Monday, January 9, 2012

SmarTrip Customer Service or Disservice?

Photo: mr_t_in_dc; shop: Andrew

I've heard from a lot of people about the hang up issue at SmarTrip customer service.

If you've lost your SmarTrip card, or had one stolen, what has been your experience in getting the money transferred?

From @TeganAnn:
Since moving to DC in February, I have had to transfer monies from a lost, stolen or defective SmarTrip card a few times, so I am used to the procedure.

I lost the card in late November, but assuming I just misplaced it in my office, I didn’t think much of it until the following week when I logged onto the WMATA system. Lo and behold, someone in Maryland had picked up my card and was using it.

I was about to call the 1-800 number to get the money transferred, but they had the new system to report your card online, so I did that.

I immediately got an auto generated email which said "your card XX has been reported as lost or stolen." I proceeded to wait for my funds to be transferred to the new card.

The following week, I stopped off at a SmarTrip charge station to try to load my funds, but it didn't work.

Finally, I logged back into the system in December and found the card still in daily use.

This is when the fun began.

Finally, I decided to call the 1-800 number. I had done so in the past, and it had never been awful in comparison to the other joys of WMATA.

I started off around 10 a.m. and got the "all of our agents are busy" message. I was put on hold and then heard "goodbye" and was hung up on.

I tried six more times, and the same thing happened after various amounts of time on hold. The longest was five minutes.

On, my last try, the hold time quoted was 20 minutes. Around 25 minutes later, I was able to reach an agent. To her credit she was calm as we went through the transaction. She had to place me on hold twice to track down my email in the system to verify my story.

She was able to transfer the money from the date I reported the card as lost. I was out $20, and the person with my card had a good month of free rides on the Metro’s dime.

When all was said and done, I had been on the phone for 45 minutes.

I can’t say I'm surprised the online system is set so it an email is generated, but nothing is done.

Metro is really moving forward on this one.
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