HERE’S a useful app for anyone who feels that they don’t necessarily get value for money from their Underground travel – which, let’s face it, is pretty much everyone. TubeTap is an ingenious creation that helps commuters win refunds from London Underground when the service takes too long to get there.
As it happens, you see, whenever your tube journey is delayed you could be entitled to a refund. But applying for one is so laborious that most people give up. Only £2m out of £34 million claimed was refunded last year.
As you sit on the train, TubeTap (www.tubetap.co.uk) beavers away inside your iPhone. It identifies your tube route, knows the journey-time and recognises when you were late by more than 15 minutes. It then submits a refund request to TFL automatically. All you have to do then is sit back and wait for the refund cheque.
There’s something similarly useful for air travellers. With the stakes so much higher, the airlines have made applying for a refund far more difficult. Sometimes it can feel as though you need a degree in civil aviation regulations and comprehensive knowledge of international flight schedules to get anywhere.
EUClaim (www.euclaim.co.uk) is an app that finds all this obscure information for you, processes it and takes you through easy steps to get your money back from the dastardly airline.
Brilliant. If only someone could automate getting a refund from the traffic enforcement shysters. (I worked for the Met when clamping and towing away was introduced, so I know how and why councils might make refunds so hard to get).
If you want to exploit this gap in the mobile apps market, you may want to talk to MobileNationHQ (www.mobilenationhq.com). This nifty business helps rank amateurs develop mobile apps through their web browsers. If you can use Powerpoint you can build an app, so the company says.
• Nick Booth edits www.mobileb2b.co.uk