Change Advance to different TOC?

faddy

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This is a question expecting the answer "no", but thought I'd check:

Can an Advance be changed for a TOC specific ticket for a different TOC serving the same route? Specifically can a Virgin Advance Euston -> Liverpool be changed for a London North-Western (Advance or flexible) ticket?
 
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ForTheLoveOf

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This is a question expecting the answer "no", but thought I'd check:

Can an Advance be changed for a TOC specific ticket for a different TOC serving the same route? Specifically can a Virgin Advance Euston -> Liverpool be changed for a London North-Western (Advance or flexible) ticket?
Yes, it can be. This is one of the few exemptions to the general rule that there is no entitlement on a TOC-only ticket to have the TOC restriction excessed away.

Note that it is possible to obtain free-of-charge Advance ticket changes if you book through CrossCountry's or TPE's websites. The former processes changes by means of a refund and repurchase (and posting the old tickets back), so it is fairly quick but leaves you out of pocket until the refund is processed (plus you don't get the cost of the stamp back!).

The latter processes changes by means of an excess that is posted out, so it is slower and has a greater lead time (usually at least 4-5 days), but it doesn't leave you out of pocket at any point, plus you don't have the cost of postage.
 

faddy

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Yes, it can be. This is one of the few exemptions to the general rule that there is no entitlement on a TOC-only ticket to have the TOC restriction excessed away.

Note that it is possible to obtain free-of-charge Advance ticket changes if you book through CrossCountry's or TPE's websites. The former processes changes by means of a refund and repurchase (and posting the old tickets back), so it is fairly quick but leaves you out of pocket until the refund is processed (plus you don't get the cost of the stamp back!).

The latter processes changes by means of an excess that is posted out, so it is slower and has a greater lead time (usually at least 4-5 days), but it doesn't leave you out of pocket at any point, plus you don't have the cost of postage.
One of the many occasions when I've wished this site had a "Thank you" button!
 

faddy

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This is one of the few exemptions to the general rule that there is no entitlement on a TOC-only ticket to have the TOC restriction excessed away.
Though in my example I'd be not only excessing away one TOC restriction but also introducing another?
 

faddy

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Note that it is possible to obtain free-of-charge Advance ticket changes if you book through CrossCountry's or TPE's websites. The former processes changes by means of a refund and repurchase
Do Crosscountry generally not charge for refunds, or only in this scenario?
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Do Crosscountry generally not charge for refunds, or only in this scenario?
Both TPE and CrossCountry still charge the usual £10 fee for change-of-mind refunds, but they waive the fee for changing an Advance. Changing any other kind of ticket (e.g. a more restricted ticket such as an Off-Peak ticket to a different date!) still incurs the fee.
 

faddy

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Both TPE and CrossCountry still charge the usual £10 fee for change-of-mind refunds, but they waive the fee for changing an Advance. Changing any other kind of ticket (e.g. a more restricted ticket such as an Off-Peak ticket to a different date!) still incurs the fee.
The CrossCountry website is a tad confusing as to what changes you can make to an Advance. On their FAQ page it says "You cannot amend an Advance ticket to another ticket type." On the page that advertises free changes to Advances it says "No more fees - Buy a new Advance [my italics] ticket, and we’ll refund your original for FREE", but in the next breath "Enjoy flexibility - Update the date, time & ticket type (as long as the stations are the same)"
 

Starmill

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If you do it at a station they'll probably insist that you must use the original company (even if you excess to an 'Any Permitted' Anytime Single). See the long heated arguments of the past about that one. You'll still have your original ticket and need to show it with your excess coupon.

If you do it on a website where you buy a replacement and they refund you, then you can obviously buy whatever you want. You won't have your original ticket in this case.

Have I missed it, or has the OP not told us where they bought their ticket and what state it is in?
 
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faddy

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If you do it at a station they'll probably insist that you must use the original company (even if you excess to an 'Any Permitted' Anytime Single). See the long heated arguments of thr past about that one.

If you do it on a website where you buy a replacement and they refund you, then you can obviously buy whatever you want.
Does the original company get to keep the revenue from the original ticket if it's excessed to "Any Permitted"? Will a ticket office normally (always?) process a change to an Advance as an excess rather than refund/replace?
 

Starmill

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Will a ticket office normally (always?) process a change to an Advance as an excess rather than refund/replace?
Yes, getting a free refund replacement ticket is a new idea. It also means that if the new ticket you buy is cheaper you get the difference back, obviously you don't normally.

A ticket office might choose to refund your ticket if you take it back to the one you bought it from, if someone very friendly works there. But probably not.
Does the original company get to keep the revenue from the original ticket if it's excessed to "Any Permitted"?
This doesn't really have anything to do with the conditions. However we do know that if an excess is issued the revenue from the original ticket isn't re-allocated.

Where did you buy your ticket?
 

faddy

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Have I missed it, or has the OP not told us where they bought their ticket and what state it is in?
Ticket not yet bought! I'm in the process of booking a return trip Liverpool -> London for me, wife and (adult) son, traveling VT. While we expect to be returning together there's a significant possibility that my son may decide to return sooner, and probably by London North-Western. We're getting Advances for the outward journey so for him I need to decide whether to get a SVH for coming back (which I could if necessary return for a refund -£10) or a (cheaper) Advance - hence the OP.
 

Starmill

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But accounts for "they'll probably insist that you must use the original company"?
No, that merely comes from the Advance Tickets Terms & Conditions:

  • The origin, destination and Train Company or route shown on the ticket(s) must remain the same.
  • The difference between the price paid and cost of the next suitable fare for your journey is payable, plus an administration fee of up to £10 per person, per single ticket for each change to a journey. If you change to a train on which a cheaper fare is available, the difference will not be refunded.
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/46546.aspx

In offering you a free refund and replacement instead, the companies whose website / telesales works this way seem to have decided not to enforce these two conditions. If that's intentional, as a part of their offer, or it just happened because they picked a method of accounting convenience for themselves and the customer and they resultantly lost the neccesary control over those two things, I do not know.

Some people took the view that it is so unfair to charge somebody Anytime Single +£10 and then restrict them to the same company that the original ticket was purchased for, in cases where the Anytime Single would otherwise be valid elsewhere, that that part of the contract is unenforceable. Discussion on this point is off topic here thought, ans a move towards free refund and replace renders that moot.
Ticket not yet bought!
Ahh got you now!
I hope this helps to clear up the several expressions of surprise I noted in this thread (and I hope I haven't made any mistakes!).
 
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Starmill

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The CrossCountry website is a tad confusing as to what changes you can make to an Advance. On their FAQ page it says "You cannot amend an Advance ticket to another ticket type." On the page that advertises free changes to Advances it says "No more fees - Buy a new Advance [my italics] ticket, and we’ll refund your original for FREE", but in the next breath "Enjoy flexibility - Update the date, time & ticket type (as long as the stations are the same)"
I have refunded an XC Advance that I bought on their website and replaced it with a walk-up ticket before. I had to call them to do it but they were happy for me to do that. I bought an XC Only Advance ticket and wanted to change it to an Off Peak Return, which they were happy to agree to on that occasion. No more Advance tickets were left for the train I wanted to use, so the Off Peak ticket was needed regardless.
 

faddy

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I have refunded an XC Advance that I bought on their website and replaced it with a walk-up ticket before. I had to call them to do it but they were happy for me to do that. I bought an XC Only Advance ticket and wanted to change it to an Off Peak Return, which they were happy to agree to on that occasion. No more Advance tickets were left for the train I wanted to use, so the Off Peak ticket was needed regardless.
So can you only change for another Advance on the website or was it changing to a return that was the issue?

An added complication is that during the current engineering LNW trains terminate at LPY and unsurprisingly if I try a dummy purchase on CrossCountry for a LNW only ticket on these dates it won't offer me a ticket to LIV. So I'd potentially be trying to change a VT EUS->LIV Advance for a LNW EUS->LPY (Advance/Off-Peak/Super Off-Peak).
 

Starmill

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So can you only change for another Advance on the website or was it changing to a return that was the issue?
This was never made clear to me I'm afraid. But the advisor I spoke to was clear that neither was a problem.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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So can you only change for another Advance on the website or was it changing to a return that was the issue?

An added complication is that during the current engineering LNW trains terminate at LPY and unsurprisingly if I try a dummy purchase on CrossCountry for a LNW only ticket on these dates it won't offer me a ticket to LIV. So I'd potentially be trying to change a VT EUS->LIV Advance for a LNW EUS->LPY (Advance/Off-Peak/Super Off-Peak).
You won't be able to do that unfortunately - the way that on-website refund and repurchases are processed is that it leads you to the portal you'd start a normal "advanced" search for tickets at, but with the origin, destination, passenger type/numbers and Railcard details filled in automatically and greyed out so you can't change them. You then just select the date and the time.

This is also why you wouldn't be able to change an Advance Single to any kind of Return online, as each leg of a return booking is treated as a single when you are led to the search portal. However, from @Starmill's account (and my own experience), it does not appear that there are any difficulties in doing things over the phone if the website doesn't allow you to book the tickets that you are entitled to book.
 

faddy

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You won't be able to do that unfortunately - the way that on-website refund and repurchases are processed is that it leads you to the portal you'd start a normal "advanced" search for tickets at, but with the origin, destination, passenger type/numbers and Railcard details filled in automatically and greyed out so you can't change them. You then just select the date and the time.

This is also why you wouldn't be able to change an Advance Single to any kind of Return online, as each leg of a return booking is treated as a single when you are led to the search portal. However, from @Starmill's account (and my own experience), it does not appear that there are any difficulties in doing things over the phone if the website doesn't allow you to book the tickets that you are entitled to book.
Are you allowed a second change of mind after you've:

1) Exchanged your Advance through CC's procedure?
2) Had an Advance excessed through the industry standard procedure?
 

Joe Paxton

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Are you allowed a second change of mind after you've:

1) Exchanged your Advance through CC's procedure?
2) Had an Advance excessed through the industry standard procedure?
Re (1) - I have changed an Advance - or a series of Advance tickets, depending on how you look at it - multiple times with no admin fee using Crosscountry's website. To be honest I was expecting it to kick up a fuss eventually (a message along the lines of 'are you really this indecisive'!), but it didn't. I can imagine that if for some reason I needed the assistance of a human agent, they may have been a bit less willing - or possibly just very confused (looking at all the different booking references)!

The Crosscountry site is a Trainline-powered booking engine, and as far as I can see the system for changing an Advance ticket is the same as for all Trainline-powered sites (albeit crucially without the £10 admin fee). I understand it is called 'refund and reissue' - specifically the system has you buy the new Advance ticket at the full price (and this is charged to your payment card), then you are refunded the price of the original ticket to your payment card (either more or less immediately if you haven't collected it yet, or some weeks later if you have collected the ticket and need to post it in for a refund). It's a bit clunky, but it works. I have only done this on XC when paying with a credit card, but I'm guessing that even for an 'instant' refund the money might not be in your bank for a few days.

Also not quite sure what happens if you pay for the amended ticket using a different payment card - I'm guessing the refund goes to the original payment card (which would make sense to me), but I could be wrong.

The Trainline system does seem to ignore the 'same TOC' restriction when changing an Advance - possibly an unintended consequence of their 'refund and reissue' method rather than excessing the original ticket.

Lastly Crosscountry do state (here) that you can only change your Advance ticket without an admin-fee up to 24 hours before your travel time, but that hasn't been my experience in practice - rather I've found you can change it right up to the minutes before departure time (quite possibly the very minute before departure time). However, I haven't done this for a little while so the situation may have changed.
 

faddy

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(either more or less immediately if you haven't collected it yet, or some weeks later if you have collected the ticket and need to post it in for a refund)
I tried a dummy exchange on the XC site and it appeared to be telling me that if I hadn't collected the ticket then I would have to do that then post it back.
 

Joe Paxton

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I tried a dummy exchange on the XC site and it appeared to be telling me that if I hadn't collected the ticket then I would have to do that then post it back.
I'm not sure what message you are seeing and at what stage of the process, but I don't recognise that from my experiences.

I have just looked at some PDFs I saved when going through the somewhat clunky XC Advance ticket change process...

At stage 1, "Select change", to the question "Have you collected your tickets for the journey you are about to change?" I answered "No".

At stage 4, "Payment" (where you input your payment card details), there is text that reads:

Refund information

Once payment for the current transaction has been completed, a request to refund the original tickets will be
made.

At stage 5, "Refund old tickets", there is a further message that says:

Refund information

Your refund request has been successfully submitted. These can take upto 2 days to process and may take further 5 working days to clear your
bank and into your account.
No admin fee charged

Total amount to be refunded £xx.xx

This particular transaction is from 2017 so I guess some of the wording could have changed since.
 

island

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Traditionally, the rule was that the main TOC used for travel could not be changed by excessing an Advance ticket up to a Walk-up fare.

Nowadays I think the answer you get depends on the question you ask and of whom you ask it. But inevitably if you change a ticket by way of the “refund and repurchase” method mentioned above, there will be no mention of the old ticket on the new ticket, so you will be free to use it by any relevant TOC.
 

gray1404

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I currently have 2 advances booked with XC which I have not collected yet. It is not for travel on their network though. These 2 advances form a round trip for me as Advance tickets are only told as singles. If I wanted to change these to a walk up fare, i.e. a TOC specific Off Peak Return between the same station pairs, do you think I would have any joy doing this over the phone with them? It sounds like their online system would not be able to do this and I don't want to be out of pocket in any way.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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I currently have 2 advances booked with XC which I have not collected yet. It is not for travel on their network though. These 2 advances form a round trip for me as Advance tickets are only told as singles. If I wanted to change these to a walk up fare, i.e. a TOC specific Off Peak Return between the same station pairs, do you think I would have any joy doing this over the phone with them? It sounds like their online system would not be able to do this and I don't want to be out of pocket in any way.
It's worth a try. The website won't let you do anything like that, but that's not to say they wouldn't consider it on the phone.
 

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