Recently I've been travelling to London frequently and thought that getting a smartcard would be easier for my commute and using the tube.
But i've found it virtually impossible to get tickets onto my smartcard, I travel from Brookwood and the ticket machines appear to have no options to buy or load tickets onto smartcards. The person running the ticket office told me that smartcards "are only really for season tickets", despite the SWT website saying:
"Single, return and weekly tickets can be purchased and Monthly Season tickets can be renewed at ticket machines and instantly loaded onto your card."
Also on the website I've found no way to explicitly buy a smartcard ticket, except later through the purchase process there being a selectable option for "smartcard sale". Using this still failed to load my ticket onto my card the next day at the reader and I needed to print out my ticket from the machine.
How do I buy tickets for the smartcard online? Can you not load tickets onto smartcards instantly at the station as your website says? Or is this system just broken/unreliable?
I've contacted customer service and they say that Smartcards at present don't work with any non-season tickets and can't be purchased at stations. The south western website needs to be updated to reflect this.
This week I ordered a SWR smartcard for the exact same reasons and the letter that comes with the smart card has similar wording "We offer Weekly, Monthly, Monthly Plus and Annual seasons tickets on South Western Railway smartcards. You can also purchase Single and Return tickets". The booking website URL " southwesternrailway.com/smart" on the letter does not work. The "tickets.southwesternrailway.com" URL does not clearly state what a "Smartcard Sale" is. I will try the machine at the station; failing that I will be back to paper tickets. SWR you are useless!
Hi, My apologies for the inconvenience and frustration.
Daily tickets can be purchased from the station TVMs provided the station has a smart card ticketing facility. Please refer to the map here https://www.southwesternrailway.com/~/media/files/ticket-information/smartcard-map.pdf?la=en
Unfortunately, currently, daily tickets cannot be purchased from our website to be loaded onto the smart card.
I shall be passing on your comments to relevant team for their attention.
The self-service machine at my station has the smart card facility and thankfully the excellent station staff were on hand to show me how to purchase and load a travelcard onto the smart card. SWR's total lack of information on the website on how to do this is very frustrating. SWR should be embarrassed at the poor user experience its customers suffer due to the lack of clear & correct information on the website. It really is not difficult to create and publish a few 'how to' videos on YouTube? Also, why do you print paper receipts for smart card sales? You know the email address my card is registered against, so please just email me the receipt. It would save some paper and would be far more convenient for me.
How do you actually load a ticket onto the card? I know I have to go the station (Farnborough Main is my local) and use a machine, but I don't see any options, and end up with a paper ticket every time.My phone seems to de-magnetise the paper tickets most days and I have to find a guard at each ticket machine, so I really want to use the Smartcard!
Hi Dreamer, you can load ticket onto your Touch Smartcard by touching it on a Smartcard reader at a ticket gate or platform at your chosen station.