Can any station replace a faded season ticket?

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CaptainHaddock

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Having been shoved through the ticket gates at my destination station twice a day, my annual season ticket has faded to the point it's virtually unreadable so I went to the booking office yesterday to get a replacement. When I asked the guy on the counter, he asked if it had been issued by his booking office and I said no, so he refused to issue me with a replacement. He instead stated I could only get a replacement from the original issuing office, which is a pain in the backside for me as it was issued for me by my employer through a business travel agent. They want me to post the ticket back to them, they will then wait to receive it, void the old one and post a new one out to me, a process that will probably take a fortnight. During this time I'm expected to buy a new ticket each day, which they say they will then reimburse (yeah right!).

This seems a very longwinded and bureaucratic process so I wonder if any ticket experts on here can answer this pair of queries.

1. Surely any ticket office can issue a replacement season ticket, as it's done as a zero fare so no money changes hands and no accounting is needed? Was the guy in the ticket office right or was he just being a bit of a jobsworth?

2. Why does the issuing office need to wait to receive the faded original season before issuing the replacement? I don't mind sending them the original once I've received the replacement, but it seems unfair I should be expected to have no season ticket for a fortnight and end up out of pocket.
 
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hairyhandedfool

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The company that issued your ticket doesn't want to issue a replacement if the old one isn't faded (to prevent two tickets being in use), that is why they want the ticket returned first.

Any station should be able to issue a replacement on the spot if the ticket is still readable, however, it is a pain in the backside to do if the ticket was bought from another company. Back in the days of APTIS it was dead simple to do, but that is progress for you.
 

LexyBoy

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Any ticket office should be able to replace the season (provided they have the right ticket stock e.g. if it's a Gold Card); only the issuing ticket office (or at least one operated by the same TOC) can do a refund IIRC.

Not sending out a replacement until receiving the original will be an anti-fraud measure.
 

wintonian

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Having been shoved through the ticket gates at my destination station twice a day, my annual season ticket has faded to the point it's virtually unreadable so I went to the booking office yesterday to get a replacement. When I asked the guy on the counter, he asked if it had been issued by his booking office and I said no, so he refused to issue me with a replacement. He instead stated I could only get a replacement from the original issuing office, which is a pain in the backside for me as it was issued for me by my employer through a business travel agent. They want me to post the ticket back to them, they will then wait to receive it, void the old one and post a new one out to me, a process that will probably take a fortnight. During this time I'm expected to buy a new ticket each day, which they say they will then reimburse (yeah right!).

This seems a very longwinded and bureaucratic process so I wonder if any ticket experts on here can answer this pair of queries.

1. Surely any ticket office can issue a replacement season ticket, as it's done as a zero fare so no money changes hands and no accounting is needed? Was the guy in the ticket office right or was he just being a bit of a jobsworth?

2. Why does the issuing office need to wait to receive the faded original season before issuing the replacement? I don't mind sending them the original once I've received the replacement, but it seems unfair I should be expected to have no season ticket for a fortnight and end up out of pocket.

1, Not sure but I think that correct and only a station managed by the TOC you bought it from can do a replacement or the travel agent if it wasn't bought directly from a TOC. This might be down to data protection and shared databases between companys.

2, As both could be used at the same time creating a fraud risk.
 

The Colonel

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Having been shoved through the ticket gates at my destination station twice a day, my annual season ticket has faded to the point it's virtually unreadable so I went to the booking office yesterday to get a replacement. When I asked the guy on the counter, he asked if it had been issued by his booking office and I said no, so he refused to issue me with a replacement. He instead stated I could only get a replacement from the original issuing office, which is a pain in the backside for me as it was issued for me by my employer through a business travel agent. They want me to post the ticket back to them, they will then wait to receive it, void the old one and post a new one out to me, a process that will probably take a fortnight. During this time I'm expected to buy a new ticket each day, which they say they will then reimburse (yeah right!).

This seems a very longwinded and bureaucratic process so I wonder if any ticket experts on here can answer this pair of queries.

1. Surely any ticket office can issue a replacement season ticket, as it's done as a zero fare so no money changes hands and no accounting is needed? Was the guy in the ticket office right or was he just being a bit of a jobsworth?

2. Why does the issuing office need to wait to receive the faded original season before issuing the replacement? I don't mind sending them the original once I've received the replacement, but it seems unfair I should be expected to have no season ticket for a fortnight and end up out of pocket.
I'm new to ticket offices but from my limited experience any ticket office OF THE SAME TOC should be able to do this. I've done one today for the next station down the line. I can't do one for another TOC though.

Q2 is pretty self explanatory for revenue protection purposes . . .
If you buy a jumper from M&S and it doesn't fit you take that back before they replace it don't they? Same principle here.

Other more knowledgeable people will probably be along soon to correct me if I'm wrong.

The Colonel
 

hairyhandedfool

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I'm new to ticket offices but from my limited experience any ticket office OF THE SAME TOC should be able to do this. I've done one today for the next station down the line. I can't do one for another TOC though....
If it is issued by your TOC, the ticket will be in your database so it is straight forward to replace, as you have discovered already.

If it is not issued by your TOC, you will have to enter the ticket into your database (without issuing a new one), then replace it. You will need to explore how your particular ticket issuing system can do this, or ask your training department for further guidance (it should be similar to a changeover for a season issued by another TOC). Afterwards, you will need to inform the issuing company/station of the replacement so they can update their own ticket file.
 

CaptainHaddock

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2, As both could be used at the same time creating a fraud risk.
How could they? A season ticket states "Valid only with Photocard number whatever" in the top right, so no one else would be able to use the ticket except the person possessing the photocard.



The other thing is, how would a booking office know one way or the other if the ticket was their issue if the print is so badly faded that no one can read it? If I'd just lied and told them the ticket was issued by their office, would they have been able to prove me wrong?
 

Deerfold

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How could they? A season ticket states "Valid only with Photocard number whatever" in the top right, so no one else would be able to use the ticket except the person possessing the photocard.

It may well work the gates - and the photocard number may well be faded too...

The other thing is, how would a booking office know one way or the other if the ticket was their issue if the print is so badly faded that no one can read it? If I'd just lied and told them the ticket was issued by their office, would they have been able to prove me wrong?
If the magnetic strip is still working would this information be included?
 

hairyhandedfool

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How could they? A season ticket states "Valid only with Photocard number whatever" in the top right, so no one else would be able to use the ticket except the person possessing the photocard....
Thameslink took a woman to court for fraud after her boyfriend was caught using her original 'lost' season a month after she had a duplicate issued. She claimed her boyfriend had stolen it from her, while her boyfriend said she gave it to him to use. No honour amongst thieves it seems.

....The other thing is, how would a booking office know one way or the other if the ticket was their issue if the print is so badly faded that no one can read it? If I'd just lied and told them the ticket was issued by their office, would they have been able to prove me wrong?
Monthly and longer seasons have a data file, if a station does not have the file, it was not issued there.
 

jon0844

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Barriers can't check photos. ;)
And staff don't check photos closely, or that the photocard number matches that of the ticket. In fact, wave a Gold Card at a RPI and they'll rarely look at it at all (something that always amazed me in my 8-9 years of daily commuting).

If a season ticket could be 'killed' by a gate by having its serial number blocked, it might be something - but they can't.

In other words; you cannot be allowed to keep your old ticket.
 

exile

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I was issued with a replacement ticket by a different retailer (an online retailer, thetrainline I think), though the retailer had to send a letter authorising this (they had stopped selling seasons).

Nevertheless as usual the whole system is fit for purpose - for the stagecoach era.
 

Solent&Wessex

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Nevertheless as usual the whole system is fit for purpose - for the stagecoach era.
Of course the ideal solution for annual season tickets is for them to be issued on plastic stock, a bit like staff passes for certain south east TOCs are. These plastic cards are printed in a way which will last for years, have a magnetic stripe on the back to work the gates, and are ideal. They may be a little more expensive to issue, and may have to be issued remotely and sent out via post, but I can't see that being a problem for the majority of annual season tickets.

 

RJ

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Of course the ideal solution for annual season tickets is for them to be issued on plastic stock, a bit like staff passes for certain south east TOCs are. These plastic cards are printed in a way which will last for years, have a magnetic stripe on the back to work the gates, and are ideal. They may be a little more expensive to issue, and may have to be issued remotely and sent out via post, but I can't see that being a problem for the majority of annual season tickets.

I had one of those :p. They're not as great as you think - they can snap in the middle then you're back to square one.

Can any station replace a faded season ticket?
The categorical answer is yes - I post as someone who has actually worked in a ticket office and knows the procedure.
 

wintonian

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I had one of those :p. They're not as great as you think - they can snap in the middle then you're back to square one..

Don't try and force it through the barriers then. :p

If they could just be cancelled at the click of a mouse then it would solve the fraud problems we were outlining to the OP.
 

lj9090

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And staff don't check photos closely, or that the photocard number matches that of the ticket. In fact, wave a Gold Card at a RPI and they'll rarely look at it at all (something that always amazed me in my 8-9 years of daily commuting).
Or check for a photocard atall... haven't shown mine since I started commuting 6 months ago and never been asked for it either.
 

Solent&Wessex

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Don't try and force it through the barriers then. :p

If they could just be cancelled at the click of a mouse then it would solve the fraud problems we were outlining to the OP.
Those thin plastic cards are designed to go through the gates. I had one once and found it to be quite satisfactory.

However, I don't see that cancelling it by the click of a mouse is the be all and end all - in the grand scheme of things very few stations have automatic ticket gates, and many are frequently open anyway, so I don't see that would solve anything.

 

wintonian

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Those thin plastic cards are designed to go through the gates. I had one once and found it to be quite satisfactory.

However, I don't see that cancelling it by the click of a mouse is the be all and end all - in the grand scheme of things very few stations have automatic ticket gates, and many are frequently open anyway, so I don't see that would solve anything.

I was thinking of schemes like SWT's ITSO one where all stations part of it have standalone readers in place of barriers or for when the barriers are left open.
 

dviner

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Having been shoved through the ticket gates at my destination station twice a day, my annual season ticket has faded to the point it's virtually unreadable so I went to the booking office yesterday to get a replacement.
I had a similar situation - Annual Travelcard sourced by my employer, and faded by use to the point that a RPI suggested that it might be a good idea to get it replaced. Took it to my local station, and they couldn't find a record of it on their system (although they had records of the monthlies I'd had previously). They recorded it and issued a new ticket. Now, I tended to use the Travelcard for bus journeys and only the occasional trip on the tube, so I didn't use the card on LU barriers for a bit. When I did get round to useing it (to exit from the tube) the barriers rejected it, but showing it to the barrier staff got me through. This happened a couple of times until one of the barrier guys pointed out that the replacement ticket wasn't actually a Travelcard.

Oops.

Took a while to get that sorted out, but I eventually got a working Annual Travelcard back.

Of course, about two weeks later I had to get it replaced again after the barriers messed it up - but at least that replacement went smoothly.
 

dvboy

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Strange, I get my season ticket through a corporate travel scheme and the booking office at BSW have replaced it in the past.
 
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.. can a ticket be replaced?..
The categorical answer is yes - I post as someone who has actually worked in a ticket office and knows the procedure.
See http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/download/2129.4/rbt-season-ticket-user-guide/ (page 8) which shows the procedure that the booking office should follow. FCC have also confirmed to me that they expect their ticket offices to do these reissues. Although this is a SouthEastern issued document (I think they do a lot of corporate schemes).
 

Solent&Wessex

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That is a handy document, I shall take a copy of that last page!

There are number of passengers in my area with annual season tickets which I believe have been issued by southeastern - not least because they are issued on Gold Card stock and are hundreds of miles away from the Network area and in southeastern ticket wallets - which have faded and fail to work barriers. I have told people to go to the office and they have all said that the ticket office flatly refuses and says it is not possible.
 

34D

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That is a handy document, I shall take a copy of that last page!

There are number of passengers in my area with annual season tickets which I believe have been issued by southeastern - not least because they are issued on Gold Card stock and are hundreds of miles away from the Network area and in southeastern ticket wallets - which have faded and fail to work barriers. I have told people to go to the office and they have all said that the ticket office flatly refuses and says it is not possible.
Hmmm. Is it common that (when buying an annual season for a journey exclusively outside of the network card area, but buying from a TOC within) that the ticket is issued on Gold card stock?

This presumably would then be accepted without question for discount (at a TfL or network card area ticket office), do we think?
 

oversteer

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Member of staff at Euston ticket office just refused to replace my non-barrier-operating monthly travelcard and told me I would have to go back to the issuing booking office (at where I used to live!) to get a replacement..

I shall try again in the morning and be more persistent :)
 

Bonemaster

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My experience of this is that you have to go back to the issuer, got sent from pillar to post when my annual ticket faded, with the yes we sell them but we cant issue a replacement response.
 

oversteer

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Well I tried again at Euston, Virgin Trains ticket desk this time, and after a bit of head-scratching, supervisor-consulting and email-reading, the man behind the counter looked up the procedure and issued me a replacement season ticket :D

It was the first time he'd done it, and did take about 15 minutes, but I wasn't in a rush and I guess it's not an everyday procedure. So, to anyone in the same situation in future, be persistent and consider trying a bigger ticket desk that has multiple staff and a supervisor on duty.
 

railinsider

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Well I tried again at Euston, Virgin Trains ticket desk this time, and after a bit of head-scratching, supervisor-consulting and email-reading, the man behind the counter looked up the procedure and issued me a replacement season ticket :D

It was the first time he'd done it, and did take about 15 minutes, but I wasn't in a rush and I guess it's not an everyday procedure. So, to anyone in the same situation in future, be persistent and consider trying a bigger ticket desk that has multiple staff and a supervisor on duty.
To save yourself the aggro in the future, ask for an encode exchange. It can be done at ANY station ticket office.

El Insider.
 

infobleep

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If it is South West Trains who are replacing it then they can just do it via their computer and issue a new one almost immediately, providing their's no queue.

If it is London Midland then you have to wait 7 minutes whilst they fill out a form. I know which method will cost the train company the latest amount of money.

The other thing is that if you bought the ticket online then you will not be in their system, even if you bought it from the train company's Web Site at whose ticket office you are at. This is because online ticket sales are in a different system to station ticket sales.

Of course if one company is refusing to reissue the ticket or you know that you purchased it from another, just say you bought it online from them. They can't question it as they have no way of knowing. Of course you are lying.

My tickets mostly fail in barriers owned by TFL but TFL can't issue replacements sadly. In fact it fails at least once a month; mostly twice and sometimes three times or more. They are rubbish tickets that cannot cope with being put into barriers. I hope the smartcards will be better.
 

hairyhandedfool

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....Of course if one company is refusing to reissue the ticket or you know that you purchased it from another, just say you bought it online from them. They can't question it as they have no way of knowing. Of course you are lying....
Every ticket has it's issuing location on it, down to the sales point and machine numbers. If a member of staff wants to know where it was issued, they CAN find out and in many cases quite quickly. Bear in mind that it is in the passenger's interest to make sure the ticket details are updated, incase the passenger needs a refund on the ticket at a later date. Even an entirely faded ticket could have it's issuing location identified.
 
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Barclay

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If it is South West Trains who are replacing it then they can just do it via their computer and issue a new one almost immediately, providing their's no queue.
It's a good job the system for replacing a gold card with SWT is quick. The P19 barriers at Waterloo eat mine on such a regular basis that I'm on my sixth gold card since January!
 
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