If you happen to lose your Clipper card, you might still be responsible — until at least midnight — for whatever taps are wracked up on it even while it’s in the thief’s hands, reports KGO.
If one loses their wallet or purse, the general protocol entails calling up credit card companies to put a hold on or cancel the accounts, to prevent paying for anything that anyone else may attempt to charge on it. The cancellation is usually as immediate as the reporting call is. One would think the same holds for a stolen Clipper Card, which is likely to be bundled up with credit and ATM cards. However, according to KGO, this is not so much the case.
San Francisco resident Bruce Mirken noticed right away that his wallet was missing as soon as the train doors on BART shut on him. He reported his card missing and figured that was the end of an already unfortunate situation — not so much. Mirken later discovered that the Clipper card had been used for the remainder of the day, showing a total of $24 wracked up from the thief running amuck across the Bay Area, from the AC Transit bus to BART in San Francisco, and then a bus to Oakland, and then back to SF again.
Mirken was told that he still had to pay for all these trips taken by the freeloading rider. "Oh, you're on the hook for whatever is charged that whole day."
According to a clause in Clipper’s terms and agreements:
5.2.2 The Cardholder is responsible for any payments made with the Card up until the end of the day on which the Cardholder reports the Card lost, stolen or damaged to the Clipper® Customer Service Center.
"Let's think about this. Clipper is basically saying to a thief, you can steal somebody's card, we'll let you use it all day, and we'll charge the customer." When KGO contacted Clipper about this, spokesperson John Goodwin claimed it was a technical issue in that many of their systems don’t update until midnight.
It’s an issue that’s faulty and should be fixed, Mirken thinks and we agree. Until then, hold onto your wallets tightly.