Greater Anglia's smart tickets' glitch means commuters face queues
PUBLISHED: 05:30 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:40 06 February 2020
Problems with Greater Anglia's new Smart tickets have forced the company to turn back to old paper receipts as proof that some season ticket holders have paid for their journeys.
The company has been trying to persuade commuters to move to a new smart ticket - where regular travellers can top up a plastic card - rather than relying on a paper ticket which could get damaged or lost.
However when some people tried to top up their Smart tickets at the weekend, the system was down - and they have been unable to register new journeys on their plastic cards.
Freelance Video Editor Ryan Kent uses a Smart ticket when he has to travel regularly to London on business, and discovered the problem when he tried to load his card using the Greater Anglia app on Sunday night.
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He spent about an hour trying to make it work before calling a help desk who told him that he would be able to travel if he showed a receipt at the station gate. This worked at the start of his journey and at Liverpool Street - and staff told him that there had been a problem for many customers.
He had made further attempts to load the ticket which had been unsuccessful, so had to continue to show receipts. This had not left him out of pocket but it did delay getting through automatic gates at stations.
He said: "Thankfully I've haven't lost any money. The two staff at Ipswich and one at Liverpool Street I have spoken too have been very understanding and made it clear that as long as Smart ticket users have their receipt on them, there won't be any issues. The problems start if there are queues to get through the barriers as it's obviously much slower having to speak to a member of staff to pass through the gate rather than tapping and going through."
A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said: "We are currently experiencing issues with smart card collections via the Greater Anglia app.
"Our supplier is investigating this issue. In the meantime, permits to travel will be provided for those affected. Customers requiring underground travel will need to purchase additional tickets for travel, however these can be refunded in full by the Smart Support team.
"We apologise for the inconvenience caused."