Monday, December 19, 2016

A few years go by and now I'm back trying to figure out how to change credit card info

I received my new credit card in the mail, a replacement for my soon to expire one. I love how credit card companies don't rely on me to remind them that I need an updated card.

I recalled that a few years ago when I got a new credit card (same number, different expiry date) good old Presto closed all my accounts.

This time, I'm ready. I immediately log onto the Presto website to update my card info.  The site has understandably changed in the intervening years, but one thing remains constant: there's no straightforward way to do what I need to do.

Using the quick links: which one would you start with?
I started with "Account Profile" thinking that would be the most logical place to update my credit card info. Nope. I can change my username, password,  and contact info like phone and address. But wait, there's a link in the left sidebar for "manage autoload" - I'll try that!

"Manage Autoload" looks like it only lets me change the amount of the autoload, not credit card info. Strike two. But there are three tabs "1. Details, 2. Review, 3, Done." So I click on "next" to see what happens under the "review" tab when I haven't changed the amount of autoload.

Presto! Now I can create a new account since Presto automatically canceled all my accounts when I got my new credit card. Yes, Presto cancels my accounts when I get a new credit card, rather than, say, notify me to update my info. 

Now: do I choose "credit card, or "keep existing payment method"? I'm going to play the even odds and choose "credit card. 


(Because I created different Presto card accounts for my family at different times, I can't just update my info once, I need to log into five accounts and do each individually.) 

Note: I love using Presto when I'm going places on transit, it's awesome. But this kind of backend stuff is disappointing (and annoying), and an example of why I decided to start this blog: 



Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Balancing Act

The number 39.33 keeps appearing on my PRESTO card balance as if it has meaning. It's not quite 42, which you may know as The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.

It keeps telling me everywhere I look that there is $39.33 on the card. But there's not. No. 

The problem started when PRESTO cancelled my contract when my new credit card expiry date changed. That triggers a chain of events that render simple solutions like updating the expiry date useless. Nope, with the uniquely PRESTO problem you need to set up a new contract (which carries over the amount remaining on your cancelled contract. I know, right?)

So once I updated the autoload contract I might have been satisfied and gone back to my life pondering the meaning of love and attachment, watching replays of hockey fights on my computer, sneezing, etc. But that would have been a mistake! Why? 


Well, the balance is not actually $39.33, despite telling me that it is on every page of my PRESTO account online, but is in fact $39.33 minus $20.00 that PRESTO added on my expired credit card, then took off the next time the PRESTO card was used, but I would only know that if I dug past the initial pages on my PRESTO web site account, where it shows I have $39.33, to the transaction history page (image above) where I would be required to decipher the entries to reveal the truth, that I only have $19.33 on the card (why wouldn't they bother to update my account online so I can see this information easily, instead of showing the balance with the $20, which they have as $39.33? "It's something they are working on" I'm told by the PRESTO person on the phone) - you following? 

Well, since $19.33 is less than the minimum amount of $20 you are allowed to have on your card, the autoload amount you just entered, even if you had a million dollars, would not work until the balance is brought up over $20... 


So one more step: go to another page at PRESTO and add money to the card above and beyond the autoload contract info you've already transacted to get the extra 0.67 cents on so the autoload will actually work. And just to note, my current balance is still not $39.33, despite the messages at each step of the way on the PRESTO site.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What, what, WHAT?

Transaction History. Designed to be unintelligible? I think so.

 Let's drill in here: March 1, 7:36am (bottom of chart).

Autoload (e-Purse Load Value) $20, $20, $20.  Why would the autoload load $20 three times? Yet the next column doesn't show that much added. What to do?

Call PRESTO! The very nice woman I spoke with was at first as confused as I (who wouldn't be, I suppose) - until she surmised that only one of the transactions went through ($20).

I haven't got time to write too much about this other than the ask the eternal question: WHY????

Why do transactions that didn't work show up in the transaction history at all? And if they do, shouldn't it indicate that it was a failed transaction (and I don't even know why it would have failed the first two times)

And here I thought I might run out of material for the blog...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

How is my Autoload payment information doing? I have no idea!

So one of the current ongoing issues is the fact that when I was issued a new credit card (when my old one expired), PRESTO tells me when it is too late to update my information. This is still unresolved.

In the interest of playing the game PRESTO's way, I decide to go check my other cards to make sure the date on my credit card is updated. What does this look like?

Step One: Log In.
Step Two: Choose "Manage your Autoload Now"
Step Three: Select "Update Payment Information"
Step Four: Click "Next" to "Modify Autoload Information Online"
Step Five: [wait! I want to check my card info to make sure it is already up to date? There's no info about my Credit Card! what happens if I proceed? will it mess up my Presto Card for 24 hours and then I need to tap? Gulp!] Fill out card information and click "Register Payment Details"
Step Six: After entering my card info and registering I get a thank you message. I still have no idea if I updated my old card expiry date, or if I just needlessly re-entered the same info already on record. 


The only reason I am exploring this procedure is because PRESTO, despite having your card info (through a third party, sure, that's just great), does not notify you of the need to renew. In contrast, Paypal will give you advance warning that your card is about to expire. 

A PRESTO supervisor tried to blame me for not thinking of PRESTO when I got my new credit card in the mail. And tried to pass the blame again my asking me if I knew that PRESTO uses a third party to administer the credit card info. "It's all on our web site" she said. Where else are customers  expected to research to know how the behind the scenes workings of an organization are set up? 

All I want is to be able to access my account in a way that makes having an online account a useful thing to have.

I did get this e-mail confirmation a few minutes after updating the form. So I guess I should call to ask what I did?:
Congratulations, your request to modify the Autoload contract associated with the PRESTO Card has been successfully processed. The contract ID number is xxxxxxxxx_xxx.Please take note of the contract number in your records, or keep this letter for future reference should you need to contact the PRESTO Call Centre for inquiries regarding this contract.
PRESTO is committed to providing you with the best customer experience possible. If you have any questions or comments, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please visit us at www.prestocard.ca or call our toll free number at 1-8-PRESTO-123 (1-877-378-6123).Thank you for choosing PRESTO.Sincerely,The PRESTO Team
"The best customer experience possible" - hmmm. Not working.






Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Just Letting You Know It Is Too Late to Do Anything About


My eldest teenage daughter e-mails me from Kingston today. This is what Presto sent her today (March 26):
You are receiving this notification because you submitted a request to cancel your Autoload contract. Your request associated with the PRESTO Card has been successfully processed. The contract ID number is 000000.
Please note that if you have not submitted a request to cancel your Autoload contract, you are receiving this cancellation notice because your contract has been terminated due to insufficient funds or expiry of your credit card. Please check to ensure your current payment information is up to date and visit us at www.PRESTOcard.ca to establish a new Autoload contract.
We recommend that you keep this contract number in your records, or keep this letter for future reference should you need to contact PRESTO for inquiries regarding this contract. If you are having difficulties setting up a new Autoload contract on the website or have other questions regarding this cancelation, please call our toll free number at 1-8-PRESTO-123 (1-877-378-6123).
Thank you for choosing PRESTO.
Sincerely,
The PRESTO Team

Being a dutiful father and eager to ensure Presto knows that we did not submit a request to cancel our Autoload contractI I get right to work. I know what happened: I have a new credit card issued from my Credit Union when my old one expired. All this needs is the old card expiry date to be changed to the new date in 2017.

I log in to Presto to update my credit card info and get her card back functioning. The first screen shows her card as "active" with $24.03 on it. Except when I follow the link to "manage [your] autoload now", I can't. The options to update payment options are greyed out. 


So now I have to call Presto. This is always a drag. I phone. Run through the phone tree. Painstakingly enter the 17 digit card number into my phone. Press some more buttons. Finally get a person to talk to.

I want to update my credit card information. I'm told I can't.

No. You see, there have been two $20 autoload amounts added to my card "in good faith" when the expired credit card info was accessed while she was using the Presto card on GO transit. This rogue $40 total will now be deducted the next time my daughter taps her card. Which would be when she arrives in Toronto from Kingston (on the amazing Megabus, who do know about customer care. That's a story I'll share later).

Now she'll be in Toronto with $2.40 on her card. Not enough to pay for the train or bus back to Hamilton. Not even close. So now she has to produce some cash (she doesn't have a credit card yet), locate a kiosk in Union Station where she can add money to the card and then use it to get home. A bit later than if Presto was reasonable.

Now I will need to wait 24 hours from the time she taps the card before I contact Presto to set up a NEW autoload contract. Same Presto Card. Same Credit Card (with updated expiry date). New autoload contract.

The customer service rep on the line is telling me all this and I am asking her if it wouldn't be a better customer service thing to notify the customer that there's a problem with their card when it happens? And then let the customer log in and update the errant info. No. As it is, by the time they notify you about the problem it is too late to fix it. Seriously?

I end up talking to her supervisor who tries at least twice to push the blame for an unnecessarily complicated process onto me:
1. "Did you get your new credit card in the mail?" she danglingly asks, suggesting my next automatic thought would be to think of Presto, the only place I would have to contact to update the info, like, every few years when the credit card expires.
2. "You know we use a third party to do the credit cards" she explains. I tell her I don't care how they work their business behind the scenes, I am telling you that as a customer I just want to update the expiry date on my card using the web site and avoid this complicated process.
She tries to explain it is normal for auto payments. But a service like Paypal will notify you if there is a problem with your payment. Certainly the Hydro or Gas companies wouldn't come and shut off your power or heat because of one problem transaction. They would notify the customer and update the information, and probably thank you at the end. If Presto ran the utilities we would be sitting in the cold darkness waiting 24 hours for a chance to set up a new contract and being told it's our own fault.