I’m beginning to get a little annoyed about this now. Someone seems to have forgotten to tell the fares manager that you can take direct trains from Crayford and Bexley to Woolwich Arsenal via Slade Green, and thus take the DLR under the river to Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford. This means that there is no earthly reason for passengers to touch zone 2 when travelling to the East London suburbs. But the Oyster system doesn’t agree.
What makes it worse is that often the TfL journey planner sensibly directs you over just that route, and helpfully confirms that you don’t leave zones 6-3. Just today I needed to go to Romford. It offered two routes, one via Woolwich and the DLR and the other via London Bridge and the Jubilee. The DLR route was the quicker one, despite an error that suggests there are two separate stations at Woolwich requiring a 4 minute walk between them, so that is what I did. The difference between a 4-zone and a 5-zone off-peak fare may only be 20p, but that’s not the point. There’s a lengthy email about to head over to the Oyster helpdesk on this one.