Ticket for “Out of Service” Clipper Card Reader on Muni

muni defective clipper reader memo

You’ve probably heard Heather’s story before: Fare inspectors issuing a ticket when the Clipper Card reader wasn’t working. Heather attached a memo from the SFMTA (seen above) that says passengers can ride without paying when the Clipper Card reader is not working. After hearing so many of these stories, I think it’s probably worth walking to the front of the bus to try the Clipper Card reader there.

Have you successfully contested a similar ticket before?

Here’s Heather’s story.
Read more

Clipper Card Reader Tagged the Wrong Time?

Photo by Agent Akit

Have you gotten a ticket because the Clipper card reader tagged the wrong time? One of our readers said this happened to him, and he wasn’t able to fight the fine. Read Sean R.’s account.

A few weeks ago my wife and a friend of ours boarded Muni at about 5:45 p.m. in the Inner Sunset. When they got off at Civic Center a little after 6 p.m., they were stopped by fare inspectors who scanned their Clipper cards. It was then that they were told the system registered them having boarded at 4 p.m., and that they’d be issued a ticket for riding with an expired fare.

Their well-documented petition was denied, and to even fight it they have to pay the $103 fine.

If this has happened to you, were you able to petition the ticket? Let us know what happened.

Ghost of a Two-Year-Old Clipper Charge

Photo by Sam Churchill

Rider Ted received a surprising email from Clipper the other morning saying that he was to be charged with a 2010 transaction that Clipper was unable to process at the time. Confusion ensued. One Clipper agent tole him that they only keep 60 days of transaction history, and another told him they would send him his entire ride history. Why is Clipper charging Ted for something that happened in 2010?

A week later, he did receive an extended ride history back to 2010. Here’s what he found out:

After double checking things they did in fact credit my account the auto load amount like they said. However they never charged the associated debit account for it and my bank records reflect this. So they were right about the charges after all.

The way they went about trying to collect it really rubbed me the wrong way; especially after such an extended period of time.

At this time I still haven’t been able to get an explanation as to why the charge never went though back in December 2010 from anybody at Clipper.

I still haven’t been charged the $35 like they said they were going to in the original e-mail. We’re coming up on two weeks after the [payment] deadline they set. I submitted a protest of the charges before I received my ride history, so maybe that’s holding up the process. I also haven’t been contacted by anybody at Clipper since the e-mail with my ride history.

How very Kafka-esque. Has anyone else seen old charges come up on their Clipper card?

Software Glitch Causes Clipper Double Charge

Photo by Lydia Chow

Update: Clipper vigilante Akit points to a post on his site from June of this year describing more or less the exact situation that Danielle (below) found herself in. Danielle’s story came to us in late October, proof that Clipper’s response to this glitch has been lethargic at best.

Original post: Rider Danielle noticed a double charge on her Clipper card history when she transferred from Muni to BART and then back on Muni within the 90-minute time period.

It’s possible everyone’s been aware of this for ages, but I feel like a sucker for just noticing now: using Clipper on BART voids a Muni transfer.

I don’t use Muni quite often enough in a month to warrant buying a transit pass, so all that’s on my card is cash value. If I take a muni bus to BART, get off after a few stops and then transfer back on Muni, I’m charged for the second bus ride, even if I board within the 90 minutes of buying the original muni transfer.

We contacted SFMTA and found out that there is indeed a software glitch that caused the double charge. “Currently the Clipper system prioritizes the Muni to BART (within San Francisco) transfer discount ($.25) over the Muni 90-minute transfer,” SFMTA’s Kristen Holland told us. In other words, if you take Muni to BART within San Francisco like Danielle did, and get back on Muni within 90 minutes, you would lose your 90-minute transfer.

Holland said that the SFMTA is working with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (which operates Clipper) to resolve the software issue. Meanwhile, you can get a refund for the double charge.

“The Clipper Customer Service Bureau has the authorization to provide refunds when this happens. We expect Clipper to have a fix for this problem early next year,” Holland said.

Check the Clipper Customer Service information for how to get a reimbursement.

Clipper Card Email Address Leak

Rider Nathan D. received an email this morning from Clipper Card customer service that revealed the email address of more than 1,700 other customers. This was an error from a Clipper employee this morning, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission told the San Francisco Chronicle that they are making sure such mistakes don’t happen again. More from Nathan:

This morning I got an email from Clipper telling me that my credit card was about to expire. There’s nothing particularly unusual about this aside from the fact that this same email was sent to 1756 other Clipper customersby simply populating the CC field of the message header, effectively broadcasting a massive list of private addresses to a whole lot of people who have no business knowing them.

Nathan forwarded us the email, which we’ve attached above. The body of the email from Clipper Card customer service simply said:

Dear Clipper Cardholder,

We first would like to thank you for your support of the Clipper (formerly TransLink) program. According to our records, the credit card information we currently have on file for the Autoload on your Clipper Card is due to expire in December. To avoid any disruption of services, simply update your credit card / banking details online at www.clippercard.com by following these steps…

Well, good thing Nathan’s credit card number wasn’t in the email or anything. This certainly doesn’t help matters, knowing that some riders are already wary of potential privacy issues with Clipper cards. The MTC spokesperson said he is drafting an apology, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Did you receive the same email this morning? And how do you protect your email addresses on the internet?

1 2 3 4 6