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Chicago Card woes compounded

The CTA's Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus have been in the news a lot these days, and most of it not good news for the CTA.

First, the CTA has been offering the stored-fare-value smart card for free since Sept. 1. That's a good thing, to save $5, but demand has outstripped supply and I've seen signs at grocery stores that the cards were not available.

Then the CTA announced that the first Chicago Cards issued four years ago, and that it was up to the owner of the card to determine if hers was expiring.

To do that, the CTA urged users to go to its Web site, enter the serial number, and order a card online, by phone or in person.

However, many Web site users found the CTA's server was down, and were greeted by a smiling young lass announcing that the page was a placeholder for Network Resources, the domain seller. At least a dozen Tattler readers wrote me about that, wondering if the CTA had failed to renew the domain name.

Yes, the CTA had renewed the domain name, but they were afflicted b server outages, as some companies sometimes are. Just at the wrong time.

Finally, the CTA realized maybe they should make it easier for their long-time Chicago Card users to get new cards, so Tuesday they announced they automatically mail new cards to those who had registered them.

From the news release: “Because of the concerns expressed by customers we have taken immediate action to change the process so registered card users who have used the card within 12 months will automatically receive a new card,” said CTA President Ron Huberman. “Chicago Cards make it faster and more convenient to ride CTA – the same ease of use should be part of the process to replace expiring cards and I appreciate receiving comments from customers, it allows us to improve the process to meet their needs.”

More tomorrow on this.

Comments

I think a lot of people were going to the wrong website, too. It's chicago-card.com WITH A HYPHEN. Leave off the hyphen, and you'll get to a squatter site filled with affiliate marketing links to things that have nothing to do with the Chicago Card.

I'm encouraged by Huberman's attitude. He seems to be actually thinking about the experience the customer has and whether it's what it should be. I hope he carries this attitude over to thinking about other aspects of the customer experience, and, most impportantly, teaches it to others in the organization.

I think a lot of people were going to the wrong website, too. It's chicago-card.com WITH A HYPHEN. Leave off the hyphen, and you'll get to a squatter site filled with affiliate marketing links to things that have nothing to do with the Chicago Card.

Yeah, but chicago-card.com had the squatter site as well for a bit.

Les incompetents. And they still owe my fiancé ten bucks from when the card machine ate his money and there was no one manning the turnstiles.

I ordered the chicago card from the cta on line they immediately took 22 dollars out of my checking account this was in oct it is almost dec and i still havn't received my card. I keep getting the tired excuse that it is in the mail or they need the order number to check on it. which i given them 5 times already. Is there somewhere else I can get an Chicago Card in person without going thru the postal system or the cta?

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