The North Station faregate follies continue

This morning, NONE of the faregates at North Station subway were accepting monthly passes. Instead, they had a single CSA manning the 'Reduced Fare' faregate, and you flashed your pass at them as you went through.

Also, the ticket machines were apparently not accepting debit cards today, as the single CSA at the gate was yelling to people who were having problems with the machines. And yes, there were no other CSAs in sight near the machines to actually help those people who had trouble.

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The ticket machines, too

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We've all seen the out-of-order signs on the ticket machines.

I have a suspicion that, rather than the problem always being in remote services or communications, that the machines themselves are not designed perfectly.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed what seemed to be a strange failure at a ticket machine: the hardware numeric keypad had no effect, but the touchscreen soft keypad did. I mentioned this to a worker who coincidentally was servicing another machine, and he said that was a known problem for all the machines there, and that it was due to changing the bank used. As any systems architect will say: "Huh?" (Arguably, this might be intentional, due to complying with convoluted credit card equipment rules. But I lean towards suspecting imperfect abstractions in the design, or a configuration management problem.) I just made a good-natured "what will those undefined clowns think of next?" head-shake gesture, which the worker mirrored.

I was there this morning

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It's amazing how they only had two people for that mess but tonight there were 4 people standing around doing nothing. For some reason they were wearing yellow.

Not just North Station

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The keypads do not work on Malden machines. A worker tried to convince me that they had never worked.

But I had an even worse error at Malden.

Last Friday my debit card was rejected by three machines (there's nothing wrong with the card). I made the mistake of following a worker's instructions to enter the card as "credit" because "there was something wrong with the system". That was rejected with "unable to contact bank". Well, it did contact the bank because the charge showed up today. I am disputing it, with the bank, as I expect nothing from the T.

Followup:

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The charge was removed today. Maybe the complaint process does work...