1276783468clipper card.jpgThough not nearly as entertaining as 2010’s Clipper gate malfunction, a fare issue from the same year is coming back to haunt us, it seems. As KCBS reports, a computer glitch and human error saw the loss of nearly $231,000 for the service and now the Metropolitan Transportation Commission wants you to pay up. Just last week it sent out emails to 7,954 riders whose cards were credited with funds dating back from august 2010 through this past May of 2012.

Emails will continue to be sent through the beginning of September. What’s wrong with those fares? None of them were deducted from riders’ bank accounts, according to Clipper.

Clipper customers using the Autoload feature, which automatically adds money from your credit card or bank account, of course had their accounts replenished but the money never really went anywhere.

Says Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman John Goodwin, “It’s set up so you get your value now, we collect from the bank later, but in some cases, that last part didn’t happen.”

As the Chron reports, Clipper has 1.3 million cards in active use with a third of that number using the Autoload feature. An average of $29 will be charged per customer, with the money finally deducted by the beginning of September.

SFian Steve King received four notices alerting him of the issue. At first he thought it was an error, then an internet scam. Now, he’s reviewing 2 year old bank statements for accountability’s sake.

Says King, “I love Clipper. I think it’s the best thing the Bay Area has done. But it makes me nervous when they’re pulling from my account two years later. I had trust in the system; now I’m not sure if I want to continue with Autoload.”

Efforts to thwart subsequent errors are part of a review to increase the department’s efficiency and include auditing from the customer service center and an increased effort to remind transit operators to upload such valuable data.

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the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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  • Boris

    This is the second time this happened. Six months ago they also billed me for missed transactions from two years ago. After that time I asked to be deleted from the Clipper system and canceled autoload. Of course – it turns out they kept all my bank account info anyway and are preceeding to auto deduct six months later.

    This raises so many issues about Clipper – How many more times will they discover “glitches”? How long do they keep your data? What happens if I closed the bank account?

    Who has oversight over them anyway?

  • Boris

    This is the second time this happened. Six months ago they also billed me for missed transactions from two years ago. After that time I asked to be deleted from the Clipper system and canceled autoload. Of course – it turns out they kept all my bank account info anyway and are preceeding to auto deduct six months later.

    This raises so many issues about Clipper – How many more times will they discover “glitches”? How long do they keep your data? What happens if I closed the bank account?

    Who has oversight over them anyway?