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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Did Muni & Clipper Screw-Up the "Sunday FunDay" Pass Promotion?

If you are one of the thousands of Muni passengers taking advantage of the "Sunday FunDay" pass program during the month of December and used a Clipper card, you could have been cheated out of more than just the initial $2 all-day fare.

Since I'm keeping watch of the tweets coming fresh from the bakery oven, I'm noticing some passengers getting charged a second or third time for using their Clipper card on Muni during their "Sunday FunDay" promotion period.

Twitter user: "verbalcupcake" said:
"Clipper Card fail: I haven't gotten the promised all-day SF transfer Muni assured us Clipper would calculate on Dec. Sundays. Lame."

The policy for cash (non-Clipper card) paying customers is to pay $2 and get an all-day paper transfer from the operator. The transfer is then valid for the entire day without the need to pay an additional fare, unlike on non-FunDay promotion days when transfers expire in 90 minutes. It's a pretty simple promotion for those customers.


But the promotion is not going so well for Clipper card e-cash and Limited Use Ticket (metro vending machine) purchases...

Muni's website says to all Clipper and LUT customers:
(See Muni's Sunday promo info from their website by clicking here)
Your first Sunday FunDay trip
During the Sunday FunDay promotion, tap your card or ticket to the Clipper reader upon your initial boarding or subway entry to receive your Sunday FunDay all-day transfer.
OK, that sounds fine. I just tag my card on the first vehicle or metro gate. Let's see what else they say:
Second and subsequent vehicles
After your first Sunday "tap," present your card or ticket to the bus operator or station agent to gain access to Muni.

Important: Do not tap your card or ticket again as re-tapping will deduct another fare payment from your fare media. Refunds will not be made for subsequent deductions.
Uh, what? Another PR fail? Like this one, and how about this one?

Am I understanding this correctly? Muni is asking Clipper card and LUT customers to visually show their card/ticket to the operator or agent to gain access to the vehicle? Are you telling me all Clipper e-cash and LUT transactions only issued a 90-minute e-transfer?

As a veteran user of the Clipper card program, that has to be the worst and most incredibly stupid policy I've ever heard of.

As most users of Clipper cards know:
Muni operators instructs all passengers to tag their Clipper card upon boarding the vehicle. There's no excuses or skipping that step on any day, including this Sunday "FunDay" promotion. How in the world is a Muni operator or station agent going to magically identify who did pay $2 on their initial ride of the day vs. those who are just cheating the system of $2 when Muni's "FunDay" website instructs them to "present your card or ticket" to the operator or station agent?

How about all those Muni metro patrons who enters the underground stations and use Clipper or LUT? They only get the standard 90 minute transfer, and once the 90 minutes expires, they have to pay another $2 (Clipper e-cash) or deduct a second single ride (LUT) from their card when entering the metro system after the first use. Don't forget, some stations don't have a second station agent to buzz you into the system, and they are not psychics who can identify who has an all-day pass or not.

This is one big incredible failure. What was Muni and Clipper thinking (or possibly drinking and smoking) when they created this promotion?

If Muni and Clipper did this correctly, the Clipper card and LUTs should have their e-transfer expiration at 11:59PM so all passengers can continue to tag their card on their second, third, etc. vehicle/metro gate without being charged full fare.

DING! There goes the common sense bell.

"Sunday FunDay," what an insult to the public.

I demand Muni and Clipper to issue apologies and refunds to all passengers who was charged more than $2 during the "Sunday FunDay" promotion. If you are with me, drop a comment saying so.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I'm with you, Akit... what a clusterfuck. I didn't see the instructions on the website (and why would I know to go and look for them?) and got screwed out of an extra $2 fare on a Sunday Funday.

They need to fix the system so it allows >90 minute transfers for promotions like this as well as late-night. Until they do that, I'll just go back to paying cash (in nickels and dimes!) so I can get a paper transfer valid for the right period of time.