MTA Rant


Old Apr 15, 14, 4:11 pm
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MTA Rant

For some reason, the MTA decided to deactivate my Metrocard without telling me. I have one of the EasyPay Express ones that charges my credit card when the balance gets low. It didn't work this morning; the agent in the booth said they had removed the card from my account. I finally got a chance to look online and it says "Account Status: REVOKE", which can't be good.

I called at 5:04 pm and of course must wait until tomorrow now since they close at 5.

gfunkdave is offline
Old Apr 15, 14, 5:11 pm
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I have never had one of those cards. How much money was on the card before they "revoked" it? Is there an expiration date printed on the card?

Whomever you called probably won't be of much immediate help. At best you might be instructed to get a form from an agent (or download one) and then wait 15 days.

I did a google search and came up with the terms & conditions page: https://easypaymetrocard.com/vec...ondtions.shtml

When I did a word search for "revoke", only this popped up:

If you use the EasyPay MetroCard when your Account is in a negative status, suspended or revoked, or after the EasyPay MetroCard has been reported lost stolen or damaged, you may: incur administrative fees; be charged the full, undiscounted charge; and/or be asked to surrender the EasyPay MetroCard to EasyPay MetroCard via certified mail or to plaza personnel.
Not helpful.

I went to the FAQ's and at best, I found this:

Q. What should I do if my EasyPayXpress MetroCard does not work?
A. When an EasyPayXpress account is not in good financial standing, the MetroCard will not work. Therefore, first make sure your EasyPayXpress account has money in it. If you believe your card is damaged, you can report it online at easypaymetrocard.com or call our Automated Telephone Service 24/7 at 1-877-323-RIDE (7433). You are responsible for destroying your damaged EasyPay MetroCard after notification. Failure to destroy your EasyPay MetroCard may result in unauthorized EasyPay MetroCard use which you will be responsible for. We will send you a replacement card in the mail. Please allow 15 business days for processing.
https://easypaymetrocard.com/vec...pressFaq.shtml

Good luck and keep us posted.

Last edited by Analise; Apr 15, 14 at 5:18 pm
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Old Apr 16, 14, 8:44 am
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Hey, thanks Analise. Yeah, none of those conditions applies. The online account summary says there's a $10.something on the card. I suspect there's an issue of some sort with my transportation flex Mastercard that funds it. Perhaps I ran out of money on it temporarily. (edit: no, it says my balance is $52.50).

The card expires in January 2015, so that's not it (and they just mail you a new card a month before the old one expires).

Actually, I think I know what the problem was. I have $52.50 on my transportation flex card now, but before our company's payroll ran yesterday I only had like $14. I bet the MTA tried to charge the usual $30, was declined, and put a hold on my MetroCard.

Guess it's time to up my transportation benefit amount...

Edit 3: I've now been on hold for 30 mins. If my call were really important to you, you'd hire enough people to answer the phones.

Edit 4: 45 mins!

Last edited by gfunkdave; Apr 16, 14 at 9:04 am
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Old Apr 16, 14, 9:14 am
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WEll, after 50 mins on hold, I got through to someone. Yes, the issue was that the balance on my transportation flex card went too low and it declined the transaction. I added a second (regular) credit card to the account so they can try billing that in the future if the main card is declined.

My account status is now ACTIVE but they said the card won't work until Friday. I remember it taking 2 business days for all changes to start working in the turnstiles and on the bus for some reason.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
I remember it taking 2 business days for all changes to start working in the turnstiles and on the bus for some reason.
I'm pretty sure that the turnstile processing systems are not real-time linked to the back-end accounting systems. They "trust" that the card data is accurate but specific cards can be deactivated centrally. To turn them back on means all the systems have to get their batch updates from the main server and that can take some time.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 12:34 pm
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Anyone know how you "end" usage of the card? I may come upon a situation soon where the debit card hooked up to my EZPay metrocard will be declined (also my commuter benefit card, which won't be active soon due to an employment change). It sounds like they'll just deactivate the metrocard if the debit/credit card is rejected, even if there's still up to a $20 balance. Anyone try to get that money back? Obviously refunding it to the original form of payment wouldn't be an option.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 4:12 pm
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I bet you can call them during their normal business hour and ask for a refund.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Anyone know how you "end" usage of the card? I may come upon a situation soon where the debit card hooked up to my EZPay metrocard will be declined (also my commuter benefit card, which won't be active soon due to an employment change). It sounds like they'll just deactivate the metrocard if the debit/credit card is rejected, even if there's still up to a $20 balance. Anyone try to get that money back? Obviously refunding it to the original form of payment wouldn't be an option.
Q. Can I close my EasyPayXpress account?
A. Yes, you may close your EasyPayXpress account and receive a refund for any remaining balance exclusive of initiated EasyPayXpress 30-day Unlimited plan.
See also:
http://web.mta.info/metrocard/problems.htm#refund
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Old Apr 16, 14, 9:36 pm
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
WEll, after 50 mins on hold, I got through to someone. Yes, the issue was that the balance on my transportation flex card went too low and it declined the transaction. I added a second (regular) credit card to the account so they can try billing that in the future if the main card is declined.

My account status is now ACTIVE but they said the card won't work until Friday. I remember it taking 2 business days for all changes to start working in the turnstiles and on the bus for some reason.
What an ordeal. "EasyPay" is the correct name. Nothing about service; just an easy way for the MTA to get money.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by jerry a. laska View Post
Q. Can I close my EasyPayXpress account?
A. Yes, you may close your EasyPayXpress account and receive a refund for any remaining balance exclusive of initiated EasyPayXpress 30-day Unlimited plan.
Yeah, it's just not clear to me how they'll provide the refund. If they send me a check, fine, but if they will only do it to the original form of payment, that would be a problem, as that form of payment will not exist anymore. Doing refunds by check opens up a loophole in which someone could load pretax commuter card money onto a metrocard and then ask for a refund back via check. I don't think the IRS would like that.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
What an ordeal. "EasyPay" is the correct name. Nothing about service; just an easy way for the MTA to get money.
While a total pain, I'm glad the MTA is not spending its money on phone agents rather than on trains, tracks and stations.

I use an EasyPay Express metrocard and haven't had any problems. The MTA "decided" to deactivate gfunkdave's card because his method of payment was declined. Hard to blame them, no? gfunkdave, were you not able to fix the problem simply by logging into your account and revising the payment method?
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Old Apr 17, 14, 11:09 am

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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
I use an EasyPay Express metrocard and haven't had any problems. The MTA "decided" to deactivate gfunkdave's card because his method of payment was declined. Hard to blame them, no? gfunkdave, were you not able to fix the problem simply by logging into your account and revising the payment method?
Isn't this the OPs problem rather than something MTA is responsible for. EasyPay works if you follow the rules. If you're going to use a debit mastercard then you'd better make sure autodebits aren't going to be rejected.

For the poster asking about refunds, they will send you a cheque, which will take a while.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 11:30 am

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I love my Easypay Metrocard.

They definitely suspend accounts if a replenishment attempt is declined and you don't have a valid backup payment method. So it's important to always have a backup credit card linked to your account AND to keep the expiration date of the backup card updated. My wife experienced exactly the same thing as gfunkdave when her TransitChek debit card had insufficient funds and I neglected to keep current the expiration date of the backup credit card on her EasyPay account.

It WOULD be nice if they sent you an e-mail letting you know your account had been suspended and explaining why, though.

But overall the Easypay cards are incredibly convenient, as I never have to worry about whether I have a sufficient balance on my card (or my wife's card or our nanny's card). And if I lose it, a simple e-mail to EasyPay customer service will immediately put a hold on the old metrocard and transfer the balance to a new one. It takes about a month to get the new card, but it's still better than losing a regular pay-per-ride card, where you'll never get the balance back.

So yeah, it's not perfect, but I still think it's way better than the available alternatives, especially if you're a pay-per-ride user (if I was an unlimited user I might be more reluctant to get EasyPay, since you can't "time" when you start your month).
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Old Apr 17, 14, 7:12 pm
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If you have a half-fare EZ-Pay metrocard, there is an additional perk: If you use more than a monthly card, all trips from that point are FREE (for that month).
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Old Apr 18, 14, 7:41 am
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I use an EasyPay Express metrocard and haven't had any problems. The MTA "decided" to deactivate gfunkdave's card because his method of payment was declined. Hard to blame them, no? gfunkdave, were you not able to fix the problem simply by logging into your account and revising the payment method?
...and the MTA pocketed his money with that deactivation. That's what is egregious.

Last edited by Analise; Apr 18, 14 at 7:53 am
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