Student - August 27, 2013

Check it out

‘Check it out, check it out…’I am a blogger not a DJ, yet I strongly recommend you to listen to will.i.am’s 'Check It Out', especially when you are on the bus in the Netherlands.

Last Wednesday I came across a piece of news on tv that a windfall of up to 30 million euro has slipped into the chest of the Dutch public transport companies. How come? Thanks to the commuters or travelers who forgot to check out with their OV-chipkaarten. I laughed and swore to my laptop when I was sitting behind it: ‘No way! Such a stupid thing would never happen to me.’

Unfortunately it happened. It happened exactly a day later when I had to take a two-stop bus trip from Leiden CS to the bioscience park.

Such an ironic lesson not only aroused my u-turn compassion to those forgetful victims, but also awakened my curiosity to know more about the smart card.

Coincidently during the weekend I ran into a TV program on uitzending gemist; it’s an instructive crash course of the OV-card. The program is called De Rekenkamer, and it analyses the financial motives of companies. In that episode a group of hosts carried out an extensive research on how much the travelling with the OV-card costs.

The show taught me that travelers who forget to check out (no matter intentionally or not) can ask for the refund on the official website of OV-card. What’s more interesting, the program even demonstrated some bugs in the card, which might 'help' you save some money if you dare take advantage of them.

Among all the tips they offered, however, the only practical one in my opinion was to hold your card and repeat ‘don’t forget to check out’ when you are on the train. But life should be simpler, that’s why I advise you to outsource this work to will.i.am and your smartphone.

Check it out, good luck.


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