Today’s article is about one of my favourite simple tips for getting money back when you’re delayed on the tube through a free service called Ree:Claim. On my over an hour commute this happens reasonably often and I’ve had quite a bit back using this!
This post will mainly be aimed at Londoners, but those outside read on as the broad principle of the piece applies – and it’s worth checking if your local rail provider operates any “automated delay repay” system. You can also check out this previous article which gives some advice on saving money on trains generally.
What is Ree:Claim?
If delayed on the tube or TfL operated train (Underground, DLR, TfL Rail or London Overground) you are entitled to a refund of your journey cost. However in practice you have to fill out a form and do it in a rapid timeframe – so many just don’t bother for the sake of a few quid.
Increasingly train companies have started offering an â€˜automated delay repayâ€˜ for season tickets where your journey history is tracked against actual trains, automatically refunding the difference. TfL unhelpfully do not do this, so Ree:Claim fills the gap.
The service was entirely operational about a year ago before TfL changed their login system. Ree:Claim have been working hard on fixing this and preparing to relaunch, but you can use the service from now as normal in “beta” version where you accept there might be the odd bug.
How does Ree:Claim work?
You need to sign up at their website, register your contact details and supply your TfL login. Ree:Claim monitor your journeys taken, match it against service data and use your details to automatically register a refund claim if you were on a delayed service.
If you used an Oyster it’ll be refunded as â€˜web credits’ which you can use on any top up or purchase or transfer to bank account. If you used contactless it will go straight into your account.
How much does Ree:Claim cost?
Absolutely nothing, and they don’t take commission off refunds. Longer term, they are looking to use a rewards app to show you offers near your common stations and fund through partnering on this.
Is Ree:Claim a scam?
An understandable concern given you’re handing over TfL login details and a question I asked myself!
I used the service after discovering it featured in an article in a national newspaper which gave me some comfort, along with finding plenty of anecdotes that it worked. I’ve also personally used the service for several months and had never had issues.
Is there anything else I need to be concerned about with Ree:Claim?
Yes, there’s a few notes of caution that it would be remiss not to flag.
You are giving up some security whenever you hand over login details to anything, and it’s something I’d never usually say you should even think of doing for any service.
I don’t have any credit card details stored on my TfL account as I don’t use contactless – I might personally have been a bit more reticent if I did. Re:Claim publish a promise not to sell your data and states any details you supply to them are encrypted, but there is limited detail on what security protects said data. I believe Ree:Claim itself to be well intentioned, but there are other bad folks out there online.
You’re also technically contravening TfL’s terms of service by sharing your password, and need to be mindful that in case of dispute this might cause you issues.
Using Ree:Claim should be considered as “at your own risk” then and you should think about if you can accept the concerns above.
However, I can say that I’ve happily had no issues and now over £30 back and have been very pleased I signed up to the service. I’m hoping it spurs TfL to launch their own similar service so the benefit can be claimed without those additional concerns above.
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Finally, now you’ve read this – why not go and look at that previous article on saving money on tube and train fares?