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Seek a refund from ACTION for overcharging

By etasatfs - 14 October 2014 15

I have just been in contact with ACTION due to my card being overcharged for some transactions – depending upon the timing of you tagging on vs when the bus changes over route numbers at the start of / end of a route or turnaround on a route, the system thinks that you are on a different bus to the one you started on and charges you a default penalty fee.

It is possible to ‘tag on’ to a bus when it is one route number, and a different route number by the time you tag off without you getting on a new bus.

The way this is then treated by ACTION’s terminal is as though you failed to ‘tag off’ the first route number, so it forces a tag off from the first route number in the computer system, and ‘transfers’ you onto the second route number. Because it is doing this as you are physically getting off the bus, the next time that you tag onto a bus, you get a default fare penalty for not having tagged off your previous bus (currently a $1.66 default charge for an adult user).

This happened to every person on the bus I was on last Thursday for my morning commute.

I accessed the myWay history online and was able to identify transactions going back to January 2013 where this has occurred.

I emailed myway@act.gov.au with a list of the offending transactions and was rewarded with a prompt phone-call back and reimbursement of my money onto my card. I have also asked them to look into fixing the problem so it does not continue to occur.

It is probably worth your while to log onto your myWay history and look for ‘Transfers’. If this has happened to you, you will see a ‘transfer’ at the time you got off the bus, and then on your next journey of the day there will be a ‘synthetic tap off’ with a Default fare applied (the $1.66 penalty for me), and then a normal tap on.

It is not a large amount of money individually and it has not happened very often ($1.66 currently every time this happens), but I wonder how many other people this is happening to and what the total amount would add up to? Default fares have been around since 2013.

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15 Responses to
Seek a refund from ACTION for overcharging
etasatfs 10:58 am 19 Nov 14

An example where I have asked ACTION whether this would happen every time. Get on the 200 Rapid at Civic, if it is still marked as on the part of the service up to arrival in Civic, it is the 200S, then changes to the 200N. You get charged the ‘synthetic tap off’ and default fare.

So if you got on the bus a stop or two before Civic (200S), and then got off at Gungahlin (say) (200N), would you be charged the default fare every time?

Alderney 9:25 am 18 Oct 14

I’ve submitted an online form this morning to claim refund for an overcharge. The myway machine on my bus to work on Friday was working at Calwell but not at Woden. So I’ve been charged the default fare.

I’ll fill you all in on the outcome and how long it takes to resolve.

JC 11:57 pm 17 Oct 14

Innovation said :

I doubt that ACTION will want to fix the system either as it probably costs tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and at the moment there is windfall revenue from those passengers who don’t realise they are being overcharged or can’t be bothered spending the time fixing it.

The windfall would be so small it isn’t funny. What is being described would be very rare indeed.

Innovation 5:20 pm 17 Oct 14

If ACTION records the bus ID why can’t the system be fixed so that passengers are not penalised when the route changes (but the bus ID remains the same)?

ACTION and the Government all carry on about how their routes have to meander all over the place “because most passengers don’t like changing buses” and yet here is a system that requires passengers to get off mid transit – or at least get up and tag off and then get up again and tag on once the route number has changed.

I doubt that ACTION will want to fix the system either as it probably costs tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and at the moment there is windfall revenue from those passengers who don’t realise they are being overcharged or can’t be bothered spending the time fixing it.

Kalliste 11:29 am 17 Oct 14

JC said :

aleayr said :

JC said :

PS how do you know from route planner that it is the same bus?

Google Maps/Transit tells you. Action provides the bus ID as part of the route information it makes available to Google.

Here’s a link to the route BlackLine was talking about (You’ll see the text, ‘Continue on the same vehicle’):
https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/Lewis+Luxton+Ave,+Gordon+ACT+2906/1+National+Circuit,+Barton+ACT+2600/@-35.3425297,149.115676,10z/am=t/data=!3m1!4b1!4m18!4m17!1m5!1m1!1s0x6b17cadeb457931f:0x6c66744c4adb6ebd!2m2!1d149.0886651!2d-35.4500405!1m5!1m1!1s0x6b164d1e85608345:0xd539042bbe3278a3!2m2!1d149.132176!2d-35.305853!2m3!6e5!7e2!8j1413444900!3e3

So it does, never seen that before. But of course the passengers should be getting off, or at the very least tagging to transfer bus. It only needs to be done once.

I think the issue is more that people are getting off the bus and tagging off, but the driver has already changed the route details so it appears as though they are tagging onto a different bus without tagging off.

So what needs to happen is for the driver to confirm everyone is off the bus before changing route details.

Leon said :

Canfan said :

ACTION can confirm that this extra charging has not been occurring as a matter of course and it is not a system error. It can only occur if a passenger tags on to a bus service before the driver has changed the route on the MyWay system to the next trip on their shift. In these cases ACTION will refund the passengers’ money and remind the driver of the correct process.”

Will this $1.66 refund happen automatically, or will bus passengers have to spend more than $1.66 of their time to identify the overcharging, report it and arrange for the refund?

From history, no it doesn’t happen automatically.. when I tried the first time they wanted me to fill out a form to get a refund even though they could see from my transaction history that I’d been charged incorrectly.

Needless to say, I didn’t bother, which is probably what they’re hoping for. However, the process could have changed now.

Leon 10:41 am 17 Oct 14

Canfan said :

ACTION can confirm that this extra charging has not been occurring as a matter of course and it is not a system error. It can only occur if a passenger tags on to a bus service before the driver has changed the route on the MyWay system to the next trip on their shift. In these cases ACTION will refund the passengers’ money and remind the driver of the correct process.”

Will this $1.66 refund happen automatically, or will bus passengers have to spend more than $1.66 of their time to identify the overcharging, report it and arrange for the refund?

JC 9:23 pm 16 Oct 14

aleayr said :

JC said :

PS how do you know from route planner that it is the same bus?

Google Maps/Transit tells you. Action provides the bus ID as part of the route information it makes available to Google.

Here’s a link to the route BlackLine was talking about (You’ll see the text, ‘Continue on the same vehicle’):
https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/Lewis+Luxton+Ave,+Gordon+ACT+2906/1+National+Circuit,+Barton+ACT+2600/@-35.3425297,149.115676,10z/am=t/data=!3m1!4b1!4m18!4m17!1m5!1m1!1s0x6b17cadeb457931f:0x6c66744c4adb6ebd!2m2!1d149.0886651!2d-35.4500405!1m5!1m1!1s0x6b164d1e85608345:0xd539042bbe3278a3!2m2!1d149.132176!2d-35.305853!2m3!6e5!7e2!8j1413444900!3e3

So it does, never seen that before. But of course the passengers should be getting off, or at the very least tagging to transfer bus. It only needs to be done once.

aleayr 11:17 pm 15 Oct 14

JC said :

PS how do you know from route planner that it is the same bus?

Google Maps/Transit tells you. Action provides the bus ID as part of the route information it makes available to Google.

Here’s a link to the route BlackLine was talking about (You’ll see the text, ‘Continue on the same vehicle’):
https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/Lewis+Luxton+Ave,+Gordon+ACT+2906/1+National+Circuit,+Barton+ACT+2600/@-35.3425297,149.115676,10z/am=t/data=!3m1!4b1!4m18!4m17!1m5!1m1!1s0x6b17cadeb457931f:0x6c66744c4adb6ebd!2m2!1d149.0886651!2d-35.4500405!1m5!1m1!1s0x6b164d1e85608345:0xd539042bbe3278a3!2m2!1d149.132176!2d-35.305853!2m3!6e5!7e2!8j1413444900!3e3

JC 9:52 pm 15 Oct 14

BlackLine said :

JC was asking for an example of where a bus changes route number mid route or where you can stay on when it reaches a terminus.

Here’s one: using ACTION’s Transit Trip Planner on its website
for a trip from Lewis Luxton Ave, Gordon to 1 National Circuit Barton arriving by 7:35 am on a weekday, Google maps shows that you can catch:

Bus 18 towards South
11 min (20 stops)

Continue on the same vehicle – it changes route number from 18 to 775 at Lanyon terminus

Bus 775 towards North.
22 min (9 stops)

Not a good example, it is not changing mid route. You even said where it changes route which is at a terminus. All passengers should get off the bus at the terminus, even if that bus is then continuing on elsewhere as a different route. Besides I wouldn’t think it to be a very common occurrence.

PS how do you know from route planner that it is the same bus?

BlackLine 4:09 pm 15 Oct 14

JC was asking for an example of where a bus changes route number mid route or where you can stay on when it reaches a terminus.

Here’s one: using ACTION’s Transit Trip Planner on its website
for a trip from Lewis Luxton Ave, Gordon to 1 National Circuit Barton arriving by 7:35 am on a weekday, Google maps shows that you can catch:

Bus 18 towards South
11 min (20 stops)

Continue on the same vehicle – it changes route number from 18 to 775 at Lanyon terminus

Bus 775 towards North.
22 min (9 stops)

etasatfs 11:30 am 15 Oct 14

I am not sure how you can label it as disturbing that I saw the same error occur for other users as they were tagging off.

The bus that I was on was terminating at Civic Interchange prior to presumably starting off on a new route number. Prior to my tagging off, I suppose that the route number changed such that it took me as transferring onto a different bus to the one I started on. Whether that was due to the bus driver hitting a button to confirm they were going on to the next route or not I do not know.

The error is pretty obvious once you know what to look for – the yellow light will flash to show a default fare being applied.
http://www.transport.act.gov.au/catch_a_bus/myway/how_does_myway_work

The occasions on which it has happened to me are ones when I have tagged on correctly at my residential bus-stop, and then been ‘transferred’ to a new bus route at the civic interchange, or when I have tagged on at the city interchange to one route number, and tagged off onto a different route number when I have gotten off the bus near my house.

ACTION should be ensuring that their drivers check that everyone is tagged OFF the bus before allowing it to move on to the next route number, or vice-versa, that they are on the route number they will be travelling BEFORE people tag on.

Canfan 8:49 am 15 Oct 14

UPDATE – we have been in contact with the ministers office. They have given us the following response –

“ACTION can confirm that this extra charging has not been occurring as a matter of course and it is not a system error. It can only occur if a passenger tags on to a bus service before the driver has changed the route on the MyWay system to the next trip on their shift. In these cases ACTION will refund the passengers’ money and remind the driver of the correct process.

ACTION does not have any routes that change whilst passengers are on the bus (this practice can happen in other jurisdictions).”

JC 11:38 pm 14 Oct 14

I am curious about something. Can you give an example of where a bus changes route number mid route or where you can stay on when it reaches a terminus?

What your explaining just doesn’t make sense to me. I;ve had other issues though and Action fixed them too, but just don’t understand how your issue can even happen, let alone happen to EVERYONE on the bus last Thursday. Even more disturbing is how you know that.

joingler 8:13 pm 14 Oct 14

Yeah I’ve had issues in the past and ACTION have been great at fixing it

bigred 5:43 pm 14 Oct 14

Had a few strange transactions on my card. ACTION are really good at fixing the transactions.

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