Official MSE guide discussion: Oyster and contactless card refunds from TfL

MSE_Kelvin
MSE_Kelvin Posts: 331
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MSE Staff
edited 5 July 2022 at 6:51PM in Public transport & cycling
Hello there forumites,

I was updating the Oyster card and contactless cards refunds from TfL guide and noticed the original forum thread for it had closed, so I've created a new one.

Please use it to discuss all things related to reclaiming money lying around on old cards, getting refunds for delays and reclaiming for overcharges.

Let us know of any success you have, and if there's anything missing from the guide you think should be in there.

Yours in MoneySaving,

MSE Kelvin :)

Comments

  • spenderdave
    spenderdave Posts: 665
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    Not mentioned, but if you are delayed on a journey and it takes over their 'maximum journey time' (differs for different routes) you will be charged two maximum fares (ie about £16) as it treats it as two uncompleted journeys. Claim the same way via website or phone.
  • Having read the post on MSE about reclaiming any outstanding balance on Oyster Cards, I contacted TFL by email to do so. To communicate with me they replied that I send proof of my identity (choices from an extensive list) so I sent a copy of my passport, a copy of my current council tax bill and a photo of the back of my oyster card. They then replied asking that I telephone them (which I had been trying to avoid)  in order that I provide my bank account details. So I rang, waited in a queue for 30 minutes, and gave the reference number of my dealings with them. They then asked that I confirm my name, address and postcode to further confirm my identity. Only then did they proceed in dealing with my enquiry by asking for my bank details. I pointed out my concerns about the potential for identity theft, given the amount of personal data and documentation I had been required to provide via open email and the telephone and the answer I got was not really very specific or re-assuring. 
  • swabaxter
    swabaxter Posts: 43
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    It does seem that TFL are not being very pro-active in these matters. I'd like to recommend using Apple Pay instead but after five years of faultless performance, I have now encountered a problem with First Bus. The danger can be that the vendor can take unauthorised payments from the customer. The temporary measure I have taken is to deplete my bank account balance to only £8 (versus a maximum daily charge of £5) and I fear this might be required medium term in case more rogue software is introduced in future. 
  • I've tried completing the online form to ask for a refund for two oyster cards that were purchased around 2016/17 but having been told there are no monies owing on either (despite paying £5 deposit for each), TFL are now saying I can only have a refund if I can provide the original receipt for both cards, which being so long ago I can't. Surely they can tell from the individual card number if a deposit was paid when purchased and whether the card has subsequently been cancelled and the deposit already refunded? 
  • JGB1955
    JGB1955 Posts: 3,432
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    XP300EXP said:
    I've tried completing the online form to ask for a refund for two oyster cards that were purchased around 2016/17 but having been told there are no monies owing on either (despite paying £5 deposit for each), TFL are now saying I can only have a refund if I can provide the original receipt for both cards, which being so long ago I can't. Surely they can tell from the individual card number if a deposit was paid when purchased and whether the card has subsequently been cancelled and the deposit already refunded? 
    Mine are so old that we never paid a deposit!  Sorry - that doesn't help with your problem.  As an(other) aside - I have kept my Oyster Card as I can link my Senior Railcard to it and get 33% discount on TfL fares.  Don't think you can do that if you pay by debit card....
    #2 Saving for Christmas 2024 - £1 a day challenge. £131 of £366
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,949
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    XP300EXP said:
    I've tried completing the online form to ask for a refund for two oyster cards that were purchased around 2016/17 but having been told there are no monies owing on either (despite paying £5 deposit for each), TFL are now saying I can only have a refund if I can provide the original receipt for both cards, which being so long ago I can't. Surely they can tell from the individual card number if a deposit was paid when purchased and whether the card has subsequently been cancelled and the deposit already refunded? 
    Can't you access that info from your online account, assuming you registered them?
    You can also get a deposit refund (plus any unused credit if applicable) from a TfL ticket machine.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • I tried to register the cards on an online account but it said because they hadn't been used recently (within the last eight weeks I think) this wasn't possible. We travel to London once in a blue moon and Tfl seem to be trying to thwart all my attempts of a refund. Next time we do visit the capital I will try your suggestion of a ticket machine instead.
  • XP300EXP said:
    I tried to register the cards on an online account but it said because they hadn't been used recently (within the last eight weeks I think) this wasn't possible. We travel to London once in a blue moon and Tfl seem to be trying to thwart all my attempts of a refund. Next time we do visit the capital I will try your suggestion of a ticket machine instead.
    Sell them as working cards on eBay/gumtree/preloved instead? Given that new cards now cost £7 (non-returnable) then you should get a few quid (just be honest that you don't know the balances and can't check.)  Would ship well abroad (just make sure you charge enough for registered international postage, send them inside a greeting card).

    If they are pre-deposit issue they are also old enough to be sort-of collectible as well, worth mentioning that.

    Could also lend them to someone coming to London or who is in London to check them out (post them)
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