the option “for all other inquiries” as my issue didn’t fit any of the other options, and got in touch with a woman who when I told her my situation, she recognized that this was a problem and her course of action was to send me to technical support. I can see why she would do that, but when I got there, they said that they are just the application vendor. Account issues are dealt with by GreenP. Plus they could not understand why I would be sent to them for this situation. So they transferred me back to GreenP, except that they transferred me straight to the voice mail of a GreenP employee. While I did leave a message, I was less than impressed by that.

So I decided to try another avenue. E-mail. I e-mailed mobilepay@greenp.com with an e-mail that explained my situation. I got a message delivery failure in response. In fact, I tried doing that from both the domains that I own as well as from a personal Hotmail account with the same result. That caused my impression of GreenP to nose dive.

Next I resorted to Twitter:

As I type this story, I have not had a response. But out of interest, I scrolled through the responses that this Twitter account sends out. A fair amount responses tell people who Tweet to them to call into the call center. That’s a #fail as GreenP has the opportunity to help a customer right then and there. If you want an example of this, take a look at the @RogersHelps Twitter account as they do a good job of helping customers via Twitter. But GreenP for whatever reason decides not to leverage this to help. Thus I figured that this was not going to be of help to me.

So at this point I am pretty frustrated. But I figured that I would give them another chance. So I tried dialing in again and chose the option “for all other inquiries.” After waiting for 10 minutes, I got someone who after explaining my situation to them wanted me to go back to technical support. I then explained what happened the last time I went there. So after asking me what my old and new phone numbers were and pulling up my account she put me on hold  Then she came back and created a case for me and gave me a case number (Hint: Always get a case number when you deal with a customer service origination) and offered to send me an e-mail with the details. Her plan was to reach out to the person who handles credit cards and haven them credit the amount that was on the account associated with my old phone back to my card. All $13.10 worth.

About 30 minutes later, this e-mail showed up in my personal e-mail account (click to enlarge):

capture3

We’ll see if this happens in the 10 days that are promised. Watch this space for an update.

I have to admit that this whole process is needlessly complicated and frustrating. Largely due to the fact that this is clearly a use case that GreenP never considered. Thus GreenP really needs to look at this use case to see if they can do something like this more efficiently from a customer service perspective. Or better yet, give users a self serve option to handle this use case. On top of that, they may want to revisit the wisdom of tying user accounts to the mobile phone numbers of users. Given this experience, perhaps it is not a good idea to use that as a means to identify account holders.

In the meantime, I’ll go old school so to speak and make sure I have plenty of change on hand if I want to park at a GreenP lot. That’s a shame because using a phone to pay for parking is a great idea, but it’s clearly not ready for prime time just yet.

UPDATE 12/12/2016: As of yet, I have yet to see the $13.10 pop up in my account. But I did get this over Twitter:

This is the response that I expected. #Fail.

UPDATE 12/14/2016: This issue is now resolved. Click here to see what happened.

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3 Responses to “GreenP Mobile Payment For Parking… Not Ready For Prime Time”

  1. […] UPDATE: Not so fast. I ran into a major problem with this app that I have documented here. […]

  2. […] have an update on my attempts to get $13.10 moved from one GreenP parking account to another. I got a phone call this morning from GreenP. As you recall when I initially called into them, I […]

  3. […] running into issues with the GreenP Mobile Parking app and struggling to get them resolved, I was not exactly […]

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