Anyone else having issues with series 4 on London underground?

twynne

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 21, 2006
751
21
London, UK
Since upgrading from series3 to series 4, I find nearly every first attempt to use the watch for contactless on London underground fails. Often it will only work after cancelling Apple pay And invoking it again.

Very frustrating when series 3 worked 100% of the time, and I'm afraid London travelers are not very patient with someone repeatedly trying and blocking an entry/exit!
 

mrklaw

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2008
2,365
745
Yes but not tried it often. Got caught yesterday with a queue behind me - had to step aside while switching to my phone. Watch had my card saying ‘hold near reader’. Doesn’t help that it’s on my left wrist so a bit of a reach across to the sensor

Will give it a go somewhere quieter like a supermarket self checkout just to make sure it’s working
 

Broken Hope

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2015
987
705
I've not tried on the Underground with my Series 4, but paying for stuff in shops I've found Apple Pay much faster than on my Series 2 and it seems to work from further away from the reader.
 

twynne

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 21, 2006
751
21
London, UK
Yes but not tried it often. Got caught yesterday with a queue behind me - had to step aside while switching to my phone. Watch had my card saying ‘hold near reader’. Doesn’t help that it’s on my left wrist so a bit of a reach across to the sensor

Will give it a go somewhere quieter like a supermarket self checkout just to make sure it’s working
I'm thinking it's specific to London underground as I'm not yet having problems elsewhere. It's a predictable pattern as it fails first attempt and works on the second usually.
 

RodThePlod

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2005
697
158
London
Not tried it on the Underground yet, but used Apple Pay with my Series 4 in Sainsburys literally 20 mins ago, and it worked first time. It's the first time I've used it since getting my Watch last week.

I'll be using the Underground at the weekend, so will be interesting to see what happens then.
 

KarimLeVallois

macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2014
2,121
1,260
London
Slightly off topic, but I hope Apple opens up the wallet app in the future so we can add our Oyster season tickets to it. That would be a game changer for me!
 
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twynne

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 21, 2006
751
21
London, UK
Probably unrelated but who knows, my iPhone was rejected on a London bus yesterday. Twice. Had to get my card out to pay instead.
Well, It is *always* possible that London Underground have changed something of late to do with Oyster/Contactless payment, but it would be massive coincidence if that happened at same time as new iPhones and new iOS. That said, I'm sure stranger things have happened and it certainly isn't impossible. Just wish there were some way to query a wider audience on this as 1) the phones are still quite new and not in many hands, 2) the watches are quite new and not in many hands, 3) not everyone is likely running latest OS on phones and/or watches and 4) of all of the above, how many actually use the watch to pay on London Underground on a daily basis.

In any case, it's hugely frustrating as it worked so well before. Not nice paying £££ for new devices only to have something fundamental now work less consistently than before.
 

MagicTorch

macrumors member
Sep 8, 2007
99
133
UK
I would definitely be interested to hear of any further feedback from others on this subject. Although I live in the North West, I do have to travel down to London every few weeks for work & always use my existing Apple Watch when using the London Underground. Interestingly, I frequently had problems when using my Series 0 Watch on the Underground - it was very much hit & miss as to whether it would work, often requiring repeated attempts (not ideal when queues forming behind you!). However, after switching to a Series 2 Watch in 2016, I had no problems whatsoever....Series 2 has always worked 1st time, every time on the Underground. I have a Series 4 on order, so hoping that I won’t see a return of the problem I had with Series 0.
 

Ashcoop223

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2018
2
0
Have the same issue. Moved from a series 2 which worked perfectly on the underground/overground and buses.

Since having the series 4 it will not work on any of the oyster/contactless gates. It will always fail the first attempt and then it’s a bit of touch and go on a second or third attempt. Usually with people rushing behind me I have now skipped using the series 4 entirely and have gone back to using my card. I did note on the screens on the gates that show issues when a payment doesn’t go through that it advised “use card” when it fails. Not sure if that means anything.

As for using the series 4 and Apple Pay elsewhere it is perfect and I’ve had no issues with it. I use it up to 4-5 times a day at different retailers. This is clearly an issue with the oyster/tfl system and not the series 4 or Apple Pay.
 

twynne

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 21, 2006
751
21
London, UK
Have the same issue. Moved from a series 2 which worked perfectly on the underground/overground and buses.

Since having the series 4 it will not work on any of the oyster/contactless gates. It will always fail the first attempt and then it’s a bit of touch and go on a second or third attempt. Usually with people rushing behind me I have now skipped using the series 4 entirely and have gone back to using my card. I did note on the screens on the gates that show issues when a payment doesn’t go through that it advised “use card” when it fails. Not sure if that means anything.

As for using the series 4 and Apple Pay elsewhere it is perfect and I’ve had no issues with it. I use it up to 4-5 times a day at different retailers. This is clearly an issue with the oyster/tfl system and not the series 4 or Apple Pay.
Thanks - so there's at least two of us! :)
 

twynne

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 21, 2006
751
21
London, UK
TfL, via Twitter, advised raising a case with them via their website, which I've done. Have heard nothing so far.
 

RodThePlod

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2005
697
158
London
And just an update to my previous post - I was able to tap in and out with my Series 4 with no problem at all. And this was for both my outbound and return journeys. Strange!
 

twynne

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 21, 2006
751
21
London, UK
It has, on very rare occasion, worked first time for me... But the failure rate is high... 95% I reckon.
 

KarimLeVallois

macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2014
2,121
1,260
London
Yep... Though I try to wait till clear or avoid the busy segment of barriers.
What annoys me is people using their phone and waiting until the barrier to activate Apple Pay. They obviously don't realise you can activate on the escalators on the way up and it stays on screen for a minute...
 
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twynne

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 21, 2006
751
21
London, UK
Agree completely... I always activate watch before reaching the barrier. In fact that's one reason I switched to watch from using the phone... As good as face ID is, it's a major pain at barriers.
 

kiril

macrumors newbie
Nov 20, 2018
5
1
London, UK
Since upgrading from series3 to series 4, I find nearly every first attempt to use the watch for contactless on London underground fails. Often it will only work after cancelling Apple pay And invoking it again.

Very frustrating when series 3 worked 100% of the time, and I'm afraid London travelers are not very patient with someone repeatedly trying and blocking an entry/exit!
I have the same problem, it fails about 50% of the time, I have to keep standing there with my wrist on the reader until it succeeds. My old Apple Watch 2 worked 100% of the time with no issues.
 

twynne

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 21, 2006
751
21
London, UK
I have the same problem, it fails about 50% of the time, I have to keep standing there with my wrist on the reader until it succeeds. My old Apple Watch 2 worked 100% of the time with no issues.
There's definitely an issue of some sort. I've now noticed the watch will be showing 'done' as if it thinks it read fine, but the reader shows red. TfL are tracking the issue but they only do so at specified stations so if I report it failing at a different station they disregard. Frustrating.
 
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hideoshi

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2010
10
0
I think the issue is that the nfc chip in the series 4 is weaker.

For the past few days I’ve been making a point of placing my watch right in the middle of the Oyster card reader, making sure the screen contacts flat against the reader. Using this method it works first time pretty much every time.

It’s super annoying considering that with my old series two, I could just tap without thinking and it would always work...

On the bright side, I think there’s less of a pause between tapping and the barriers opening with the series 4.
 

Notechy

macrumors member
Apr 11, 2015
60
5
Surrey
I am new to Apple watch and not a regular commuter. But I an finding that my Apple Watch 4 rarely works first time when I use it to travel in and around London. Apple Pay works well on it elsewhere.
 

proever

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2017
2
0
There's definitely an issue of some sort. I've now noticed the watch will be showing 'done' as if it thinks it read fine, but the reader shows red. TfL are tracking the issue but they only do so at specified stations so if I report it failing at a different station they disregard. Frustrating.
I’ve got the same issue, on London buses. Just upgraded to the S4 from the S3, and the new watch fails every first attempt. I don’t think the chip is much weaker, it works fine at other terminals, just not Oyster readers.