Drivers express concerns about pay app to park in downtown Wilmington

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –Some drivers expressing concerns about paying to park through the “Pay By Phone” app, claiming they received tickets after they paid for parking.

Many use the app to avoid digging for coins to cover the parking fees.  Lynne Lawrence used the app on her visit to downtown on Monday.

She says the transaction seemed to be completed, but when she returned an hour-and-a-half later there was a twenty dollar parking ticket on her car.

She then checked and didn’t see where she was ever charged for parking., so she is concerned the transaction did not process properly or the app malfunctioned.

Lawrence says she had never had issues with the app before, and plans to contest the ticket.

“What I was told was, unless I can show that the transaction , –the $3.35, went through my bank account, that we won’t waive this particular ticket, and  my concern is, –number one, I could have made a mistake, okay, but my second is, –is the app fully functioning? How do I know that the app didn’t hiccup?,” said Lynne Lawrence, concerned driver.

Chance Dunbar, parking manager with the City of Wilmington Parking and Downtown Coordination says there have been occasional reports from people having issues with the app.

“We do get the occasional correspondence that, ‘hey, I used the app, paid with the app, had a confirmation, and I still got a parking citation.’ Happens occasionally as with any app, there’s going to be some technological glitches out there, but if we can verify a confirmed transaction, meaning you followed the steps on the app, had all of your account information set up accurately, and for some reason, you did get a citation, –I’d say 100% of the time, we will reduce that citation,” said

Dunbar advises you update the app, use the correct meter number, ensure payment information is correct, and that you receive a confirmation the transaction has been completed to avoid citations or glitches with the app.

“I believe when the transaction is confirmed on the Pay By Phone app, there’s a bright green screen that flashes for two seconds, and then goes to a countdown of that specific transaction, meaning after that confirmed transaction, you’ll go to the main front page of your app and start counting down that sixty minutes worth of time, as well they will send a confirmation email,” said Dunbar.

Lynne Lawrence says the app and the meter not reflecting the same timer also adds to the confusion.

“One of the interesting things, I think on the app is it says on the app, that when you put the location number in, you put in the start time and end time, the meter doesn’t reflect that, it still shows as expired,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence shared her experience with a Facebook community group, advising others to get a confirmation the transaction was processed before walking away from your vehicle. There are similar stories shared by others, about issues paying to park through the app.


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