Thursday, January 04, 2007

If your CharlieCard DIES it can be fixed...but

This morning my 4 day old CharlieCard died. Neither the faregates at Harvard Square or the vending machines could read the chip. The CSA's tried to solve the problem but alas I was told to go to the new CharlieCard Service Center located in the concourse at Downtown Crossing (located on the Red, Orange and Silver Lines) When I got there I wasn't alone and it took about 25 minutes to see a clerk. The good news is that with the number of the old card they were able to retrieve my information and saw that I had both a monthly pass for January and $1.10 in stored value on my card and and they were able to transfer the information to a new card in a matter of seconds. Plus for my trouble I got a nifty CharlieCard passholder.

There were very long lines at the Senior/Disabled pass office next door as riders who had not upgraded to the new CharlieCard Senior/TAP card found their old cards were no longer valid with the changeover. Senior and TAP customers have been urged to get the new card for over a year but many didn't heed the T's warning. Expect long lines there for the next month or so.

Also if you have stored value on a CharlieTicket and want to transfer the balance to a CharlieCard the service center can do that as well. Looks like the T did a good job addressing this concern. In New York if your MetroCard fails you have to go out to Brooklyn.

What worries me is why my card failed in 4 days.

6 comments:

Ron Newman said...

Did they give you any advice on how to handle or storebla the CharlieCard so that this doesn't happen again?

Fenway said...

Ron Newman said...
Did they give you any advice on how to handle or storebla the CharlieCard so that this doesn't happen again?


Actually they had me talk to a rep from On Track Innovations which is the company that is handling the samrtcard part of the project. My old card will go to New Jersey for testing I guess.

Brian said...

I'm feeling very glad that I traded my card for a ticket after one ride. Though a bit sorry for the friend I traded with. 4 days is crazy, and its not like you're the only one with a non-responsive or intermitantly responsive card. I've seen a lot of "See Agent" error messages as of late and if all of those people have to go out of their way to Downtown Crossing and wait 25 minutes to get the problem fixed, there will be a lot of riders wondering just what we're paying for with the fare hike.

Anonymous said...

In New York you don't have to go to Brooklyn to sort out Metrocard problems. You can call (800) METROCARD, or get a postage-paid mailer from any subway clerk. Which is much better than waiting an hour during the workday at Downtown Crossing (and how exactly are people who work somewhere else supposed to do this?).

I think if you have a 30-day pass, they'll give you a credit based on the day your card is postmarked when you mail it back. (New York's passes aren't based on calendar months -- they expire 30 days after you first use them.)

This is one major reason why I prefer to get my pass on a CharlieTicket. Even if something goes wrong with the magstripe (which hasn't happened to anyone AFAIK), it's also human-readable.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said...

Even if something goes wrong with the magstripe (which hasn't happened to anyone AFAIK), it's also human-readable.


I had a magnetic stripe CharlieTicket monthly pass that ended up getting garbled by the pass reader on a Silver Line Waterfront bus. Interestingly, while it stopped working in the fare gates, it still worked in the old turnstiles.

For my trouble, I had to go down to the T Revenue Office in the Mass. Transportation Building to exchange my corrupted paper CharlieTicket for one of the old-style plastic magnetic stripe tickets.

Charlie Robbed said...

How often are CharlieCards going dead and why?

I didn't even know about this problem until it happened to me. I emailed the T about my situation and only got an auto reply about getting back to me. Still waiting.

Gave Charlie money and used it twice that day with no problems. Placed it on the shelf and 11 days later... it doesn't do squat. Dead. Won't scan anywhere.

Charlie must be moonlighting for some underground money handlers.

This post finally pulled up in Google and I know where to go now. Sadly, you can't get help from the MBTA's web site.

Calling their customer service number got me slightly better results. They don't like to pick up phones, but I finally got through and was directed to Downtown Crossing.

It's a start.