Buying tickets for a smartcard


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?



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