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Old 16-02-2010, 16:35
NathalieR
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I have a really annoying problem with my Oyster Card at the moment and I can't be the only person in London to have experienced this surely?! (Maybe on DS though lol)

Anyway I top it up every month with monthly bus pass and its never been a problem - until about two weeks. Suddenly it stopped working properly. I would tap it on the bus and the red light would flass and the card reader machine would say something like "Card error/failure" but then show my card expiry date so if the bus driver was paying attention, would let me on anyway.

So I went to my local tube station and they transferred the data and gave me a new card. Made no difference.

Went back and they gave me another card and transferred the data "a different way". Still didn't work!! (This was Sunday)

I have just called the Oyster card helpdesk and they have no idea what's happening especially as I have had three cards changed now. I said I thought there was something wrong with the data but they said everything checks out fine from their side. So they have now suggested I get the card transferred in another tube station as possibly my local tube are giving out dud cards!

I'll try it but I don't think its that

I'm sure my local tube station would have noticed by now with all the complaints as this has all happened over the space of two weeks and I really think its a data corruption or something

Anyone had something like this?

The only reason it bothers me is that some bus drivers aren't very understanding, one almost didn't let me on this morning and one day I can just see them not letting me on and it is inconvenient and I hold everyone up all the time.
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Old 16-02-2010, 18:20
Cornucopia
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Keep your record card or receipt with you, so you can prove your ticket type & expiration, if your Oyster card fails to read.

I've had my Oyster card from the very start of the scheme, and rarely have a problem.

One thing - the card needs to be placed on the reader, not tapped. (I don't know why they don't print this on the back of the cards TBH). Place it on the reader and hold it still until it reads or fails, and then repeat if necessary.
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Old 16-02-2010, 19:06
Missy Fantastic
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Just get a new one.
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Old 16-02-2010, 21:08
Cruachan
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That'd be the third new card, I think.
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Old 16-02-2010, 21:12
whackyracer
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I've had an oyster card since they were introduced and never once had a problem with mine, i have it in a leather case and don't even have to remove it to swipe. maybe the person you spoke to was right and the people at your local branch have a batch of dud cards or are just incompetent. either way, it can't do any harm to use a different tube station can it?
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Old 16-02-2010, 21:49
NathalieR
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I've had an oyster card since they were introduced and never once had a problem with mine, i have it in a leather case and don't even have to remove it to swipe. maybe the person you spoke to was right and the people at your local branch have a batch of dud cards or are just incompetent. either way, it can't do any harm to use a different tube station can it?
No harm at all and in fact I said I would try it when I get the chance, although it is slightly inconvenient. I just doubt it would work.

Haven't had a problem before like this and been using Oyster Card for years, my issue totally baffled the bloke on the phone today lol.

To clarify it is my third card in two weeks and also I do press it on the touch pad thing and even took it out today, no luck.
I just wonder what it is, its weird, it screams data corruption at me but then the bloke could read my details all fine when I gave him my card number.
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Old 16-02-2010, 22:14
Dissonance
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I just wonder what it is, its weird, it screams data corruption at me but then the bloke could read my details all fine when I gave him my card number.
Those two events aren't really connected. The card has a printed number on it, which is what I assume you read over the phone, yet it is the RFID tag inside the card which is read by the readers. Therefore it could well be data corruption on the RFID tag.

Using that argument (which, as it comes from me, may be - nay, is probably - flawed!), it suggests to me that it is a dodgy batch of cards that they have as the number is obviously different on each card, and the RFID tag only stores a number which then tells the Oyster card reader to look up 23456 in the database etc. yet when you change cards it'll tell it to look up 34567 in the database. Therefore there must be users from your local station who have the same problem.

(I keep refering to RFID tags which I know is incorrect by the way as Oyster cards do not use tags. My understanding of how RFID works comes from how we use them in the library I work in, where if a tag (and they are tags in the Library!) is corrupted it needs replacing, yet sometimes is still read by the machine correctly. In these cases, the number that the RFID tag gives the machines, some of the digits is the book reference number, and others what type of category it is. Therefore, in a number such as 1234567890, '123456' is the number that is connected to the database to say that it is the book with the barcode number "D1234567 0X100" and the '7890' tells the machine what the loan algorithm is on it or whether the item has a charge (the machines then do something about checking with the database to make sure it's correct before informing the customer then updates if necessary). That is what I was told happens by the bloke who was installing the machines! Writing it out, I'm not sure about the second part holding the loan algorithm... My point in explaining that was to say that it possibly explains why your expiry date is working but not the rest. But maybe not...)
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Old 16-02-2010, 22:31
Barbarella81
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I had the same problem on an oyster card once, yet nobody would replace it, they just kept telling me that I was swiping it incorrectly even though I swiped every other card like that & have since and had no problem.
In fact, I actually got thrown off a bus by an inspector and my card confiscated despite having the card issued with it that showed when it expired. I did luckily get a full refund for the time I was without and a full apology from the guy in charge.
I can't help you I'm afraid with your problem OP, but if you can, see if you can speak to a person in charge as my problem was swiftly dealt with once I contacted them.
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Old 16-02-2010, 22:32
NathalieR
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Thanks Dissonance! Your theory makes sense and I am going to try from another station. I just find it strange that the two people I was served by at my station were surprised by my issue (and not acting like they'd had a flood of complaints) unless I was the first one lol. Well we will see, only problem is my second nearest station is about a 2 minute walk and I worry they use the same batch of cards because they are so close!
And my next nearest one isnt that near!
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Old 16-02-2010, 22:34
NathalieR
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Thanks Barbarella81. Its a bit embarrassing too when in the middle of rush hour and I'm holding everyone up as the driver gets me to try pressing it x amount of times - and one day they won't let me on and I'll really be screwed.
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Old 16-02-2010, 22:37
Dissonance
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Thanks Dissonance! Your theory makes sense and I am going to try from another station. I just find it strange that the two people I was served by at my station were surprised by my issue (and not acting like they'd had a flood of complaints) unless I was the first one lol. Well we will see, only problem is my second nearest station is about a 2 minute walk and I worry they use the same batch of cards because they are so close!
And my next nearest one isnt that near!
My other theory to do with that ('Dissonance's Second Theory of Oystercardnotworkingness' - okay, maybe I'll work on the title! ) is that I assume from what you've said you've loaded travelcards / season tickets onto your card (or whatever) and other people with this batch use PAYG.

(Could you not get a replacement card at your destination station rather than your starting station?)
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Old 16-02-2010, 22:58
NathalieR
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My other theory to do with that ('Dissonance's Second Theory of Oystercardnotworkingness' - okay, maybe I'll work on the title! ) is that I assume from what you've said you've loaded travelcards / season tickets onto your card (or whatever) and other people with this batch use PAYG.

(Could you not get a replacement card at your destination station rather than your starting station?)
Thanks for the idea but unfortunately I don't really get the tube, mainly the bus, but I have a local station which I can pop into - means I don't usually have a destination station.
I work in Kingston though and was thinking of changing it at their station but I didn't think they dealt with Oyster cards, could be wrong though. There's usually a very long queue there and don't fancy queing up for ages just to be told they don't do it there!

Thanks though! Its annoying really - I do only ever get my monthly travelcard on it, sometimes top up PAYG but only when gettin tube.
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Old 16-02-2010, 23:31
Dissonance
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Thanks for the idea but unfortunately I don't really get the tube, mainly the bus, but I have a local station which I can pop into - means I don't usually have a destination station.

I work in Kingston though and was thinking of changing it at their station but I didn't think they dealt with Oyster cards, could be wrong though. There's usually a very long queue there and don't fancy queing up for ages just to be told they don't do it there!

Thanks though! Its annoying really - I do only ever get my monthly travelcard on it, sometimes top up PAYG but only when gettin tube.
Ah right, I see. I'm not a local Londoner, and my Oyster PAYG card I bought over the Internet. I kind of assumed that any - or at least the vast majority - of tube stations would deal with Oyster cards but understand I'm probably wrong (my belief comes from the fact that I did have a problem with mine at one point and it was sorted (but not replaced), as well as attaching my YP railcard onto it, at my mate's local tube station which isn't a major one (Upton Park)).

How about a shop that does Oyster cards? Would they be able to help?
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Old 17-02-2010, 09:18
NathalieR
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Ah right, I see. I'm not a local Londoner, and my Oyster PAYG card I bought over the Internet. I kind of assumed that any - or at least the vast majority - of tube stations would deal with Oyster cards but understand I'm probably wrong (my belief comes from the fact that I did have a problem with mine at one point and it was sorted (but not replaced), as well as attaching my YP railcard onto it, at my mate's local tube station which isn't a major one (Upton Park)).

How about a shop that does Oyster cards? Would they be able to help?
I'm not sure shops can do data transfers. Actually it worked today! I took it out of the wallet thing and did it like that! Was shocked, its not like I haven't tried that before.
Anyway will see if I have to keep doing that but at least its progress!!
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Old 17-02-2010, 10:23
noise747
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Flipping technology, what is wrong with good old cash?
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Old 17-02-2010, 10:38
tellytart1
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Are you keeping your card in your wallet, or using it on its own and its giving those problems?

I have an oyster card, which works well when in my wallet, but when I put my gym access card in my wallet as well, (the gym card is using a similar system to oyster), the oyster card won't read on any machine at all.
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Old 17-02-2010, 10:42
NathalieR
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Are you keeping your card in your wallet, or using it on its own and its giving those problems?

I have an oyster card, which works well when in my wallet, but when I put my gym access card in my wallet as well, (the gym card is using a similar system to oyster), the oyster card won't read on any machine at all.
I have it in one of those special Oyster Card wallets. But previously I had taken it out and it hadn't made a difference - except today! Using it in the wallet thing hasn't been a problem in the past.
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Old 17-02-2010, 10:45
squidsin
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Have you got something in your handbag, perhaps, that might be de-magnetising the cards Nathalie? I've got no idea what would do that, but I think it's possible!
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Old 17-02-2010, 10:47
NathalieR
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Have you got something in your handbag, perhaps, that might be de-magnetising the cards Nathalie? I've got no idea what would do that, but I think it's possible!
Possibly, well its always in my coat pocket but I keep lots in there!
It could be possible but its weird because I have been using Oyster Cards for years and in much the same way and only having the problem now
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Old 17-02-2010, 11:05
Loubogroll
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Squids might have a point. If I keep my Oyster next to my mobile, both stop working. I have to switch the phone off and on again and have a few goes at swiping the Oyster before everything works again.
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Old 17-02-2010, 13:59
NathalieR
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Yes it could be that. I had a driving license sent to me for the first time in the last two weeks or so too and its in my pocket. I do have my phone in my pocket sometimes too but thats never affected it.
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Old 18-02-2010, 08:19
noise747
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Squids might have a point. If I keep my Oyster next to my mobile, both stop working. I have to switch the phone off and on again and have a few goes at swiping the Oyster before everything works again.
If that is the case then people are going to have great fun with the new near contact debit/credit cards when if they become the norm as they use the same technology. Not that I will ever use that part anyway.
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Old 18-02-2010, 08:24
Muttley76
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Flipping technology, what is wrong with good old cash?
Oyster cards are great and save time and money. Just because the OP has had an issue doesn't mean we should abandon a great concept. It's very unusual for there to be a problem with them as well, in my experience.

Sounds like there was a bit of a dud batch sent out or something along those lines.
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Old 18-02-2010, 09:15
Inkblot
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Oyster cards are great and save time and money.
Is there any proof that they save money? In other words, do they cost less to run and bring in more revenue than other systems?
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Old 18-02-2010, 09:24
Goodwin
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Is there any proof that they save money? In other words, do they cost less to run and bring in more revenue than other systems?
They do save money for the travelling public as the fares are halved or as good as. Plus there is a daily price cap so you won't pay more than the cost of a daily travelcard. On Pay As You Go that is.

2 cash fare for a bus ride or 1.20 on the Oyster card. Plus it saves time as no change to mess about with for the driver.

It must be cost effective for TFL. Less need for paper tickets and therefore less staff required.
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