Photo by Agent Akit
The Situation: I give my wife a TransLink card (pre clipper design) loaded with a Muni M Fast Past (Metro Only, $60 value) to use for her daily commute.
The Problem: On her third day of using it, a small crack occurs on the TransLink card, near (but not including) the chip. The card is now broken, and completely useless (doesn’t even fail when you tag it, nothing at all happens).
My Solution (hopefully): Go down to the Embarcadero Station and trade it in for a new card, and get the Fast Pass transferred. Seems like a logic and easy thing to do, given that this is the information age. Take the Fast Pass off of one card, add it to another, voila!
Reality: I head down to the station, and the agent at the desk tells me to go get a new Clipper card from the newsstand across the way, and contact Clipper Customer Support about transferring the Fast Pass. I am a bit frustrated that I have to call but I figure it should still be a cut and dry situation. When I called Clipper Customer Support, at first I am told that the balance on my card cannot be transferred to my new card until the old card has been “blocked” (or deactivated) for 24 hours. They then can move it to the new card.
Then the customer service agent realizes I am trying to transfer a Fast Pass, and not a cash balance. She informs me that she needs to block the original card, and then she can mail me a new card with my Fast Pass on it. This seems illogical given that I am holding a brand new card ready to go. Can’t use it at all.
Geoff said he talked to a very “calm and collected” supervisor at Clipper who said that their system cannot transfer Fast Passes from one card to another the way Geoff had expected this to work. It would take about three days to get a new card mailed to him. I’ve only transferred cash from one Clipper card to another and was also told that I had to wait for the new card in the mail. It took about a week to receive my new card. Since it was cash (and the service agents I talked to were pretty nice), it was a small inconvenience for me, but for riders with a Fast Pass on Clipper, should Clipper come up with a better way to replace your lost/damaged card?