Friday, May 29, 2015

Oh Presto, you never fail to let somebody down

date:Mon, May 18, 2015 at 6:36 PM
subject:My GO / Presto Story

Hi CJ,

My wife and I make the return trip on the GO train from Georgetown or Milton to Union Station twice a week, and then TTC subway to our respective offices.  Waterloo is my other office.  We both use Presto cards, and both of us take advantage of the auto-reload feature.  In my case, when my Presto balance dips down to $40, my card is reloaded with another $100.00.  This $100.00 charge is debited to my corporate credit card, which I must then claim as an expense.

As with any responsible corporation, expenses are difficult to claim without receipts or some proof of payment.  Yet, Presto continues to be unable to automatically provide (via email) a receipt every time they hit me with another $100.00.  So far, I’ve been lucky in just printing off my Presto transaction register for the month, highlighting the $100.00 charges, and submitting that as a receipt.  But, on more than one occasion, the expense audit police gave me a rough time, since it’s not official proof of payment.  I’ve emailed and called Presto several times over the years, and have received vague promises with no result.  I thought I’d email you with this story, since I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who has to endure this challenge.  I’m a senior technology guy, so I can actually envision the process that Presto can follow to automatically email a receipt.  I’m still astounded that they can’t.

I must say, I love your blog.  The stories are informative and entertaining.  I think it helps to look at our GO and TTC systems as something that actually has experiential impact on people’s lives.

- SH


Anonymous said...

I have the exact same problem. Occasionally I have to travel downtown for work and get reimbursed by my employer for my transportation when I work away from my home office outside Toronto. I have no way of getting an "official" receipt besides printing out my transaction summary online. Not really ideal for audit purposes!

Warren Downe said...

SH, how did you submit your travel expenses before PRESTO?

Given that you're running afoul of your internal auditors, why not buy paper tickets or day passes before boarding the train? Once your company's accountants realize your compliance with corporate policy is costing them money (10%+), they may be open to cutting you some slack.

Just my $0.02.

Anonymous said...

Warren: Before acquiring a Presto card, I did buy paper tickets. But, that got to be too much of a hassle, since I would have to expense each ticket individually. There was no other way. Unfortunately, our auditors focus on process, not cost, so they would have no interest in anything that is cheaper.

It still astounds me that Presto can't figure this out. They have my credit card number, since they charge it, and my email address since that's in my profile. Why can't they assemble a receipt and email it to me? Its not rocket science!



Warren Downe said...

Until recently, only GO Train Service Guarantee refunds could be credited to one's PRESTO ePurse; all others were handled via a paper credit voucher. If you go to the PRESTO user interface for Autoload management, does it tell you elementary information like the type of credit card you are using, the last four digits, and the expiry date? No. So, this is who we are dealing with. It *is* rocket science to them. High school students can do better.

As for expensing each ticket individually, well, no disrespect to your accounting department, but ... Oh, never mind. ;-)


kippernbernie said...

your audit people need to come up with a policy then .... all presto users have this issue