I want to love the T, I really do. I try to take it as often as I can, I have a T pass, my office sits right above an entrance to the Red Line. In fact, last Saturday when my family went to attend the Futures at Fenway game, we chose to take the T rather than driving. We dutifully parked our car in Waban and I used the Parkmobile app to pay for parking.
Apparently I forgot that kids under 12 are free. The T operator didn’t bother reminding me, so I paid for 3 kids unnecessarily. Whatever, user error.
It turns out that during the Futures game, parking near Fenway is only $10, so it would have been cheaper for the 6 of us to drive. But that’s not all. Upon returning to my car I had a ticket for $7. Apparently the payment from the app never went through. The ticket is for parking ($6) plus $1 in a penalty fee.
Confused, I called the number on the ticket and the recording assured me that the voicemail would be checked once a day and calls returned that day. I figured beause it was Saturday night I’d get a return call on Monday. I didn’t. I called again Monday afternoon. Then again Tuesday morning. Three messages, no return call.
So I emailed the Parkmobile people, who were far more responsive. Apparently the screen that I thought told me my session had started was, instead, just a confirmation screen. I had one more click to make that I never did. I’m a relatively sophisticated user of technology. If I had a problem I’m guessing I’m not the only one. But that’s another issue. I thought I paid, but I didn’t.
Now, the big problem. In all of this back and forth my ticket payment is now late. Worse, due to a daughter with a weak stomach and a long-ish car ride, I no longer have the ticket. So where do I send my money? I tried calling the T police, but they tell me they can’t help, only the parking officer can help. So the transferred me to that person.
Only, his voicemailbox is full.
Oh, and did I mention that I’m headed out of town and won’t have access to email for a week? I tried tweeting to @mbtagm, but that hasn’t worked for me in the past, I have no expectation that it will help now.
I really want to love the T, the promise is there. I bought my house, in part, because it’s on the bus line and close to three different commuter rail stops. Boston metro is congested with cars and I like to try to help reduce that.
But seriously, do you really need to make simple things so difficult?