Carrying change to feed the parking meter can be a pain in the behind. And what happens if during a meeting your time runs out? You will have to run out to your car and feed it some more coins.
Dubai, the city of entrepreneurs, makes this whole process easier. In order to get the ticket you simply SMS your car license plate, the zone of the parking meter and the number of hours you like to park.
I sent an SMS:
“B68605 317A 4? to 7275
My car registration is B68605, the zone I was parking in was 317A, and I wanted to park for 4 hours”.
I got the following response:
Confirmation Plate No: B86805 Zone No:317A Ticket No: 2010243 Fee Paid: AED 11, Tnx Fee: AED 0.30 Parking paid upto 05/06/10 08:48 PM Max. Allowed Time for Zone 317A is 4 Hrs.
A few hours later I got a reminder, in case I wanted to recharge:
Reminder Ticket No: 2008658. The ticket will expire on 05/06/10 08:00 PM. Extension only possible within the same zone. Reply with Y to extend.
The only slight criticism was that it was not obvious to find the “zone” I was parked in (or maybe I was just being an idiot – point being though if the consumer is confused than its not good!).
Let me take this chance to plug one of my businesses, txtfo.com. If you are an author or marketer you often want people to read a sample chapter of your book or get more information about the product instantly. If they don’t act at that moment, you lose it. The customer will forget about you.
Txtfo enables you to upload your pdf/email or whatever brochures on to our website. You get a specific keyword for your company. And the consumer sends an SMS with their email address. For instance: “AMIR email@example.com” to +44 7800 200 800. This is an international number so anyone from anywhere in the world can send the text message.
You can actually try this right now text “AMIR” and your email address to +44 7800 200 800. This is what my business card looks like: