I’ve received several reports about a faulty reader at George Street tram stop (see the Wimbledon page comments). I’ve been in conversation with TfL about this issue and can confirm that it was one of the readers at George Street and that it has been fixed now. As I understand it, the reader appeared to work as normal, but nothing was sent back to the central system. However, it has raised some interesting questions about TfL’s systems which I’m also seeking feedback from TfL on.
- If you leave a tram at Wimbledon you need a valid tram entry to cancel the exit charge at the gates. If you haven’t got one you’ll get an incomplete rail journey charge. You can log in to the website to tell them where you started the journey, except the list doesn’t include the tram stops. All you can do is use the feedback form for that journey to send a message, but that quite often takes a while to be actioned.
- Another option is to call the helpdesk, or is it? Since I last needed to query a contactless transaction they have changed the options. If you select 2 (Adult Oyster or contactless), 4 (contactless), * (card registered on TfL system), you’ll get 4 further options which all simply play a different recorded message referring you to the website. There is no option to speak to a human. If you fib and say the card isn’t registered then you can speak to a human, but only if it’s within 7 days of the journey. Certainly not very intuitive.
- Possibly more serious is what happens if an RPI checks your card. If it’s Oyster they will say you haven’t touched in, but hopefully if you say George Street they might let you off. But with contactless your card is charged for a failed revenue inspection. You are only allowed 3 of those before your card becomes blacklisted. Given that the reader has been faulty for several weeks I wonder how many people have been hit by extra charges on their account?
I’ll hopefully get some responses from TfL regarding these issues, and will add them when received.