Last week, I received a call from the bank telling me that had revoked a credit card due to fraud. Unfortunately, it was the main credit card that I use, and most automatic payments are set up to charge that card.
Almost every account update was easy. You find the service provider, go to the web site, log in (thanks for remembering everything, Password Safe!), and change the credit card. When I remembered that I needed to update my FastTrak toll tag, it turns out that I had been smart enough to store even that information in Password Safe. Total time per account: approximately one minute. Total time for all affected accounts: less than ten minutes.
Then, I got to the last item on the list: the BART EZ-Rider card. It’s still a pilot program, which means that everything is still paper-based. Therefore, I needed to (1) find the right spot on the web site, (2) learn that updating my credit card requires filling out a form, (3) download the forms, (4) find out that all the account forms are in the PDF, so print out the correct one, (5) carefully fill out the form, since not all items in the form are required, (6) send the EZ Rider service center an e-mail to let them know the form will be coming, (7) note that there is no fax number on the form, and find it on the web site, (8) wait until Monday to send them the form, and (9) hope that the information can be updated reasonably promptly, because what happens if the form isn’t processed right away? Total time to update: ask me when the process is complete.
(The major reason I got an EZ Rider is that discount tickets are not available in stations, and you’re left with a pile of sub-$1.00 tickets that are useless. If I have to specially seek out a discount ticket because of this, I’ll be mad.)
At this point, I could make an unfavorable comparison of the EZ Rider service to FasTrak (which is run by Caltrans, hardly a pinnacle of efficiency or customer service), but that would be mean, so I won’t.