Londoners have a love-hate relationship with the tube.
On the one hand, it’s a miracle of engineering that’s been getting the capital moving since 1863. On the other hand, last week my commute involved sitting opposite someone who was being sick into an orange Sainsbury’s bag at approximately 8.04 in the morning.
Then there’s the delays. The gritted teeth and half-muffled humphs that sweep down the carriage like a Mexican wave of discontent as an invisible voice announces yet another signal failure. This authentic London experience doesn’t come cheap: my monthly travel costs me £135. I can think of plenty of ways to have more fun with that money. Not all involve pizza.
So I was very pleased to hear about the genius new app that is Claim My Refund. The premise is simple: you’re entitled to a refund from TFL of a single journey after a delay of 15 minutes or more. Claims must be made within 14 days of your delay and TFL posts you out a voucher. Obviously no one in their right mind has the time to work out which journeys qualify in order to manually fill out a form to get a refund.
The Claim My Refund automates the process – meaning the only thing you have to do is open your post to get your voucher. The app cleverly links to your Oystercard account and each week scans your journey history against the TFL schedules to find out about delays. Once it finds a successful claim, it automatically fills out the refund application for you and alerts you with an email. TFL then send you an email to say your voucher is in the post. You can get the vouchers added to your Oystercard at the tube station. This evening I had £22.10 in vouchers to add on to my card. Takes the edge off that vomit-ridden journey the other week. Sort of.