UTB Helps – Don’t Attempt To Use Apple Pay With A Low iPhone Battery

dead iPhone

Here in the UK we have now been subjected to the joyous hype of Apple Pay. Yes, the amazing way that banks and retailers fawn all over themselves in the belief they are reaching the majority of customers whilst unbeknownst to them they are actually enabling a definite minority in an insecure fashion has besmirched our shores.

What fun.

Still, Transport For London, who run the Tube trains in London, amongst other stuff, have, at least been quick to point out that after all the money they will have spent making their systems Apple Pay ready – it’s a bit of a dogs dinner. They’ve had some problems, you see, as The Inquirer reported

TfL warned that commuters shouldn’t use Apple Pay if their iPhone or Apple Watch battery is low, as it could result in being charged twice or, worse, slapped with a fine.

The problem seems to be so bad already that they advise customers that:

You should check that you have enough battery on your iPhone or Apple Watch to complete your journey. If it runs out of battery in the middle of a rail journey, you will not be able to touch out at the end and could be charged a maximum fare.

Oh dear. Because of course ‘checking that you have enough battery on your iPhone or Apple Watch to complete your journey’ is difficult at the best of times, imagine descending into the London Underground with one while it desperately scans for a network and wifi calling – a bit like this guy:

Yes, good old Kevin is so smart that when questioned by a member of the public he shows that his iPhone 6 can make a call using a technology BlackBerrians had with UMA which the carriers stopped supporting over 2 years ago.


Still, there’s one consolation in that not only will he have next to no battery life left (even if he arrived with 100%) which will mean that he’s charged full fare anyway (not so smart now matey!) but also that:

What’s more, TfL warned that making or receiving calls while trying to touch in or out of tube gates can cause problems.

Oh, that makes a mess of that then.

I suppose we can sum up the UK’s intitial reaction to this latest iNnovation already, just days into it’s launch, with the following quote from the very same article..

A visit to Twitter shows that these aren’t the only problems iPhone-wielding commuters are facing. Many have complained that using Apple Pay isn’t as quick as using a contactless card, especially when it struggles to read your sweaty, post-commute fingerprints.

Ah yes. The world famous ‘secure’ fingerprint scanner.

The whole thing is almost as much of a joke as a man trying to make serious points on camera whilst smoking a bong.

Or owning an Apple Watch.

Either really.

So, if you’re an iPhonian and you don’t want someone messing around with your bank account to the extent that you get fined for someone else’s bad technology, the simple answer is to only use Apple Pay when you have a decent battery level.

Pretty much never then.


Bigglybobblyboo is a legend almost nowhere at all. He is a founder member of UTB and spends his spare time taking out his anger at the world with a fishfork and a spatula. He is also a Cribbage Master, having won 1 fight online as the other guy refused to turn up out of fear for his life.

  • Anthony

    Transport for London could make some serious cash. Install more electrical plug-ins and fine sheeple for using it. locco_smiley_34

    • Barracuda7772

      hahaha yes an electricity tax for iPhone users because they need to charge their phones so much more often….

  • Blackjack

    Hilarious mess! Why do I think of the Keystone cops when I think of Apple?

  • KING_Kia

    All Apple Have Left Is Hotel California http://utbblogs.com/all-apple-have-left-is-hotel-california/

  • zaberry

    Found this hilarious, even The Guardian is carrying it. Apple power, Apple should install electricity outlets in all public spaces, charge iToy users a premium to charge their phones, and government should get a large percentage of that to subsidise the rest of us who use our paid for electricity to charge our phones that don’t have batteries that die on us. Win win, we pay less for electricity and iPhonians who love to pay more for everything can look at each other in glee as they hug walls, lamposts and dustbins for power for their phones. BlackBerry, keep moving and Never Say Die!!

    • Anthony

      They also hug landscaping plug-ins next to trees


    I guess the question is; “Who in that publicly funded department thought that it would be a good idea to spend millions of tax payer dollars to install a payment system that is used by, what, 2% of their riders?”

    The assumption is that ALL apple users will use i-pay. But what percentage of riders have cell phones? What percentage of those phones are i-phones? What percentage of those i-phones are new enough to employ i-pay? What percentage of those phones will actually use the rube-Goldberg system known as i-pay?

    We are getting to a pretty small number here and yet someone, obviously an apple drone, thought that the cost of installing i-pay was justified by this tiny number of users!
    It should be easy to find him. Go to the board room.

    He will be the one sitting by the wall outlet with a charger at the ready.

  • What is complete Joke. That’s what happens when people are forced to deal with iPhone’s antiquated OS and hardware.

  • Akinni

    How can you expand your audience reach to iPhone users? Many of the people I know use iPhone because that’s what the carriers offer. If many of these people know the troubles they will go through, they will resist the imposing of these phones on them.

  • web99

    Great post Biggly as always…

    Below are 2 comments from the article that you referenced. LOL!

    So on top of ‘bendygate, ‘screengate’ and ‘staingate’ we have ‘gategate’!! Will it ever stop for the Apple fans. You have my total sympathy.

    So I can use my phone for a contactless payment, instead of using my contactless card for that contactless payment… and my card can’t run out of battery.

    Remind me again why I want this?