Oystercard and Contactless Card Clash: How to Get a Refund (it’s not easy!)

If you live or travel through London you may have heard the announcements at London Underground stations about being aware of card clashes when going through the ticket barriers.

In fact, you can pay for transport on London Underground and Overground by pre-paid Oystercard or contactless debit card.

What they don’t tell you is what happens in the unfortunate event you experience a card clash.

Here’s how to get a refund – it’s not a straightforward process.

1 Notify a member of staff at the station if your bank card was charged instead of your pay-as-you-go Oystercard as you are likely to have been charged twice. In my case, I touched in with my Oystercard but on my way out the touch out was with my contactless bank card, therefore I got charged twice for the same journey. While on the Oystercard I got charged for the maximum fare for a single journey, on my bank card I was charged £9.50. A member of staff adjusted the fare on my Oystercard and told me there was nothing Transport for London can do about the bank card and therefore told me to contact my bank.

2. Contact your bank to dispute the transaction. First of all, allow 2-3 for the payment to go through the system as your bank will not be able to do anything with a transaction that is still being processed. Once the transaction is showing on your bank statement, call the bank explaining the situation. You will be transferred to the dispute department. When I called (Lloyds Bank) the first time the payment hadn’t cleared. The operator asked me: “Can’t you do without that money?” Ahem – no! I’d rather have it, thank you very much! When the transaction cleared I called again, this time the operator did not know about the transport situation in London and how Oystercards are used to allow people to travel. So, after a tutorial on Oystercards and contactless cards, the bank agreed to forward my dispute to Transport for London, who have 4-5 days to reply.

3. After your dispute has been accepted, you will get a refund in one working day.