Monday, 13 July 2020

Transport for London - thoroughly decent chaps!

I paid for an annual travel card at the end of last December (as I do every year).

Our office shut down at the end of March. I didn't cancel my travel card and ask for a refund straight away, because I thought lock down would only last a couple of weeks and it wasn't worth the hassle of cancelling and paying for another one.

By the end of May, I accepted that this lock down was going to drag on for a while longer and asked for a refund. TfL refunded me seven months' worth a couple of days later. So far so good.

To my pleasant surprise, they sent me an email a couple of days ago, which said that as I hadn't used my travel card for the whole of April and May, they'd refund me another two months' worth.

The money's not in my account yet, but fingers crossed.
UPDATE 15/7:

1. The second refund appeared in my bank account today.

2. C. left this comment, but then deleted it, not sure why, because he makes good points:

Remember that an annual travelcard is priced at 10 months and 13 days, so a refund of "7 months" is only approximately 67% back rather than the 58% back that would be expected on a pro-rata basis. In other words there is no such thing as a 7 month refund - the entire thing is refunded and you are re-charged for a 3.5 month travelcard, which is a third of the price of a 10.5 month (=annual) ticket.

Yes, that is what they used to do, and fair enough. But I can confirm that my annual travel card cost £2,400 on 31/12/2019 and they sent me refunds totalling £1,812, which looks like 9/12 of £2,400 to me.

Two Zone 1-5 peak single fares on the tube is £9.40 and an annual ticket is £2468. So if your commute is a single tube journey each way and you make no other journeys, you need to travel 263 days a year, which is probably cheaper to pay as you go. If your commute is multi-modal or if you travel for leisure, then a travelcard is probably worth it.

Yes, I probably commuted in fewer than 263 days a year so on that basis, the travel card was more expensive. But all the other journeys within town, in the evening and at weekends were effectively free. Plus I didn't need to bother tapping out, I could just walk past the queue at the stupid machine, which was also of value to me (especially if there was a long queue and I was in a hurry or it was raining).


Bayard said...

Big Brother benefits you!

mombers said...

Isn't contactless pay as you go the same as an annual?

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, exactly. "They" always know exactly where I am and what I do (Oyster, Google maps, debit cards in shops, NPR cameras etc), so once in a lifetime it benefitted me.

M, I always assumed that an annual travel card is the cheapest option if you commute 5 days a week. Those days are behind us now.

Curtis said...
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Curtis said...
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