Nightmare trying to buy 3 Oyster cards!

Posted on Updated on

Next week is the half term holiday, so we have decided to spend a couple of days in London – plenty to do and a bit of a break without breaking the bank! My wife hit upon a great idea to make the visit run a bit smoother – getting Oyster cards for London Transport.

The cards can be topped up on a ‘pay as you go’ basis and the credit lasts for a couple of years, so it is a no brainer. They can be ordered on-line and delivered by post, so we would have them ready for our visit if we ordered them a week or so before. So on Sunday evening we went onto the Transport for London (TFL) website to order 3 cards (Sam being 13 is still only £2 a day so we do not need one for him yet).

So this all seemed pretty straight forward, two cards were ordered in short order and then we started setting up the third – only for the purchase to fail at the payment stage. It told us the address didn’t match the credit card details (it did) or that the name was wrong (it wasn’t), so please contact your card provider.

So off I went on the phone to India (Visa call centre), a very unhelpful gentleman who was intent on talking over me told me it was not their problem and they had 15 approved payments! Having tried to get him to answer my actual question -” is there any reason why Visa are not approving my purchase” – I eventually asked to speak to a supervisor. He apparently was busy but would call me back within 3 hours – that was 3 days ago so I don’t hold out much hope! That is customer service at its best – NOT!

Anyway next stop was the TFL help desk, who were very helpful (well done TFL) but apparently their system is very sensitive to fraud and more than two purchases is classed as fraud! I was told to wait 24 hours and try again. OK, but why doesn’t the website have this little nugget of information on it? It would have saved me a call to the gentleman in India and a lot of stress!

24 hours later same problem, so I rang and tried to buy a card in ‘person’. I gave the very helpful lady at the end of the phone my account details (including security passwords) so that a new card could be added to my account. Surely this should be easy, I couldn’t be classed as fraudulent here could I?

Errrr… yes I can – purchase failed again! Please try again in 24 to 48 hours – or buy one on the platform when you arrive (exactly what we were trying to avoid!)

Now I am all for secure systems, I have had my card cloned once and don’t want to go there again. But surely stopping credit card fraud is down to the card provider and not the retailer? I will now wait 48 hours, but if it fails again will have no option other than to join the queue I was looking to avoid in the first place!

UPDATE 22.10.10

Well today I tried again having left it more than 48 hours since my last attempt to buy the card. Unfortunately it failed again, I have now given up and will order daily passes for my daughter to use while we are there. I have no intention of joining the queues for cards in London!


Password Fun!

Posted on

The Daily Telegraph has today published the 10 most common passwords that people use on their PC’s. Looking at the list it amazes me how lacking in imagination some people must be – and how trusting they are of other people!

The list is as follows;

1. 123456

2. 12345

3. 123456789

4. Password

5. iloveyou

6. princess

7. rockyou

8. 1234567

9. 12345678

10. abc123

I have a large list of passwords and I have to keep them in an encrypted password manager, possibly thats a bit ‘anal’ but I can always find my passwords and am in no danger of giving them away. Lets hope that the above passwords are not from anyone at the MOD or NHS!

Perhaps its time for people to take more care with their personal data, there is so much ‘out there’ on the web now. So as they said on Hill Street Blues – let’s be careful out there!