Oyster card, bad hair day!

  rickf 11:10 09 Oct 2014

Thought I would share this here as I had to laugh at myself after the incident. I drive to a particular tube station and use the ncp carpark next to it for the day. When I arrived on Tuesday it was full. So drove some 10 mins away from the station where there were some free parking spaces on the road. Took a bus back to the station, touched in and whilst on the platform tried to text work that I would be slightly late. Could'nt find my mobile, then realised I had left it on the car passenger seat. Touched out oyster card, took bus back to car, retrieved phone, took bus back to station. On touching in my oyster, tfl cleared my balance so had to top up. Apparently this was because I had touched in and touched out without using the journey and the staff at the station tried but could'nt make me a refund. Although I can laugh about it now it seems totally nonsensical that TFL should claer my balance. I am sure some would not bother to ask for a refund thereby increasing their coffers each year. Surely its not too difficult to programmed in this contingency?? I suspect its left out for the purpose I suggested.

  Secret-Squirrel 10:27 10 Oct 2014

".......... it now it seems totally nonsensical that TFL should claer my balance..."

That's happened to me too Rick. A few minutes after waiting on the platform an announcement was made saying there was a serious problem with the Piccadilly line and the next train would arrive in 35 minutes. That would have made me late for my appointment so I decided to go back home and take the car. On leaving the station several pounds were deducted from my Oyster card.

"Surely its not too difficult to programmed in this contingency??"

I visit the Netherlands regularly and use an "OV-chipkaart" which is essentially the same as an Oyster card except it works on all modes of public transport throughout the country. If a traveller checks in and checks out at the same metro station within 20 minutes (or one hour for a rail station) there's no charge. That's perfect for the situations we found ourselves in, or even if someone wants to meet a friend on the platform or escort their elderly relative to the train etc.

  rickf 14:26 10 Oct 2014

If a traveller checks in and checks out at the same metro station within 20 minutes (or one hour for a rail station) there's no charge. That's exactly why I can't understand why Oyster cannot programmed this int5o the system. I am left to think cynically that its a money spinner as some people would not bother. Customer service noted that I was in and out w/in 5 mins yet they took £5.10 from me. Why?? Part of the rip off Britain mentality I suspect. Sma e thing with phone calls ahving to listen to long menu options, some of which are repetitive just to prolong the call whilst they charge by the min. Someone suggested there should be a regulator and I agree. They are robbing us blind, worse than Dick Turpin.

  spuds 16:05 10 Oct 2014

Perhaps off subject a little, but I seem to hear a lot about the London Oyster or Freedom card, so can anyone tell me if the English Travel Concessionary Pass that are supplied by main local council's to pensioner's, are usable on London or district transport.

  Batch 16:38 10 Oct 2014

Spuds, I believe that ENTCS can be used as follows "in all other parts of England your pass entitles you to travel free on local bus services" (e.g. see click here ).

Over 60s resident in Greater London get free travel on buses, tubes, Tramlink and DLR at anytime; plus a limited number of some trains at anytime and free travel on pretty much all other trains after 09:30 M-f and all day Sat & Sun.

To rub salt into the wounds, the London concession applies to certain services that extend outside the Greater London area that bods that live in those areas do not get for free at all (regardless of age). For example, as a London resident I can travel for free by train between Sutton (in Greater London) to Epsom Downs (not in Greater London) - but someone (over 60 or over 65) resident in Epsom Downs cannot travel for free on the same services!!! The reason this was done was to have the same coverage for paid for OysterCards (e.g. under 60s) and not paid for. Epsom Downs, even though it is outside Greater London is in the OysterCard area (whereas Epsom Station is not in the OyserCard area and so I cannot use my pass for that).

To clarify a bit further, in London one is entitled to a Freedom Pass from state pension age. When the "state pension age" bit was introduced across the country (previously was over 60s), Boris intervened and so we (in London) now get an Over 60s Oyster Photocard that runs from age 60 to state pension age which entitles us to the same benefits as outlined above (but not outside of the wider London area).

  Secret-Squirrel 17:12 10 Oct 2014

" I was in and out w/in 5 mins yet they took £5.10 from me. Why??"

I agree, it's a disgrace that we were charged so much for not travelling anywhere. I believe the reason is that the system assumes we made journey but it doesn't know where it started so it charges the maximum amount. It's ludicrous I know.

I agree too that it would probably just take a few mouse-clicks to reprogram the system so that travellers like us aren't skanked through no fault of our own.

  lotvic 20:45 11 Oct 2014

English National Concession Travel. Bus Pass. I found this info on Oxfordshire's site:

"I don’t live in London, but I do travel in London. Will I be able to enjoy the same benefits as a London Freedom Pass holder when I am there?

No. Within London, your pass can be used only on buses. Unlike London’s freedom pass scheme, your pass will not be accepted on trams, the Tube, Docklands Light Railway, London Underground or National Rail. However in London your pass will be accepted on buses at the same times as Freedom Passes - 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

  spuds 12:27 12 Oct 2014


Thanks for the information. I approached my local issuing council, but it would seem that some parts of the country, the concessionary facility might have slight differences.

When the scheme was first introduced, Gordon Brown actually visited my hometown, and this question was raised with him at an Age Concern meeting. The general feeling at that meeting, was the concessionary pass would be similar throughout the country, with no exceptions or differences to those available to any local services or anyone or anyone using those services. Hence my question.

  lotvic 14:07 12 Oct 2014

I think it differs with each council as they have the discretion to add 'perks/extras' to the basic national bus pass scheme. i.e. they can add to the basic scheme but they can't take away.

  Aitchbee 22:40 12 Oct 2014

Off subject, but, I've always fancied going a-top the open-air, double-decker, sight-seeing bus which runs nearly all-your-round around places-of-interest in Glasgow [with my digital-camera at-the-ready and earphones plugged into the commentary points on the bus] and thus become a-tourist-in-my-hometown ... for a day!

I think I might have to pay full fare even although I've gotta free travel bus pass and a dodgy knee.

PS. ...and with the wind in my hair, it's the closest I'll ever get to flying :o]

  lotvic 23:47 12 Oct 2014

HB, do it - it sounds like fun and you'll be able to cross it off your bucket list ;)

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