Overcharge possibility 'a drawback' of Oyster card
Oyster is fast and convenient but the system is not perfect.
I've been given a break-down by the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly
of where passengers are being overcharged on their Oyster cards and at which stations.
Last year passengers were overcharged a whopping £60 million in total.
The top ten stations where passengers were overcharged in 2010 were:
Waterloo (National Rail) £2,452,000
London Bridge (National Rail) £2,300,000
Liverpool Street (National Rail) £1,615,000
Bank (London Underground) £1,339,000
King's Cross (London Underground) £1,073,000
Victoria (London Underground) £982,000
Stratford (National Rail) £877,000
Wimbledon (National Rail) £825,000
Oxford Circus (London Underground) £862,000
Liverpool Street (London Underground) £670,000
The full lists are here (PDF).
Transport for London says commuters would have paid most of the overcharges anyway in actual fares but the Lib Dems say it is not just people forgetting to touch in and touch out.
I've discovered there are flaws with the Oyster system, particularly when large crowds are involved.
When there is a football match for example they open the barriers and implement something called "autocomplete".
That means the system in effect touches you out of the system automatically without you having to do it. Sensors pick up cards going through the barriers.
The problem is that to make sure your journey is completed by the system you have to touch in at the same station within three days. Or you get a maximum fare.
So many people obviously do not return to that station and get the maximum fare and perhaps do not realise.
TfL today admitted to me: "It is a drawback of the tool that we have."
Have you been wrongly overcharged? Let me know...