16-25 Minimum Fares, TVMs and London Overground

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mallard

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On Tuesday, I purchased a railcard discounted Zones 1-6 travelcard from Kensington (Olympia) station; a manned London Overground managed station, at about 09:40. However, this highlighted some issues with the "No minimum fare in July/August" rule.

I initially tried to purchase from the TVM, but when I selected the railcard, it told me that the fare would be £12 (incorrectly applying the minimum fare). Clearly the TVM is not programmed (correctly) with the July/August exemption. This is itself unacceptable in my opinion, especially as London Overground have unmanned stations. Do other TOCs have correctly programmed TVMs?

Upon resorting to purchasing from the ticket office, I mentioned that the machine "didn't seem to know that it's July", but the staff member clearly did not know of the exemption either, issuing the ticket, but informing me it shouldn't be used until 10am. I told her that that doesn't apply during July and August to which she didn't reply. Again, staff should not be giving incorrect advice, although I do understand that in the complex fares system somewhat obscure rules like this can be forgotten; it's only human.

As it happens, I did have the ticket in time to catch the 09:50 Southern service as far as Harrow and Wealdstone.

Still, I wonder how many 16-25 railcard holders are being overcharged each summer...
 
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cuccir

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If you boarded at an unmanned station in this situation what would be the appropriate action? Pay and get a refund? Or should you pay for a ticket covering part of your journey and then exchange for the appropriate ticket at the first opportunity?
 

SS4

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If you boarded at an unmanned station in this situation what would be the appropriate action? Pay and get a refund? Or should you pay for a ticket covering part of your journey and then exchange for the appropriate ticket at the first opportunity?

The second one is the one the rule book suggests (NRCoC 3). How that would work in practice is unknown.
 

142094

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Funnily enough I had the same problem twice in the past few weeks, where the guards/station staff had forgotten about the exemption for July and August.
 

trentside

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Funnily enough I had the same problem twice in the past few weeks, where the guards/station staff had forgotten about the exemption for July and August.

I ran into this problem a couple of times last summer and as soon as I reminded them it wasn't a problem anymore. I can confirm that East Midlands Trains TVMs are issuing tickets correctly taking into account the exemption.

I'm sure you may already have done so, but I don't think a letter or email to London Overground would go amiss to draw their attention to these issues.
 

Mojo

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I had a complaint with South West Trains. I was travelling from Kew Bridge (unstaffed) and tried to buy a Travelcard at 09.31. The TVM incorrectly tried to apply the minimum fare. In order to comply with the Conditions of Carriage I bought a full-rate single to Waterloo, where I approached a Revenue Protection Inspector (not gateline assistant) and asked how I go about getting the ticket upgraded. He told me I needn't have bought a ticket in the first place, but that I'd need to go to the booking office. The booking office attendant told me I'd need to fill in a complaint form, and when I protested at the situation he then changed his mind and filled in a separate form for me, with my bank details onto which the money would be refunded, several weeks later. I then had to pay again for a Travelcard, despite already having spent money on a single ticket.

On writing a complaint letter, SWT basically told me that I had to buy a ticket before travel, so basically anyone travelling from an unstaffed station basically needs to bring enough money with them for a Travelcard PLUS the cheapest single fare from their origin, and then needs to spend time (I spent 30 Min queueing up and waiting at the window at Waterloo) processing a refund. Hardly an acceptable solution, but unfortunately at the time I didn't have time to chase this up further.
 
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