Service of a Simple Transaction Done Well: Kudos LAZ Parking

July 2nd, 2018

Categories: Customer Care, Customer Service, Training, Travel


One smart, quick, knowledgeable, engaged person can make a huge difference when there are potential stumbling blocks in a transaction designed to be seamless.

We received a letter from LAZ Parking, the company that runs parking lots and grants permits at Metro-North railroad stations. We had parked in the LAZ lot in Dover Plains for 15+ years and sent a check to renew our yearly permit before the other one expired. In return, LAZ provided proof of payment to display in the car window. The system worked well.

But they changed it. [I could write many posts about so-called upgrades that turn out to be downgrades for me.]

LAZ asked us to sign up online, to download proof of car registration and supply other information. In addition to online registration systems that in my experience are often fraught with peril and traps leading to potential error, our situation had a few complications:

  • My husband had held on to the letter for at least 10 days which was 9½ days too many. Each station has a limited number of monthly parking slots and they are promptly scooped up.
  • We needed to change the account from my husband’s name to mine to match our new car registration.
  • We wanted to pay by check, not by credit card, the way the system is set up.

We were saved by Kathleen Dawson, LAZ Administration Assistant Supervisor, who shepherded our order through all the twists and turns. She was in one office and our online application was used by another. She cleared up the system’s initial confusion over the name change which caused us at first to be refused a permit, responded to all my concerns, expertly advising me and warned those at the other LAZ office about our quirky situation. What might have been a nightmare that ended up with the loss of our parking permit turned out just fine. We are grateful to Ms. Dawson and to those at the second office who expedited and approved our request the day they received our check.

Have you been as lucky as we were to have someone like Ms. Dawson guide you and lubricate a transaction that had many opportunities to become grounded? Do most companies nurture, respect and reward five star customer service support staff such as Ms. Dawson?

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6 Responses to “Service of a Simple Transaction Done Well: Kudos LAZ Parking”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    I usually end up getting to do the work, so in recent memory, at least, NO!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    We did the work, but submitting the information without the credit card info and with the name confusion –different names trying to park one car with the same license plate–needed help from on high which is what Kathy Dawson provided! Without her we’d still be spinning wheels and as our permit expired June 30, she sorted things for us just in time.

  3. Protius Said:

    My grandfather, which takes us back a century or more, had a name for the Ms. Dawsons of this world, “dog robbers,” and made sure always to have one or two on of them on his staff. 75 years later, I did likewise.

    As anyone who has watched “MASH” reruns and seen Klinger in action, or has had military experience knows, they are also the grease that keep our fighting forces going. Each time I took on a new job, one of the first things I did was to identify potential candidates to become dog robbers.

    In my day there was even an accounting gimmick that allowed me to reward valued clerical retired employees, by having them work as dog robbers on a contract labor basis. This saved them money and somehow helped us with equal opportunity quotas and the like. Everybody benefitted, but especially our customers.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I never before heard the term “dog robber,” and while it sounds as though it is a good thing, it also sounds like a bad thing–which Ms. Dawson was NOT. She was all good, all legit, she knows how things work, how to get things done and how to remove potential glitches before damage is done. She robbed nobody.

    Your military example is good, though again, there was no wheeler dealer about Ms. Dawson. I was an Air Force wife stationed in Turkey and we had a Klinger type who worked for the commanding officer who was the only person on the base who could get the commissary–our grocery store–open on a Sunday if someone had an emergency need. It had to be a real emergency. The airman, with little more than a stripe or two on his shirt, had valuable connections. He loved to laugh and had a jolly personality. He was THE BEST.

  5. Jeffrey Sanders Said:

    Mrs. Byington,

    My name is Jeffrey Sanders, Regional Vice President for NY and NJ. I wanted to personally reach out and thank you for the positive feedback about Kathleen and our team at MNR. We pride ourselves at LAZ for our people and I love hearing examples of great interactions. Thank you for your positive feedback and I will definitely be sharing with Kathleen and our team.

    Thank you,

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Congratulations to you for assembling a stellar team trained to handle irritating customers such as us.

    I’ve battled many an online form to promote my clients’ events and so many fight back by refusing to accept information, images etc. When I’m lucky, I find a person to help through the thicket. Of all, Kathleen Dawson and those at the other office are top of the list.

    Thank YOU all for making a process I’d dreaded into a seamless event.

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