My Oyster card has physically broken (it's bent and no longer reads). The ticket office advised me to buy a new one and phone the support line to get the credit transferred, but can I also get the £5 deposit refunded?
The TfL website does not mention a deposit refund for faulty Oyster cards. They only mention that after you get a new card they will transfer the credit and passes you had on the faulty card. Quoting from TfL:
Faulty Oyster card
If your Oyster card doesn't work when you touch it on a yellow card reader, it may be faulty.
You'll need to get a new Oyster card and add some pay as you go credit. Staff at a Tube station may be able to issue the new card for you with some credit on it.
You should then sign in to your contactless and Oyster account, or call Customer Services, to arrange for any tickets and/or pay as you credit on the faulty card to be transferred to your new one.
If you had a discount on your faulty Oyster card, you will need to take it to a Tube station to get it reset. If necessary, remember to take your discount photocard with you.
It would seem that you can get a refund for the deposit only if you return an unneeded Oyster card:
No longer need your Oyster card?
If you no longer need your Oyster card, you can get a refund for:
- Any unused pay as you go credit
- The remaining value of any Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass season ticket
- Your deposit
If I were you I would contact TfL and ask them directly about the deposit refund for a faulty card.
In the end, TfL did in fact refund my deposit and send me a new Oyster card.