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Old 19th March 2013, 14:38   #1
Be3G
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Default Adding railcard to Oyster

As most Londoners here with an Oyster will probably know, it's been possible for some years now to add certain railcards – in my case a 16–25 – to one's Oyster card. (I was probably one of the first people in London to ever do it, having spotted the new facility when reading through that year's brand new TfL fares & tickets guide… those were useful booklets. But I digress.) I was always under the impression that the railcards had to be loaded at participating stations, i.e. Underground/Overground and certain other National Rail stations. This has been a bit inconvenient as I'm miles away from any such station. Nevertheless, that's what TfL's railcard tickets page says, which is also backed up by a page on MikeWh's site.

However, looking through TfL's Oyster help for something else, I happened upon another page stating that Oyster ticket stops can also load railcards on to Oysters. Fearing it could be a mistake, I tried Googling to see if anyone had any experience of doing so, and I found just this one mention on Yahoo Answers; a site whose reliability is too questionable to be of use (seriously, don't ever rely on something someone says there).

So: does anyone here categorically know if a ticket stop can sort out my railcard for me? You might wonder why I'm not just going to my local one and trying anyway; the answer is that most places around here treat the Oyster machine as a rather incomprehensible bit of technology so I don't want to go in insisting the option's there somewhere if, in fact, it isn't!
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Old 19th March 2013, 15:21   #2
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The answer is probably "it can, but the minimum wage guy behind the counter hasn't been trained to do it".
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Old 19th March 2013, 16:44   #3
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People look at me as though I've got 3 heads often enough as it is. Going into a ticket stop and asking for that is guaranteed to yield precisely that reaction.
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Old 19th March 2013, 16:55   #4
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Next time I'm passing a ticket stop in Crayford I'll ask. However, that page in the help system is missing the fact that you can also add an Annual Gold Card to get discount. I think that says something about it's reliability.
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Old 19th March 2013, 17:06   #5
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Good point Mike, and if you know of a Oyster-‘aware’ ticket stop in Crayford then it'd certainly be interesting to see what they say. I do know of one good Oyster ticket stop in Enfield – they managed to register a new Oyster for me and link a bus & tram discount photocard a few years ago – but it's a half-hour bus ride from here. (Though still nearer than a properly Oyster-capable station…)
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Old 19th March 2013, 20:02   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Be3G View Post
As most Londoners here with an Oyster will probably know, it's been possible for some years now to add certain railcards – in my case a 16–25 – to one's Oyster card. (I was probably one of the first people in London to ever do it, having spotted the new facility when reading through that year's brand new TfL fares & tickets guide… those were useful booklets. But I digress.) I was always under the impression that the railcards had to be loaded at participating stations, i.e. Underground/Overground and certain other National Rail stations. This has been a bit inconvenient as I'm miles away from any such station. Nevertheless, that's what TfL's railcard tickets page says, which is also backed up by a page on MikeWh's site.

However, looking through TfL's Oyster help for something else, I happened upon another page stating that Oyster ticket stops can also load railcards on to Oysters. Fearing it could be a mistake, I tried Googling to see if anyone had any experience of doing so, and I found just this one mention on Yahoo Answers; a site whose reliability is too questionable to be of use (seriously, don't ever rely on something someone says there).

So: does anyone here categorically know if a ticket stop can sort out my railcard for me? You might wonder why I'm not just going to my local one and trying anyway; the answer is that most places around here treat the Oyster machine as a rather incomprehensible bit of technology so I don't want to go in insisting the option's there somewhere if, in fact, it isn't!

Page 37 of the manual for their terminals appears to show that the discount can be set.
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Old 19th March 2013, 20:20   #7
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Very interesting, thank you! Looks like we have the answer then: it is perfectly possible, but unlikely that many ticket stops will actually know how to do it.
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Old 19th March 2013, 20:34   #8
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Quote:
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Looks like we have the answer then: it is perfectly possible, but unlikely that many ticket stops will actually know how to do it.
The inability to do things which are prefectly possible seems to be a very British disease.

Conversely, I have never had any problem loading things onto smartcards in tobacco/convenience shops and the like in Sweden and The Netherlands - the staff usually speak better English then their equivalents here as well
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Old 19th March 2013, 20:54   #9
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The inability to do things which are prefectly possible seems to be a very British disease.

Conversely, I have never had any problem loading things onto smartcards in tobacco/convenience shops and the like in Sweden and The Netherlands - the staff usually speak better English then their equivalents here as well
Commenting about how much better things work "ON T'CONTINENT" (particularly with regards to public transportation) is also a 'very British disease'.
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Old 19th March 2013, 21:05   #10
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Whether something is technically possible and whether staff are permitted to do it are two different things. Until someone gets a definitely answer from TfL or succeeds in getting it done, it will probably remain as anyone's guess.

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However, looking through TfL's Oyster help for something else, I happened upon another page stating that Oyster ticket stops can also load railcards on to Oysters.
This link doesn't load anything useful for me unfortunately.
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Old 19th March 2013, 21:14   #11
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commenting about how much better things work "on t'continent" (particularly with regards to public transportation) is also a 'very British disease'.
yes

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Old 19th March 2013, 22:54   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff1 View Post
The inability to do things which are prefectly possible seems to be a very British disease.

Conversely, I have never had any problem loading things onto smartcards in tobacco/convenience shops and the like in Sweden and The Netherlands - the staff usually speak better English then their equivalents here as well
Yes I had a similar problem at Euston recently, I wanted to get a receipt of my journeys and add my discount to my Oyster I took my photocard along to get it set up but was told it's not allowed as my photocard only had the first letter of my name on it and as I could have a brother called James or John its not allowed for data protection reasons. I was told I'd have to bring in another two proofs of id and two for address.

I truly believe most tfl staff are creating excuses just to avoid having to do anything.
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Old 19th March 2013, 22:55   #13
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That's the clerk making up rules. Try a different station.
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Old 19th March 2013, 22:56   #14
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Quote:
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This link doesn't load anything useful for me unfortunately.
It didn't for me either, but I selected "Search common questions" and then "Oyster", then entered "adding railcard" in the search box and the 2nd of the three results is the page that is being talked about.
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Old 19th March 2013, 22:59   #15
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It didn't for me either, but I selected "Search common questions" and then "Oyster", then entered "adding railcard" in the search box and the 2nd of the three results is the page that is being talked about.
Well I selected "Say Thank You" then "Tube" then "Delayed Journey". Not entirely sure why I wanted to say thank you for that. Or the other ridiculous options...
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