I swiped my Luas Smart Card(tm), heard the dingggg, and after a brief wait got onto the tram. A few stops later, I got off and tried to swipe the card to mark that I was done---bzzzt, the card reader was out of order. Crap! I feared I'd be billed for the ride all the way to Tallaght and pay the full return fare of 4 Euros.
I went over to the other side, expecting that one to work. Bzzzt. Memories came flooding in of the 45 Euros I paid as the Standard Fare (hah!) when I spaced out and forgot to use my damn card---what if it wasn't just 4 Euros? (Of course when I got stuck having not paid for my ride, they weren't yet asking for any form of identification. I could have made up any name I wanted. Tsk, tsk.)
Was it worth the hassle to actually call Veolia, the sex-organ-sounding owner of the Luas, and ask? You bet.
A nice lady said I'd only be responsible for the cost of going to the next region---about 65 cents. Nothing to worry about, really. Well, just to see if they can credit your account automatically, I asked how I could be refunded the balance of 65 cents. The lady thought I was nuts. No way to do that automatically, sir. Really? That's okay, I'm not in a rush.
A week later, I received a cheque (costing 55 cents in postage) signed by two Luas employees with signature authority.
The time and effort spent making this happen? About 15 minutes.
The cost of seeing a silly bureaucratic system bending over backwards to simply fulfill its own silly rules?