For the first time in 7 months I have just experienced a billing problem – the result of the dreaded docked green light seemingly not registering. Rode from Cleaver Street to Concert Hall Approach 2. Couldn’t get a receipt. 15 minutes later hired a bike from Jubilee Gardens to Taviton Street where I was able to get a receipt AND for my first trip BUT that receipt said I had terminated at Queen Victoria Street and taken 1hour 5 minutes instead of approx 20 mins. Lucky for me the times on the two receipts overlap so there can be no dispute when I claim for the refund – which sadly I guess will take forever.
I also agree with FarringdonEd – the redistribution appears very lapse at present and I did send an email last week about the apparent oversight of Paddington Green, Kensington Town Hall, Lords, Marylebone Flyover, Edgware Road Station and St John’s Wood area in general. No reply yet.
But its the casual users I really feel sorry for. As a Systems Software Tester in a previous life, this hiring process is the most user unfriendly one I have ever come across! Whoever heard of having to swipe the CC/DC a MINIMUM of two times for a transaction? It’s 2011 not 1911! And no explanatory messages during the process. And you have to swipe the card yet again if you have selected more than one bike as the pin numbers print separately. At Speakers Corner today I must have helped 20 casual users – they couldn’t believe it. No wonder the Customer Service line is in melt down! And the complaints about overcharging are going to be phenominal – User’s only see the £1.00 access fee (also it comes up on the screen)and free 30 minute usage! I was able after several tries (the station went off line temporarily) to obtain a receipt for a Chinese Tourist on her first day here which indicates she will be charged £15.00 instead of the £1.00 she thought!
A Serco engineer was called out while I was there and he said HQ were concerned with the software problems. He had suggested to his boss that staff man some of the busier stations to guide casual users until the situation settles – to no effect. He also helped 4 tourists while I was there. I think TFL should ask for volunteers. (David Cameron’s Big Society – LOL)
Brilliant bikes and docking stations are being badly let down by appalling software – and the Mayor thinks everything is wonderful because of the high usage figures – but the Jubilee Line has high usage figures also!