Buying a TfL Oyster Card

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ChristopherJ

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Tried to buy an Oyster card today and what a bloody hard job it is.

I don't have any need for an Oyster card because my employer issues me with a monthly 1-6 travelcard but I'm now on leave for 4 weeks over the Olympic period and subsequently don't have my work travelcard so I had to go and buy an Oyster card for my leisure trips around London.

I know it's £5 for the Oyster card plus a £5 credit deposit, so I took a £10 bank note down to my local Tube station to buy one. Went up to the ticket machines and only the 'coins only' machines dispenses new Oyster cards. Because I had a £10 bank note and the ticket office queue was massive I dediced to go to the local off license next door and get the shop keeper to exchange my bank note for ten £1 coins. Go back to the Tube station and the ticket machine then refuses to accept one of the ten £1 coins and subsequently refuses to issue me an Oyster card. I have to queue up for 20 minutes in the booking office queue just to buy one, this isn't the end of the story...

...what really ****ed me off is that I'm not a royalist and couldn't give a toss or two thirds about the Royal Family but what does the booking office clerk hand me...? A limited edition 2012 Diamond Jubilee oyster card! Arrrgh!!! :roll:

Basically, anyone who doesn't have an Oyster card has either to 1) use a credit/debit card, 2) walk around with their pockets filled with £1 coins or 3) queue for half of their day at the ticket office. Why can't the ticket machines that accept bank notes dispense Oyster cards? Why do TfHell have to make everything so bloody difficult?



As soon as I get back to work I'm burning that horrible Oyster card, I'm a miserable person I know, and proud of it, too.
 
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reb0118

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Try getting one with a Scottish £10 note!?!

To be fair I got mine through the door almost by return of post - a very quick service. It was posted from Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire so didn't have to come far.

The queues at King's Cross/St. Pancras can be horrendous though.
 

Mojo

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Are you sure that the pound coin was not fake, or a foreign coin? I don't find it as often as say a year ago, but there are a large number of fake coins in circulation which I am frequently given, and (less frequently) I find myself being given Isle of Man, Jersey, Gibraltar, or Guernsey pound coins. When I spot these I reject them, but obviously it is easier for a vending machine to do this in many cases than a human.
Why can't the ticket machines that accept bank notes dispense Oyster cards?
Only AFMs (Advanced Fares Machines) can dispense Oyster cards because these are the only machines that had the capability for Oyster card vending to be installed. The machines were upgraded to dispense Oyster cards in a project which finished just over a year ago.

The machines which dispense Oyster cards are clearly labelled to differentiate them from other machines. Customers can buy new Oyster cards online; at TfL Travel Information Centres; from Oyster Ticket Stops (primarily local newsagents); from LU, London Overground and certain Toc ticket offices; AFMs at most LU stations; and through a limited number of other transport providers such as National Express and Eurostar.
 

transmanche

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Tried to buy an Oyster card today and what a bloody hard job it is. [...]Because I had a £10 bank note and the ticket office queue was massive I dediced to go to the local off license next door and get the shop keeper to exchange my bank note for ten £1 coins.
Didn't the off licence offer Oyster? There must be a few thousand Oyster Ticket Stops across London - and they tend to be newsagents/off licences (i.e. shops that open long hours).
 

transportphoto

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It is entirely possible that the only stock of oyster cards that the ticket office had was the Special Edition - I really don't see why you are moaning about what is printed on the front, its just an oyster card, slide it into a wallet and you don't have to look at it ever again.


TP
 

ATW Alex 101

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Are you sure that the pound coin was not fake, or a foreign coin? I don't find it as often as say a year ago, but there are a large number of fake coins in circulation which I am frequently given, and (less frequently) I find myself being given Isle of Man, Jersey, Gibraltar, or Guernsey pound coins. When I spot these I reject them, but obviously it is easier for a vending machine to do this in many cases than a human.
Only AFMs (Advanced Fares Machines) can dispense Oyster cards because these are the only machines that had the capability for Oyster card vending to be installed. The machines were upgraded to dispense Oyster cards in a project which finished just over a year ago.

The machines which dispense Oyster cards are clearly labelled to differentiate them from other machines. Customers can buy new Oyster cards online; at TfL Travel Information Centres; from Oyster Ticket Stops (primarily local newsagents); from LU, London Overground and certain Toc ticket offices; AFMs at most LU stations; and through a limited number of other transport providers such as National Express and Eurostar.
Slightly off topic but every 3 in 100 pound coins are fake, of course there is no way of knowing this.
 

Mojo

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Slightly off topic but every 3 in 100 pound coins are fake, of course there is no way of knowing this.
There are plenty of ways of detecting fake pound coins. I give each fake coin a quick glance and can detect the obvious fake coins. Those suspect can be inspected in greater detail, and the fake coins found out.
 

6Gman

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You ought to try buying a railway (ex BR) privilege Oyster Card. When you live 150 miles from London.

:)

Letter to Darlington [ :o ]. Letter back - pretty quickly - from Darlington [ :) ]

Take letter on next trip to Euston. Go to the Travel London office at Euston railway station. Queue. [ :roll: ] Get told "don't do those here mate" - go downstairs to the Underground [ ;) ].

HUGE queue [ :cry::cry: ]

Walk to St Pancras, get the Javelin to Stratford, get a train back into Liverpool Street, find a quiet ticket office [ :o ] and finally get said Oyster Card.

HURRAH !
 

IanD

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As soon as I get back to work I'm burning that horrible Oyster card, I'm a miserable person I know, and proud of it, too.
If you don't want it, send it to me. I wouldn't mind the hassle of taking it to a ticket office and getting the £5 deposit refunded! I'm miserable too, but £5 is £5.
 
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Techniquest

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Exactly, get it registered online then a bit later get the fiver refunded. I'd be quite happy to do that too, and that design of Oyster is one I've not seen yet.

Quite, a lot of Tube stations have places to put used but no-longer-needed Oyster cards if you're that concerned. The money on there goes to a good cause too IIRC.
 

bb21

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I too fail to see what this complaint really is about.

If the OP seriously dislikes the special edition card he has been issued with, I am sure many forum members would only be too glad to take it off him. ;)
 

jon0844

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I wasn't sure either. Seems to just be about the card itself than the bother to get one, which wasn't really that much bother.

Whenever you have a coin validator trying to accept lots of coins, you run a fairly high risk of one or two being rejected - especially when there are so many fake coins in circulation.

At least the coin mechanism CAN take that many coins though, as some machines will 'fill up' as they hold the coins in case of the need to refund them part way through. Once they fall to the cash box, there's no way to give them back. A common problem with people wanting to pay for car parking on machines with small coins, where it's just not possible.
 
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