Buying an All Line Rover - clerk can't find it...

Peter Mugridge

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Ticket clerk isn't trained on them... Does anyone know the codes to search for please? This is a Southern station, if that helps?
 
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Polarbear

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BR Fares shows this as a Freedom of Britain Pass. The ticket office staff should be able to find it under that heading?
 

RJ

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Which station was it? I've been around, a lot, used most TIS systems and some aren't just a case of typing in a code.

If it was the Southern ticket office at Epsom they'd have to go into the menu, select Rovers then type All Line Rover or R07.

I often get phone calls at work from people at various TOCs asking about things like this and I'm always happy to help.
 

jfollows

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Glad you got this sorted out.

I think it's better than it used to be. I couldn't get Manchester Oxford Road to sell me an All Line Rover in the past, and even Manchester Piccadilly had problems, including printing on the wrong ticket stock once. Last year I used Wilmslow and although they'd never heard of the ticket I brought along a printout from the BR Fares Web site (eg http://www.brfares.com/#!rovers?nlc=I661&rlc=2TR) and they were able to generate the correct ticket.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Tha
Which station was it? I've been around, a lot, used most TIS systems and some aren't just a case of typing in a code.

If it was the Southern ticket office at Epsom they'd have to go into the menu, select Rovers then type All Line Rover or R07.

I often get phone calls at work from people at various TOCs asking about things like this and I'm always happy to help.
Thank you and yes it was Epsom.
 

RJ

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Not exactly rocket science when you have a menu item that says ROVERS
Not everybody sees the world through the same lenses. Some people won't think to look for such a menu and won't be able figure out how to do it unless it is explained to them and they remember. We do what we can to help each other out.
 

Wallsendmag

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Not everybody sees the world through the same lenses. Some people won't think to look for such a menu and won't be able figure out how to do it unless it is explained to them and they remember. We do what we can to help each other out.
We have Mtis @station too in fact I have a couple of tablets here at home for testing. So I know the system fairly well.
 

RJ

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We have Mtis @station too in fact I have a couple of tablets here at home for testing. So I know the system fairly well.
I appreciate that, but what I am saying is that people see things differently based on their knowledge and aptitude for working things out they may have forgotten or missed in training. What may seem obvious to one might not be to another.
 

1955LR

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Staff had problems finding , Ffestiniog round Robin , at Leominster station when I wanted one, so rang Shrewsbury as they had never been asked for one before and were advised how to find it.
 

voyagerdude220

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Sometimes I occasionally have difficulty selling a ranger/rover ticket, because the name of the product on my computer screen is worded slightly differently to it's official name.

It's usually very easy on my TOC's system to find rovers/rangers though, once I've worked out what they are.
 

jfollows

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Sometimes I occasionally have difficulty selling a ranger/rover ticket, because the name of the product on my computer screen is worded slightly differently to it's official name.

It's usually very easy on my TOC's system to find rovers/rangers though, once I've worked out what they are.
That's understandable, and I have a lot of sympathy and try and make life easy for you when I'm trying to buy a ticket ... I'd expect Wilmslow to be able to sell me a Cheshire Day Ranger but would understand if it was hard to sell me a West Midlands ranger/rover for example.
Also, I'm aware that the rules differ for each ticket. I bought a Cheshire Day Ranger at Wilmslow one morning and correctly interpreted the slightly quizzical look, "it's from 08:45" I said, which was true at the time, "ah, OK" and that was that. There's no way you can remember the validity times of all the different tickets, even the more local ones.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Not everybody sees the world through the same lenses. Some people won't think to look for such a menu and won't be able figure out how to do it unless it is explained to them and they remember. We do what we can to help each other out.
That's true, and given that most other tickets are sold directly it's not exactly intuitive to have to look in a different process to find one - especially if it's one that wouldn't be sold very often. It's just a case that it's not being flagged up during training sessions which ( quite rightly ) will be prioritising the tickets that are sold 99.9999999% of the time at a given location.

Awareness does need to be raised, yes, but equally the system itself could be tweaked to make it more obvious. Maybe a pop up box reading something like "ticket type not found - try the menu button".
 

robbeech

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Not exactly rocket science when you have a menu item that says ROVERS
Quite. And yet many people here (the forum not the thread) are very fast to jump on passengers willing to part with thousands of pounds of their own money when they complain about staff that can’t do these tasks that you rightly claim are very simple.
This isn’t uncommon so something is going wrong and I agree with comments above that not everyone sees things the same way but ultimately this person has never been taught how to sell some tickets or they have failed to learn it.
 

Wallsendmag

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I appreciate that, but what I am saying is that people see things differently based on their knowledge and aptitude for working things out they may have forgotten or missed in training. What may seem obvious to one might not be to another.
Sorry, yes I agree , I was just pointing out that I am very familiar with the system. Overestimating the simplicity of Bluetooth pairing was another perfect example.
 

Wallsendmag

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Quite. And yet many people here (the forum not the thread) are very fast to jump on passengers willing to part with thousands of pounds of their own money when they complain about staff that can’t do these tasks that you rightly claim are very simple.
This isn’t uncommon so something is going wrong and I agree with comments above that not everyone sees things the same way but ultimately this person has never been taught how to sell some tickets or they have failed to learn it.
We had a very knowledgeable trainer assigned by Worldline now sadly passed away.He made the whole exercise much simpler for us. Otherwise we would have had to train the trainer ourselves.
 

RJ

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Quite. And yet many people here (the forum not the thread) are very fast to jump on passengers willing to part with thousands of pounds of their own money when they complain about staff that can’t do these tasks that you rightly claim are very simple.
This isn’t uncommon so something is going wrong and I agree with comments above that not everyone sees things the same way but ultimately this person has never been taught how to sell some tickets or they have failed to learn it.
Expectations need to be managed accordingly.

Selling tickets without assistance does require a degree of aptitude in digging through menus, drop down boxes and navigating software that is not always as intuitive as intended. The railways do not test for this type of aptitude. What they do is train people on how to perform specific tasks and hope they remember everything, with some degree of reliance on peer learning.

In the area to the south/south east of London, rovers are not really very common and are probably sold once in a blue moon at many ticket offices. The clerk may well have covered it in training, but people's technical knowledge can lapse if not used for a long time. The concept of an uncommon ticket is a very fluid and dynamic one depending on the location.

As the railways don't test for trial and error skills, the bar of attainment is set at a level where it's accepted that the clerk might not be able to sell something a customer asks for. It's not only people wanting uncommon tickets like rovers affected, but a much wider range of customers. Some customers of the railway have realised this and as their expectations are aligned with the reality of service quality variation, devise their own subtle tactics to help things along.

Some tickets are difficult to find by trial and error and require specific training. For example I was sent on an assignment to one station which offers carnets. I was single manning and couldn't work out how to find these tickets. It transpired that the number of passengers travelling had to be changed to 10 to get the ticket type to show up. If someone asked for a First Class ALR, the machine would not show this as it is the same ticket type as the Standard Class ALR. You had to know that one class had route Any Permitted and the other had route Direct. Finding concessionary discounts can be another minefield.

We all know that ticket sellers are not homogenous. Some are good all rounders, some have enhanced technical and geographic knowledge, some can find and comprehend obscure technical documents rapidly with ease, some are a whizz with managing the office itself, some are sharp with the related admin and cash management, some are tip-top at troubleshooting the TVMs, some are people people and save lives by being sharp eyed.

It can be frustrating to not be able to get the ticket you need and are entitled to buy. If it's not possible, maybe try asking nicely if anyone else can help. If you can think of a large station operated by the same TOC, maybe ask if anyone there can assist over the phone. This sort of thing rarely fails to work and can be the fastest way of resolving the issue. If you're short on time then buy the cheapest ticket allowing you travel and sort it at the first practicable opportunity.
 
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PupCuff

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Avantix used to be a pain in the backside for trying to find rovers, as the search function would only do so from the beginning of the ticket name (so if you searched for, say x, it would look for x* and not *x*), so the common one was customers colloquially asking for a "Manchester Wayfarer" - to distinguish it from the nearby Derbyshire one and so the less familiar operator may try and filter down the rovers using "m" for "manchester" or "w" for wayfarer, and it wouldn't find either, because of course it isn't a "Manchester Wayfarer", it is a "Greater Manchester Wayfarer" as it covers the entire Greater Manchester region and not just the city. You'd have to search "g", but unless you knew that the ticket the customer was asking for didn't exist under the name for which the customer was asking it, then you'd be left either stumped, or resigned looking through the entire list of rover type tickets one-by-one to find the right one (and hoping at no point during such exercise did it decide to crash and reboot itself).
 

philthetube

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All Rovers,Rangers are (I think) listed on the National Rail journey planner, is there any reason why, on the purchasing link there could not be what to ask for instructions, then available to both staff and travellers.
 

philjo

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I needed a Heart of Wales day ranger a couple of years ago. I boarded at Church Stretton which is unstaffed so intended to buy on the train. The conductor could not find it on his machine, despite the ticket being dedicated to the route for this service. There is a 20 minute wait scheduled at Llandrindod Wells, so the Adjacent ticket office there was able to issue it without any problems.
 

RJ

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All Rovers,Rangers are (I think) listed on the National Rail journey planner, is there any reason why, on the purchasing link there could not be what to ask for instructions, then available to both staff and travellers.
There are multiple ticket issuing systems in place, all with different ways of bringing up those tickets.
 

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