When it comes to public transport, it is not only the buses and trains that matter; people who work as "customer service" selling us tickets, refund, exchange etc. matter too - if not the most. Transport for London (TfL) has notorious #fail character on Twitter; simply due to the level of frustration they add to everyday life of millions of commuters. Of course none of the inconveniences are planned or meant by TfL; but most of them can be prevented.
There is no doubt that TfL has been doing a great job in making public transport a better experience for all Londoners as well as those visiting London. However, what TfL is getting the most of their complaints, is in customer service. Some of staff working in London Tube Stations as well as some of bus drivers do not really know how they should treat customers; let alone that sometimes they have very little information about ticketing and journey planning if one has a question.
What makes the matter worse, just less than 100 days to go to the Olympics, TfL is asking commuters to provide proof of ID and address; should their Oyster card stops working and they require an exchange. It does not make any sense to have such demand; why TfL needs such information in the first place?
If a commuter is a tourist or a visitor who is going to be in London only during the Olympics, would not be able to provide such unreasonable documents if their Oyster card suddenly stops working and they have to change it. TfL has been charging £5 deposit for each Oyster card but never asked for proof of ID and address; it seems it always easier to charge people than refund their money. So, how the proof ID and address could help TfL to identify the owner of an unregistered Oyster card and or to establish whether the person paid the £5 deposit?
There's no way to prove the ownership of the card, if the card is not registered; so why TfL is creating such level of unnecessary bureaucracy just for one form of ticketing process? This can be certainly a major source of dissatisfaction during the games and after for sure; unless TfL realise how making simple changes in their customer service process can make massive differences in mood of individuals using public transport in London. This in turn will lead to more positive feedback and customer satisfaction for TfL.
Follow Ehsan Khodarahmi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/eksays