On Saturday I went out with one of my kids to try and check out the maximum journey time bug on Whitechapel to Balham NR. While trying to avoid both cards getting two incomplete journeys I actually managed to replicate the touch out followed by touch in at an OSI gateline continues the journey problem. Oh dear!
The test started well with touch in at Whitechapel just before an ELL service to Crystal Palace was due. We travelled to Brockley and then waited a while to meet up with a friend. After about half an hour we picked up a Victoria service and completed the journey to Balham. As it was now nearly 90 minutes since touch in at Whitechapel my son went and touched out his card, then touched it back in again. All seemed ok. 90 minutes is the standard time allowed for a two-zone journey on a Saturday while those specifically covering zones 2-3 should get 100.
We then waited until about 95 minutes before I did the same. This time it let me out but told me I’d been charged the incomplete journey and in fact my balance was 5p overdrawn. As an aside, this is good because it confirms that gates will let you out with a negative balance and also that auto top-up will not be triggered on exit, even if the balance is negative. When I re-entered my balance went up to £19.95 as it took the auto top-up. We then went back to Crystal Palace to get some snacks. My card reported a single zone charge, as expected, while my sons said that nothing had been deducted which was also expected as it was his third journey of the day.
Fot the rest of the day my card behaved, but my sons was another matter. Touch in at Crystal Palace was ok as was touch out at New Cross Gate, but then he’s 10 and that’s a TfL rail journey so not a problem. Touch in again at New Cross also seemed fine but when he touched the validator at Crayford it showed a red light and a balance of -70p.
Closer examination of his journey history showed:
13:32 – 14:51 Crystal Palace to Crayford [National Rail] £0.70 -£0.70
14:51 Touch out, Crayford [National Rail] £0.70 -£0.70
14:11 Touch in, New Cross £0.00 £0.00
13:57 Touch out, New Cross Gate £0.00 £0.00
13:32 Touch in, Crystal Palace £0.00 £0.00
???? – 13:18 [No touch-in] to Crystal Palace £0.00
11:06 – ???? Whitechapel to [No touch-out] £0.70 £0.00
12:34 Touch in, Balham [National Rail] £0.00 £0.00
12:33 Touch out, Balham [National Rail] £0.70 £0.00
11:06 Touch in, Whitechapel £0.00 £0.70
10:05 – 11:06 Crayford [National Rail] to Whitechapel £0.70 £0.70
11:06 Touch out, Whitechapel £0.00 £0.70
10:05 Touch in, Crayford [National Rail] £0.70 £0.70
My best effort at explaining this is as follows. No charge was initially deducted at Whitechapel because it’s a TfL station and he wouldn’t be expected to pay from there. The charge was deducted at Balham as it was then mixed, but on touch in again no deduction was made because the original journey touch in was at a TfL station. Touch out at Crystal Palace was also free even though incomplete because again it’s a TfL station. The same applied to the touch in at Crystal Palace, out at New Cross Gate and in at New Cross, the latter being either because Overground services operate from there or because the original touch in was at a TfL station. Finally, touch out at Crayford caused a negative balance as the journey was again mixed.
I’m going to wait a few days before reporting either problem so that I can see whether an automatic refund is generated.