Monday, January 30, 2017

Tried to load my Presto card online. Transaction failed. Tried again from my phone - failed. Cleared the cache on my PC - failed. Now TD VISA has locked me out of my account and... oh, Presto load machines are still failing

It's my husband's card but I got the automated phone call (odd ?). I'm just a supplementary card holder. So, they won't talk to me until I get a hold of him to call in.

I then tried again using my TD bank card and got a message that my card is not set up for Interac online transactions. Pardon? Yes it is!

Anyway, I called Presto. It took an astonishing eight minutes of pressing keys and listening to pre-recorded messages before I was connected to an agent.

Agent was pleasant and said there were some notes about online transactions issues over the weekend. Unfortunately, he could not tell me why Moneris wasn't processing the amount. It was suggested I try to load the card in person, not that I have any other option... 

In more Presto news, I received two more emails in addition from the one from a Twitter user showing a Presto load where two additional zeros were added to the amount the person tried to load onto his Presto card.

The two emails are from the same cardholder who used two different Presto load machines. One at Queen's Park and one at College - both TTC subway locations.

And it's not just happening at machines in TTC subway stations. This transaction failed at Union Station and was posted to Twitter by someone who follows me.

You would think that Presto would take these machines out of service or upload a message? Or put a notice on their website? Nope.

Anyway... having reached out to a senior analyst at Presto about this, I can confirm that it's a software error and a patch from the manufacturer of the machines is on its way. I have been assured that the amounts aren't being deducted from bank accounts. On Twitter, I asked for cardholders to send me proof where the transactions with the extra zeros did go through, by scanning or emailing bank statements. I haven't received any.

It shouldn't have taken tweets and emails from me, and others, to get an official answer about this. Presto needs to step up their website's communication methods. I'm pretty sure Twitter is not the best way to communicate with cardholders. Cardholders will try a website first, before they try Twitter. Even the PRESTO card Facebook page makes no mention of this issue, for crying out loud.

A CONE OF SILENCE is not how you operate the business for a fare card that supports almost every transit agency in the GTA.

Guys! Please. Can we get it together here?


Unknown said...

I won't use the self-load machines. All because of these stories. Plus, I had a horrible experience with online loading that I haven't used it in years. Pretty much gun shy with all these automatic loading systems.

If they are expecting riders to stop using the agents to load up their cards, they need to get their acts together.

I won't switch to an automatic system until I know I won't be screwed over financially.

Skin Man said...

What Squiggles said!

Sylv said...

I used to be set up for automatic loads, but then my credit card expiry date changed and the system fell apart. I kept loading money, it kept showing me a negative balance. Aha, I thought, I'll just get a new card and deal with later (I didn't want to have to buy single ride tickets all the time).

I got rid of card no. 1, and started using card no. 2. After a few weeks, card no. 1 had a positive balance, but I no longer had the card. Now, I cannot transfer the funds from the old card to card no. 2 and I have no way to get at the funds from card no. 1! I have called Presto, but apparently it is not possible (but I point out that I can do this with my Tim cards!)

Sorry, rant over.

Outburst said...

Am I seeing things or does it have a load value of $25.00 up top and $2500.00 at the bottom?

gmcnewlook said...

@sylv i can do this with starbucks as well... why cant presto?

Rory said...

Since I mostly use the TTC these days I'm just going to keep using tokens until they physically force me to start using PRESTO. I see no advantage to becoming an early adopter considering all the glitches their system seems to be having. I don't know why they keep having these problems though. Other jurisdictions have been using reloadable cards for decades with relatively few problems, I don't know why Ontario can't seem to get its act together.

G said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that it cost Starbucks and Tim Horton's less than $700 million to implement their systems. And what do we get for this premium price? A shockingly bad product. Imagine if Presto's programmers were responsible for programming the medical equipment that injects drugs into your IV, or sets the amount of radiation exposure you get during an X-ray, and they made a calculation that was 100x off the mark. Ridiculous.

Unknown said...

This is why I refuse to do on line or machine top ups. I go to the ticket agent at my station, Brampton, or to the adjacent bus terminal and do it in person. She has never charged me $5000 for a 50.00 top up.

It would be so much better to use Tim's cards. Then I could carry one less card and be sure that it would work.

Anonymous said...

We are all aware the Presto loading system hasn't worked right since day one. Avoid the aggravation and load your card at the Presto counter (they're pretty empty).

Anonymous said...

It won't work for me either. Thank god there is a Shopper's drugmart down my street. I can top my card from Shoppers. I haven't called in to ask why it won't accept my card.