Contactless Pilot (June)Jul 12, 2014
My participation in the contactless pilot has been severely hampered since the end of May. First my bank decided to issue new cards which meant that I had to go through the process of registering a new card number for the pilot. Then I managed to lose the other card linked to the same account so they had to cancel everything again, even though I still had the card I was using for contactless travel. Interestingly though, when TfL came to charge the amount for travel that day,
my bank rejected it as the card had been cancelled. The online account history flagged up that that card was no longer authorised for travel and asked me to provide an alternative method of payment. This I did as it was me that made the journeys. It’s good that there seems to be a mechanism to reduce the exposure to loss with a contactless payment card.
The other edge condition that I managed to test while I had a contactless card working was the circular journey involving an OSI. I travelled from Sidcup to Shadwell DLR then returned from Shadwell LO to Sidcup while only spending a short time between the Shadwell stations. Sensibly the system split the OSI and recorded it as two journeys, which it actually was of course. The Oyster system struggles with this as I found out again earlier this week. I travelled from Crayford to Kings Cross St Pancras Underground to meet my son off the Eurostar. We picked up his bike and returned from St Pancras International to Crayford via London Bridge. Just like most other travellers it hadn’t crossed my mind that this could be a problem, but we had gone round in a circle. Oyster charged two maximum fares which have been resolved by the helpdesk.
I’m hoping to be back using a contactless card again soon as I still have some other issues to check out. I remain pleased so far with the way contactless handles unexpected journey patterns.