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Oyster machine at Honor Oak station
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Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #1
16-11-2010 12:27 PM

I was wondering if anybody else experienced this. My husband charged his oyster card recently with £10 using the machine at HOP station which does not give a receipt by the way. When he got through the barrier the £10 showed on his oyster. However, coming back the £10 credit has dispappeared from his card. Deducting the cost of travel that day he should have been left with £12.50 and he had only £2.50 left to his surprise. When he enquired at the station he was told he needs to contact Southern to get his refund and the person there seemed to be aware of this happening. Needless to say Southern did not reply to our email so still waiting.
Just wonder if it's a one off or happened to others.

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Posts: 321
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #2
16-11-2010 12:48 PM

I always get a receipt when topping up my oyster at HOP.

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Posts: 120
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #3
16-11-2010 01:50 PM

I had more than a few strange readings on Forest Hill station and 6 pounds charges, top up working and not. Whenever I called the number on back of the oyster it was corrected, so was never out of pocket. It was always one call to resolve an issue.

Ever since a guard showed me to keep the oyster still while it is being read I've had no problems. I wish I was told that earlier as my problems were all user related. I also have an auto top up set up. It works great and I never have to worry about topping up. I can also see all my journeys and charges online.

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Posts: 73
Joined: May 2008
Post: #4
20-11-2010 11:40 AM

I've had similar problems at Denmark Hill and Crofton Park - initially I was told it was my fault, although I knew it wasn't, but when I complained online I was told there had been machine errors and the amounts were refunded although it took a long time (my impression was they were very busy dealing with similar complaints). One of the problems is that the station staff at these particular stations (at least the ones I have dealt with) don't know much about Oyster and can't interpret or refund. This is not their fault - the stations are understaffed and when Oyster was rolled out to rail services it should have been 'staffed' in the sense that it is at tube stations, where they can deal with Oyster queries.

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Posts: 795
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #5
20-11-2010 07:46 PM

Debit/Credit card users always get a receipt and there should be an option on the screen where they offer you the option to print one off if paying by cash.

Incidentally, HOP is operated by London Overground and if you can't contact the Oyster helpline, I'd contact them as they're responsible for the machines.

A tip, don't use the options where it says £5, £10 etc. Use the "Any other amount" button and type in EXACTLY how much you want on the card, such as £5.40 etc.

If you can, use the ticket office to top up, however small the amount is.

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Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 2010
Post: #6
25-11-2010 04:21 PM

Sorry to butt in here - but I had a very similar issue at the Forest Hill Station which I am STILL trying to get resolved. I was charged for my 7 day travelcard on the Monday Morning (i've got the receipt from the purchase etc), went to work and everything seemed fine.

However when I tried to get through the ticket barrier at St James' Park Station, my card didn;t work. I took it to the counter and asked the sales person to check it - which he did (grudgingly) and then informed me there was no travelcard on my card. I showed him my receipt from the morning - he said London Underground couldn't do anything about it and that I had to go back to Forest HIll and get them to sort it out. Yes, I did point out to him (he was about as thick as most of the LU workers) that I clearly couldn;t get back to Forest Hill to sort it out, because the travelcard did not work. I ended up having to buy a new one (so another £30). Only to find out that I STILL couldn't get through because my PAYG balance had now dropped into the negative - I then had to add more cash to my PAYG to take it back into the positive. Got to Forest hill only to have the useless Paul Whitehouse lookalike guy tell me it had nothing to do with London Overground, and that I would have to go to I know the staff at Forest Hill are absolutely rubbish at their job, and I know they should all probably be fired immediately, but I did think they'd at least be able to handle a simple issue like this - they can't so don't ever bother with them - they suck in their entirety.

I contacted Oyster who told me I had to go to London Underground to get a refund - now this wasn't a purchase I no longer wanted, this was THEIR mistake - and they told me I had to fill out some forms and send them to the head office - the head office is 120 ft from my work - but you can't just drop it in, you have to send it through the post. Now I'm continuing my claim wiht them and racking up a fair penny in all my fees for phone calls, postage, interest (which is already several times the amount of the ticket price) etc...and to compound matters further - exactly the same thing, with so far the same results, has JUST happened to my wife (this Tuesday past).

My advice is get a receipt everytime - or top up online - you cannot trust the machines at the station in HHP or Forest Hill, and I don't know about the staff at HHP but my experience of the staff at Forest HIll is that they are absolutely, utterly and without exception, useless no brain morons who seem to have been given their jobs because someone had to give them something to do or risk the union complaint. They'll spend all morning telling you to "get back behind the yellow line" (I never do) but they can't sort out an Oyster card, give you directions or, heaven forbid - tell you a train has been cancelled!!

rant over - but I do feel for you guys

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Posts: 795
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #7
25-11-2010 05:48 PM

Blame LOROL who for financial reasons decided not to upgrade the ticket machines either at the ticket office nor the machines to LUL standards, so we have the old Southern ticketing system with an Oyster reader stuck on the end of them. (Sydenham, New Cross Gate and West Croydon all have swanky new vending machines)

The former Southern vending machines are not compatible with Student 18+ Oyster cards either, which is why the staff have stuck on photocopied signs above the machines telling customers not to use them.

LOROL's former Silverlink stations are fully compatible with Oyster and sell all products unlike the former Southern stations on the ELL, so there's no excuse bar profit margins.

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Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #8
30-11-2010 07:51 PM

Replies from LOROL:

Lack of compatibility with 18+ Student Oyster
Actually, there is a problem with all types of newly issued Oyster cards, of which 18+ Student are by far the most numerous. They are compatible, but due to a technical issue there is a small risk of transaction failure with this type of card, which could cause a customer to pay for, but not receive a product. It is for that reason that we have placed advisory notices on the machines suggesting that such customers should use the ticket office instead.

The issue in question is affecting machines operated by other Train Operating Companies, as well as the DLR. The equipment manufacturer has developed a software upgrade to fix this issue, which will be tested during the next few weeks. If all goes well, full roll-out will take place by the new year.

Type of ticketing machine
The machines we operate are the best available for the task. Apart from addition of Oyster functions, all machines on these stations are either brand new or fully refurbished. They were procured by TfL, although in fairness if LOROL has have been given this task, we would not have done it any differently. The “swanky new” machines the author refers to offer no extra customer functions compared to the earlier version, and are equal in terms of reliability. The type of machine operated by LUL is not accredited for use on the National Rail network, and cannot retail many NR products. Therefore, finance was not an issue in this matter.

The ticket office machines were upgraded last April, but not replaced with the same type in use elsewhere on LO. The nature of this upgrade was approved by TfL. The reason for this was operational rather than financial. Because the two types of machine are very different to operate, each member of staff would have to have a four-day training course. We are obliged by TfL to staff the station fully at all times, and this together with a shortage of suitably trained alternative resources would make releasing staff for training very difficult. We are currently examining ways of further upgrading the service we offer at these ticket offices.

If the reason was financial, we would have replicated this policy on the eight brand new stations on the East London Line core section – which we did not.

Lack of Receipt
Receipts may be selected by pressing the appropriate button during the transaction. Otherwise, no receipt will be issued by default. This is to avoid waste and litter left by those who don’t really want a receipt. We are considering implementing the same for bank card sales vouchers, which are often carelessly discarded .

Told to contact Southern and other complaints
This is unfortunate. These comments will be passed on to the local Customer Services Manager for investigation and action.

malcs stated that the £10 credit was on the card on departing HOP, therefore the ticket machine had worked correctly. There must have been an issue during the journey, possibly an unresolved entry/exit. In this case, the best advice would be to contact the Oyster Helpdesk.

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Posts: 795
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #9
30-11-2010 08:23 PM

So LOROL claim it's not a cost issue, yet they couldn't hire additional staff to cover for our ticket clerks to go on a training course to use the machines used on the former Silverlink Metro network where customers on our line would benefit from having the ability to register and have railcards/Bus and Tram Photocards added on Oyster Cards.

The only credit I'll give LOROL for those (refurbished) ticket vending machines (at FH and HOP) is the ability to add Oyster PAYG with a card between £1 and £5. LUL only allow any amount with cash.

So much was promised by LOROL before the ELL launch, such as being able to purchase discounted bus passes for photocard holders, they relented on it, the Phase 3 refurbishment has been stripped back to a lick of paint and signs (at Forest Hill). Still as long as the shareholders backing the franchise get a return on their money.

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