Tuesday, 19 March 2013

It's myki madness time again!

Here's a story about myki.  It's also a story about stupidity.  Perhaps it's about bureaucracy gone mad.  Or it might be a story about losing touch with kindness.

A friend of mine works in a small boutique which sells clothing and accessories.  When checking the dressing rooms after a customer had gone, a left behind myki card was discovered.  Staff in the store put the card aside thinking that the woman who had mislaid it might come back at some point to reclaim it.

After a couple of days, there was no sign of the woman.  My community-minded friend called myki with the intention of reuniting the card with its owner.  She was advised by the woman she spoke to in the call centre that details could not be revealed because of privacy.  

My friend patiently explained that she didn't want any details, she just wanted to see the card returned. 

She was told by the operator that there was no way she could even go into the account that the card was attached to without speaking to the account owner.

My friend suggested that the card could perhaps be returned to myki who could then pass it back to the woman - provided of course the card had been registered.

NO.  None of that was possible.  No help could be given at all.  Because of "privacy".

This seems ridiculous.  It would make sense for myki cards to have an "if found return to PO Box 123, Melbourne" message.  Then details could be checked and cards/balances be returned.  Couldn't something like this work?

Maybe there is fear about some poor public servant somewhere drowning under a pile of lost myki cards.  

It could be made even more community-minded by donating to charity  the balance on cards unclaimed after a certain amount of time.

Privacy seems to have become a blanket excuse anytime big organisations don't want to go out of their way to help.  Usually it has nothing to do with privacy.  In this case, I understand that they wouldn't be giving the details of the card owner to my friend;  they don't need to and that's not what she was asking for.

So my friend has this myki card and she asked me what she should do with it.  I suggested that she could use it.  She was appalled and imagined a siren going off and a cage dropping over her the very moment she tried.  Thinking about it, if the owner knows they've lost their card and haven't been back for it, it might be registered and they might have rung up and blocked it, in which case the only thing for it is to throw it away.  (Or can cards be reset to zero and reissued so they are used for the term of their natural life?)

Seems silly to me.  Have you ever lost your myki?  (I have.) Was it registered?  How much money was on it?  How did you get home?

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