WY Metro MCard - No Ticket Printed

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Bantamzen

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This morning I have tried to load another monthly pass onto my (West Yorkshire Zones 1,2,3) MCard at Guiseley, and although the transaction went through and loaded my card, the ticket machine failed to print any counterpart ticket for inspection by guards. Having already asked both ticket offices at Guiseley and Leeds, and tweeted both Northern and Metro I seem to be rapidly entering a zone between a rock and a hard place.

Northern have advised to go to one of the Metro Travel Centres (I'll be doing this later today as they are not open yet), but their (Metro) Twitter response was that Northern are responsible for producing the actual ticket. I even tried using one of the machines at Leeds to see if the system would recognise that no counterpart ticket had been produced, and would have to option to print it there. Needless to say it didn't. Clearly there is a gap in the system that isn't plugged, and I'm not the only one to fall through it. As I returned to the Leeds-bound platform at Guiseley another passenger was staring blankly at the screen as it refused to produce a ticket for their MCard. I suspect many more will have the same problem.

I hoping that a trip to the Travel Centre at Leeds Bus Station might resolve it, but judging by their reaction on Twitter am expecting a battle. None of this would matter so much if Metro had considered this possibility and allowed for the re-printing of tickets where they have failed to produce, and that both they and Northern had sorted out the availability of card reading ticket machines to all Northern guards / RPs.

So in the meantime, and in hope rather than expectation, has anybody any more advice? I don't fancy having to argue with guards and risk fines being issued for an entire month of communting!
 
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yorkie

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You hold a valid ticket; there should be no need for a "counterpart" which defeats the purpose of an e-ticket.

I'd email Northern, and keep a copy of the sent email and the reference number. How did you pay? If you paid by card, enclose a screenshot of a record of the transaction.

I don't think you should have to inconvenience yourself further.

I'd also write to your MP and Transport Focus about this ludicrous "counterpart" requirement; it's something I've been unhappy about for a while, and now is the perfect time to point out how ridiculous it is.

I am reminded of this:
Roger Ford in Modern Railways said:
"What counts is the message, not the medium."
 

Bantamzen

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You hold a valid ticket; there should be no need for a "counterpart" which defeats the purpose of an e-ticket.

I'd email Northern, and keep a copy of the sent email and the reference number. How did you pay? If you paid by card, enclose a screenshot of a record of the transaction.

I don't think you should have to inconvenience yourself further.

I'd also write to your MP and Transport Focus about this ludicrous "counterpart" requirement; it's something I've been unhappy about for a while, and now is the perfect time to point out how ridiculous it is.

I am reminded of this:

I totally agree, it is ridiculous. I'll have no problems on any bus journeys I'll make, and no problems passing through the gates at Leeds every day. It's just those occasions when the service is quiet enough to allow guards to carry out a full revenue check that I'll run into issues. But I'll try your advice and email Northern & Metro, as well as my MP. Sadly thanks to a combination of Northern's accounting system and my bank's dire net bank facilities the transaction (£108) will not show for a couple of days, so I've no choice but to head over to the Travel Centre to see if there is anything they can do (thankfully I work over the road from it!).

I have found an app called MyMCard that does read the card and display the monthly season details, so I'll use that as an emergency backup if needs be. I've no idea if it's an officially sanctioned app, but it does use the same logo so fingers crossed. After my trip to the centre, I think I'll give technology a miss for the rest of the day, the blumming Costa Coffee machine at work dispensed brownish canal water instead of my cappuccino this morning..... :cry:
 
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Blindtraveler

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Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
I thought the whole point of smartcard tickets was to remove farses like this?

I cant think of anything else you could/should be doing but I do have a question and that is Who should have made it possible for all guards and RPIs in WY to read these things, and why hasnt it been done?

I an of the opinion that if your card cant be read you should be allowed to travel without further question if you hold some dated proof of a suitable product existing on the card.
 

Bantamzen

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I thought the whole point of smartcard tickets was to remove farses like this?

I cant think of anything else you could/should be doing but I do have a question and that is Who should have made it possible for all guards and RPIs in WY to read these things, and why hasnt it been done?

I an of the opinion that if your card cant be read you should be allowed to travel without further question if you hold some dated proof of a suitable product existing on the card.

Indeed it was, however the introduction of the MCard was a bit, pardon my language, half-arsed to say the least. When they first came out 2 years ago or so, you couldn't renew season tickets at stations or at ticket machines (and you still can't use ticket offices even now). Once the machine's software was updated Metro quickly started to move to withdraw the old card passes in favour of the MCards, clearly without considering any possible technical problems. So in my case I am left with no physical proof that the card has been updated.

I have now checked and found that the MyMCard app mentioned earlier is the official West Yorkshire Metro app, and so have now asked the question of Northern as to whether guards are aware of this app and will accept it's details as they would a counterpart ticket. Of course this app is only any use to people with a smartphone with Near Field Contact (NFC) built in as it reads the card every time (even then it's still a bit flaky).

I'm usually an enthusiastic early adaptor of new technology, especially when it potentially makes things a lot easier for the user (or in this case passenger), but frankly I just feel a bit jaded with this is morning and am lamenting the passing of the old, and reliable card passes.
 

Tetchytyke

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The ticket examiners on Tyne and Wear Metro use an app on their iPhones to check the details of tickets held on the ITSO smartcards up here, surely it's not beyond the wit of Northern to give their guards similar equipment to be able to do it. It's ridiculous.
 

Deerfold

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Indeed it was, however the introduction of the MCard was a bit, pardon my language, half-arsed to say the least. When they first came out 2 years ago or so, you couldn't renew season tickets at stations or at ticket machines (and you still can't use ticket offices even now). Once the machine's software was updated Metro quickly started to move to withdraw the old card passes in favour of the MCards, clearly without considering any possible technical problems. So in my case I am left with no physical proof that the card has been updated.

I have now checked and found that the MyMCard app mentioned earlier is the official West Yorkshire Metro app, and so have now asked the question of Northern as to whether guards are aware of this app and will accept it's details as they would a counterpart ticket. Of course this app is only any use to people with a smartphone with Near Field Contact (NFC) built in as it reads the card every time (even then it's still a bit flaky).

I'm usually an enthusiastic early adaptor of new technology, especially when it potentially makes things a lot easier for the user (or in this case passenger), but frankly I just feel a bit jaded with this is morning and am lamenting the passing of the old, and reliable card passes.

I'm finding lots of negatives with the introduction of MCards - and the withdrawal of the Metrocard.

I only have an MCard at certain times. I usually have a Zone 2-5 card. I used to be able to get a single to a station in Zone 2 or 3 and buy a Metrocard for zones 2-5 if I arrived at Leeds. The ticket machine will not sell an MCard that goes outside its zones. So I have to go and find a shop that sells them in Leeds. Unfortunately I'm often arriving in the evening and I've not yet found a shop that has the correct opening times on the Payzone Website.

I've tried to buy MCard products 8 times in the last two years at my nearest Payzone shop. I've not managed to get one yet. So each time I have to make a journey into Keighley, either walking 1.5 miles or paying an additional fare. Metro appear to have no powers to compel PayZone to actually provide a service or ensure their opening times are correct - they simply pass on complaints and nothing happens.

An all-operator 1 day bus ticket is now available to use on buses on an MCard - this was accompanied by the existing paper product increasing in price by 10%, but there's no 1 day bus and train product you can put on an MCard - and now the only places that can sell undated Day Rovers are a handful of bus stations.

Pay as you go requires a different colour MCard...
 

Solent&Wessex

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You hold a valid ticket; there should be no need for a "counterpart" which defeats the purpose of an e-ticket.

I'd email Northern, and keep a copy of the sent email and the reference number. How did you pay? If you paid by card, enclose a screenshot of a record of the transaction.

I don't think you should have to inconvenience yourself further.

I'd also write to your MP and Transport Focus about this ludicrous "counterpart" requirement; it's something I've been unhappy about for a while, and now is the perfect time to point out how ridiculous it is.

I am reminded of this:

Well technically not. The MCard website Ts & Cs state that the counterpart is needed to be valid on trains and without it, it is not valid on trains.

MCard Website said:
Before using the MCard, the holder must ensure that it is valid for the intended journey as follows:

That a travel ticket has been loaded onto the MCard and where necessary (for Rail travel) a counterpart receipt issued at the time of the upload is contained in the wallet and visible for inspection
That the card number printed on any counterpart receipt corresponds with that printed on the PhotoCard or card.
That the travel ticket covers the required modes of transport and the area within which travel is intended
That the travel ticket is valid for the date of travel
That the MCard is not defaced or damaged in any way.

Failure to do so could later result in confiscation of the MCard, charging of an Excess Fare and /or prosecution.
 

Bantamzen

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Well technically not. The MCard website Ts & Cs state that the counterpart is needed to be valid on trains and without it, it is not valid on trains.

Which is all well and good when the issuer actually provides a printed ticket, but in a case like this when their technology fails and leaves the poor punter either out of pocket, or risking fines there should be stipulation that the issuer be responsible for providing either a replacement alternative or make special arrangements.

I have had a response from Northern which was basically a shoulder shrug and advised to make a complaint (which I have done). I'll be speaking to the Northern helpdesk on the way home for further advice, and I will use the MyMCard app if needs be, but this is a crappy situation that should have thought about and planned for by both Metro & Northern because it won't be the last time this will happen I'll wager!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Well still no joy at Leeds' Northern help desk, so I am left with no other option than to try and explain the situation to each and every guard/RPO and show them the card details using the Metro app until Northern finally get back to me.

A throughly unacceptable position to put regular fare paying passengers in, when we have had no choice but to adopt the new technology. The machine in question should have been taken out of service the moment the fault was discovered (the staff were aware even at 6:35 am) and not left to cause more and more problems.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Thankfully I've yet to encounter the issue raised in the OP, but a number of issues have occured since I began using an Mcard. The problem of the ticket machines at Leeds not issuing 2-5 cards being one, another being the problems regarding opening hours of payzone shops. The payzone thing is also a problem as many employees in the shops don't know how to update the cards.

I was told earlier this year by a Northern guard that when the Avantix replacement comes on stream they'll have the ability to read the smartcard so the counterpart will no longer be needed on their services at least. However I have needed the counterpart on buses before, in the event of a defective ticket machine, a defective smartcard (now replaced), and on some of the smaller bus companies' services (namely LOT) whose vehicles are still fitted with old Wayfarer machines.
 

Bantamzen

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Thankfully I've yet to encounter the issue raised in the OP, but a number of issues have occured since I began using an Mcard. The problem of the ticket machines at Leeds not issuing 2-5 cards being one, another being the problems regarding opening hours of payzone shops. The payzone thing is also a problem as many employees in the shops don't know how to update the cards.

I was told earlier this year by a Northern guard that when the Avantix replacement comes on stream they'll have the ability to read the smartcard so the counterpart will no longer be needed on their services at least. However I have needed the counterpart on buses before, in the event of a defective ticket machine, a defective smartcard (now replaced), and on some of the smaller bus companies' services (namely LOT) whose vehicles are still fitted with old Wayfarer machines.

The arrival of the new machines can't come soon enough. It does occur to me that it would be perfectly possible for someone finding the counterpart only to use it without having a valid smartcard. They could even pick up a blank one and pretend it's linked to the found ticket, I haven't seen anyone yet ask to see the MCard to verify that the counterpart is indeed linked. Better still will be the smartphone ticketing meaning that the Metro app would become a legitimate and recognised form of validation.

As for the other issues with them mentioned on here I would encourage people to use the feedback facility to raise all of these matters. It is important that Metro understand the problems because un-tackled they will only get worse. I have now also submitted a complaint to Metro as well as Northern in the hope that a resolution, or at least official line be offered before I encounter any issues with guards or revenue staff.

--- Edit ---

Finally a resolution! Having spoken to Northern's 0800 telephone support team they advised going to one of Metro's travel centres and requesting a reprint of the counterpart ticket (which I would have done yesterday, but the queue was huge in Leeds). So all done and dusted within 2 minutes (plus 20 mins queuing of course), but this little saga has shown there to be gaps in Metro's FAQs and Northern's contingency plans. Ideally if a TVM cannot issue the ticket, it should cancel the transaction prior to loading the smartcard and processing the payment, thus preventing this happening again because most people won't be as lucky as to be 5 mins away from a travel centre! Better still and as above the new ticket machines would remove the need for the ticket altogether (at least for their journeys).
 
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yorkie

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Well technically not. The MCard website Ts & Cs state that the counterpart is needed to be valid on trains and without it, it is not valid on trains.
But that is over-ridden by consumer law <D
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
...Finally a resolution! Having spoken to Northern's 0800 telephone support team they advised going to one of Metro's travel centres and requesting a reprint of the counterpart ticket (which I would have done yesterday, but the queue was huge in Leeds). So all done and dusted within 2 minutes (plus 20 mins queuing of course),....
I would bill them for all your time.

This is also good evidence to demonstrate what many of us have been saying: counterpart tickets should be abolished immediately.

Please write to your MP and Transport Focus.
 

Bantamzen

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I would bill them for all your time.

This is also good evidence to demonstrate what many of us have been saying: counterpart tickets should be abolished immediately.

Please write to your MP and Transport Focus.

I already have complaints outstanding with both Metro and Northern, and will be writing to my MP on the matter as well. I'll copy Transport Focus into all correspondence.
 

johntea

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The MCard project is a complete and utter farce in my opinion, probably because they spent so much on a fancy website and advertising then rushed through the actual technical implementation and more recently suddenly decided to force it on everybody without it being ready for such a wide roll out! :roll:

Good luck getting anywhere with Metro, I once asked a simple question in that I had an annual MCard through my employer but once that scheme ended I obviously had to buy a full price annual renewal and they didn't seem to offer annual MCard for the general public at the time, I got told to buy the paper based MetroCard and that the annual MCard was 'coming soon' - almost 2 years later it finally happened! :lol:

Another annoyance I had was the other month where I'm currently out of work so don't own my usual monthly pass I needed to get to a job interview using a combination of bus and train, despite having a large and recently refurbished Metro bus station in Castleford they don't offer the ticket, in the end I finally managed to get it from the Travel Centre in Leeds Station after I was luckily let through the barrier (Wouldn't have been much use if the first part of my journey was by bus mind!). Why can't you offer me an option so I could maybe add the day ticket to my existing MCard?! Grr <(
 

Deerfold

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Doesn't look to be improving.

https://mobile.twitter.com/AnneForensics/status/802146174677504000
 

johntea

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There should be an option on the screen once you've tapped your card to 'Reprint counterpart' really, surely that wouldn't be too hard to implement?
 

TUC

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Why do Metro (and some other PTEs for that matter) seem to have so much difficulty with the sorts of issues that TfL deal with relatively smoothly?
 
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