Call 13myki (136954). Or not.

One of the major promises of the Baillieu Liberal Government was the creation of a single, central Public Transport Authority, to consolidate the bureaucracy and myriad of different agencies responsible for all aspects of Public Tranport in Victoria.  We saw the first public signs of it's existence last week, with the introduction of Public Transport Victoria (PTV)

Now don't get me wrong, I think this is actually a good thing... a one stop shop for all things PT related in Victoria can only be good when it's fully up and running.  As part of this, the Transport Ticketing Authority (which controls, runs and implements myki) will eventually be taken over/absorbed by PTV.

Part of PTV's introduction involved the creation of a new one stop phone number.  1800 800 007.  Again, a smart move, one number for all your PT needs.

But that's where the smarts end.  In what seems a silly decision, the myki phone number 13 6954 (13 myki) now redirects you to the PTV number.  You have to sit through multiple messages and explanations of why you are being diverted.

I can understand why somebody thought this might be a good idea, but the timing and implementation are abysmal.

People calling PTV (Formerly Metlink) might conceivably want to talk to myki.  Particularly now it's a freecall 1800 number, which is great news.

But I find it hard to believe that anyone ringing myki wants to listen to two minutes of messages about service disruptions on the Geelong line, for instance, which is what they are getting if they call the number this morning.

Sadly, many people ringing myki right now are ringing because they are having a problem.  They are probably at least slightly annoyed, or inconvenienced, and in some cases they are probably angry.  Because the system overcharged them, because their card stopped working, because their online topup has failed to arrive, because they were unable to topup due to faulty readers/barriers.  There are numerous reasons why people might be ringing the number 13myki.

So I'm sure for all those people, having to sit through minutes of irrelevant messages makes them feel a whole lot better, and fully confident that, perhaps, eventually, they'll speak to somebody who can help them. 

And, of course, the number 136954 is printed on the back of every single myki card, and every myki machine.  In fact the sticker on the front of myki machines that displays the number was only very recently replaced to inform users of the sale of full fare myki cards, and even then the number is still the old one.  Didn't anyone foresee this?  The fact that they didn't, hardly engenders confidence in the new authority, and the fact myki themselves didn't see it coming is also cause for concern, though they do have an awful lot on their plates, don't they.

One could hope that someone might see sense and put things back to the way they were, at least until the infamous myki "teething problems" are solved.

I guess what really bugs me about this, is that it just appears no real thought was put into this decision at all.  I know in the grand scheme of things it's pretty minor, but that's myki all over... a lot of minor things which just aren't quite good enough, that just needed a little more thought.  The fact that PTV is involved is even more disappointing.  Just a new canvas painted with the same old brush, really.


  1. How do you call these clowns from overseas?


Post a Comment