When the Clipper Card first came out, I remember the chatter about what a stupid name that was. That it wasn't very interesting given how awesome the Bay Area is. Clipper? Really? That's the best they could come up with?
Well, as it turns out, it's a perfect name befitting a card with 19th century technology. For example...
If you ignore the email you get when your auto-load credit card expires and don't update your payment info, then try to get on a bus with your Clipper Card that still has $26.95 on it, for a bus ride that costs $4.20, your card will be blocked and will not work.
Never mind those 26 dollars and 95 cents -- those are dead to you now, and they're dead to the Clipper folks as well until you update that auto-load payment information. But updating that payment information is just the first step of many to getting your card unblocked.
Once you've updated your payment info in your account, it takes 24 - 72 hours for the system to update. Twenty four, to SEVENTY TWO hours.
Are they taking the credit card information and transcribing that onto an old credit slip and mailing that to an accounting office back east? Even an old timey telegraph using Morse code would be faster than 24-72 hours. But that's not even the best part.
The best part is, once you've updated your payment info, you get an email that confirms the update and tells you that they will now "issue an order to unblock your card."
Here's what it says, verbatim:
We are issuing an order to unblock your card. For your card to work and your Autoload value to be available, you must "pick up" the unblock order by tagging your card to a card reader. Please allow up to 5 days for this order to be available for pick-up.
First thing -- why doesn't just updating the payment info unblock the card? Why do I now have to wait for another thing to happen -- the issuing of the order to unblock my card -- for it to become unblocked? Is there a special council that receives and rules on unblock orders? Do they only meet every third Thursday every other month?
Second thing -- now I have to "pick up" the unblock order with a card reader - but it might not be available for FIVE DAYS??? Is someone writing these on post it notes and putting them on select card readers on certain buses and I have to get on the right bus on the right day to find my unblock order? Or are they hand-making the paper for each special unblock order, Martha Stewart style? Or are they printing them on old fashioned letter presses that require the special unblock ink?
What. The. Fuck. Who are the fuckwits that engineered this colossal clusterfuck of fucktardness? Really, I'm the fucktard, because I should have updated my account when I got the email.