TfL’s failings

I recently signed-up for automatic top-up of my Oyster card. If my balance dips below £5, it will now automatically top-up with £40 of credit meaning that I no longer have to bother going into newsagents for the privilege.

To complete my registration, I had to visit an Underground station of my choosing within five days and commence a journey from there.

Now I’m a bus man. I do buses. I rarely do Tubes. During the week, I spend the majority of my time in offices that are a convenient bus-ride from home; and at weekends, I’m more often than not with my daughter and her accompanying pushchair, for which most Tube stations aren’t best suited. The station that I reluctantly chose—Clapham Common has an estimated 20 steps to get you into the concourse and a further 15 or so after you reach the bottom of the escalator. Not ideal.

Anyhow, I engineered a journey to Canary Wharf last Sunday influenced in part by my need to complete my registration. But they screwed up the registration. And charged me £10.40 more than I should have been charged.

So I get an email apologising for the error and asking me to begin yet another journey at Clapham to pick up the credit. After complaining to TfL over the phone, I popped in to the station en route to my bus on Thursday morning to figure out whether I did indeed need to make a journey. I did, so I instead intended to wait until the seven day collection period had expired before getting them to reimburse my card, something that the guy on the phone indicated they could do.

Alas, in a semi-drunken stupor on Thursday evening, I ended a journey at Clapham Common, and this act apparently had the same effect. So the credit has been honoured, which is nice.

But TfL, you shouldn’t force people to make specific journeys to activate a service. And you shouldn’t ever inconvenience people to accommodate your own screw-up.

Rant over.


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