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Topic # 30820 22-Feb-2009 14:58
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Just wondering how many users here are users of the Snapper card in Wellington. (For those living outside the area, Snapper is a stored value card that allows one to travel on buses and trains in Wellington without having to have a bus ticket, monthly pass or purchase a ticket).

I am not a user but was surprised the other day when a friend purchased one to find that the card costs $10 itself (hardly an accurate reflection of the cost of the production IMHO) and each time it's loaded, one is charged 25C.

Unless using the card provides a discount over paying cash for the same travel, in my view, this is an unnecessary cost to the patron designed primarily to (subtly) discourage constant top up and have patrons maintain larger balances on their cards. Imagine if Vodafone or TNZ were to charge for topping up prepaid phones - the public outrage would be vociferous in my view.

Any others have thoughts on this?




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  Reply # 197278 22-Feb-2009 15:14
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There is a 25% discount on the cash fare if you use a snapper card.


I agree that the initial cost is a bit steep though.  Still waiting for auto-topup so that I don't have to keep an eye on the card balance. 

I have seen heaps of people denied because they haven't got enough credit on their cards.  At least with the old ten trips it was easy to see how many you had left.


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  Reply # 197293 22-Feb-2009 15:48
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wongtop: I have seen heaps of people denied because they haven't got enough credit on their cards.? At least with the old ten trips it was easy to see how many you had left.



I've noticed that too. You can set up an automatic email or SMS alert when the card balance gets really low - I think around $10 - but there's no way to change the threshold where that warning kicks in.



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  Reply # 197308 22-Feb-2009 16:32
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Can you top up online or check balances? That would be useful given it's a stored value card, might be tricky!

In Hong Kong the Octopus card, a sort of super Snapper can't be topped up online either but at every MTR station there are readers for checking the balance on the card.




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System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 197677 24-Feb-2009 09:48
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From what I understand, the balance is stored on the actual card, not on a server somewhere. So topping up online could be tricky from a technical perspective since they would have no surefast way to push the new balance to the card. You can check you balances online, these are updated nightly when (I assume) the units connect back to a main database.


Personally I find it to be pretty handy, even if it costs a bit to use. Its much easier to have the card, then have to carry enough change to make a trip.

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  Reply # 197681 24-Feb-2009 10:01
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I have a Snapper Feeder, a USB dongle that reads/writes to the card and allows you to check actual balance and top up with a credit card. Very handy device.



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  Reply # 197683 24-Feb-2009 10:12
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And how much did they charge for that?




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  Reply # 197690 24-Feb-2009 10:30
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lchiu7: And how much did they charge for that?


I paid $15 when they launched them. Think they are $25 now.

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  Reply # 197693 24-Feb-2009 10:42
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lchiu7: Just wondering how many users here are users of the Snapper card in Wellington. (For those living outside the area, Snapper is a stored value card that allows one to travel on buses and trains in Wellington without having to have a bus ticket, monthly pass or purchase a ticket).

I am not a user but was surprised the other day when a friend purchased one to find that the card costs $10 itself (hardly an accurate reflection of the cost of the production IMHO) and each time it's loaded, one is charged 25C.

Unless using the card provides a discount over paying cash for the same travel, in my view, this is an unnecessary cost to the patron designed primarily to (subtly) discourage constant top up and have patrons maintain larger balances on their cards. Imagine if Vodafone or TNZ were to charge for topping up prepaid phones - the public outrage would be vociferous in my view.

Any others have thoughts on this?


I have a snapper and as others have mentioned you get 25% off the cash fare, ALso the card is much more complex  and expensive to manufacture than a standard mag swip bank card,

I have heard that Bank's Chip+PIN cards cost around $4-5 NZD to manufacture and I would guess snapper is in this ball park as well,


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  Reply # 197701 24-Feb-2009 11:31
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My Wellington rugby season pass is a Snapper card, which is pretty nifty. Does cause confusion when topping up at Kirks with the ladies always going "thats your rugby card dear" but they are learning. You are meant to be able to use it at the stadium to buy beers/food too.

I had one last year, it died on me and I refused to get another. Had about $3 on it so wasn't too fussed. Sent an email last week to Snapper as I had registered it and thought they could transfer the balance across.

Got a prompt reply saying the could, but I would have to bring the card in to their offices. No big deal but, I'd cut the card up in anger at it not working Embarassed Oh well, that will teach me.

.

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Reply # 197711 24-Feb-2009 12:05
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adamj: I have a Snapper Feeder, a USB dongle that reads/writes to the card and allows you to check actual balance and top up with a credit card. Very handy device.


I have one of those but it seems to be really flakey in Vista. I sometimes have to make several attempts to top the card up and every time I have to work my way through a maze of confusing security warning prompts.

This problem was reported by Geekzone users when Snapper was first introduced but to the best of my knowledge Infratil are yet to acknowledge the issue.

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  Reply # 197725 24-Feb-2009 12:32
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alasta:
adamj: I have a Snapper Feeder, a USB dongle that reads/writes to the card and allows you to check actual balance and top up with a credit card. Very handy device.


I have one of those but it seems to be really flakey in Vista. I sometimes have to make several attempts to top the card up and every time I have to work my way through a maze of confusing security warning prompts.

This problem was reported by Geekzone users when Snapper was first introduced but to the best of my knowledge Infratil are yet to acknowledge the issue.


Yes I had the same issue. I mostly use mine on my work laptop tho, which is XP and doesn't complain.



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  Reply # 197733 24-Feb-2009 13:06
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brentbart: My Wellington rugby season pass is a Snapper card, which is pretty nifty. Does cause confusion when topping up at Kirks with the ladies always going "thats your rugby card dear" but they are learning. You are meant to be able to use it at the stadium to buy beers/food too. ..

.


Dual purpose seems to be a new initiative for them. My daughter has a combined school ID card and Snapper card for which (she) I paid $20 for!




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  Reply # 197745 24-Feb-2009 14:02
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Having the terminals at the stadium is cool, brings back memories of the Visa cash cards they had 10 years ago when the stadium opened!

Micropayments really are the future of something like Snapper, look how well Oyster is going in London and Hong Kong. Until we have seemless ticketing across all services (lets hope WRC does let Snapper be used on trains) there will still be a small market but the potential for it to be very big.




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  Reply # 197789 24-Feb-2009 17:28
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The Octopus card in HK is probably the most successful of these types of cards. Initially rolled out to support the subway (MTR) it can now be used on the buses, mini buses, ferries, 7-11 outlets, dispensing machines and many other places.  And they don't charge to top it up!  I think the 25c topup charge is just a rip off unless it's a way to cover the cost of topup when done at a store by a third party reseller.  (As an aside, I wonder how much commission a store owner gets for selling or topping up a card?)




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System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 198292 26-Feb-2009 22:30
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Your balance gets displayed every time once you have about $12 or less left, so there's no reason to not be aware you're too low on funds.

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