Accuracy of handheld Oyster readers

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by moogal, 11 Aug 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. moogal

    moogal Member

    Messages:
    158
    Joined:
    18 Oct 2012
    Location:
    London
    I boarded the DLR at Prince Regent on Sunday, travelling back towards my local station at Bow Church. I touched in on the Oyster reader with my Oyster card, which contains both an annual zone 1-2 travelcard and plenty of PAYG credit (it's on auto-topup).

    When the PSA came round for his ticket check he told me my card hadn't been touched in, and showed on the screen where it was only displaying my Travelcard details, rather than a touch-in. Although he didn't try to charge me any sort of penalty he advised me to make sure I got the green light from the reader next time. I was confused as I was pretty sure I had seen it turn green, but didn't think much more of it at the time.

    Now I've just checked my Oyster journey history online and it shows the correct touch-in details for the journey from Prince Regent. Does this mean his reader had got it wrong, and if so how can that be used to check tickets accurately?

    (I'm not trying to get anyone into trouble here - the PSA was very polite and professional about it, it's more the technology side I'm interested in)
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

    Messages:
    10,596
    Joined:
    28 Jun 2010
    They have new machines now for the contactless so I would guess that they are pretty accurate for that so sounds very starnge.
     
  4. causton

    causton Established Member

    Messages:
    5,422
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere between WY372 and MV7
    If it was the older blue readers, they might have just been looking at the second page when they thought they were looking at the first as IIRC the first page would show you touching in and the second one would show your Travelcard details.

    The new ones I have never used or seen yet, but perhaps a similar thing happened and they were not familiar with the device and possibly they missed something out that was shown on the screen.

    I find it very unlikely the machine would not show the touch-in at all, considering it shows up online it would have definitely gone through!
     
  5. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

    Messages:
    2,231
    Joined:
    20 May 2013
    The main difference between a MoVIE and a RID is that the latter support contactless payment cards in addition to Oyster. The information displayed when an Oyster is presented is the same, and in broadly the same format.
     
  6. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,504
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2014
    I thought they flashed green with a touch in and orange with a travel card on them
     
  7. Mojo

    Mojo Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    17,217
    Joined:
    7 Aug 2005
    Location:
    0035
    The readers don't flash orange? Orange/yellow is the colour they display when they are ready to accept a card; once the card has been detected it will either go green or red.
     
  8. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,504
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2014
    When we got rpid a few months ago it flashed orange for a staff pass the inspector checked the screen and asked to see my photocard.
     
  9. Mojo

    Mojo Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    17,217
    Joined:
    7 Aug 2005
    Location:
    0035
    On the old Movie readers, the light flashes green for a Staff Pass and a steady green for a Travelcard.

    The reference to colours in the OP however refers to the standalone validators, not the handheld readers.
     
  10. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,504
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2014
    How do the new oyster readers know you have touched in on a contactless, Are they downloading the database over 3g because that isn't going to work in a tunnel.
     
  11. causton

    causton Established Member

    Messages:
    5,422
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere between WY372 and MV7
    Nope, they just put some sort of flag on the card. At the end of the day when the contactless transactions are all processed, they check the card to see if it was touched in at that time. If it wasn't I believe TfL block the card and you have to reactivate it through the website or by calling Oyster.

    (I think)
     
  12. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

    Messages:
    21,795
    Joined:
    7 Apr 2010
    Do you mean they write to the contactless card? I thought it had been worked out that they just read the number and send it in to the back office for future checking? I think the rest of your answer is correct though.
     
  13. causton

    causton Established Member

    Messages:
    5,422
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere between WY372 and MV7
    That is what I meant, they don't flag the card on the card itself, as they can't, they flag it in the database as a "check this later, was the card touched in when it was inspected?" sort of thing :)
     
  14. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    5,931
    Joined:
    15 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Crayford
    It appears in the database as a revenue check which is charged a maximum fare if you aren't touched in at the time. After 3 strikes your card is blacklisted.
     
  15. Be3G

    Be3G Established Member

    Messages:
    1,590
    Joined:
    14 Sep 2012
    Location:
    Chingford
    I wonder how that works on a bus or tram (i.e. what it charges the end-user)?
     
  16. 34D

    34D Established Member

    Messages:
    6,031
    Joined:
    9 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Driving a bus in London the other day, I had a passenger whose contactless card didn't accept. I advised the lady to check with staff at a tube ticket office or with the helpline, and failing that to check with her bank.

    How does this three strikes thing work with national rail penalty fares then? Are we saying that:

    -oyster card with insufficient credit or that wasn't touched in at all => £20 penalty fare

    -contactless card not touched in (card balance irrelevant) => full fare £8.80 charged during overnight processing, with no notes passed to the TOC hence a 'clean' record if caught by RPI's in the future?
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2015
  17. Panda

    Panda Member

    Messages:
    168
    Joined:
    23 Nov 2011
    On a bus, the card is checked against the list of touch-ins on the reader and a penalty fare should be issued by the revenue inspector, it is not charged in the back office.
     
  18. island

    island Established Member

    Messages:
    10,498
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2010
    Location:
    0036
    Is that still the case? I know it was true when contactless payments were a bus-only thing, but the current TfL literature seems to suggest it works like everywhere else.
     
  19. Be3G

    Be3G Established Member

    Messages:
    1,590
    Joined:
    14 Sep 2012
    Location:
    Chingford
    I was checked on a bus just a couple of days ago: RPI pulled out a special contactless reading gadget, scanned my card, and my TfL account shows a ‘revenue inspection’ entry on the day in question…

    …err, oh. At least, it did when I checked a few hours afterwards. It now says it's a failed revenue inspection! It seems to think I was checked on a 205 bus, despite it being one minute after boarding a 313. Sigh.

    Anyway, my point was going to be that it's perhaps not beyond the realms of possibility that the RPI's contactless gadget has the facility to download a list of touched-in CPC users for that bus. Although the fact that it seems the reader thought it was on a bus route 205 suggests that that probably doesn't happen after all.
     
  20. Mojo

    Mojo Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    17,217
    Joined:
    7 Aug 2005
    Location:
    0035
    Out Of Interest, what is the charge for a failed revenue inspection on a bus? Obviously there is no "Maximum fare" to be charged.
     
  21. Be3G

    Be3G Established Member

    Messages:
    1,590
    Joined:
    14 Sep 2012
    Location:
    Chingford
    None, it seems. I guess it just adds a strike to the three-strikes-you're-out tally. I've e-mailed TfL anyway because I don't want one of those ‘strikes’ appearing on my account.

    What with my other thread about recent CPC issues, I'm starting to like contactless less and less!
     
  22. Mojo

    Mojo Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    17,217
    Joined:
    7 Aug 2005
    Location:
    0035
    Seems a bit pointless, you don't even get charged a fare. Why would anyone ever pay for a bus again? In the event you are checked then just get your CPC out.
     
  23. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2009
    The contactless card will only give limited information in that all you get on screen is a reference number. If it hasn't been tapped in more than three times it's blocked for this use so really the holder should be reported for the offence as they've been given the benefit of the doubt at least twice! (Bear in mind that when the card is read by the reader it just basically taps it in so it's valid for the journey, but this doesn't alter the fact that when the system updates, the user's card is shown as not being tapped in at point of entry) The reason for such limited information is obviously because of the sensitivity of the information held on a bank card and to prevent fraud etc.

    It's very complex stuff now and at the end of the day, one might think they're getting away with fare evasion, where actually they're not and will have a shock sooner or later.
     
  24. Be3G

    Be3G Established Member

    Messages:
    1,590
    Joined:
    14 Sep 2012
    Location:
    Chingford
    Guess what? I was on a no. 20 bus yesterday afternoon and was subjected to another revenue inspection – which has once again failed according to my TfL online account because the RPI's CPC reader was ‘set’ to the wrong bus route (or however it works). The TfL website thinks I was on a 55; err, no.

    This is worrying because that's now potentially two strikes against my CPC, and neither of them are through my own fault. At this rate it won't be long until I get a third strike and the card is deactivated for use with TfL, which would cost me money because I'd then lose the weekly capping I've grown to love.
     
  25. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    5,931
    Joined:
    15 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Crayford
    I'm led to believe that a successful appeal against a failed revenue check will reset the count back by one. Have you asked, or even been told, whether this is the case? So far I've only had checks on trains and the location has been accurate, but wrong bus route number sounds like a very basic error.
     
  26. Be3G

    Be3G Established Member

    Messages:
    1,590
    Joined:
    14 Sep 2012
    Location:
    Chingford
    When the first one happened I contacted TfL using the link to do so that appears next to a journey/inspection entry on my online account. I received a response from them saying they recognised I had made a genuine paid-for journey and I should therefore ignore the failed inspection entry. I wasn't completely convinced by their response as no mention was made of any ‘strikes’ being cancelled despite me specifically querying that aspect, but not knowing any better I let it be.

    How does one even appeal such a thing anyway, seeing as no actual penalty fare has been charged (yet)?
     
  27. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    5,931
    Joined:
    15 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Crayford
    I don't know how the bus penalty is supposed to work. On a train you get charged a maximum fare at the time, or so I believe. Looks like more research is needed.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page