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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How would that work... Bluetooth?

BruceBikes said:

I've read that Ventra will eventually be able to accept NFC-enabled phone payment.  It'll be nice to have one fewer card in my wallet.

h' $550 said:

so what's the point? So that tourists can subsidize the system by overpaying with credit cards?

Couldn't they come up with a sensor that works for both?

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

As good as the CC+ was a best case scenario that few are expected to achieve.


h' $550 said:

Not quite. I have been able to swipe most of the time with my CC+ without even taking it out of my pocket.

It sounds like that won't be possible with Ventra, so at best I'll have something that doesn't do everything my Chicago Card did.

BTW-- why are they making it a point to call it "touchless" if they're speaking of "tapping" it in the same breath?

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

The best part of is whole mess is that after we finally get through all this transition frustration, at best we'll have something that does everything that our Chicago Cards did.

It's a new transmitter that phone manufacturers recently started adding. It's usually found on higher end smartphones but is becoming more mainstream. If your advertises NFC-Enabled or Google Wallet compatible it should have the right hardware.



h' $550 said:

How would that work... Bluetooth?

BruceBikes said:

I've read that Ventra will eventually be able to accept NFC-enabled phone payment.  It'll be nice to have one fewer card in my wallet.

If you're able to log in using the info from the email and set a PIN for the account, then use that PIN in the activation phone call to the 888 # on the sticker on the Ventra card.  Successful completion of the activation call triggers the balance transfer. Good luck! Hope the rest of the process is easier for you.

h' $550 said:

I had kind of a silly back and forth with CTA per e-mail trying to explain that I'd never received the e-mails, but they finally stated they were forwarding my communication to Ventra, and I got a call this morning at 7:45 or so from a guy in Tennessee who generated reset and username/password e-mails. I guess I'll dig in tonight and figure out if that's what I need to transfer my CC+ balance.

It will trigger the transfer, but for me that meant removing the money from CC+ and then...well, keeping it. Still waiting for the actual transfer part to occur, right now it's more of a "steal" rather than a "transfer."

It's been 9 days now since my "transfer" was activated, it's a little frustrating.

Anne Alt said:

If you're able to log in using the info from the email and set a PIN for the account, then use that PIN in the activation phone call to the 888 # on the sticker on the Ventra card.  Successful completion of the activation call triggers the balance transfer. Good luck! Hope the rest of the process is easier for you.

Different than Bluetooth, NFC stands for Near Field Communication.  It's based on the radio frequency identification (RFID) already used in contactless cards.  It's being added to most new smartphones.

h' $550 said:

How would that work... Bluetooth?

BruceBikes said:

I've read that Ventra will eventually be able to accept NFC-enabled phone payment.  It'll be nice to have one fewer card in my wallet.

I got a notification from my transit benefit administrator (WageWorks) that they had loaded October benefit onto my Ventra Account on the 11th, but I'm yet to receive or activate a Ventra Card. I wonder where that money went.

Yep, what Anne said.  I ended up activating the card over the phone twice, after a week of waiting with no money transfer from CC+, and basically nothing happening after the first activation.  The second activation was the charm: call the phone number, input your Ventra card number and 4-digit PIN, then wait for the confirmation.  After that second activation, my account status on the Ventra web site switched from "Closed" to "Active" and shortly thereafter my 28 bucks magically transferred over.  I've used the Ventra card several times since, with no problems.
 
Anne Alt said:

If you're able to log in using the info from the email and set a PIN for the account, then use that PIN in the activation phone call to the 888 # on the sticker on the Ventra card.  Successful completion of the activation call triggers the balance transfer. Good luck! Hope the rest of the process is easier for you.

Cam, it's interesting that you don't have a card yet, but I do, since we work for the same company. Did you have the transit benefits on a CC+ card before?

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

I got a notification from my transit benefit administrator (WageWorks) that they had loaded October benefit onto my Ventra Account on the 11th, but I'm yet to receive or activate a Ventra Card. I wonder where that money went.

7 days here. If I call 1-877-NOW-VENT, and enter my Ventra card number, the system doesn't even recognize it, despite me having used the card already for a bus ride,

Will G - 10mi said:

It will trigger the transfer, but for me that meant removing the money from CC+ and then...well, keeping it. Still waiting for the actual transfer part to occur, right now it's more of a "steal" rather than a "transfer."

It's been 9 days now since my "transfer" was activated, it's a little frustrating.

Anne Alt said:

If you're able to log in using the info from the email and set a PIN for the account, then use that PIN in the activation phone call to the 888 # on the sticker on the Ventra card.  Successful completion of the activation call triggers the balance transfer. Good luck! Hope the rest of the process is easier for you.

It will reduce the barrier to use public transit, by no longer having to carry a separate card, or have to worry about change. This article mentions the rise of universal fare payment systems as one of the reasons behind the decline in driving

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/10/what-rise-technolo...

h' $550 said:

so what's the point? So that tourists can subsidize the system by overpaying with credit cards?

Couldn't they come up with a sensor that works for both?

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

As good as the CC+ was a best case scenario that few are expected to achieve.


h' $550 said:

Not quite. I have been able to swipe most of the time with my CC+ without even taking it out of my pocket.

It sounds like that won't be possible with Ventra, so at best I'll have something that doesn't do everything my Chicago Card did.

BTW-- why are they making it a point to call it "touchless" if they're speaking of "tapping" it in the same breath?

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

The best part of is whole mess is that after we finally get through all this transition frustration, at best we'll have something that does everything that our Chicago Cards did.

Duppie, just out of curiosity, if you log into your account on ventrachicago.com, is your account status "active" or "closed"?  Or are you locked out of your account right now?

Just curious to see if they're having a phone system glitch or if not recognizing your number is an account issue.
 
Duppie said:

7 days here. If I call 1-877-NOW-VENT, and enter my Ventra card number, the system doesn't even recognize it, despite me having used the card already for a bus ride

They already do. Look on youtube for some videos of Google Wallet being used to go thru a turn-stile.

I think the missing link for now is that you cannot add them to your account, so you have to re-load them at a vending machine

BruceBikes said:

I've read that Ventra will eventually be able to accept NFC-enabled phone payment.  It'll be nice to have one fewer card in my wallet.

h' $550 said:

so what's the point? So that tourists can subsidize the system by overpaying with credit cards?

Couldn't they come up with a sensor that works for both?

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

As good as the CC+ was a best case scenario that few are expected to achieve.


h' $550 said:

Not quite. I have been able to swipe most of the time with my CC+ without even taking it out of my pocket.

It sounds like that won't be possible with Ventra, so at best I'll have something that doesn't do everything my Chicago Card did.

BTW-- why are they making it a point to call it "touchless" if they're speaking of "tapping" it in the same breath?

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

The best part of is whole mess is that after we finally get through all this transition frustration, at best we'll have something that does everything that our Chicago Cards did.

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