Monday, July 31, 2017

The Answer (2 in 1) Dear PRESTO Customer (and a video of a GO Train)

Dear Customer,
Thank you for your enquiry.
The online PRESTO card activity is updated regularly as the transactions become available from the devices. This will typically take up to 24 hours from the time of your travels.

The “Last Updated” feature on the dashboard will display the date 24 hours from the last time your PRESTO card was used. For example, if you last travelled on May 22nd 2017, your “Last Updated” date should be May 23rd 2017.
I apologize for any confusion this situation may have caused.
This is the response to my question about updating transactions so I could see if our missing card was in fact stolen/being used. Something seems to be missing in this approach. Like many things with Presto, I guess it makes sense after the explanation, but it's not intuitive up front.

And I guess the confusion about the email transaction was resolved when they emailed me back.

It's hot, I'm sitting in shorts listening to Black Mountain, maybe you can help me to understand why their answer bugs me. (It might be that I'm a dumb jerk, so don't hold back)

Here's a GO train passing by on its way into Hamilton downtown.
I love transit despite my grumblings here.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

No way! Email down?

I just contacted Presto using their contact form about the previous issue (below) - when I submitted it, it brought back this view (I logged out to keep account info private) with the warning banner:

Now I'm not sure if this means they will respond to my comment since it was to be through email. So, more frustrating confusion.

It seems there's always something wrong on the backend here...


Usage report date lags

My kid lost her Presto Card, we think. So I log in to check her transit usage. But when I check on July 18, the last update is July 11. Meaning, I can't see if someone is using her card or not, until they update the time-lag.

This is really annoying. To be safe, I canceled her card and ordered a replacement.

When Presto finally updated the transit usage, and I was able to see that it wasn't being used, but is probably lost in the house somewhere...

But then my wife notices that she has the kid's card, and now can't find her own. Jesus.

So I go to check and see if my wife's card is being used.

Well, I can't because there is another time lag. Today is July 27, the last update on my wife's card is July 13. Seriously Presto? How are we to know what is going on with a two-week time lag?

July 27: Last updated July 13
It's been a while since I've posted here but Presto has found another way to make life more complicated than it needs to be, thanks.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A few years go by and now I'm back trying to figure out how to change credit card info

I received my new credit card in the mail, a replacement for my soon to expire one. I love how credit card companies don't rely on me to remind them that I need an updated card.

I recalled that a few years ago when I got a new credit card (same number, different expiry date) good old Presto closed all my accounts.

This time, I'm ready. I immediately log onto the Presto website to update my card info.  The site has understandably changed in the intervening years, but one thing remains constant: there's no straightforward way to do what I need to do.

Using the quick links: which one would you start with?
I started with "Account Profile" thinking that would be the most logical place to update my credit card info. Nope. I can change my username, password,  and contact info like phone and address. But wait, there's a link in the left sidebar for "manage autoload" - I'll try that!

"Manage Autoload" looks like it only lets me change the amount of the autoload, not credit card info. Strike two. But there are three tabs "1. Details, 2. Review, 3, Done." So I click on "next" to see what happens under the "review" tab when I haven't changed the amount of autoload.

Presto! Now I can create a new account since Presto automatically canceled all my accounts when I got my new credit card. Yes, Presto cancels my accounts when I get a new credit card, rather than, say, notify me to update my info. 

Now: do I choose "credit card, or "keep existing payment method"? I'm going to play the even odds and choose "credit card. 

(Because I created different Presto card accounts for my family at different times, I can't just update my info once, I need to log into five accounts and do each individually.) 

Note: I love using Presto when I'm going places on transit, it's awesome. But this kind of backend stuff is disappointing (and annoying), and an example of why I decided to start this blog: 

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Balancing Act

The number 39.33 keeps appearing on my PRESTO card balance as if it has meaning. It's not quite 42, which you may know as The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.

It keeps telling me everywhere I look that there is $39.33 on the card. But there's not. No. 

The problem started when PRESTO cancelled my contract when my new credit card expiry date changed. That triggers a chain of events that render simple solutions like updating the expiry date useless. Nope, with the uniquely PRESTO problem you need to set up a new contract (which carries over the amount remaining on your cancelled contract. I know, right?)

So once I updated the autoload contract I might have been satisfied and gone back to my life pondering the meaning of love and attachment, watching replays of hockey fights on my computer, sneezing, etc. But that would have been a mistake! Why? 

Well, the balance is not actually $39.33, despite telling me that it is on every page of my PRESTO account online, but is in fact $39.33 minus $20.00 that PRESTO added on my expired credit card, then took off the next time the PRESTO card was used, but I would only know that if I dug past the initial pages on my PRESTO web site account, where it shows I have $39.33, to the transaction history page (image above) where I would be required to decipher the entries to reveal the truth, that I only have $19.33 on the card (why wouldn't they bother to update my account online so I can see this information easily, instead of showing the balance with the $20, which they have as $39.33? "It's something they are working on" I'm told by the PRESTO person on the phone) - you following? 

Well, since $19.33 is less than the minimum amount of $20 you are allowed to have on your card, the autoload amount you just entered, even if you had a million dollars, would not work until the balance is brought up over $20... 

So one more step: go to another page at PRESTO and add money to the card above and beyond the autoload contract info you've already transacted to get the extra 0.67 cents on so the autoload will actually work. And just to note, my current balance is still not $39.33, despite the messages at each step of the way on the PRESTO site.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What, what, WHAT?

Transaction History. Designed to be unintelligible? I think so.

 Let's drill in here: March 1, 7:36am (bottom of chart).

Autoload (e-Purse Load Value) $20, $20, $20.  Why would the autoload load $20 three times? Yet the next column doesn't show that much added. What to do?

Call PRESTO! The very nice woman I spoke with was at first as confused as I (who wouldn't be, I suppose) - until she surmised that only one of the transactions went through ($20).

I haven't got time to write too much about this other than the ask the eternal question: WHY????

Why do transactions that didn't work show up in the transaction history at all? And if they do, shouldn't it indicate that it was a failed transaction (and I don't even know why it would have failed the first two times)

And here I thought I might run out of material for the blog...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

How is my Autoload payment information doing? I have no idea!

So one of the current ongoing issues is the fact that when I was issued a new credit card (when my old one expired), PRESTO tells me when it is too late to update my information. This is still unresolved.

In the interest of playing the game PRESTO's way, I decide to go check my other cards to make sure the date on my credit card is updated. What does this look like?

Step One: Log In.
Step Two: Choose "Manage your Autoload Now"
Step Three: Select "Update Payment Information"
Step Four: Click "Next" to "Modify Autoload Information Online"
Step Five: [wait! I want to check my card info to make sure it is already up to date? There's no info about my Credit Card! what happens if I proceed? will it mess up my Presto Card for 24 hours and then I need to tap? Gulp!] Fill out card information and click "Register Payment Details"
Step Six: After entering my card info and registering I get a thank you message. I still have no idea if I updated my old card expiry date, or if I just needlessly re-entered the same info already on record. 

The only reason I am exploring this procedure is because PRESTO, despite having your card info (through a third party, sure, that's just great), does not notify you of the need to renew. In contrast, Paypal will give you advance warning that your card is about to expire. 

A PRESTO supervisor tried to blame me for not thinking of PRESTO when I got my new credit card in the mail. And tried to pass the blame again my asking me if I knew that PRESTO uses a third party to administer the credit card info. "It's all on our web site" she said. Where else are customers  expected to research to know how the behind the scenes workings of an organization are set up? 

All I want is to be able to access my account in a way that makes having an online account a useful thing to have.

I did get this e-mail confirmation a few minutes after updating the form. So I guess I should call to ask what I did?:
Congratulations, your request to modify the Autoload contract associated with the PRESTO Card has been successfully processed. The contract ID number is xxxxxxxxx_xxx.Please take note of the contract number in your records, or keep this letter for future reference should you need to contact the PRESTO Call Centre for inquiries regarding this contract.
PRESTO is committed to providing you with the best customer experience possible. If you have any questions or comments, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please visit us at or call our toll free number at 1-8-PRESTO-123 (1-877-378-6123).Thank you for choosing PRESTO.Sincerely,The PRESTO Team
"The best customer experience possible" - hmmm. Not working.