Myki Ticketing in Melbourne

21 09 2010

So after a long hiatus, I’m back with yet another rant. This time it relates to the Myki ticketing system which is now “running” on Melbourne’s public transport system. I put “running” in quotation marks, because as everyone knows, it’s not really running in the proper sense. It has merely been rushed out to give the impression it is running before the upcoming state elections, but more on that another time. For now, a warning…

Always get a receipt (and keep it) from the Myki top-up machines when you put money into your Myki ticket! Luckily, I always had done this, mainly because of my paranoia as an I.T. person knowing how systems go when they are released without proper testing (and in this case also a lack of planning, analysis, design, implementation and maintenance – heck the whole Myki system from start to “finish” has gone completely against the basic fundamentals of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)).

Anyway, my paranoia turned out to be correct. I was indeed over-charged by the Myki system a few weeks ago, after which I called the Myki help line, and told them I had been overcharged. It must have been a common occurence, as the person on the other end of the phone didn’t seem at all surprised, and very quickly reimbursed the overcharged amount to my account.

A few days ago, I put money into my Myki account using a top-up machine, went on my trip, made sure I did the usual touch-on / touch-off as instructed on the endless Myki advertising material, and on touching-off, I was again overcharged, but this time by an even higher margin. Given that the Myki website seems to be taking 24-48 hours to update the transaction history, I waited a few days, and today when checking it out, those travel transactions and the record of the top-up weren’t even listed at all. Luckily, I kept all the Myki receipts, and called up their help line once again.

The person on the other end of the line this time first tried to double check that I had indeed traveled on that day and not the day before or after (since he too couldn’t see any record of the transactions), whereupon I informed him that I still have the receipt for the top-up transaction and can provide him with the receipt number if required, whereupon he put me on hold while he checked “another system”. He came back saying that he found the record of the top-up and of the travel, and it all seems fine. After I then told him where exactly I had traveled, it turned out the location of my touch-on and touch-off was recorded as being in completely different locations, so the system automatically charged me for a higher ticket. Anyway, the problem should now be rectified. Apparently the next time I touch-on, my Myki will automatically be reimbursed by the amount I was overcharged. Let’s wait and see if that is actually the case.

Anyway, in summary, always keep an eye on transaction totals and remaining amounts on your Myki as you touch-off, and always keep your receipts, as the Myki system seems incapable of retaining accurate records, and also incapable of accurately reporting locations to a level required for accurate billing. I wonder just how many extra dollars are going into the accounts of Myki due to their errors and people not noticing?

Myki Top-Up Machine




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