Author Topic: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)  (Read 1504542 times)

Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21450 on: February 11, 2019, 01:01:25 pm »
I'd say Attwood was more likely having her own government in mind - a cashless society adds another lens to the state's panopticon, and being arbitrarily able to shut off a citizen's ability to live their life by being paid and making payments is a handy lever of control.

The thought of an extended breakdown of the banking system is quite scary.  Lloyds are down today   https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/11/lloyds-apologises-after-customers-hit-by-online-banking-glitch ,  TSB had recent problems. 

Wells Fargo had a problem in the states last week. 

https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Wells-Fargo-banking-outage-stretches-into-second-13601637.php

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2019/02/07/wells_fargo_outage/

No cash , no EPOS or contactless, direct debits & standing orders not paid on time.   Endless embuggerance.

Cash under the mattress looks better all the time.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21451 on: February 11, 2019, 01:07:48 pm »
Am I vaguely on topic by moaning (maybe ranting) about Screwfix and their preference for customer accounts?

I'm doing some DIY and find myself there almost weekly. Every time I go to the counter they ask for my surname, which I don't give, mumbling something like "Just sell me the thing". They ask if I have an account and I say I don't want one. Then the person has to go and get the 'anonymous' code: they have to insert a special code for customers who wish to remain anonymous.

One guy really huffs and puffs about this, making a big show about having to ask Dave for the code, coming back and finding that the code doesn't work, and then having to check it again with Dave (I'm not sure there really is a Dave: I've never seen him).

Anyway, eventually, he gets the code right and the transaction continues.

But they always issue the warning: "You'll have to keep your receipt if you need to return it" (because, if I had an account, I wouldn't need the proof of purchase for a return). But they say it like it's a really complicated concept, like I haven't had to do that, EVERY FUCKING WHERE ELSE, EVER!

(Ah, made it to a rant)

I suppose the database of customer accounts has a value to the company but so, presumably, does the actual money I spend there, even if I do it anonymously?

Screwfix is nearer to me, and cheaper, than most of the alternatives, but I still sometimes consider shopping elsewhere, just to avoid the the above.

Machine Mart wanted my address before they'd sell me a torque wrench, or something.
What do you need my address for?
It's for the guarantee.
Oh, so when this develops a fault, I'll give you a call, you'll come to my house, collect the defective one and bring me a replacement, yes?

Funnily enough, he lost interest in my address details after that.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21452 on: February 11, 2019, 02:11:57 pm »
I'd say Attwood was more likely having her own government in mind - a cashless society adds another lens to the state's panopticon, and being arbitrarily able to shut off a citizen's ability to live their life by being paid and making payments is a handy lever of control.

The thought of an extended breakdown of the banking system is quite scary.  Lloyds are down today   https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/11/lloyds-apologises-after-customers-hit-by-online-banking-glitch ,  TSB had recent problems. 

Wells Fargo had a problem in the states last week. 

https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Wells-Fargo-banking-outage-stretches-into-second-13601637.php

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2019/02/07/wells_fargo_outage/

No cash , no EPOS or contactless, direct debits & standing orders not paid on time.   Endless embuggerance.

Cash under the mattress looks better all the time.
Not if no one accepts it!
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21453 on: February 11, 2019, 02:12:50 pm »
It wasn't the bank, it was TfL who sent a terse email entailed 'card cannot be used for travel.'

Quote from: TfL
Dear ian

Your Visa card ending XXXX was checked by a Revenue Inspector on Saturday 9 February.

Our records indicate that the card that was presented for inspection was not touched in on a yellow reader at the start of this journey. As a result, your card cannot be used for travel.

If you would like to discuss this decision, please contact our Customer Services on 0343 222 1234 (08:00 - 20:00 daily).

Kind regards

Now, if you dial the number, there's no option to even quibble this decision, if you reach a human through any other option they'll transfer you to 'revenue protection' which is an automated voice telling you how to pay an outstanding fare online and then 'thank you for calling TfL.' Oh, and I'm paying TfL for this 'service.'

What's galling is that they're wrong, I clearly touched-in at Victoria because I'd remember jumping over the ticket barriers (and I'm getting a bit old for parkour-style fare evasion). I assume a case of too-much-technology, I pay with ApplePay through my watch, which is super. But I guess the revenue protection wand doesn't work in the same way, or there's some mismatch between TfL and Southern.

Which would be fine, but summarily cancelling my main payment method, offering no immediate method of correcting any errors, is fucking bullshit and they've picked the wrong person to annoy.

Ah, did you touch-in with the watch, but show them the card? I wonder fi that is the problem? Their system can't cope with the same card being presented in different ways?
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21454 on: February 11, 2019, 02:16:47 pm »
But ian, you've already found the answer to this problem:
brainWEB transactions.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21455 on: February 11, 2019, 02:19:49 pm »
It wasn't the bank, it was TfL who sent a terse email entailed 'card cannot be used for travel.'

Quote from: TfL
Dear ian

Your Visa card ending XXXX was checked by a Revenue Inspector on Saturday 9 February.

Our records indicate that the card that was presented for inspection was not touched in on a yellow reader at the start of this journey. As a result, your card cannot be used for travel.

If you would like to discuss this decision, please contact our Customer Services on 0343 222 1234 (08:00 - 20:00 daily).

Kind regards

Now, if you dial the number, there's no option to even quibble this decision, if you reach a human through any other option they'll transfer you to 'revenue protection' which is an automated voice telling you how to pay an outstanding fare online and then 'thank you for calling TfL.' Oh, and I'm paying TfL for this 'service.'

What's galling is that they're wrong, I clearly touched-in at Victoria because I'd remember jumping over the ticket barriers (and I'm getting a bit old for parkour-style fare evasion). I assume a case of too-much-technology, I pay with ApplePay through my watch, which is super. But I guess the revenue protection wand doesn't work in the same way, or there's some mismatch between TfL and Southern.

Which would be fine, but summarily cancelling my main payment method, offering no immediate method of correcting any errors, is fucking bullshit and they've picked the wrong person to annoy.

Ah, did you touch-in with the watch, but show them the card? I wonder fi that is the problem? Their system can't cope with the same card being presented in different ways?

This does slightly confuse the tube system which I assume is the same. I sometimes use my card, other times my phone and on my tfl account I see 2 different cards registered albeit with the same number. So it would seem that their system sees it as 2 different cards. Haven’t tried entering with on3 and leaving with the other though

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21456 on: February 11, 2019, 02:33:07 pm »
But they always issue the warning: "You'll have to keep your receipt if you need to return it" (because, if I had an account, I wouldn't need the proof of purchase for a return). But they say it like it's a really complicated concept, like I haven't had to do that, EVERY FUCKING WHERE ELSE, EVER!

(Ah, made it to a rant)

I suppose the database of customer accounts has a value to the company but so, presumably, does the actual money I spend there, even if I do it anonymously?

As if what it says on the Screwfix database is proof of anything. I ordered some fencing from my local branch recently. It was showing as in stock but by the time I got to the counter it turned out there was only one left. Except it actually turned out they didn't have any in stock.

Then I couldn't request a refund online through my account (which I have because ICBA to go through the aforementioned rigmarole involved in not giving them my details) because for some reason it was showing as order fulfilled, which apparently meant I was required to go to the branch to get my refund.

Only they couldn't give me a refund in the branch because even though I do have an account and had kept the receipt, I no longer have the card I used to make the initial payment (it was my wife's card and in the meantime she had lost it and had to ask her bank to cancel it).

On the plus side, the delay in getting the fencing meant I had a justifiable excuse to not get on with the job when it's fucking freezing out there in the garden.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21457 on: February 11, 2019, 02:33:38 pm »
It wasn't the bank, it was TfL who sent a terse email entailed 'card cannot be used for travel.'

Quote from: TfL
Dear ian

Your Visa card ending XXXX was checked by a Revenue Inspector on Saturday 9 February.

Our records indicate that the card that was presented for inspection was not touched in on a yellow reader at the start of this journey. As a result, your card cannot be used for travel.

If you would like to discuss this decision, please contact our Customer Services on 0343 222 1234 (08:00 - 20:00 daily).

Kind regards

Now, if you dial the number, there's no option to even quibble this decision, if you reach a human through any other option they'll transfer you to 'revenue protection' which is an automated voice telling you how to pay an outstanding fare online and then 'thank you for calling TfL.' Oh, and I'm paying TfL for this 'service.'

What's galling is that they're wrong, I clearly touched-in at Victoria because I'd remember jumping over the ticket barriers (and I'm getting a bit old for parkour-style fare evasion). I assume a case of too-much-technology, I pay with ApplePay through my watch, which is super. But I guess the revenue protection wand doesn't work in the same way, or there's some mismatch between TfL and Southern.

Which would be fine, but summarily cancelling my main payment method, offering no immediate method of correcting any errors, is fucking bullshit and they've picked the wrong person to annoy.

Ah, did you touch-in with the watch, but show them the card? I wonder fi that is the problem? Their system can't cope with the same card being presented in different ways?

No, I used the watch. I even asked if she wanted the card, she said the watch was fine and the machine beeped happily. It was only when I fired up my computer this morning, I got the email saying my card has been summarily deactivated. I confess I don't know how Apple and Android Pay work. I routinely use the watch anyway, saves scrabbling around for my card or phone.

I went back through my journey history and found another example which they didn't tell me about, just charged me the max fare. Same train as it turns out, same process, Southern ticket inspection. I touched in then too, the gates at Victoria are nearly always closed, so it's not like they don't have a record to check against, I'll have clearly been touched-in at the time I apparently was 'caught' in the ticket check. That really ought to be a fundamental cross-check before accusing someone of fare evasion.

Of course, double-bad points for having an impenetrable customer card 'experience.'

Oh, and the email was signed off with (which at least was vaguely amusing, though I suspect if aliens have first contact with the TfL contact centre, they'll opt to rid the planet of humans):

Quote
First Contact Manager - Customer Experience
Contact Centre Operations
!nataS pihsroW

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21458 on: February 11, 2019, 02:34:05 pm »
In similar vein, British Gas think they supply gas to me at 1 Acacia Avenue, Bristol and electricity at 1 Acacia Avenue, Bristol, AVON. That Avon hasn't even existed for about twenty years merely adds to the giggle factor. Of course as they're British Gas this isn't even in the top ten of reasons I should have changed already.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21459 on: February 11, 2019, 02:37:10 pm »
And just to add to ian's ticketing joy, PAYG ticketing is now being trialled on the national rail network in London and SE. I'm sure it will go well.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21460 on: February 11, 2019, 04:44:31 pm »
And just to add to ian's ticketing joy, PAYG ticketing is now being trialled on the national rail network in London and SE. I'm sure it will go well.

Interesting (as in "may you live in interesting times").

PAYG ticketing could work in my favour - in theory. I turned down a job recently that was five days a week but with one day a week working from home - the idea being to compensate for the piss poor salary offer by reducing my travel costs but I had to point out that season ticket pricing doesn't work like that.

I have recently acquired "The Key" - Southeastern's contactless card. So instead of buying a monthly paper season ticket, I can load up the card through my online account and use it to touch in and out at Victoria.

I haven't activated it yet since I still have a couple of weeks left on my existing paper season ticket but I'm already looking forward to the arguments when the barrier at Victoria tells me I am not allowed to travel despite having paid several hundred pounds for the privilege.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21461 on: February 11, 2019, 05:06:13 pm »
Just looked this up and it's not a trial, just a consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/pay-as-you-go-on-rail
Possibly a trial will follow at some point but there are so many difficulties in an open-ended multi-operator system with unstaffed, barrierless stations that it's going to take an awful lot of setting up.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21462 on: February 11, 2019, 05:52:26 pm »
Well, in theory, the Oyster/contactless system works well. I flash my watch and all is mostly good. Sometimes the fare calculations are baffling but are generally less than I'd pay on a paper ticket from the station (at least I still have the option of paying cash, I suppose). I travel a lot for work (which I can put on my mothership Amex) and now I got to the mothership two or three days a week which isn't enough to justify a full travelcard.

I assume in this case that whatever Southern use to detect a card or device has been touched-in didn't tally with the actual card or device that I had used, despite it being the same thing. Since I've had my card checked before, that's generally worked fine, so something to do with cards on devices, I guess. It's a shame, because Apple/Android Pay on devices is quite sweet, it was only going to be a matter of time until I fumbled my debit card down the side of an escalator in the morning crush or lost my phone to the station stampede.

And honestly, it'd be fine if the recognised the fact that technology could be at fault, that I'm not habitually dodging fares, and provide a simple method where I can call them and say 'erm, I think you have this wrong,' at which point they'll see I'm touched-in at the time Southern say I'm not. The third time you're redirected to a 'thanks for calling TfL' message, well, you get a mite tetchy. Especially when they assure you that 'yes, there will be actual human.' I don't want to guy being the dick to low paid call centre operatives who have no more power than I do, and can only follow the script. Which is why I gave up and filled in the bloody online form. And no, I don't want to contact them via Facebook or Twitter. How about a fucking email, the same mechanism as you contacted me? And also that there's no checks-and-balances, TfL know when I'm travelling, they have the data of where and when I touch in and touch out.

(Weirdly, they've charged me a odd maximum fare of £5.40, which I don't think is the daily cap and presumably for the single journey I actually took from Victoria to zone 6, also ignoring all the other travel I'd made that day.)

I think the TOCs were pretty resistant and obstructive about the entire Oyster thing – I still don't think train stations will have anything to do with it, other than via the ticket machines (jam-filled babbage engines, in other words).
!nataS pihsroW

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21463 on: February 11, 2019, 08:03:20 pm »
Oyster on TOCs? Is that even a thing?
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21464 on: February 11, 2019, 08:16:56 pm »
Oyster on TOCs? Is that even a thing?
Oyster land extends as far as Gatwick, which includes Southern and Thameslink in the TOCS that service it. GWR too, I guess if you get on at Redhill.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21465 on: February 11, 2019, 08:18:34 pm »
Yes, you can use Oyster/contactless on trains within the London travel boundaries and out to selected exotic destinations like Gatwick. And I think they added some extra fare zones for the more tropical destinations like Amersham. It wasn't popular with them because they all wanted to do their own, proprietary schemes.
!nataS pihsroW

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21466 on: February 11, 2019, 09:01:18 pm »
So what if you Oyster in at, say, Redhill and don't exit till Cardiff? Or better still, a smaller (and it doesn't have to be actually small) station with no barriers? And then get the train back and Oyster out at Redhill again?

Whatever the answer is, plenty of lessons here for the PAYG trial...
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21467 on: February 11, 2019, 09:07:16 pm »
Someone knowledgeable will know, but isn't Oyster last year's tech? I seem to remember that it updates once a day and so isn't really a live payment system?
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21468 on: February 11, 2019, 09:41:15 pm »
Someone knowledgeable will know, but isn't Oyster last year's tech? I seem to remember that it updates once a day and so isn't really a live payment system?

It *fully* updates at the end of a business day AFAIK and I think journeys can take 48 hours to update.

I think there is an issue with buses updating in motion in real time.

The semi-Luddite in me likes David only having a simple PAYG Oyster in crowds and not exposing a proper bank card to theft or abuse.

We don't have an Apple watch and I have a Freedom Pass.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21469 on: February 11, 2019, 09:55:33 pm »
IIRC the Oysters are Mifare 1 cards which do nothing more than provide an awesome 1kB of encrypted storage.  Most of the limitations of the system stem from this (and the requirement that everything work offline, so there isn't system-wide chaos when someone drives a fibre-seeking-backhoe into Stepney Green exchange or whatever).

Hence the desire to get people using contactless payment so they can ditch the legacy mollusk infrastructure.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21470 on: February 11, 2019, 10:16:25 pm »
Someone knowledgeable will know, but isn't Oyster last year's tech? I seem to remember that it updates once a day and so isn't really a live payment system?

The semi-Luddite in me likes David only having a simple PAYG Oyster in crowds and not exposing a proper bank card to theft or abuse.


Likewise,  I'm sometimes unhappy at getting a phone or bank card out.  Losing an Oyster is a minor nuisance.  Losing or having one of the other two snatched is a whole lot more embuggerance.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21471 on: February 11, 2019, 10:33:11 pm »
Someone knowledgeable will know, but isn't Oyster last year's tech? I seem to remember that it updates once a day and so isn't really a live payment system?
The semi-Luddite in me likes David only having a simple PAYG Oyster in crowds and not exposing a proper bank card to theft or abuse.
Likewise,  I'm sometimes unhappy at getting a phone or bank card out.  Losing an Oyster is a minor nuisance.  Losing or having one of the other two snatched is a whole lot more embuggerance.

I really don't want the potential for a high-value loss in just the sort of scenario where it's easy for pickpockets and fare-dodgers to prosper.
David is scatterbrained and I am no octopus. Juggling wheelchair, passengers, luggage and ticket through a gate is no simple task!

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21472 on: February 14, 2019, 10:22:06 pm »
So, finally I get a response from TfL. They will, of course, refund my fares for the two days in question, however they can't unblock my card, but have escalated that. So four days later, my debit card is still unusable on the entire London network. Apparently, it's policy to summarily block a card if it fails a revenue inspection (that doesn't explain why it wasn't blocked the first time, or why they didn't even notify me on that occasion).

They seem to think I used different cards but 'cannot see the other unregistered card' but that's not so, but I always use the bloody watch and it only had two cards on it, both registered with TfL. The explanation, to be honest, didn't make much sense, I can't see how they can't know what card was used registered or not, they must have a transaction number and details to get the payment. Owing to a previous project I thought-leaded on, I am blessed with more knowledge about how credit card transactions are processed than I ever wanted to know

So around we go again, I've asked them to escalate it to whatever passes for their technical team. Evidently there's some issue between them and Southern. But anyway, short story is Apple (and I expect Android) Pay don't seem to work when there's a third party ticket check. Though that wouldn't exactly seem to be extreme circumstances considering that a fair proportion of the train network in London isn't run by TfL.
!nataS pihsroW

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21473 on: Yesterday at 12:08:02 am »
I think I would be making noise about accuracy of data under GDPR article 5! They have inaccurately blocked your card and it's their error which they should be fixing pronto and not faffing about with...

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: The RANT thread (often contains fruity language)
« Reply #21474 on: Yesterday at 09:54:30 am »
Indeed. But I've yet to escape the scripted confines of the 'customer services centre' so unless they escalate I expect I'll have to formally complain at some point since there's little point discussing this with someone who doesn't know how it is supposed to work. It's a simple question really: can I or can't use Apple Pay on the network?

It doesn't make any sense anyway, they know I've touched-in, so they must have a registered card, otherwise according to their own data policy, my personal details are unlinked so they couldn't know it was me.

Anyway, technical issues aside, they shouldn't have blocked the card – their only policies state you get charged the maximum fare if you fail to touch-in or touch-out. And I didn't fail a 'revenue inspection', it was merely the usual ticket check from the 'onboard train supervisor.' (I confess, I'd always thought the check was somehow real-time – though I have no idea how that would work! – but it seems they just file and check later).

Anyway, they need to sort out their shit.

!nataS pihsroW