Kate Hawkesby: Auckland Transport really struggle with customer service

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Manage episode 254319128 series 2098280
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Last week I had issues with Wilson Parking, this week it's Auckland Transport.
It's getting increasingly difficult to get around this city without problems.
Auckland city's public transport system runs on a 'hop card' system, much like Wellington's Snapper and Canterbury's Metrocards, it's a card you load up with money, you can set up an auto top up renewal attached to your credit card, and voila, you have a cashless system to get on the bus.
Easy. Or is it?
About a year ago, maybe more, I spoke about my strife with the Hop card system sending rogue emails to customers (including me) saying their credit cards could not be accessed or debited from, that the card could not be topped up.
After about 4 of these alarmist emails, you’d then get the inevitable ‘your Hop card auto top up has been disabled.’ And they ditch you like a hot cake. So I spent a lot of time on the phone to AT who kept explaining and apologising that they didn’t know why those emails were being sent, it wasn’t accurate, they just had a difficult IT system which kept sending random emails to customers.
What that meant for the customer though, is concern your child won’t be able to get on the bus, time wasted spent logging onto your account and calling the bank asking why your credit card is declining AT Transport, only to find out it isn’t.
I was told way back when, that they knew of this problem and were fixing it.
So imagine my surprise when this week.. a year or so on.. in comes the ominously familiar email.. ‘your auto top up has been declined due to lack of funds. Please update your credit card’. I call the bank – nope, funds are there. I check the AT account online, funds are there. I call Auckland Transport, oh yes, our bad, rogue email, just ignore.
Then the next day .. another email – ‘we have again tried to debit funds, it's declined, we will try once more before auto-top up gets disabled.’
I call AT again, they have no idea why that’s happening, I ask them why their system doesn’t email customers to acknowledge funds are there instead. Yes good suggestion, they say, and assure me all is well with my account, funds are there.
The next day, new email – ‘your auto top up has been disabled due to insufficient funds.’
I call AT and spend 12 minutes on the phone to another operator who says she doesn’t know why it’s doing this, but they’re aware of it and “trying to fix it”. I point out it’s been going on for over a year now, how long does it take to fix?
She doesn’t know but says she will refer me to a case manager who will call me back.
No call comes but instead another email.
'Kia ora Kate, we've received your case to review, you should hear back from us by the 2nd of March.'
Is it just me, or is Auckland Transport moving at a slower pace than is normal for the rest of the world?

1987 episodes