The Metro Card Story : A Tragedy

It was a sunny Monday morning as we entered the metro station with the simple goal of putting another week pass on our metro cards. Unfortunately this turned out to be quite the opposite of simple, it was in fact difficult difficult lemon difficult.
Given our limited supply of dollar notes we planned to pay by card, having found out you had to use the self service ticket machines to pay by card we approached them and managed to navigate through the many menus to select the week pass,so far so good. We selected pay by card, inserted our card and entered the PIN when prompted… There was no response, we entered the PIN again still no response, we cancelled and started from the beginning … Still no response. FINE! we will just pay with cash then we thought.
We paid a $20 note into the machine then a $10 note and then a $1, after the card setback it looked like we were back on track, we paid the final $1 note and were treated with a series of whirling and spinning noises from the machine. It spat out the two $1 notes made a few more noises of distress and printed out a receipt saying
”Machine error, amount paid $32, amount returned $2, amount owed $30”

Well this is frustrating we thought but we will just go speak to the lady in the booth and get this sorted out.

Us: “Hello, that machine has just swallowed our money and given us this error receipt”

Booth troll: *she slowly looks up at us and picks up a form* ” You need to fill this out and post it off”

Us: “We don’t want the money back we still want a week pass, can we just pay the two dollars it gave back and get the pass please”

Booth troll: “You need to send of the form it’s the process, you probably used an old crumpled dollar note”

Us: “Wait are you saying this is our fault”

Booth troll: ” Well you should have come to me to pay with cash, then you wouldn’t be having this issue”

Us: ” So that machine has taken our money and we have a receipt saying that it did but you can’t help us”

Booth troll: “If I did it would be out of my pocket, you need to send the form that’s the process”

Us: “But we are only here for one more week, sending off a form won help us”

Booth troll: “Maybe you should go to three stone street they might help you”

Us: ” Where’s that”

Booth troll: “The MTA office at three stone street”

Us: ” Were clearly tourists and not from here, how do we get there?”

Booth troll: “Take this train to its last stop”

Us: “So we need to spend our day going all the way over there because your machine took our money”

Booth troll: “Well what were you going to do today?”

Us: “We were planning on spending the day in Central Park with our friends”

Booth troll: ” You could go to three stone street today and then spend tomorrow at Central Park, it will still be there tomorrow”

Us: “That’s not really the point though is it, fine whatever”

We did still need to update our metro cards so had to hand over another $64 in cash, so much for saving our notes.

Later at three stone street…

Us:”A ticket machine took our money and have us this receipt”

Booth lady II :” Well you need to fill out this form and we can send it off for you”

Us: ” argh, so how long will this take?”

Booth lady II :” Four to six weeks”

Us:” We will be back in England by then”

Booth lady II :” What ever address you put down on the form is where they will send the cheque”

Us: ” There going to post a cheque… It’s going to be in dollars isn’t it?”

Booth lady II :”Yes it will be in dollars, it’s the process”

After being back in the UK for about 2 weeks we will be waiting with baited breath for the arrival of a super helpful cheque for $30 to arrive, it’s going to be exciting. I bloody love the process.


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