Fraud Prevention with Ticketless Valet Service

March 9, 2020

In the good old days, when you’d visit a restaurant or hotel and use their valet service, you would drop off your car and be given a paper ticket. But those days weren’t so good if you happened to accidentally drop that ticket on the street or leave it somewhere. With a claim ticket and the name of the establishment, anyone could waltz right in and claim your vehicle as their own! There are other reasons why paper valet tickets aren’t such a good idea, such as the possibility of lost revenue from valet fraud. Fortunately, these days there’s a better solution: ticketless valet service.

SMS Valet is the world’s first ticketless valet system. In addition to helping the entire valet operation to run smoothly and make the process more convenient for customers, it also prevents valet fraud.

What is SMS Valet?

SMS Valet® is a paperless valet system that streamlines the entire valet parking operation, making the process faster and more secure. When the guest arrives, they give the valet their mobile number. The SMS Valet portal assigns that number to a reusable plastic key tag and a welcome message is sent to their phone, with instructions on how to request their vehicle. The keys with identifying key tags are left on the vehicle’s inside mirror. When the guest is ready to leave, they simply send a text request. The tag turns green if the person has paid or red if they haven’t. 

With SMS Valet, customers don’t have to worry about losing a small ticket. They know their car is secure and they can easily text when they need their car back, presenting the digital ticket to the valet upon check-out. They can also pay by phone in advance. The app includes optional advertising and guest survey, instant shift reports, online reporting and damage reporting, all built-in.

How Can You Prevent Valet Fraud?

You might not be aware of such a thing as valet fraud. It’s a real danger with traditional paper tickets and can be the cause of significant lost revenue for your business. For example, a valet driver may park 50 cars in a night, but instead of turning in 50 tickets with payment for those 50 vehicles, he turns in just 30 and pockets the rest of the money. He can even reissue the same paper tickets he has kept for additional cars and payments. This is called “skimming” and unfortunately, it’s quite common. Since the accounting at the end of the night is based entirely on those paper tickets, no one ever suspects that additional money was collected, leading to lost revenue.

With the SMS Valet ticketless system, the driver’s phone is the ticket, and everything is saved securely in the SMS Valet portal.

What Happens If You Lose Your Valet Ticket?

With paper tickets, the valet service might not release your car if you’ve lost the claim ticket. There are stories of what can happen with a lost valet parking claim ticket. If the car is still there, that’s good news. You may be able to prove your identity by matching owner details on the registration or insurance papers in the glove box with your driver’s license. The worst-case scenario is if the valet attendant has already given your vehicle to someone else. Yes, it can happen. An Atlanta woman visiting a Kansas City casino with relatives went to retrieve her 2007 Volkswagen from the valet service and discovered that it was already claimed. Maybe she dropped her ticket and it was found by the couple who drove off in her car, or perhaps she was never given a ticket (in which case, she never should have surrendered her car).

A ticketless valet service is a far more secure process. Since the vehicle is linked to the customer’s cell phone, so long as they don’t lose that, they’re good to go!

FC Valet – Premier Valet Parking Service with the Latest Technology

At FC Valet, we use state-of-the-art technology, including SMS Valet, to ensure a seamless valet parking operation that’s safe, easy and convenient for your customers, with valuable advertising and survey options and comprehensive online reporting for your organization.

Please call or send a message today to find out how FC Valet can help improve your guests’ experience!

Get In Touch