Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

Hopping mad at double charging

Photo / Steven McNicholl
Photo / Steven McNicholl

A man repeatedly charged double his bus fare is the latest disgruntled customer in Auckland Transport's new electronic payment system.

Language teacher Gavin Jolliffe has been overcharged at least six times for his bus trips between Parnell and SkyCity since AT Hop was rolled out a fortnight ago.

Introduced as a streamlined payment system for bus, ferry and train public transport around the city, the $100 million AT Hop system has been riddled with glitches.

Mr Jolliffe is just one of many fed-up users to contact the Herald.

His one-stage trip on The Link bus, priced at $1.62, started deducting $3.24 from his card when the new system was introduced.

Despite phoning Auckland Transport repeatedly for help, the problem persisted for the 50-year-old.

"What really frustrates me is they are really slow at refunding me that money - they have acknowledged that they owe it to me. I have spoken to them just about on a daily basis, but I keep having the same problem which they haven't dealt with," he said.

He was also concerned about the lack of publicity by Auckland Transport about the issue that could be affecting other customers.

Meanwhile, Auckland Transport was this week forced to back down and refund North Shore commuter Sherry Hare more than $50 she had loaded on to an old payment system before it closed.

Two Remuera schoolboys were also forced to walk 2km after a bus driver refused to take their cards they were unaware had expired.

AT Hop will be extended to the remaining Metrolink fleet this weekend and Waka Pacific and Go West fleets early next month.

On the Hop

* AT Hop is a $100 million payment system for all ferry, train and bus public transport in Auckland.

* The "swipe on, swipe off'' model means passengers only need to log the start and end point of their journey, instead of each leg.

* Ferries and trains were transferred at the end of last year and the bus roll-out started in June.

* So far, Urban Express, Birkenhead Transport, North Star and half of NZ Bus Metrolink are connected.

* The rest of NZ Bus Metrolink will convert this weekend, Go West, Waka Pacific next month and other companies early next year.

* Visit www.athop.co.nz for more info.

Your story

Have you had problems with the Hop card system? Email newsdesk@nzherald.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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