25 March 2010

Oyster PAYG - When do things go wrong?

There are a number of circumstances when you might not be charged the amount you expected or are used to paying with your old, trusty paper ticket.
  • If you don't touch in and out correctly, then you will be charged the "maximum fare" as the initial charge is not adjusted. Since the system only registered one touch, it cannot adjust your fare and you may pay more than you should. Your journey will not count towards your daily price cap as you have broken the rules.
  • If your journey takes longer than the maximum time allowed, then you will be charged two "maximum fares"; one when you touch in and the other when you touch out. Your journey will not count towards your daily price cap as you have broken the rules. The maximum journey times are shown below

    Maximum Journey Time (minutes)Mon-Fri 04:30-19:00Mon-Fri from 19:00 and All day SatSunday
    Within Zone 1 or 290100110
    Within zones 1 - 2 or 2 - 3 90100110
    Within 1 zones708085
    across 2 zones8090100
    across 3 zones90100110
    across 4 zones100110120
    across 5 zones110125135
    across 6 zones120132144
    across 7 zones130145160
    across 8 zones140155170
    across 9 zones150165180
  • Some journeys involve you changing station (for example, London Bridge to London Underground or Charing Cross to Embankment). These are known as "Out of Station Interchanges", or OSI, and you are allowed a fixed amount of time to make the change. This can be as little as ten minutes, but is typically longer. For example, when changing between National Rail and the Underground at London Bridge or Charing Cross, you have 20 minutes when transferring from Rail to Underground and 40 minutes when coming home (as you may have to wait for your platform to be announced). A full list can be found on London Reconnections. If you take longer than this, your trip will count as two journeys and it will cost you more.
  • If you decide not to travel having touched in, or your train is cancelled and you decide to take a bus instead, then you will be charged a 'Platform Fee' equivalent to the minimum fare (£1.40 at Forest Hill) provided it is between two and 30 minutes since you touched in. If you call the Oyster helpline, they will refund this at their discretion.
  • For some journeys, there is more than one route option available. For example, if you're going across London you may have the option of avoiding Zone 1. Pink Oyster Validators (rather than the usual yellow readers) have been installed at 11 stations so that you pay the lower fare. Simply touch your Oyster card on the pink validator to prove you used the cheaper route. The 11 stations are
    Blackhorse roadKensington (Olympia)West Brompton
    Gospel OakRayners LaneWillesden Junction
    Highbury & IslingtonStratfordWimbledon

If you feel that you have been unjustly overcharged, you should allow 48 hours before calling the Oyster helpline on 0845 330 9876 between 8am and 8pm. It is also possible to call TfL during office hours on 020 7222 5600 (ask for Oystercard Ticketing & Refunds)to avoid these charges if your calling plan includes geographic numbers.

1 comment:

Forest Hill Society said...

Two more stations have had Oyster Validators added (thanks to the travel possibilities of the ELL. These are Canada Water and Whitechapel