Impossible to contact TfL?

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    Michael Finch

    Hi, has anyone recently tried to speak to TfL. Gave up just now after an hour of waiting.

    I’ve been trying to get a refund for allegedly not touching in, although how did I get through the barrier and on the train if I didn’t touch in. Eh?

    My real problem is my oyster card doesn’t have a serial number on it, just a “batch number” on the bottom edge which is, TfL say, meaningless. I was advised to get a print out of my journeys, the oyster card number is on that, but how do you get a print out? I’ve been trying to find a manned ticket office for two days and just found out now that ticket offices are no longer open, which even some underground staff seem unaware of.

    I was told to top up at a newsagent and the oyster number shows on that, first newsagent I go to handed me a blank receipt, he’d not replaced the ink cartridge, my real complaint is TfL staff either spectacularly unhelpful, for example at North Greenwich today – “what do you mean, a list of your journeys?” to outright lies at Liverpool Street station, “ticket office staff were due in today but nobody showed so I don’t know”.

    The ticket machines show a journey history but not the oyster card number. TfL’s systems are intentionally loaded against the commuter.

    Mike (admin)

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve created a new thread for this so that others might be able to see and comment.

    Shop terminals should be a good place to try, though it obviously helps if they have ink. That is down to the shop owner though. Station ticket machines don’t display the card number in the same way that cash machines don’t display card details; it’s so someone can’t be looking over your shoulder and maybe take a pic on their phone.

    Was Liverpool Street the Underground station or the mainline station?

    I’ve messaged a friend who works for LU and their advice is to go to an Underground station and say to a member of staff in the ticket hall that you want to know the number so you can register it, can they get you a printout. They will need to go to what is called the ‘POM Room’ which houses amongst other things a ticket machine that can print journey history. That will have the number on.

    My advice for success is to try and go at a quieter time, and keep the conversation simple, as above. Don’t go into a rant about the troubles you’ve been having as that is likely to make them switch off. Once you know the number then I strongly suggest registering the card online. You’ll need to know details of a recent journey so they know it’s your card. You will then be able to check journey history and probably have the ability to fill in the details of the missed touch so they can arrange the refund to be added next time you touch in.

    As to how you get through barriers without the card registering; it is possible. You may have tailgated through with the person in front, or the person behind you may have opened the gates with their card. When it’s busy these things do sometimes happen.

    Now, there are issues with staffing across the whole network. Covid is still very much around and people generally won’t be able to come to work if they are unwell. Some quieter stations are having to be shut due to lack of staff at present. However, if a station is open then there will be staff there and they will have access to the room they need to access the printer. But if it’s really busy then they may be unable to leave their area unstaffed.

    I hope this helps, and I’d be interested to know how you get on.

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