If the thought of dealing with one more government bureaucracy or system makes you want to gouge your eyeballs out with spoons, JOIN THE CLUB.
However, I am pleased to announce that today’s post talks about one government process that actually works. To say that I am astonished is a gross understatement.
Here’s my story:
I bought a beautiful new Metrocard.
I immediately lost it.
I cried to a station attendant.
“Call and declare the card lost or stolen,” he said, with no emotion.
I pictured myself waiting on the phone with 511 for hours the next day at work. I was ready to forfeit over $100 of Metrocard just to avoid that experience. But I did a quick Google search and found that NYC, for all its antiquated systems, actually has this one figured out. There is a way to submit your claim ONLINE. Like it is actually 2017. Skeptical but hopeful, I located the claim website, entered the required info, and waited 3 hours because I am impatient. Then, I called and waited on hold for about 15 minutes, wondering if I would ever speak to a human.
But someone picked up! They pulled up my claim and refunded the money. It was back on my card in 3 days.
THANK YOU MERCIFUL GOD OF SUBWAY TECHNOLOGY.
So to recap, if you lose/damage your 30 Day Unlimited Metrocard that you bought with a credit card, here are the instructions to get the remaining balance of the money back:
Step 1: File a Claim
Claim Option 1: Call 718 330-1234 and go through a miserable phone maze of recorded instructions delivered by people talking at sloth-pace until you arrive at the Balance Protection Program.
Claim Option 2 - The Better Alternative:
Fill out this nifty web form
Last 4 of your credit card #
Date of purchase
Date Metrocard was lost or stolen
Approximate time of incident
What the form looks like
Step 2 - Optional: After you submit the claim, call 718 330-1234 if you are neurotic and want it to be resolved more quickly
Step 3: Go to a machine and get yourself a new Metrocard
Step 4: Make sure the credit for your lost card posts back to your credit card statement
The pro-rated balance ($3.89 per un-used day) that is returned to you is based on the day you file the claim, so file ASAP!
If you bought the card with cash, filing a claim will not work. Sorry!
If you had cash value on the card on top of the 30 Day Unlimited (time), you are outta luck. You won’t get that cash value back.
The $1 card fee is not refundable.
You can make 2 claims per calendar year per person; your first claim is free, the second one is $5 which is deducted from the refund amount.