Rip-off at congested stations

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michael_churchill
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Rip-off at congested stations

Post by michael_churchill » 25 Jul 2016, 12:10

So, on Saturday afternoon, after Mo Farah won his race at the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium, the whole stadium headed towards Stratford station. We were directed around Westfield, not allowed through. All the gates were open and we ordered not to hold up the queues by touching in. They announced that journeys would "auto-completed", whatever that means, and a minimum fare would be charged. Unfortunately I blindly followed instructions before I had the chance to realise that was nonsense. Of course, at my destination, £5.30 had been taken from my already-daily-capped card leaving me with a negative balance. I had to top up before I could use the card again, for a journey that wouldn't be charged because I was already capped !!!

For a start, the "minimum fare" is a blatant lie.

You can apply for a refund, and I will, and "Congestion at gates" is one of the excuses you can select from a list. I suppose that when they see the date and the location, they can validate the reason. But for an event of national/international interest such as this, many would not have been locals. They would not know any different. If that was their most recent journey and they weren't paying attention at the exit gate, they may not even realise.

On a different subject, how will Stratford manage when this is a weekly occurence. Then again, having been through Upton Park (where signs still direct you to West Ham United Football Club) on Sunday, I don't know how that worked.
Last edited by michael_churchill on 25 Jul 2016, 13:46, edited 1 time in total.

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tubeguru
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Re: Rip-off at congested stations

Post by tubeguru » 25 Jul 2016, 13:32

michael_churchill wrote:"Congestion at gates" is one of the excuses you can select from a list
michael_churchill wrote:they can validate the reason.
An "excuse" is different to a "reason". I would argue that a severely congested station is a good reason to tell people not to touch in, regardless of what happens to your Oyster balance.
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michael_churchill
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Re: Rip-off at congested stations

Post by michael_churchill » 25 Jul 2016, 13:45

tubeguru wrote:
michael_churchill wrote:"Congestion at gates" is one of the excuses you can select from a list
michael_churchill wrote:they can validate the reason.
An "excuse" is different to a "reason". I would argue that a severely congested station is a good reason to tell people not to touch in, regardless of what happens to your Oyster balance.
Fair enough, but is "auto-complete" and "minimum fare" just baloney? If so, that's just lying to the customer.

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greatkingrat
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Re: Rip-off at congested stations

Post by greatkingrat » 25 Jul 2016, 15:20

My understanding is that the auto-completion process doesn't happen until overnight. So you will be charged a maximum fare initially, but then once they review your journeys overnight they will calculate any refund due.

If you have an online Oyster account, try logging on to it, it may already show the refund, otherwise it should adjust itself next time you make a journey.
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michael_churchill
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Re: Rip-off at congested stations

Post by michael_churchill » 25 Jul 2016, 15:47

greatkingrat wrote:My understanding is that the auto-completion process doesn't happen until overnight. So you will be charged a maximum fare initially, but then once they review your journeys overnight they will calculate any refund due.

If you have an online Oyster account, try logging on to it, it may already show the refund, otherwise it should adjust itself next time you make a journey.
So, auto-complete is an actual thing? I have checked... it says "You have 1 incomplete journey(s) eligible for refund". That's how I know I can select "Congestion at gates" for "Why could you not touch in or out?". There is still an orange star next to Saturday, so it may still sort itself out.

If I have to apply for a refund, since I don't live in London, I have to wait until I know I'll be visiting within a week and I know which station I'll be using :roll: Heaven forbid that they can just apply the refund to your account.

How would auto-complete work anyway? I presume the staff will have reported the situation at Stratford on Saturday afternoon. The only thing to indicate that I might be entitled is that my previous journey ended at Stratford.

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Re: Rip-off at congested stations

Post by greatkingrat » 25 Jul 2016, 17:48

That is the idea, if you made a journey finishing at Stratford earlier in the day, it will assume that a later incomplete journey will have started from Stratford. You are correct that the refund process isn't really designed for people who do not use the tube regularly though.
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Re: Rip-off at congested stations

Post by michael_churchill » 26 Jul 2016, 13:01

Update: The orange star has gone, so the list should be final, but still no auto-complete. I guess I'll have to apply for the refund myself. Let's hope I have a reason to visit London in the next 8 weeks.

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Re: Rip-off at congested stations

Post by hopeful traveller » 30 Jul 2016, 22:20

I ended up with a refund recently thanks to some Metropolitan Line mess going to Lord's; I ended up with £7 I didn't know I had after the next journey I did the following day.
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Re: Rip-off at congested stations

Post by tangy » 31 Jul 2016, 09:16

It is similar to the GOBLIN closures, TfL have in place automatic refunds for regular users who use alternative routes via Zone 1. The trouble is these are sent to the Oyster readers at the users' "normal" station, which in cases like Walthamstow Queen's Road are totally inaccessible as the station is boarded up! Passengers need to nominate a nearby station to collect their refund when they sign in. Not to mention having to put more money than usual onto the card to cover travel before the refund is processed!
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Re: Rip-off at congested stations

Post by tufnellpark » 02 Aug 2016, 09:40

As you say, TfL process refunds and then allocate them to your station. For some reason mine is now South Wimbledon, which isn't that close to Lewes.

Admittedly it is a faff but just call them up (0343 222 1234) and they will refund directly to your bank account. Incidentally at least they still use the old London Transport 55 Broadway telephone number of Abbey 1234.
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