A FAULT with pre-paid smartcards has left hundreds of C2C commuters out of pocket.

The Echo has received a number of complaints from smartcard holders, claiming that the tickets they’ve paid for haven’t been added to their smart card.

As a result, commuters have been advised to order a new smartcard. Whilst waiting for their new smartcards to arrive, customers have had to purchase additional tickets which they can then ask to be refunded.

However, commuters have complained that due to a backlog of refund requests, they have no idea when they will get their money back, and that they haven’t been able to use proof of purchase as a way to travel.

Those with flexi-season tickets, which you add to the smartcard, have also experienced similar issues.

Lucy Woolven, is one of many who has had issues with their smartcard. The 38 year old from Laindon, said: “I’m absolutely fuming about this. I’ve still got one ticket left on my old smartcard which I can’t use, and I paid £146 for ten flexi-season tickets on my new smartcard which they advised me to get – I can’t use this either.

“I’m spending £25 each day to get to work because they won’t let me through the barrier with my smartcard even though I’ve paid so much money out.

“It’s so inconvenient and I can’t afford to do it. I’ve been waiting three weeks for a refund and have got nowhere. The smartcard is terrible, people are just losing money.”

Lucy Harris, from Basildon, commented on Facebook: “My money was taken on June 23, I’ve complained twice since then and my requests for a refund have been ignored. It’s a shocking service.

“I’ve managed to get the money back from my bank temporarily pending an investigation, but C2C are awful.

“I won’t be trusting smart card again and will buy paper tickets instead.”

C2C are aware of the issue, and are working to refund customers.

A C2C spokesperson said: “We’re sorry that our customers have been experiencing problems with their smartcards and flexi-season tickets.

“We’ve compensated those 3,500 customers who were in need of a new smartcard with a £10 account credit and contacted them directly via email four times.

“We’ve also received complaints from customers buying season tickets on smartcard whereby their ticket didn’t load when tapping in at the gateline after purchase. This has been resolved and we’re offering a full refund to the customers who were affected.

“We’ve had teething problems with our ticketing system upgrade and know that our website is not perfect at the moment but we are making continuous improvements and are listening to customers feedback. We are really sorry for the inconvenience caused during this time and thank customers for bearing with us while we put things right.”