Thursday, February 18, 2010

Metro Madness

The MTA has some 'splaining to do. I lost $4 in a machine the other day and since then I've seen nothing but bad policy on their end. Awful, pirate-worthy policy.

To start, I was refilling my card and the machine looked like everything worked fine, but when I went to use the card it said insufficient fare. Inconvenience #1. I went back to the machine to find a receipt had printed out saying, "Trans: Add Value FAILED / Failure Reason: Unable to return money." I brought this to the teller and they told me the only way to get a refund was to call the MTA.

I called the next morning and was greeted by a recording that stated, "If you are calling to check on a refund, please be aware that our refund processing is backlogged and all refunds will be delayed for an undetermined amount of time." Blatantly curious at this point, I waited 30 min to speak to a phone rep only to be told that the only way to get my $4 back was to mail in the receipt, and my metrocard! He almost hung up without giving me the address even though I had asked twice.

Tired of all this hassle, I decided to read about the EasyPayXpress Metrocard for future use. For this card, you pay $45 and it is automatically refilled before it runs out, so you can avoid the dastardly MTA machines! Sounds great, except the card automatically refills whenever it's balance drops to $20, and a metro ride is only $2 and change. So owning this card, you've basically donated $20 to the MTA that you will never be able to spend until you cancel the card.

If only the MTA didn't have a monopoly on subway service, maybe these subway-robbery methods wouldn't exist. But, I suppose the subway could always be worse..

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