Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Magnetic (Return of the Clones III?)

When I arrived back in Madrid yesterday afternoon, fresh from Yorkshire, I was definitely in cheapskate mode, so I decided to take the Metro/bus home, rather than a taxi. I bought myself a two-Euro ticket (see Graeme's post on why you have to do this), and went to Cuzco via Nuevos Ministerios. At Cuzco, I waited for the bus that goes to the end of our street (they're normally every 5-10 minutes, but because I was waiting for it, tired, sweaty and overdressed for Madrid having just got back from not-warm-at-all England, I had to wait twenty minutes), and when it eventually came, I popped my 10-trip ticket into the machine. Machine said no. I checked the back of the ticket, and there's definitely seven trips left on it. I gave it to the driver, who punched a hole in it.

Didn't think any more of it.

This morning, I had to withdraw some cash to pay Telefonica to put my Internet back on. The first cash machine said no, can't read the magnetic strip. So did the second one. Beginning to panic, thinking the card's been skimmed again (see this horrific post if you missed the skim-scam), I rushed off to my bank to get the card cancelled and a replacement issued.

I tell ya: never a dull moment in Madrid.

But I wonder what form of exotic machine I passed through on my travels yesterday that wiped these magnetic strips? Most odd.

Oh, and thanks to M at M & J for this heads-up; we may have got rid of the skim-scammers. Still haven't had my sodding money back though.


Lee said...

I once had all my cards and metro tickets go bad on me like that. Turned out that a new purse of mine had a snap shut that used a very strong magnet, that killed all my cards. Or sometimes in a supermarket leaving your wallet on a bar code scanner can do it.

Lee said...

Also, I got ripped off by some scammers back in 2002. They yanked my card out of the cashpoint as it was coming out and ran. I ran into the bank and they literally cancelled the account within ONE MINUTE. Still, the fuckers got 450 out of my account- must have been hackers with a nearby laptop- and scummy Caja Madrid only returned 300 of my money "because you have to take some of the blame." Huh? Since then, the law has changed, but there was nothing I could do back then.