Metro (WMATA)

Metrorail Rider Reports Money Deducted From Account Wasn't Added to SmarTrip Card

A Metrorail rider says on three occasions her attempt to add value to her SmarTrip was canceled but money was deducted from her credit card anyway.

"At the very last step after I inserted my credit card, I retouched my SmarTrip in order to finish the transaction,” said Crystal Zhang, who commutes on Metro every day. “Instead, the machine told me the transaction was canceled, it didn’t give me a receipt, and about a minute later, I got a text from my credit card company saying that the amount was deducted from my credit card."

She said she was charged the $50 that wasn’t added to her SmarTrip card.

"Called their credit and debit card department,” she said. “They told me it's not my SmarTrip. They said it's probably the transaction process or the machine."

It happened two more times at different machines.

"And because it happened to me so many times, I decided to record it, so I got it on video," Zhang said.

She got her money back each time because her SmarTrip card is registered and she used a credit card, but she said it also happened to one of her friends using cash to add value to an unregistered card.

“She lost the money," Zhang said.

The machines Zhang used were inspected and no problems were found, Metro said.

To avoid interference during transactions, the transit agency advises removing your SmarTrip from your wallet and making sure it is not next to any other cards or fobs.

Any hold put on your card should reverse automatically if your transaction is canceled, Metro said, but if it doesn't, you should contact them.

Contact Us