IRISH Rail will hit thousands of passengers with backdated charges this Monday after a technical fault resulted in debit cards not being charged for ticket transactions.
Passengers who bought tickets from ticket vending machines (TVMs) in Iarnrod Eireann stations using bank cards between March 28 and the May 31 this year were not charged for the transactions, Irish Rail said.
"During the course of a recent software upgrade at TVMs by our contractor, Scheidt & Bachmann, a fault developed which saw tickets issued and payments authorised against certain payment cards. However, the payment was not subsequently deducted from customer accounts," an Irish Rail statement said.
The fault affected more than 9,000 individual cards, around 94pc of which were on AIB Maestro Debit Cards.
Spokesperson Barry Kenny told the Irish Independent that while it was primarily debit cards that had been affected by the fault, he could not rule out that some credit cards had also been affected.
Iarnrod Eireann is now making arrangements to process the authorised payments which were not charged.
The timeframe for money being taken from accounts will depend on a number of different factors including the number of transactions made, the total amount spent and the dates in which the transactions were carried out.
However, Mr Kenny said between 60-70pc of passengers affected would have the money taken from their accounts this Monday.
Those who bought tickets as one-off payments or whose cumulative payments total less than €50 will have their money taken this Monday, June, 10.
Anyone who purchased tickets on affected cards between May 24 and 31 will also see the charge being taken from accounts this Monday, regardless of the cumulative amount.
Passengers who made multiple transactions before May 24, where the total value is greater than €50, will have the money withdrawn from their accounts over a phased basis.
"This will be in line with the intervals between the original transactions, or one week intervals, whichever is shortest. This will commence on Monday, beginning with the earliest charge", Irish Rail said.
Mr Kenny said the fault had now been rectified and TVMs were operating correctly. No overcharging of any passengers had occurred.
"This was a technical problem with the machines. The problem was not with the cards. The fault has now been fixed and the charges to the cards will be applied," Mr Kenny said.
Customers can call Iarnrod Eireann's dedicated Customer Helpline for any queries relating to this issue on 1850 885 865 (Mon-Sat 09.00hrs-17.00hrs). Information is also available at www.irishrail.ie.