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Friday, December 09, 2005

More Oystercard Pre-pay Tomfoolery

How much did this refund cost in admin?

I keep hearing announcements on the London Underground as to how the Oystercard is "Faster, smarter and cheaper", and yet their
Oystercard poster ad saying it was better than a travelcard this was pulled because it was certainly not cheaper thank a paper travelcard if you use National Rail as part of your journey.

You may remember a few days ago that one of my new colleagues at work told me that he'd been sent a refund for the grand sum of 30p for some Oystercard kerfuffle. It turns out that it was the remaining amount of pre-pay on a lost card.

He let me borrow the letter, envelope and the refund voucher itself for me to blog

Pre pay Oystercard Refund

As you can see London Underground spent 29p in postage - almost as much as the refund itself, plus the cost of someone having to write his name and address on an envelope, and the cost of printing the pretty expensive looking vouhcers and the time taken to get it all out. Why not just round it up to an amount worth having or why not even send 30p in an envelope through the post?

More on the cost of Oystercard Pre-pay

Louise O'Sullivan wrote to me about the various emails and arguments she has been having with London Underground when after some clarification over whether an Oystercard would or wouldn't be cheaper for her. The outcome was unsatisfactory and she decided to produce a spreadsheet to see if she could work it out.

She said: "with pay as you go journey costs being the same for certain zones e.g. same cost for a single journey between zones 1-5 and zones 1-6, it seems harder and harder to justify why season tickets continue to go up in cost"

However, this reminded me that James Cridland had worked out a cool "Oystercard Pre-Pay is it right for you" online tool.

He says: "Is it cheaper to have an Oyster pre-pay card, rather than an annual travelcard? Sometimes - notably for commuters in zone 4 - it is. Similarly, sometimes an Oyster pre-pay card ends up cheaper than a monthly travelcard, too. This page will help you work out what's the cheapest option for you. Is it Oyster? Or is it Travelcard? "

The only problem with the otherwise excellent tool is that it doesn't take into account people like me who live in Zone 4 but use National Rail which doesn't accept Oystercard pre-pay at its station!

However, I'm sure this tool will be useful some people.

Anyway, try the tool it might help you if you don't have to use National Rail.

; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, December 09, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon