I recently found fraudulent transactions on my credit card, and it was cancelled and my bank issued me a new one. I thought I had changed the few automatic payments I had set up, but I had overlooked myki. I had my myki set up to automatically top up with credit from my credit card when it fell below $10. Now I’m stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare of having a blocked myki card that will take days to fix. In the meantime I have to buy Metcards.

Myki tried to obtain payment from the credit card that was stored in my online myki account. That card has been cancelled so of course the process failed. I was alerted by an email:

Your myki money balance has reached the minimum threshold you set previously. However, auto top up was unable to be processed due to your bank account or credit card details not being verified by your bank. As a result, your myki has been temporarily suspended and is not valid for travel.

Fair enough I suppose, but harsh in that it does not allow me to use the remaining credit on my myki account.

What happens when you make a payment to myki online via a credit card is that myki advances into your account credit equal to the amount of the requested payment BEFORE it receives that payment from your bank. So myki advanced me $50 credit, then failed when it tried to recoup that $50 from my cancelled credit card. It therefore had to block my card to stop me using the credit that it had advanced me.

Then the email says:

Please call us on call 13 6954 (13 myki) between 6am and 12 midnight, 7 days a week, to confirm your bank account or credit card details and complete the transaction.

This is ridiculous. Why can’t I simply log in, add my new card details and make a manual payment to complete the transaction and unblock my card? The myki system does not allow this because it was designed by morons. I called the number to find out the situation is even more complicated and less helpful than the email reveals.

I was not allowed to provide the details over the phone to complete the transaction and get my card unblocked. The email is therefore misleading. I was told that my online account would be frozen for approximately 24 hours, after which I could log on and add my new card and make a payment. But that would only deal with the payment.

Unblocking a myki card is another matter. To unblock it I would have to post my card into the myki head office so they could swipe it through their machine to unblock it. I have to wait for my card to be sent back in the post over the new year, which will take days. The email says nothing about this.

Myki staff claim that unblocking cannot be done electronically or remotely. I simply don’t believe them. If they can block a card automatically then surely it can be undone in the same manner.

Even if this is a genuine technical flaw, why can’t they have an office in the CBD where you can go to have it processed on the spot? I was told that, when myki is ‘fully implemented’, this may be ‘a possibility’. This is simply unacceptable.

They’ve known about this problem for over a year and a half, as other customers and organisations have reported the same business process error: Anthony Agius (May 2010), Tonyw (February 2011), Grinning cat (April 2011) and the PTUA (July 2011).

Why has this obvious and simple problem not been fixed? How can such incompetence be tolerated and perpetuated?

the bureaucratic nightmare of having your myki card blocked

15 thoughts on “the bureaucratic nightmare of having your myki card blocked

  • 30 December 2011 at 11:03 pm
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    yes, had the same experience, can NOT believe the myki card had to be mailed in. but it did. completely unacceptable.

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  • 31 December 2011 at 9:07 am
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    I switched back to metcards permanently because of this issue. I dont want to have to dance around their flawed business processes.

    tear it down and start from scratch I say.

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  • 1 January 2012 at 5:56 pm
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    Crazy. You should be able to go to a myki place and on the spot, simply swap your card and it;s credit for a new one at least.

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  • 2 January 2012 at 7:06 pm
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    same issue here, I’m back on met cards. i find the need to mail in my card, to re activate the direct credit ridiculous. considering the amount of time and money spent on this thing, i would have thought that there could have been a simpler solution. now i find myself in the situation that i have a myki card, with about $20 of my own money, that i will never see again. and if i cancel it, i will be up for a “cancellation fee”. so much for encouraging us to use this.

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  • 5 January 2012 at 1:43 pm
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    Same. My Credit Card reached its natural expiry date, Myki attempted to take the credit, failed, and my card was blocked. Myki sent me a letter telling me to post the card to them. I realised that this would be the first thing I had posted since I moved to Melbourne in 2007, and I had no idea where the nearest post box was! I didn’t bother – back to metcards. I recently thought I would reactivate the card. I couldn’t find the letter from Myki telling me where to send the damn thing, so naturally I went to their website only to find NOTHING. I suppose I could call their contact centre and ask for this basic information, but really, having to make an effort to find out how to engage with these people in their convoluted process does not really seem worth it. As far as I am concerned, the card can stay on the books but not be used until they shut metcards down.

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  • 24 January 2012 at 12:40 am
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    and god forbid if your myki just suddenly stops working like mine did. i had just topped it up with $30 when it just suddenly didn’t read on the tram. go to the myki desk at flinders street and say ‘excuse me my myki isn’t working’. after much stuffing around proving it on the myki machines there i then get a form to fill in for a new card. form filled in … given back to the guy. i get a new myki and ask … ‘so you’ll put my $30 on it now?’ … ‘oh no, you have to wait ten days for it to be refunded’. grrrrrr

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    • 24 January 2012 at 12:42 am
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      Every state politician should be forced to use it. Maybe things would get better more quickly…

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  • 19 February 2012 at 11:36 pm
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    Ugh just had the exact same problem.

    Its bloody ridiculous that if the card can be blocked remotely it cant be UNblocked remotely too. All the card does it access an account on their data base.

    Most importantly, metcards are being phased out over the next few weeks, can ANYONE tell me how the F%@K im meant to get to work if I have to wait 5 business days for these incompetent buffoons to re-activate my card?

    I dont have parking in the CBD and im not paying $50 to park in a wilsons secure carpark or the like. And since its an hour train ride walking and even cycling are out of the question.

    Myki i hope you read this entire page – you are a bunch of useless saps and have been since day one of this over-budget, over-deadline disaster of a project.

    I encourage everyone else who has this issue to write to the victorian public transport minister. Maybe we can get some change on this issue and get a public servant to actually serve us for once

    terence.mulder@parliament.vic.gov.au

    http://www.vic.gov.au/contactsandservices/directory/?ea0_lfz99_120.&roleWithSubordinates&d4594914-a7cc-4cfe-83c5-ca64af7fa031

    http://www.terrymulder.com.au/

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  • 20 February 2012 at 11:12 pm
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    did anyone see the story about the guy who has a yearly myki that keeps malfunctioning? not only has it happened four times but these idiots expect him to pay for tickets while he waits again and again for them to send a new one … sounds like theft to me!

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    • 21 February 2012 at 7:49 am
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      I agree. If he’s paid for 365 days of travel and gets less than that it’s a breach of contract.

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  • 25 July 2012 at 10:28 am
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    Same thing happened to me, which is remarkably inept. For everyone one of us that use the auto top up feature, Myki is creaming off the interest on the minimum balance that we maintain. So I’ve just exercised my consumer choice, and cancelled my auto top up. Eventually, their customer affairs department might come under pressure from whoever cares about their profitability. Mark

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  • 24 August 2012 at 12:50 pm
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    Same story. I lost my myki 2 weeks ago. The natural reaction is to block your card. I called the myki customer service the next day, someone told me that they would mail a new card to me in 10 business days. You know what happened – there is no mail from myki. So I called again, this time someone told me a different story. “We can’t send you a new card because you block your card in the system. If you called us to block the card, we may be able to help.” – Woo, the system can detect who block the card and provide different options?? I don’t buy it.

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  • 24 August 2012 at 5:22 pm
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    Myki is just ridiculous. It’s just a fucking tram ticket FFS!
    I travel a bit and being an independent type, I like (and even enjoy) public transport. I have landed in countries and bought travel cards from machines or people that have no english and it’s all much easier than Myki. All involved should be ashamed and sacked for stupidity.

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  • 17 October 2012 at 10:24 am
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    This same thing has just happened to me today. seriously if they have known about this for so long, why hasnt it been fixed?

    I have no problem with the overall concept of smart cards and touching on and off etc…

    But the auto-top up, block and misleading communication about this process is a total failure. The fact that they recommend you to use metcards for a few days while this happens shows you that the system is not complete.

    This, and the lack of a ticket for tourists are the 2 main flaws of the Myki implementation and should be fixed as a priority.

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  • 26 October 2012 at 10:26 am
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    Same here. Absolutely ridiculous that this is still an issue 18 months after it is first reported. I also have a myki pass on the card which is still valid. Amazing that I cannot use this card even though it is valid.

    How can dept transport allow this to continue?

    Reply

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