When Metro SmarTrip Cards Stop Working: A Tale Of Two Riders

10:16 PM, Jun 7, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Two Metro riders reached out to me about SmarTrip cards that no longer work. 

Kathy Gambrell lives in Rockville. She said, "I noticed it had been a year since I had sent my SmarTrip card back to Metro and I never saw it again." Kathy says when her card did not work, she spoke to the Station Manager, received an envelope, put her defective card in it, and mailed it. That was in May of last year. It had $50 on it. "I resigned myself that I was never going to see my $50 again," she said.

A week ago, Kathy renewed her fight. 

She took to Twitter, and emailed me. I emailed Metro, Metro tweeted Kathy, Kathy tweeted Metro and, after a phone call today, Kathy says, "They did resolve it, and I'm getting my $50 back I'm really happy!." 

Kathy says the customer service supervisor loaded $50 onto her new SmarTrip card she has been using since sending the old one in.

Our second trip was to see Ken McMillon in Fairfax, who had two cards that did not work. He said, "At least one of mine I know had...approximately $60 on it. And the other may be more than that."

Ken works nights, and he's not on Twitter, so he called Metro's Customer Service. They told him about two places he could take the cards to. Because of Ken's schedule, one of the locations wouldn't work for him, but the other did. He said, "I tried to go to Metro Center twice, stood in line, by the time I was getting close to the line, it was about 10 o'clock, I said that's it."

Ken emailed me, and I emailed Metro about his situation. 

In the meantime, Ken called Metro Customer Service. He says since it's been a while since he used the cards, the Customer Service representative didn't have his balances readily available. Ken explains, "She said well, I have to go to some agency or something like that and look through their records, It takes about 2 days and she'll give me a call back." But even if they do find his balances, there's still a catch. 

Ken says, "They want me to buy another card."

That will cost Ken $5.00, minus a $3.00 rebate back. But, Ken says that's not the point. 

"You kidding me? That's absurd, I already paid it. I work retail, we will go out of our way to please a customer, they don't have to be always right, but we will satisfy that customer so they're happy when they leave. Come on, Metro you can't do the same for me?," he said. 

So, we have one happy customer, one not-so-much, and a couple of extra days waiting time to find out how Ken's saga ends.

If you have a problem or an issue, tweet me at @DebraAlfarone, or email me at dalfarone@wusa9.com

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