Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Monday, August 29, 2016
Kingston and Richmond bus users could have payed out of hundreds of pounds unnecessarily after being charged full fare for free buses — and Transport for London knew it was happening.
The 65 and 371 routes from Petersham Road, between Sandy Lane and Star and Garter Hill, and into Kingston have been diverted or cancelled because of utility works that started on July 31.
Three replacement services, the 565, 571 and 572, are running in their place.
The TfL replacement buses are advertised as free during the five week-long roadworks and posters state: "Passengers will still need to tap in but will not be charged."
But anyone using a contactless Visa card instead of an Oyster card will see the full £1.50 fare come from their account.
Siobhan Pestano, who was travelling to Kingston from Ham, noticed she had been charged after boarding the 371 replacement.
She said: "When I noticed the money had come out of my bank account I rang TfL to complain and was told that it was because I'd used my [Visa] card and not an Oyster.
"Well that really set me off because they knew it was happening. I was completely furious.
"Why are there no posters saying 'Oysters only' if they know other cards will be charged.
"These works are happening in the summer holidays when families tend to use the buses much more.
"There will be people who can't afford the charge if they were expecting not to pay.
"Others will not have time to call up TfL for a refund."
Anyone using a contactless payment card twice a day, five days a week on the supposedly free routes would be eligible for a £75 refund after the five weeks of works. TfL cap all bus journeys in London at £4.40.
Emma Smith also found she had been charged when she used her contactless card on the 565 route. She claims she spent 15 minutes on hold to TfL before giving up on getting a refund.
She said: "It was only £3 so I just thought it wasn't worth my time in the end.
"But I bet there are a lot of people using the buses everyday that are racking up a fortune."
A spokesman for TfL said passengers were asked to tap in for security and data collection purposes.
He added: "We appreciate this matter being drawn to our attention.
"We’re looking into it, but in the meantime customers concerned they have been charged should contact our customer services on 0343 222 1234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org."
Sunday, August 28, 2016
So here we have it, a non domiciled tax avoiding company using the odd bedfellows of Goldman Sachs and Saudi Arabia to fund a financial model that exploits the drivers and the benefit system this company contributes virtually nothing to, to crush all others in the market and when the desired monopoly exists to gouge the passenger.
Otherwise, there would be no other point to it all...would there?
Of course any kind of regulatory requirement to provide safety, adequate insurance or the ability to communicate to a standard, brings forth a lobbying effort and social media campaign on a massive scale, the same story repeats itself over and over worldwide.
So what's to do?
1. The driver of this vehicle is likely to be earning less that the minimum wage, driving hours way beyond safe limits.
2. The company you are travelling with is losing billions to subsidise fares to destroy legitimate British tax paying businesses, their intentions are obvious.
3. You might be saving a few pounds today but if they succeed in their plans your ride will inevitably cost much more and you will have NO choice but to pay up.
'Think about it' !
Of course 90% won't give a monkeys, but some will at least pause and it may change their behaviour.
Every percentage counts and we are targeting the right audience.
I wil be asking my union to get behind this, ask yours please?