1276783468clipper card.pngOn their website, the brand-new Clipper card is being touted as an “easy, fast and convenient” way to pay to get from one place to another using Bay Area public transportation.

Tell that to a bevy of BART, CalTrain, and Muni riders throughout the Bay Area who are up in arms about the problems they are already experiencing using their Clipper cards, in particular with local employers who use Wage Works, a company that provides pre-tax benefits for businesses who wish to supply Clipper cards to their employees.

The Appeal first received a tip on this story from an anonymous San Franciscan who called to report the “major issues” for people using Clipper cards via WageWorks.
“Clipper is stonewalling people and has not loaded their funds for August. And now when you call their number it says all circuits are busy,” the disgruntled tipster said.

Sure enough, the Muni Diaries and Akit both verify that the brouhaha stems from the fact that Wage Works told its Clipper cardholders that they would receive their preloaded transit cards at the beginning of August. Instead however, an estimated 6,000 users have boarded a train or bus only to find that their August passes were not on their cards, after all, forcing them to pay for their rides out of their own pockets.

To make matters worse, people have experienced problems getting help with their issues both through the Clipper card website and the phone number of their customer service center.

In a statement released onto their Facebook page, Bay Area Clipper acknowledges the inconveniences with Wage Works cardholders and says they are doing their best to solve the issues.

“We have experienced an issue processing the Wage Works Transit Benefit orders for the month of August,” the statement reads. “The issue has been identified and we are working towards a resolution. Your order may be available beginning Tuesday morning, August 3rd but may take an additional 2-3 days depending on the transit system your ride. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and we thank you for your patience.”

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Public Information Officer John Goodwin says the cause of the issue is a software glitch that Clipper card and Wage Works have not yet resolved.

“There is some kind of a software problem where [the data] failed to be uploaded on the night of July 31, and we didn’t really discover it until yesterday morning, the first commute day of the month,” Goodwin said. “We’re going to try it again tonight and hope that everything’s working normally for tomorrow.”

He added that while the MTC has not yet determined a way to reimburse cardholders who have had to pay out of pocket due to this malfunction, Clipper will release a statement to the public once the problem is fixed as to how to get repaid. In the meantime, Goodwin says customers should hold onto their receipts and use the e-cash purse component on their cards if they are able to.

“We will solve the software problem first and then work out the reimbursement details later,” Goodwin said.

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  • frenchjr25

    Clipper is a huge mess. For those of us with disabilities, SFMTA is phasing out the monthly stickers we put on your id cards. We will soon have to tap “load” the card monthly and then tap it each time we get on and off the bus. There are many people with disabilities that are unable to do this.

    This is turning out of be a big mess. Time to put a halt to it and fix the problems before we get too far into it and the costs to fix is go up.

  • frenchjr25

    Clipper is a huge mess. For those of us with disabilities, SFMTA is phasing out the monthly stickers we put on your id cards. We will soon have to tap “load” the card monthly and then tap it each time we get on and off the bus. There are many people with disabilities that are unable to do this.

    This is turning out of be a big mess. Time to put a halt to it and fix the problems before we get too far into it and the costs to fix is go up.

  • sickandtired

    Last evening after finding out that my Clippercard does in fact not work and that the $60.00 credit I thought I had was $0, I then decided to go online, however the website: http://www.clipper.com seemed to be redirected to some strange domaine ending in a .DO. I did some more research and it turns out that is the Domaine for the Dominican Republic. So this morning I called the district attorney’s office because I truly believed that my money had been stolen.Talk about adding insult to injury, the woman in the investigations office yelled at me and told me to file a police report.

  • sickandtired

    Last evening after finding out that my Clippercard does in fact not work and that the $60.00 credit I thought I had was $0, I then decided to go online, however the website: http://www.clipper.com seemed to be redirected to some strange domaine ending in a .DO. I did some more research and it turns out that is the Domaine for the Dominican Republic. So this morning I called the district attorney’s office because I truly believed that my money had been stolen.Talk about adding insult to injury, the woman in the investigations office yelled at me and told me to file a police report.

  • Akit

    frenchjr25: There is no tap-out procedure for Muni. That’s only for BART, Caltrain, and Golden Gate Transit.

    sickandtired: The correct website is Clippercard.com, not Clipper.com

  • Akit

    frenchjr25: There is no tap-out procedure for Muni. That’s only for BART, Caltrain, and Golden Gate Transit.

    sickandtired: The correct website is Clippercard.com, not Clipper.com

  • Eve Batey

    Akit, if Clipper knew what was good for them, they’d hire you to do their online outreach. You’ve done more customer service for them online in the last few days (here, on SFist, and lots of other places, I’m sure) than some companies do all year.

  • Eve Batey

    Akit, if Clipper knew what was good for them, they’d hire you to do their online outreach. You’ve done more customer service for them online in the last few days (here, on SFist, and lots of other places, I’m sure) than some companies do all year.

  • Len Conly

    Several months ago – back in the days of Translink (now Clipper) – my credit card expired and my Translink card no longer worked. I called customer service, gave them my new credit card number, and the rep assured me that my card would be working in two days.

    Two days pass and my card still didn’t work. i called back and they told me that some data had been entered incorrectly, that they would fix it right away, and that my Translink card should work in a few days.

    I wait another two days and find that the card still doesn’t work.

    I call again and am told by a rep that it will take a week to resolve the problem. At that point, I tell them that I would like to cancel my Translink card.

    I was then told that I would have to go to the website, print out a form, fill it out and send it in order to have the service canceled.

    My solution? I canceled my credit card. I could see where this was heading. i would probably have spent months trying to get back the $20 credit that they would have charged my credit card and get back to square one.

    I sent an email to the AC Transit Board of Directors and to the AC Deputy General Manager complaining about this problem.

    No one at AC Transit responded to my complaint.

    If I was dealing with just about any retailer in the U.S. this problem would have been resolved within minutes over the phone.

    I now buy AC Transit stickers for my Translink card. Translink customer service, as well as AC Transit when it comes to this, scores zero in my book.

  • Len Conly

    Several months ago – back in the days of Translink (now Clipper) – my credit card expired and my Translink card no longer worked. I called customer service, gave them my new credit card number, and the rep assured me that my card would be working in two days.

    Two days pass and my card still didn’t work. i called back and they told me that some data had been entered incorrectly, that they would fix it right away, and that my Translink card should work in a few days.

    I wait another two days and find that the card still doesn’t work.

    I call again and am told by a rep that it will take a week to resolve the problem. At that point, I tell them that I would like to cancel my Translink card.

    I was then told that I would have to go to the website, print out a form, fill it out and send it in order to have the service canceled.

    My solution? I canceled my credit card. I could see where this was heading. i would probably have spent months trying to get back the $20 credit that they would have charged my credit card and get back to square one.

    I sent an email to the AC Transit Board of Directors and to the AC Deputy General Manager complaining about this problem.

    No one at AC Transit responded to my complaint.

    If I was dealing with just about any retailer in the U.S. this problem would have been resolved within minutes over the phone.

    I now buy AC Transit stickers for my Translink card. Translink customer service, as well as AC Transit when it comes to this, scores zero in my book.

  • Len Conly

    After reading comment by frenchjr25, I would say that it is premature for SFMTA to phase out the stickers. Clipper is going to create serious customer relations problems by not retaining them – at least until they have a system that works properly and customer service that is prompt and efficient.

  • Len Conly

    After reading comment by frenchjr25, I would say that it is premature for SFMTA to phase out the stickers. Clipper is going to create serious customer relations problems by not retaining them – at least until they have a system that works properly and customer service that is prompt and efficient.

  • LibertyHiller

    SF residents need to contact their supervisors and let them know that the SFMTA’s plan to do away with paper passes is premature, and this is why. I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind who would trust Clipper, when it’s been one long multi-year beta test.

    Clipper needs to run for at least six months without a hitch before SFMTA should even be thinking about retiring paper passes.

  • LibertyHiller

    SF residents need to contact their supervisors and let them know that the SFMTA’s plan to do away with paper passes is premature, and this is why. I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind who would trust Clipper, when it’s been one long multi-year beta test.

    Clipper needs to run for at least six months without a hitch before SFMTA should even be thinking about retiring paper passes.

  • jfsanfran

    I’m an SF resident and I’ve been using Translink/Clipper for the past 2 years on Muni and on Bart as soon as it was available. Though there have been some problems, systems go down, card doesn’t tag quickly, or I have to try and tag it multiple times before it reads correctly… I have never been left behind by a bus or train. I guess my point is, the minor inconveniences I’ve felt by the glitches being worked out aren’t enough to throw out the whole program. Carrying one pas between transit providers is so great. Other metropolitan areas have similar passes it’s high time we do as well.

  • jfsanfran

    I’m an SF resident and I’ve been using Translink/Clipper for the past 2 years on Muni and on Bart as soon as it was available. Though there have been some problems, systems go down, card doesn’t tag quickly, or I have to try and tag it multiple times before it reads correctly… I have never been left behind by a bus or train. I guess my point is, the minor inconveniences I’ve felt by the glitches being worked out aren’t enough to throw out the whole program. Carrying one pas between transit providers is so great. Other metropolitan areas have similar passes it’s high time we do as well.

  • DT

    What, pray tell, is WageWorks?

    I got a Clipper Card to use instead of a Fast Pass (Fast Passer since ’76) this month and so far, it has performed perfectly. Because credit cards do expire, my spouse and I have decided to load new Fast Passes each month rather than to rely on autoload.

    Am expecting complete chaos and a meltdown the month Fast Passes are no longer available.

    Those with any brains should have phased in school age to start with the beginning of the school year, then the kiddies can teach their parents and grandparents how to use the cards.

  • DT

    What, pray tell, is WageWorks?

    I got a Clipper Card to use instead of a Fast Pass (Fast Passer since ’76) this month and so far, it has performed perfectly. Because credit cards do expire, my spouse and I have decided to load new Fast Passes each month rather than to rely on autoload.

    Am expecting complete chaos and a meltdown the month Fast Passes are no longer available.

    Those with any brains should have phased in school age to start with the beginning of the school year, then the kiddies can teach their parents and grandparents how to use the cards.