Anyone with experience of buying SEASON tickets on thetrainline?

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bakerstreet

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My work colleague gets a season ticket loan from their employer

They are about to direct all users of this loan to apply via thetrainline

Thanks to this site I have the obligatory aversion to thetrailine

Currently money is paid into their account and they buy direct from the toc

- is there the usual trainline fee for this service (the email they received does not say but when booking singles and returns via the trainline the company is charged fees)


if they have a problem with the season will it be easy to exchange ticket at a ticket office when it fades or the coding fails - it's a quick walk in walk out from a toc ticket office

will delay repay (or as they still have automatic customer charter refunds) work in the same way?

Will they get the toc benefits eg free travel at weekends if not bought directly from the toc?

If the season needed to be changed over geographically would it work in same way?

Anything else you'd be worried about.
They have no choice but to go via thetrailine but at least they can feed back relevant concerns

Thanks all.


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najaB

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They have no choice but to go via thetrailine but at least they can feed back relevant concerns.
My employer also uses the TrainLine and runs a season ticket loan scheme. While I personally haven't bought a season ticket using the scheme I know a couple of people who have. Other than losing out on any direct-purchase benefits, I'm not aware that the ticket is any different to one bought at the station.

This is through the TrainLine's business portal so fees (if there are any) are hidden from the end user.
 

Hadders

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My brother purchases his annual ticket through the trainline. I don't know about the freebies but a local ticket office can do the other things listed.

You might come across poorly trained staff who say it can't be done. I know when my brother had issues getting his local ticket office to replace a ticket that no longer worked the barriers he took an email he'd been sent by the trainline that told them how to do it.
 

hairyhandedfool

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...- is there the usual trainline fee for this service (the email they received does not say but when booking singles and returns via the trainline the company is charged fees)...

To the employing company maybe, I don't think the season ticket holder gets charged.

...if they have a problem with the season will it be easy to exchange ticket at a ticket office when it fades or the coding fails - it's a quick walk in walk out from a toc ticket office ...

A ticket office should be able to do it, but some staff do seem to have an aversion to being useful for no readily apparent reason.

...will delay repay (or as they still have automatic customer charter refunds) work in the same way?...

Delay Repay should be unaffected.

...Will they get the toc benefits eg free travel at weekends if not bought directly from the toc?...

I'd say it depends on the benefit, but if part of the conditions are "must be bought from us" it'll be a no.

...If the season needed to be changed over geographically would it work in same way?...

In theory, however, it should be noted that some staff refuse to do them for a number of reasons including, but certainly not limited to, "we didn't issue it". From what I hear, if a request for a changeover is made through that website, it'll be a normal refund (with admin fee) and a new ticket for whatever period is left, this is apparently part of the contract the employing company signs up to.

...Anything else you'd be worried about.
They have no choice but to go via thetrailine but at least they can feed back relevant concerns...

There is always a choice, it's just that there may not be any better ones.
 

Tetchytyke

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- is there the usual trainline fee for this service (the email they received does not say but when booking singles and returns via the trainline the company is charged fees)

TrainLine Business bill the business, not the ticketholder.

if they have a problem with the season will it be easy to exchange ticket at a ticket office when it fades or the coding fails - it's a quick walk in walk out from a toc ticket office

It should theoretically be easy enough, but YMMV.

will delay repay (or as they still have automatic customer charter refunds) work in the same way?

Yep.

I had to scan and send in my London Midland season ticket for Delay Repay even though I bought the season ticket from a London Midland ticket office.

Will they get the toc benefits eg free travel at weekends if not bought directly from the toc?

It depends what benefits you mean.

If the season ticket counts for a Gold Card, then they will receive that.

If you mean TOC-specific benefits, e.g. Chiltern's free weekend travel, then no.
 

Hadders

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Indeed. They could always decline to participate in the season ticket loan scheme and purchase the ticket out of net pay instead.

Season ticket loans are taken from net pay, the advantage is simply one of cash flow for the employee.
 

najaB

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Season ticket loans are taken from net pay, the advantage is simply one of cash flow for the employee.
Pedantic (as expected) but they are deductions so can't, by definition, be taken from net pay since net pay is what hits your bank account. :)
 

Hadders

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Pedantic (as expected) but they are deductions so can't, by definition, be taken from net pay since net pay is what hits your bank account. :)

Good point. It would be nice if they could be deducted from gross pay although I bet HMRC would want their slice...
 

Haywain

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if they have a problem with the season will it be easy to exchange ticket at a ticket office when it fades or the coding fails - it's a quick walk in walk out from a toc ticket office
Your colleague would be well advised not to allow the ticket to fade too badly before seeking a replacement, as there is a long standing instruction to ticket offices to refuse to exchange a season that is faded to the point of being unreadable. in this case they are instructed to refer the holder to the office from which the ticket was purchased.
 

bubieyehyeh

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My employer has just changed to thetrainline for season tickets, replacing loans. There seems to be a £6 delivery fee and says it takes upto 21 days for ticket to arrive. It said there was a form to print out if you needed to present at a ticket office to get a faded ticket reprinted.

I do wonder if my employer are getting some discount on the tickets (from trainline), if they are, it isn't being passed onto staff.
 

najaB

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I do wonder if my employer are getting some discount on the tickets (from trainline), if they are, it isn't being passed onto staff.
Ironically, given that it's the TrainLine, the discount is on fees rather than the ticket. Among corporate rail travel agents they offer some of the lowest fees.
 

pdq

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You/your employer will pay a premium on every ticket that's bought, but this is offset by your finance team getting one travel invoice a month, ready cost coded etc, rather than nnn expense claims. They also get intelligence about travel patterns etc
 

Tetchytyke

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It's the way things are going. My employers, in the semi-public sector, always used to issue season ticket loans by way of a cheque made payable to the TOC that sold the ticket. I'd just go to the station with my cheque and get a shiny new season ticket there and then.

These days, you try and find a TOC that's willing to accept cheques, even business cheques.
 

Haywain

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It said there was a form to print out if you needed to present at a ticket office to get a faded ticket reprinted.
The ticket will still need to be readable by the station it is taken to for replacement.
 

bakerstreet

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Thank you for all the replies. I think I will suggest getting from the toc if they can. Perhaps they might be able to pop it on a 0% apr credit card with the same effect as a loan.
Out of interest can anyone yet outside of a business buy seasons online in the same way as ordinary tickets?
Thanks again.


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MikeWh

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Thank you for all the replies. I think I will suggest getting from the toc if they can. Perhaps they might be able to pop it on a 0% apr credit card with the same effect as a loan.
Out of interest can anyone yet outside of a business buy seasons online in the same way as ordinary tickets?
Thanks again.


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You can buy seasons online from some TOCs, including at least Southeastern. They have to be ordered at least 7 days in advance so presumably the ticket is posted to you. You can't buy weeklies online from SE. All Oyster issuable travelcards can be ordered online from the TfL website, including weekly.
 

Haywain

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You can buy seasons online from some TOCs, including at least Southeastern. They have to be ordered at least 7 days in advance so presumably the ticket is posted to you. You can't buy weeklies online from SE. All Oyster issuable travelcards can be ordered online from the TfL website, including weekly.
They would have to be posted as period season tickets cannot currently be fulfilled by ToD.
 

Merseysider

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They would have to be posted as period season tickets cannot currently be fulfilled by ToD.
I'm afraid that isn't quite correct; I successfully obtained a 7DF from Mauldeth Road to MetroCentre via a Northern TVM (I was invited to take part in a trial) giving me a ToD code having purchased online. This was nearly 2 years ago. So the ability is there but it isn't widely utilised.
bakerstreet said:
Out of interest can anyone yet outside of a business buy seasons online in the same way as ordinary tickets?
Yes, at TPE's Season Mixing Deck.
 

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bubieyehyeh

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The ticket will still need to be readable by the station it is taken to for replacement.

Indeed, I wasn't clear, I think the form was to persuade the local ticket office to replace the ticket they hadn't sold. However it did say that some stations may refuse to help.

Luckily I didn't need a loan for my hatton-lapworth season ticket.
 

causton

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I'm afraid that isn't quite correct; I successfully obtained a 7DF...

7 days are not period ones. Period ones are 1 month to 1 year and as these need special stock (for over one month), that is currently impossible, and I'm sure some backwards logic means ones exactly 01M00D are not available either <D
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Indeed, I wasn't clear, I think the form was to persuade the local ticket office to replace the ticket they hadn't sold. However it did say that some stations may refuse to help.

Yes, I had to campaign for a while for the first request I received even with the letter. The issue is that Accounts did not know where to send the updated season ticket info (new number etc) to - and of course the usual "didn't buy it from here, not my problem" - but if you provide a letter showing who you bought it from, the Trainline ones are excellent as they explain it to even the most uncooperative ticket clerk, you should be able to get it relatively hassle free.
 

Bungle965

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7 days are not period ones. Period ones are 1 month to 1 year and as these need special stock (for over one month), that is currently impossible, and I'm sure some backwards logic means ones exactly 01M00D are not available either <D
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Yes, I had to campaign for a while for the first request I received even with the letter. The issue is that Accounts did not know where to send the updated season ticket info (new number etc) to - and of course the usual "didn't buy it from here, not my problem" - but if you provide a letter showing who you bought it from, the Trainline ones are excellent as they explain it to even the most uncooperative ticket clerk, you should be able to get it relatively hassle free.
Do they?
I have a 4 month season on normal stock at the moment.
Sam
 

causton

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Do they?
I have a 4 month season on normal stock at the moment.
Sam

Okay, it *should* be on a different colour stock. Either whoever issued it didn't know, or didn't remember, or they didn't have any of the right stock, or it was in such poor condition they knew the ticket would wear out so quickly that they might as well just use orange stock. (I have been all of those at one point in time)

But yes, it should be on blue ticket stock AFAIK.
 
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Bungle965

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Okay, it *should* be on a different colour stock. Either whoever issued it didn't know, or didn't remember, or they didn't have any of the right stock, or it was in such poor condition they knew the ticket would wear out so quickly that they might as well just use orange stock. (I have been all of those at one point in time)

But yes, it should be on blue ticket stock AFAIK.

Thanks :D
Sam
 

Haywain

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I'm afraid that isn't quite correct; I successfully obtained a 7DF from Mauldeth Road to MetroCentre via a Northern TVM (I was invited to take part in a trial) giving me a ToD code having purchased online. This was nearly 2 years ago. So the ability is there but it isn't widely utilised.
The ability to issue by ToD may be there on some machines, but there are other issues. Not all machines are set up to issue seasons in the correct format, and the details of period seasons, including the number of the ticket, need to be recorded on a season ticket database. That is a franchise requirement, and cannot currently be met by most TVMs. This is why such seasons are not approved for issue by ToD.
 

bb21

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Until this recording issue is resolved and becomes automatic with season ticket purchases through TVMs, monthly or longer period season tickets will not be available at TVMs, as Haywain correctly identified a requirement from the DfT.

There is no accessible database linking a Photocard to a customer's personal details available to all TOCs at the moment. To allow purchase via TVM, that is a major stumbling block as details cannot be retrieved at the time of renewal to allow for automatic renewal discounts and void days to be applied (at the time of purchase).

Perhaps once all TOCs have migrated to the Delay Repay scheme for a year, this can be reconsidered, as there is no reason why a nationwide database cannot be accessible containing only the Photocard number and the responsible TOC (who has the customer's personal details), and the details of purchases forwarded to the relevant responsible TOC at close of business each day.

I am however not aware of any major persuasive reasons why seasons cannot be delivered via ToD atm, other than that some machines are not correctly set up to do so, but that is one easy to resolve. That said, I suspect that the market for ordering online and via telesales is anticipated to be small enough atm for no one to really have spent the effort looking into it.
 

najaB

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I am however not aware of any major persuasive reasons why seasons cannot be delivered via ToD atm, other than that some machines are not correctly set up to do so, but that is one easy to resolve. That said, I suspect that the market for ordering online and via telesales is anticipated to be small enough atm for no one to really have spent the effort looking into it.
Scotrail smartcard seasons are 'collected' at the TVM, not sure if that counts?
 

hairyhandedfool

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I'm afraid that isn't quite correct; I successfully obtained a 7DF from Mauldeth Road to MetroCentre via a Northern TVM (I was invited to take part in a trial) giving me a ToD code having purchased online. This was nearly 2 years ago. So the ability is there but it isn't widely utilised....

7 days are not period ones. Period ones are 1 month to 1 year and as these need special stock (for over one month), that is currently impossible, and I'm sure some backwards logic means ones exactly 01M00D are not available either <D....

Northern's trial included monthly season tickets, it may even still be an option, but I don't have an account on their website to check one way or the other, it certainly looks possible.

Do they?
I have a 4 month season on normal stock at the moment.
Sam

It should really be on light blue stock, but mistakes can and do happen, I've done it myself.

The ability to issue by ToD may be there on some machines, but there are other issues. Not all machines are set up to issue seasons in the correct format, and the details of period seasons, including the number of the ticket, need to be recorded on a season ticket database. That is a franchise requirement, and cannot currently be met by most TVMs. This is why such seasons are not approved for issue by ToD.

There were issues with Northern's trial, IIRC collection had to be from a Parkeon machine and could not be collected from a ticket office, unlike other ToDs. I'm not sure if this is still a problem because no-one has said anything about it.
 
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