Carnet of ticket recent changes

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yamimar

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I have 7 tickets that have been rendered useless to me due to the recent change on the way the carnet tickets from First Capital Connect now operate.

I travel from Hitchin to London a maximum of two days a week and have been using the carnet of tickets for a while. I only travel to London during peak time and used to buy a pack of 10 peak carnets for this journey. My return is mainly during the off-peak time so I used to buy 10 off-peak carnets for this journey and use the peak carnets in the very few occasions my return was during peak time.

However, when my last peak tickets run out I found that First Capital Connect had withdrew the original carnets without any warning whatsoever and replaced them with five return tickets that could only be bought in either peak or off peak format. I was left with 7 old type off peak tickets which I am using. Consequently this will leave me with 7 new type peak return tickets which I will NEVER be able to use, a total of £9.95 x 7 = £69.65 ; apart for making my return journey £2.35 more expensive a day (I used to pay £7.60 for each of my off peak tickets and each return ticket is now £9.95).

I was not notified of anyforthcoming changes to the carnet of tickets so there was no way Icould have avoided this situation. In fact, I even bough a set of 10off-peak carnet tickets the week before the changes were introduced and I was not informed of this. Besides, the morning I found out aboutthis change not even the staff working by the ticket barrier machine had any knowledge of this which I found very unacceptable. Only the staff by the counter were aware of this situation and apparently they had only been notified of this changes 24 hours before it was introduced.

I have contacted FirstCapital Connect, the lady that replied admited that this change was done without any notification to the passanges and appologised but is refusing to issue a compensation for the ticket I will NEVER be able to use (they are only carnet new type return and in order to get a match I will have to get a sets of 5 onward and 5 return so I will always be left with unused return tickets).

I did not get round to contact FCC on the same week the change was introduced as it was around the school holidays but one of my frieds did and they did issue a compensation for her, she just had 5 return tickets left instead of 7 but our case was exactly the same.

Could you please advise if there is any consumer body I can complain to, it is a lot of money wasted for me.

Thank you.
 
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LexyBoy

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I might be missing something, but what's stopping you buying Anytime singles to use for the other leg to correspond to the remaining 7 carnet tickets? There's only a small discount on the carnets so you'd only be a few quid down.

Still worth complaining, if only to ensure FCC are aware of how many people they've inconvenienced with this change.
 

IanXC

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If you paid by credit card then potentially a charge-back?
I think you'd be struggling. The individual transaction was for the purchase of off peak carnets, the fact that the peak equivalent is no longer available does not mean that FCC have failed in any way to provide the product/service charged for in that individual transaction.
 

yorkie

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In this case it appears to be Passenger Focus as Hitchin is north of Stevenage, but if anyone has this problem further South they'd need to contact London Travelwatch.

My experience of dealing with Passenger Focus is not good. They lack the skills to understand anything but the most simple of problems.
 

DaveNewcastle

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My experience of dealing with Passenger Focus is not good. They lack the skills to understand anything but the most simple of problems.
Whether or not that skills-shortagte is the reason or not, I couldn't possibly comment.
However, I will agree that Passenger Focus' track record quite evidentially does not impress.

But I also agree that Passenger Focus are the appropriate body to whom you should report your apparently unwarranted loss of value. Therefore, can I suggest that you write to them, but clearly copying to your MP and to FCC's Financial Director?

Your letter should be simple and clear :- you bought a product in good faith that it would enable you to enjoy the services offered up to and including the quota offered, on the routes offered, and at the times offered. It simply remains for the Company to honour their part of that agreement. Will they please comment on their apparent reduction in their offer after having sold you the product?
 

yamimar

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LexyBoy, I can't buy anymore one way tickets, they are now paired as onward and corresponding return. So the new return tickets I have been left can not be matched with any other ticket. The old carnet of tickets system has been scrapped

Thank you all for your replies. I will check your information
 

reb0118

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I might be missing something, but what's stopping you buying Anytime singles to use for the other leg to correspond to the remaining 7 carnet tickets? There's only a small discount on the carnets so you'd only be a few quid down.
Anytime singles are still available on this route as LexyBoy states above. These are not flexi or carnet tickets but are available for one single journey on the date stated on the ticket. Anytime means they can be used anytime on that date i.e. no peak restrictions. You can buy them in advance, or as there is no real benefit in that except the potential time saving on the day, on the day of travel for the same cost. You would then use your remaining Off - Peak Carnets to return.

I would still complain as you obviously feel aggrieved somewhat.

Good luck in your endeavors.
 

yamimar

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Rebo118 that's correct, I now realised that I can buy the any time single tickets, thank you for bringing it to my attention. I will be spending £4.35 more per journey because they are £14.30 as opposed to the £9.95 for the carnet ones. For 7 tickets it will be £30.45 more that I will pay. Still a lot of money for me considering there was no way I could have made arrangements to use my old tickets because FCC never gave any notice even to his own staff. I will contact passenger focus.
 

calc7

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Rebo118 that's correct, I now realised that I can buy the any time single tickets, thank you for bringing it to my attention. I will be spending £4.35 more per journey because they are £14.30 as opposed to the £9.95 for the carnet ones. For 7 tickets it will be £30.45 more that I will pay. Still a lot of money for me considering there was no way I could have made arrangements to use my old tickets because FCC never gave any notice even to his own staff. I will contact passenger focus.
Do you buy a day travelcard for when you travel round London? If so, you can make a small saving by buying at the station an Anytime Day Single to Bondary Zone 2 or whatever zones your travelcard is valid for.

For instance, Hitchin to Boundary Zone 4 Anytime Day Single is only £11.60

You would have to already hold the travelcard when purchasing the Boundary Zone ticket.
 
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Mojo

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Anytime singles are still available on this route as LexyBoy states above.
However at £14.30 for a single, this means that the customer will end up paying more than they would had they just bought an Off-Peak Day Return, or Anytime Day Return on the day.
 

yamimar

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I am pleased to let you know that after several emails back and forth FCC has agreed to offer a goodwill refund in vouchers for the peak return tickets I have left. It made sense they did it as due to their inefficiently and lack of information I ended up with this tickets in the first place. Thank you all for the information you provided me with.
 

jon0844

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LexyBoy, I can't buy anymore one way tickets, they are now paired as onward and corresponding return. So the new return tickets I have been left can not be matched with any other ticket. The old carnet of tickets system has been scrapped

Thank you all for your replies. I will check your information
Good to see FCC has sorted this out, but can you not just buy off-peak carnet packs in the future and then excess the ones you need to use in the peak?

They stopped letting me excess the older tickets, due to a fraud that I eventually found out about (a pretty clever one!) but now they're marked OUT and RTN the problem has gone away. Thus, despite a bit of inconvenience, I think you'll still get the same benefits if you want.

Bear in mind, you can excess tickets at any time - as the excess ticket is valid for three months like the ticket itself (and you can use an outbound and return ticket on different days). Thus, you could buy a carnet pack and immediately excess all the outbound ones to London to peak.

Again, a hassle, but should work. I say should because I've not tried to do this yet, since being told they wouldn't (note; wouldn't, not couldn't - as I've had excessed tickets many times before). Perhaps check at your local station - and don't just take their first answer as being correct! Bear in mind, they CAN excess - but many people didn't know how to do it before.

Here's proof (for the old carnet tickets you've just had refunded);

screenshot_2012-03-16_0549 copy.jpg

The only real downside is that you may get out of sync with the tickets, as you have to have 5 out and 5 return. Not a problem in most cases, I'm sure, especially given the flexibility of not having to return on the same day.
 

yamimar

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I am not aware that tickets can be excess, I will ask at the station. I did mention my case to the people in the counter and they didn't offer me that solution which is quite bizarre if that's an option. Thank you.
 

jon0844

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They can be excessed, but staff seem to have trouble working out how to do it. Then, one day, they simply refused to do it.

Take a print out of the above ticket as it shows the description that might help them do it.
 

jon0844

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Hmm.. I think I'll have to investigate this a bit more.

If you can excess a normal ticket, you should be able to excess these. They advertise the carnet as being getting ten tickets for the price of nine. If there are different restrictions, then they're not the same at all - and so they can't make the comparison (something for the ASA perhaps?).
 

yamimar

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Hmm.. I think I'll have to investigate this a bit more.

If you can excess a normal ticket, you should be able to excess these. They advertise the carnet as being getting ten tickets for the price of nine. If there are different restrictions, then they're not the same at all - and so they can't make the comparison (something for the ASA perhaps?).
Thanks, that would be great. I'll check at the station too as I had the impression that the guy I spoke with on the phone had no idea what excess tickets were and had to ask then said they were not available.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Do you buy a day travelcard for when you travel round London? If so, you can make a small saving by buying at the station an Anytime Day Single to Bondary Zone 2 or whatever zones your travelcard is valid for.

For instance, Hitchin to Boundary Zone 4 Anytime Day Single is only £11.60

You would have to already hold the travelcard when purchasing the Boundary Zone ticket.
Thanks but I only buy the carnet of tickets as it is cheaper than a day travelcard.
 

jon0844

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This morning I needed to travel in the peak, so got my first opportunity to ask for an excess. I had the last excessed ticket with me as a guide.

Now, I've never met the person at the ticket office before in my life - but clearly he thought we knew each other. I asked him if I could excess my off peak ticket and he suddenly shouted at me 'You can't do that' as if I'd been hounding him for hours!

You know when people say staff were rude and we all argue that the chances are they weren't and it was just a customer not being told what they want to hear? Well, this guy WAS rude.

I showed my old ticket and he said it didn't exist, before changing that to it was incorrect and then the fact the person that did it shouldn't have because they're not allowed..

He then went off on one about how the new carnet tickets are better than they were because I get five out and five return tickets. Given they're exactly the same price, I couldn't quite work out how or why they were better.

Given I had to buy a single ticket for £9 instead of paying the difference, and now have one outbound off-peak ticket that has no return (as I used that this afternoon), I really cannot understand how they're better in any way whatsoever. Better for FCC I presume.

I'm really quite disappointed that I couldn't upgrade the ticket and wonder what would have happened if I'd been able to get through the gateline (had I travelled an hour or so earlier I probably could) and been caught on the train. If you have an off-peak ticket, you can't be given a PF and only get charged the difference don't you?

I know there was the potential fraud with the older carnet tickets, but that's been effectively done away with now - unless FCC think you'd want to travel back in later on with the original outbound ticket?

Clearly despite being advertised at 10 tickets for the price of 9, they're not actually the same as buying them individually - tickets you could excess.
 
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yamimar

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Sorry to hear that.

Sunday a week ago I went to the olympics and by mistake bought one way off peak ticket rather than return. On my way back to Hitchin I asked the FCC office at Kings Cross if they could excess my ticket so I could pay the diference (only £1 difference) and they said NO, that could not be possible and that I would have to buy a single ticket again. I decided to go to Finsbury Park using my 'one day travelcard' (Olympics courtesy) and try my luck there. Well, it was worth it as the guy there was helpful and knew exactly what to do. He issued an excess ticket and was amazed that the staff at K. Cross didn't help me.

FYI. FCC is now selling carnets of 5 tickets, either peak or off peak and outward or return journey.

Yamimar
 

causton

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Sorry to hear that.

Sunday a week ago I went to the olympics and by mistake bought one way off peak ticket rather than return. On my way back to Hitchin I asked the FCC office at Kings Cross if they could excess my ticket so I could pay the diference (only £1 difference) and they said NO, that could not be possible and that I would have to buy a single ticket again. I decided to go to Finsbury Park using my 'one day travelcard' (Olympics courtesy) and try my luck there. Well, it was worth it as the guy there was helpful and knew exactly what to do. He issued an excess ticket and was amazed that the staff at K. Cross didn't help me.

FYI. FCC is now selling carnets of 5 tickets, either peak or off peak and outward or return journey.

Yamimar
You may wish to complain to the company you spoke to at Kings Cross. They are terrible and time upon time they have failed me with simple requests - which I have then nipped across the road to East Midlands Trains' ticket office in St Pancras and got exactly what I was after. I told this to one member of staff who said 'go on then, do it' and I went back to him with the ticket - he did not look amused. If it was East Coast staff please complain as I have already sent in one and not got the courtesy of a reply yet!
 

ainsworth74

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which I have then nipped across the road to East Midlands Trains' ticket office in St Pancras and got exactly what I was after.
But make sure it is the EMT office not the FCC office as I made the mistake of going there trying to get an over distance excess and ended up being issued with a new ticket for the extra bit. I wouldn't say I was unlucky either as of the three members of staff on duty none could work out how to do it!
 

bb21

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Sunday a week ago I went to the olympics and by mistake bought one way off peak ticket rather than return. On my way back to Hitchin I asked the FCC office at Kings Cross if they could excess my ticket so I could pay the diference (only £1 difference) and they said NO, that could not be possible and that I would have to buy a single ticket again. I decided to go to Finsbury Park using my 'one day travelcard' (Olympics courtesy) and try my luck there. Well, it was worth it as the guy there was helpful and knew exactly what to do. He issued an excess ticket and was amazed that the staff at K. Cross didn't help me.
Technically the clerk at the St Pancras ticket office was correct, so you have no cause for complaint in this case. Once you have reached the destination of your single ticket, your ticket cannot be excessed into a return as someone can just pick up a used ticket from the floor and excess it instead of paying the single fare.
 

island

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Sorry to hear that.

Sunday a week ago I went to the olympics and by mistake bought one way off peak ticket rather than return. On my way back to Hitchin I asked the FCC office at Kings Cross if they could excess my ticket so I could pay the diference (only £1 difference) and they said NO, that could not be possible and that I would have to buy a single ticket again. I decided to go to Finsbury Park using my 'one day travelcard' (Olympics courtesy) and try my luck there. Well, it was worth it as the guy there was helpful and knew exactly what to do. He issued an excess ticket and was amazed that the staff at K. Cross didn't help me.

FYI. FCC is now selling carnets of 5 tickets, either peak or off peak and outward or return journey.

Yamimar
While it is technically possible to excess a single into a return, the clerk was in fact wrong to do so as a ticket cannot be excessed once it is fully used.
 

jon0844

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FYI. FCC is now selling carnets of 5 tickets, either peak or off peak and outward or return journey.
I saw when I last got a carnet pack that they can select how many to issue, so I guess they're no longer just classed as 10 tickets for the price of 9 (10 tickets being 5 out, 5 rtn) and are simply priced at £5 each - so you can have, say 12 or 14 tickets if you wanted.

It would seem that these are now totally unique tickets and not simply discounted 'regular' tickets and have different T&Cs. We've seen the supposed barring of the off-peak tickets in the evening peak EVEN WHEN such off-peak tickets aren't restricted (based on your destination zone). Never enforced, and the gates don't reject either - but if they're different then FCC would presumably be able to do so if it wanted.

One good bit of advice I got yesterday from an RPI at King's Cross (when I asked to borrow a pen to write on the date before I used the gate) about if the pen doesn't mark the ticket was to write the date on the back of the ticket and NEVER attempt to go over the existing dents. To do so would instantly arouse suspicion, but he said no RPI would question having the date on the back and being able to see where an attempt had been made to write on the front.
 

maniacmartin

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While it is technically possible to excess a single into a return, the clerk was in fact wrong to do so as a ticket cannot be excessed once it is fully used.
Could you not argue that the single was only used as far as Finsbury Park, and the OP split-ticketted with the Games Travelcard to get from FPK - KGX, thus the SGL still had outbound validity from FPK - KGX and wasn't fully used. That's the argument I would have tried anyway. Of course there would have been no way the clerk would have known this unless told
 

Indigo2

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One good bit of advice I got yesterday from an RPI at King's Cross (when I asked to borrow a pen to write on the date before I used the gate) about if the pen doesn't mark the ticket was to write the date on the back of the ticket and NEVER attempt to go over the existing dents. To do so would instantly arouse suspicion, but he said no RPI would question having the date on the back and being able to see where an attempt had been made to write on the front.
Funny - someone did that a while ago and was pulled up by an RPI and then threatened with prosecution by FCC, but the case was later dropped. See this thread.
 

calc7

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Could you not argue that the single was only used as far as Finsbury Park, and the OP split-ticketted with the Games Travelcard to get from FPK - KGX, thus the SGL still had outbound validity from FPK - KGX and wasn't fully used. That's the argument I would have tried anyway. Of course there would have been no way the clerk would have known this unless told
Perhaps, but only if the train had stopped within the area covered by the Travelcard, not including London Kings Cross, so as to comply with NRCoC Condition 19(b).
 
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