The Chainlink

OK - it's Friday (TGIF btw) and I am going to unload a M_A_J_O_R VENTra...I got my card in the mail; followed the instuctions to activate it (very poor btw) and received a message that 'my card is already activated' (wtf). OK - I'll play along. I do not know the access code (never set it up - do-h); cannot log in to retrieve it (two strikes for you), so I call the "toll free" number (what a joke); and to speak with someone about it I am told

(with a very cheery female voice (oh spare me honey) "your wait time will be approximately 26 minutes". yeah right. like I have NOTHING better to do than sit on hold

and listen to this nauseating music (good thing I collect barf bags from southwest airlines (now THERE is a company with awesome customer service btw - can you say capitalism with a KAPITAL SEE?????). VENTRA darling - you get a BIG FAT F- in my grade book. I am flushing this lovely little card down the toilet. Oh wait - i will use my handy dandy "pick puncher" and make some nice guitar picks out of you; it was nice knowing you. and why do I hate the CTA ??? let me count the ways. When I get even a B+ from my customers I have to meet with them to see what ever I can do to change that grade to an A+.

 

OK - I feel SO much better now...TGIF

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I feel lucky. I keep hearing horror stories about Ventra. College campuses just switched to Ventra to be used as our U-Passes. Got mine activated it 10 minutes later over phone and it has worked since.

Have fun playing the guitar!

I wanted to ask about this too.

I got my card yesterday-- do I have no choice but  to have the debit card funtion? I don't want it.

Also, there was something about some sort of code being give to me by e-mail or mail--- never seen anything, any idea what that's about?

I really really really just want to keep my Chicago Card Plus. It's been absolutely great for years and years.

I don't even have to take it out of my pocket to swipe most of the time.

What happens to it if I do nothing? The mailing was gray on that.

Dan, did you every actually get through and talk to someone?

Also, the name "ventra" automatically evokes the ventral surface of a fish or animal to me. "Vents" are science-talk for anal, urinary, or genital openings.

Not appealing.

There's a fake Ventra twitter handle that's pretty funny and will help everyone at least get a few giggles out of this mess. 

https://twitter.com/chicagoventra

Some of my favorites:

Activating your Card is easy! Simply visit our website, enter your Card number, douse your hair in gasoline and light it on fire!

Have you considered walking?

Can't find your access code? Just call 888-824-8802, select your language, then cry uncontrollably until you are disconnected!

Thanks!

Nikul Shah said:

As of Monday, CTA extended our ability to reload CCP.  However, CCP is on track to be phased out (not accepted) by November 15. You do not have to use VENTRA's debit function. It is a feature you turn on.



h' 1.0 said:

I wanted to ask about this too.

I got my card yesterday-- do I have no choice but  to have the debit card funtion? I don't want it.

Also, there was something about some sort of code being give to me by e-mail or mail--- never seen anything, any idea what that's about?

I really really really just want to keep my Chicago Card Plus. It's been absolutely great for years and years.

I don't even have to take it out of my pocket to swipe most of the time.

What happens to it if I do nothing? The mailing was gray on that.

Dan, did you every actually get through and talk to someone?

Yeah, the process is less than crystal clear.

I found my email after searching for a while. The sender is called "updates@ventrachicago.com' and the subject is 'convenience is coming'. It contains your user id and password.

I set up it up last night. Here is roughly the right way of doing it:

1. find your email

2. login to ventrachicago.com. Use the login at the top-tight of you screen, not the "register your ventra card". use the credentials from you email.

3. Setup your account. Add credit card, confirm address, etc. Also, generate a 4 digit pin number.

4. Call the number on your Ventra card. Have your 4 digit pin # handy

Probalby took me 15 minutes. Got some dumb error messages, etc. but in the end it worked. Now, if only they would transfer the balance from my old CCP.



h' 1.0 said:

I wanted to ask about this too.

I got my card yesterday-- do I have no choice but  to have the debit card funtion? I don't want it.

Also, there was something about some sort of code being give to me by e-mail or mail--- never seen anything, any idea what that's about?

I really really really just want to keep my Chicago Card Plus. It's been absolutely great for years and years.

I don't even have to take it out of my pocket to swipe most of the time.

What happens to it if I do nothing? The mailing was gray on that.

Dan, did you every actually get through and talk to someone?

My experience was just like Duppie's, minus any error messages.  The key is to follow the email instructions to set up your online profile and PIN in advance of activating your card.  (You don't even need to have received your card to do this.)  I had the benefit of reading this advice in a news post prior to receiving my card.  I hope it can help others too.

Also, my CCP balance was automatically transferred on the day I activated my card.  I checked both my CCP and Ventra transaction histories and saw the same $16 moved from one account to the other on the same minute.

Duppie said:

Yeah, the process is less than crystal clear.

I found my email after searching for a while. The sender is called "updates@ventrachicago.com' and the subject is 'convenience is coming'. It contains your user id and password.

I set up it up last night. Here is roughly the right way of doing it:

1. find your email

2. login to ventrachicago.com. Use the login at the top-tight of you screen, not the "register your ventra card". use the credentials from you email.

3. Setup your account. Add credit card, confirm address, etc. Also, generate a 4 digit pin number.

4. Call the number on your Ventra card. Have your 4 digit pin # handy

Probalby took me 15 minutes. Got some dumb error messages, etc. but in the end it worked. Now, if only they would transfer the balance from my old CCP.



h' 1.0 said:

I wanted to ask about this too.

I got my card yesterday-- do I have no choice but  to have the debit card funtion? I don't want it.

Also, there was something about some sort of code being give to me by e-mail or mail--- never seen anything, any idea what that's about?

I really really really just want to keep my Chicago Card Plus. It's been absolutely great for years and years.

I don't even have to take it out of my pocket to swipe most of the time.

What happens to it if I do nothing? The mailing was gray on that.

Dan, did you every actually get through and talk to someone?

h' 1.0 said:

I got my card yesterday-- do I have no choice but  to have the debit card funtion? I don't want it.

The debit function of your card is optional.  From the Ventra FAQ's:

How can I use my Ventra Card aside from transit?

If you activate your optional Money Network® MasterCard® Prepaid Debit Account and load funds, you can use your dual-purpose Ventra Card wherever Debit MasterCard® is accepted. In addition to making purchases, you can load funds via direct deposit, make online bill payments, get cash at ATMs and much more.

How do I activate my Ventra Card’s Prepaid Debit Account?

 Activating your Prepaid Debit Account is easy. Register your Ventra Card online by following these simple steps or calling our Customer Call Center at 1.877.NOW.VENTRA (1.877.669.8368).

h' 1.0 also said:

Also, the name "ventra" automatically evokes the ventral surface of a fish or animal to me. "Vents" are science-talk for anal, urinary, or genital openings.

Not appealing.

I've read that Ventra is Latin for "windy", however, when I plug it into the Google translator, Windy translates to Ventosum, and Ventra translates to Abdomens.  H', you may be closer than CTA on this.

My experience with getting and activating the card was similar. 

So far I've only needed to use it twice. The first time it worked perfectly on the first tap. On the return trip, it took 5 attempts to get through the gate.

BruceBikes said:

My experience was just like Duppie's, minus any error messages.  The key is to follow the email instructions to set up your online profile and PIN in advance of activating your card.  (You don't even need to have received your card to do this.)  I had the benefit of reading this advice in a news post prior to receiving my card.  I hope it can help others too.

Also, my CCP balance was automatically transferred on the day I activated my card.  I checked both my CCP and Ventra transaction histories and saw the same $16 moved from one account to the other on the same minute.

Bruce, you're lucky! I activated on Tuesday night, went through the steps. My CC+ account was debited it's value, as expected, but those funds never made it over to the Ventra Card(!). I can't get a human at Ventra to tell me what's up with that. I guess I'm just going to hope that the money eventually shows up.

BruceBikes said:

My experience was just like Duppie's, minus any error messages.  The key is to follow the email instructions to set up your online profile and PIN in advance of activating your card.  (You don't even need to have received your card to do this.)  I had the benefit of reading this advice in a news post prior to receiving my card.  I hope it can help others too.

Also, my CCP balance was automatically transferred on the day I activated my card.  I checked both my CCP and Ventra transaction histories and saw the same $16 moved from one account to the other on the same minute.


Why didn't they just name it "Abdomens" then?



BruceBikes said:

 

h' 1.0 also said:

Also, the name "ventra" automatically evokes the ventral surface of a fish or animal to me. "Vents" are science-talk for anal, urinary, or genital openings.

Not appealing.

I've read that Ventra is Latin for "windy", however, when I plug it into the Google translator, Windy translates to Ventosum, and Ventra translates to Abdomens.  H', you may be closer than CTA on this.

My beef with this whole Ventra system is that it's now almost impossible to be an anonymous transit user. At every turn you are encouraged to register you card w/ your Date of Birth and all sorts of personal info. I never signed onto the whole Chicago Card thing because I figure I'm in enough databases already. It's bad enough that my cell provider indefinitely keeps a log of the cell towers that my phone connects to, but now the private company that manages the Ventra program is going to keep records of every place I go on the CTA, and they can cross reference that with folks that I travel with? Tinfoil hat and all, but this "we need all your info" stuff has got to stop.

Looks like I better budget for more time enjoying Bike Winter.

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