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Auckland Transport train
9 March 2018

Public transport cards pulled up for unfair terms

A Commerce Commission review found Auckland Transport's AT HOP card terms and conditions were likely to be unfair.

Auckland Transport has cleaned up its AT HOP card terms and conditions after a Commerce Commission review found they were likely to be unfair and breach the Fair Trading Act.

The pre-paid AT HOP card, used on Auckland’s buses and trains, has attracted complaints from consumers about its terms of use, which included limits on the period of use and rights to a refund.

Commerce Commissioner Anna Rawlings said Auckland Transport has amended more than 20 of the card’s terms as a result of its review.

Changes include extending the validity period of unused cards from two to six years and limiting the blocking of cards in cases where passengers repeatedly fail to tag off.

Ms Rawlings said Auckland Transport decided last year to automatically refund expired online top-ups. “Previously top-ups made online expired if they were not activated within 60 days and passengers had to contact Auckland Transport to reactivate the top-up. This was an issue the commission received numerous complaints about.”

The commission also reviewed the terms of use of Wellington’s Snapper card and Environment Canterbury’s Metrocard.

Snapper has amended its terms to provide customers with two weeks’ notice of changes to the card’s terms of use. Non-functioning cards will also be replaced free when damage to the card isn’t the passenger’s fault.

The commission said Environment Canterbury is updating Metrocard’s terms and conditions to limit situations where a card can be cancelled or confiscated without notice. Changes will also allow credit balances to be transferred to a replacement card before the expiry of a registered card.

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