Review: SpotHero should be called SpotZero

Huh? It should pretty clearly be on the app that’s renting you a parking spot to be sure that they’re allowed to rent the spot they’re giving you. They kinda failed at their most basic job.


Charging for parking is wrong, full stop.

If a business wants your patronage, it should provide parking.

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How exactly is a business with 30’ of curbside supposed to manifest an entire lot for their customers? What about businesses who ARE parking companies?


I’m sure the many thousands of businesses without their own dedicated parking lot will have no problem inventing a time machine to go back and re-do how the cities they are in were laid out.


I would suggest that average time and cost to park is what you should compare against, i.e what is the normal amount of time you would have allowed to park and walk to the restaurant? Add the cost to park. That would be the basis for comparison for the cost - convenience tradeoff. Not best case where nothing goes awry. I get the urge to want a do-over (credit for both parking charges), but I don’t get the double-credit for hassle. Parking in Hollywood is a pain with or without an app.

Your offer for a credit is a nice gesture, but I think the following is more fair:

  • A refund of $14 ($6 for my SpotHero charge [receipt attached] and $8 for the parking meter [receipt attached]).

  • A $20 SpotHero credit as a token to compensate me for the hassle of looking for another parking spot, the stress and embarrassment of being late for a business meeting, and the time it has taken for me to work with SpotHero to correct the problem.

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But I paid in advance not to have the pain. That seems to be the point of SpotHero, no?


Find a crack in the modern world, insert your app and charge rent. Market capture would be when so many lots are part of it that you have to use the app to get a spot.

Speaking of cracks, how about if I make an app, HereISit, for reserving washroom stalls? You reserve a slot, it takes care of queuing, tells you when you’re up, and your phone unlocks the stall. Add a rating system, personal walls, etc.

Market capture would be when if you don’t use the app, you’re … shit out of luck. :sunglasses:

Anyone want to drop half a billion investment?


Lol. Do you live in Wyoming or something?


Boston. Real estate ain’t exactly abundant, nor cheap. But if you don’t provide parking, and I can’t ride a bike to you, I’m shopping/dining/going somewhere else. Let the tourists pay to park.

I had a similar experience from them in Philly. I won’t be using them again.

Personally I think a far better idea is to completely get rid of cars (except deliveries) in dense urban areas… Or at least to enact policies that discourage their daily use.


But they’re disrupting parking! Sounds like your parking experience has been disrupted.

Mission Accomplished!


But if parking is free then you’re subsidizing the car drivers every time you walk or bike to the place. Parking has a real cost and it makes sense to separate that cost from the separate transaction you’re making with the business. Otherwise you’re just externalizing the true parking cost. Products and services then get more expensive to pay for that and inefficiencies creep in raising costs more than the parking used to cost.

Living in Boston and railing against paid parking sounds like a very frustrating hobby. :wink:


If you can’t pay for parking: Boston isn’t interested in your patronage.

By my math Mark is out of pocket $8, not to mention no compensation for the hassle and embarrassment. Maybe there is something in their T&C that they reserve the right to screw you over, but if that’s the case we’re lowering expectations a bit, no? Their agents’ language may have been pleasant but that doesn’t change the fact that the remedy was inadequate.


I haven’t personally had a problem with Spot Hero. Really the only time I use it is to park in downtown Chicago where the spot hero rates are usually ~33-50% less than any of the drive up garage fees.


Yep that is my experience as well in NYC. I go in and out of Brooklyn and Manhattan a lot - and take the train except when I need to haul stuff in one direction or another. Then I drive. And Spot Hero has been flawless for me - sometimes saving a lot, sometimes only a little, but never a hassle. I don’t have an opinion one way or the other about the company - maybe they are jerks, but my experience has been good.
And yeah I kind of agree with the comments that this level of back and forth with a company over a few bucks seems a bit over the top -but that is everyone’s personal decision. I have just had some real doozies with horrific customer service from companies that involved significant $ - I am sure all/most of us have - so I reserve my outrage energy for those.


Highly recommend Park Whiz for that area. Tends to be cheaper/more convenient as the spots tend to be in those drive-up garages :slight_smile:

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Disclaimer: I am not a shill for SpotHero just a happy (for now) customer. You paid in advance to have a spot guaranteed (which they failed to provide) in a place that presumably doesn’t have adequate or cheap parking. My point is that parking in these sorts of places (Boston, Chicago loop, etc) is annoying and an app can’t completely remove that annoyance. Like Uber, Turo, and AirBnb, these methods for making otherwise underused things usable, have failure modes so I tend to use them when I am not in a time crunch. I rented a Chevy Bolt on Turo when we were in San Jose since we only needed the car for a subset of our stay. It took 30 minute to do the pick up and another 30 to do the drop off, because the car and the owner where not in the same spot (because of crazy parking rules and access). I had left enough buffer time that a missed communication wouldn’t impact the fun part of the trip. In this case, the prospect of having an electric car to try out was worth the added complication. I don’t expect this to be a time savings as much as provided access where there is none and giving the money to a fellow citizen instead of all of it to a corporation. So far Airbnb hasn’t left me without a place to stay…that will be interesting if that happens…

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