Southern has denied that there have been any major problems with people using its new electronic travel card at Epsom station, despite commuters' claims to the contrary. 

The Key smartcard was introduced by Southern, the train company which runs Epsom station, in March, allowing people to travel to stations north of Epsom, into London, without having to buy paper tickets for the first time.

But commuters have said that instead of making their journeys more convenient, the Key has come with a string of problems which has made the technology's use at the station "very complicated, almost impossible".

One commuter told the Epsom Guardian: "Southern launched their much-hyped Key a while ago. 

"Yet when I asked about it at the ticket kiosk a few weeks later I was told it had ‘teething problems’ and wasn’t available to the public yet. 

"Recently, I signed up for the Key online, and my card arrived after about five days, along with spiel about how easy it is to buy your tickets online.

"The problem is, the purchasing facility on the Southern website won’t let you 'check-out' unless you have a delivery option selected. 

"But if you’ve chosen a 'smart-card-only' option, which you pick up at the station via the card readers, the delivery bit of the form just tells you there are no selectable delivery options."

Another commuter added: "Southern are having big problems with their contactless payment card. 

"I have tried to use the Key but found  it very complicated, almost impossible, to find the correct fare on the system and once having done this on numerous occasions the card hasn't operated the barriers causing delay and embarrassment."

But a Southern spokesman said more than 250 customers have registered for the Key at Epsom station since its launch and the "majority of our passengers have been able to use the Key without problems".

He said: "The only teething problem at the start was an anomaly when booking tickets to Dorking using the ticket machines.  One needed to select Dorking/Dorking Deepdene rather than just Dorking, but this was resolved and there are no problems in using the Key from Epsom as we speak.

"With regards to the website query, we would be very happy for one of our key engagement managers to give your reader a ring to take them through the process step-by step."

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