Belfast Telegraph

Rail users must pay up after glitch

Irish Rail has come under attack for dipping into customer bank accounts after a glitch in their own system meant thousands of journeys were unpaid for over recent months.

Rail users say commuters who believe they paid for trips using their debit cards could be left short of cash when the money is deducted from their accounts on Monday.

More than 9,000 transactions - mainly by AIB Maestro debit cards - at railway station ticket vending machines were not properly processed between March 28 and May 31.

Irish Rail only announced on Friday it would take the unpaid fares from bank accounts as early as Monday. The rail operator had known about the fault, which involves 331,000 euro in unpaid fares, since mid-May.

Mark Gleeson, spokesman for Rail Users Ireland, said at a time when people are "broke", many could be left short - or even penalised by their own bank if a payment is rejected - when the Irish Rail processes payment after the weekend.

He said: "You really need to give at least a week's notice for these things. That is not unreasonable."

Irish Rail said the fault in their system - due to a recent software upgrade - has now been fixed and it will deducting payments from customers' accounts.

Customers who made one trip where a payment wasn't processed during the affected period will have the fare deducted from their account on Monday, June 10. Any failed transactions at vending machines made between May 24 and 31 will also be processed on the same day, as will transactions for customers owing 50 euro or less.

Irish Rail said customers who made a number of journeys where the money wasn't deducted from their accounts before May 24 - and which amounts to more than 50 euro - would be charged on a "phased basis".

The rail operator has set up a customer helpline on 1850 885 865.


From Belfast Telegraph