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Dormant ParkRTC App Has Some ‘User Reviews’

by Karen Goff September 26, 2016 at 10:00 am 9 Comments

ParkRTC AppPaid parking at Reston Town Center may have been postponed until January, but town center officials are hoping thousands of people will download the free ParkRTC app in the meantime.

The app, available in Apple and Google Play options, will enable patrons to punch in a zone number and pay the $2-an-hour parking fee without a ticket or stopping at a gate. The app also gives users access to LiveSafe, a safety feature that allows one to report suspicious behavior to RTC security or Fairfax County Police, as well as ask for help in a potentially dangerous situation.

The app has not been well received by Reston Now readers, who have made hundreds of comments on our site saying they are concerned by privacy issues or simply won’t download the app as they plan on never visiting Reston Town Center if they have to pay to park.

It’s a different story, though, if one reads customer reviews on the Apple or Google play sites. Since paid parking is not yet in effect, the app is not really functional. That leads to the thought that the reviews are, well, fabricated. Take these examples:

Simple, easy to use by heather_am

Quick setup. Appreciated the reminder when time was almost up. Receipt function useful when visiting RTC for business. Much easier than the frustrating MoCo parking app that was not easy to use and required a minimum $20 upfront to park.

HAITI ??
Fast and easy to download; One of my fave places, so ready to park RTC.

Russ User 

Great app Easy to use. Love it

No Complaints

This app is fast and simple to navigate. Will make the paid parking process at RTC an easy transition!

Of course, there are also the negative reviews, mostly based on glitches with the app, the privacy policy or the principle of paid parking in general:

Joel Agalsoff

Camera and No Phone Sleep? Why do you need access to my camera? Why do you need to prevent my phone from sleeping? Do I have to pay you in battery life too?

Joshua Patterson

Nope. Never paying to park in RTC. Will park elsewhere or take my business elsewhere.

You’re kidding, right?

I get it. Transitioning from free to pay parking is a big step, and obviously a shock for those patrons that have been parking free at this location for over a decade. But this app just throws gas on the fire.

To whomever was responsible for this abomination: if you’re going to upend people’s routines and expectations with paid parking, at least put in the time and investment in creating a user experience that isn’t laughably amateurish, if not downright hostile.

Seriously. Someone should get fired for thinking this onboarding experience (from the blurred-out location services permissions sheet to the 7 pt TOS link) is remotely acceptable for any viable app, let alone an app requiring such dramatic changes to user behavior.

Have you checked out the app yet? What are your thoughts?

  • Kevin West

    So this is how Boston Properties is “Educating” us?

    • cRAzy

      Yep, through anonymous lies!

  • Hank from Reston

    I suggest that readers do not try out the app – BP will just use the number of app downloads as an argument that the app is a success.

  • Why do you bother?

    “town center officials are hoping thousands of people will download the free ParkRTC app in the meantime.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • ZZTop

    Don’t forget the astroturfing. When you look at the ParkRTC app in the Google Play Store, as I did a days ago, you’ll see a flurry of mediocre reviews countered by a handful of 5-star ones. Hmm, who are these people so easily pleased by the app? Let’s see:

    “Jason Diller” gave it 5-stars. Property manager for…Boston Properties
    “Jeff Garner” gave it 5-stars. Director of Engineering for…Boston Properties.
    “Wayne Kline” gave it 5-stars. Chief Engineer at…Boston Properties.

    Pretty feeble, I’d say.
    (Source of name>job data: Google + LinkedIn)”

  • cRAzy

    Notice that all the positive comments are anonymous; the people with negative comments showed their names.

    Seems like there is probably more Boston Property and their consultant shenanigans going on. Having been found out when they post their true identities, they are not hiding behind phony IDs.

    Boston Properties doesn’t give a damn about customer experience. It just wants to increase its profits in RTC at tenants’, workers’, and visitors’ expense.

  • Fraize

    If I see suspicious behavior, I’ll call the non-emergency police number, not use my app.

    Of course, this is a moot point as I won’t set foot in RTC until this moronic monetization scheme is upended.

  • TB

    Umm… the app accepted my money with no problem and won’t refund me.

    I recently visited RTC for the first time in about a year and hadn’t heard the news. While I did notice one sign when I entered the garage which said, paid parking coming in January 2017, I also passed about a dozen signs which stated to make sure you pay via the ParkRTC app or get towed. So I downloaded the app and paid $4 for 2 hours of parking.

  • ichrysso

    I am not going to download the app because I am taking my business elsewhere.

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