Changes to Annual Gold Card benefits from 2nd January 2015

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by CyrusWuff, 8 Oct 2014.

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  1. Abpj17

    Abpj17 Member

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    I think the point is that the majority don't pay for a gold card in the same way as other rail card; but it's a nice perk for those who have season tickets and make significant financial contributions to rail fares. (Although the savvier people may get low cost seasons and treat as a railcard)
     
  2. Skimpot flyer

    Skimpot flyer Member

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    Further to Hadders' comments, I guess the answer to whether it's worth coughing up for a LIC-LTV season (£144) depends on how many journeys you make on weekdays, on which the £13 minimum fare with a Network Railcard effectively means you get a reduced discount, or none at all!
    In essence, any weekday journey you make regularly, where the fare is below £19.70, will get a discount of LESS than 34%. For example, a £15 fare with a Network Card discount reduces to £13, a discount of just 13.33%. With a Gold Card, that fare would reduce to £10. If this journey is one you make reasonably regularly on weekdays, then after 38 such journeys, the additional £3 saving would come to £114 i.e. the difference in price between a Network Railcard and the LTV-LIC Season.
    So a huge amount depends on the size of the (undiscounted) fare, and the regularity of the journey undertaken.
    If you only ever purchase tickets that have an undiscounted fare greater than £19.70, there's possibly no advantage!
     
  3. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I purchased a Lichfield Gold Card on New Years Day as it'll probably pay for itself given the travelling I do across the Midlands and East Anglia.

    If I find it doesn't really pay I'll just buy a Network Railcard for £10 on the last day of it's validity which will sort me out for next year. So the worst scenario is a cost of £108+£10 for two years worth of Gold Card/Railcard.

    I've got to say Virgin pulling out (and to a lesser extend East Coast) is an annoyance. I'd have hoped Virgin would've allowed Gold Cards to Milton Keynes, if not beyond.
     
  4. trevmonk

    trevmonk Member

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    And....

    7 A third off Oyster tube fares at off-peak times.

    8 The freebies some TOC's give . . . if you buy your season at the right place.
     
  5. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I'd already mentioned loading the discount onto Oyster ;)

    You're right about the freebies although there aren't any available on the Lichfield Gold Card anyway!
     
  6. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I'm not bothered about the lack of freebies having bought from an AGA station, and I'm sure the £78 extra paid over a normal Network railcard will be recovered pretty quickly.
     
  7. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    And in a year when the ORR next release passenger count figures, we all sit and chortle when they put in the notes column 'reason for increase unclear' following a several hundred percent rise at Lichfield City and Lichfield Trent Valley. Possible money spinner for LM too, they won't have to share that revenue except pay the commission on it to whomever you bought it from!
     
  8. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I've currently got TWO Gold Cards! The IOW one that runs out on the 9th and the Lichfield one!

    In a year, I didn't manage to get over to IOW so I wonder if I'll ever manage to make at least one 'token journey' on my new one?!
     
  9. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    They are both busy stations already, so I doubt you'd even notice the difference in the stats. I would only expect about 100 odd extra seasons to be sold in total, apart from people on this forum, no-one else would even think about it.
     
  10. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I think at least one newspaper gave this as a 'tip' in the past, and now the Gold Card area is actually bigger than the Network railcard area, it might well crop up at some point in the future.

    I am sure the increase from £108 to £140-odd was down to ATOC being fully aware that some people will buy just for the 'railcard' element.
     
  11. lj9090

    lj9090 Member

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    Banbury to Birmingham being in the extended area but not being valid on XC is causing some fun.

    I can't get any of the normal journey planners to offer discounted ticket from Brockenhurst to Birmingham, even entering Moor Street as a destination to try and route via Chiltern there doesn't seem to be any way to force the change to Chiltern at Banbury instead of somewhere like Leamington Spa.

    Trainsplit.com doesn't seem aware of the restrictions - it's offering timings on the direct XC service but including a discounted ticket from Banbury to Birmingham Stations, which won't be valid.
     
  12. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I can see the 'excluded' routes in the Gold Card area becoming as issue, particularly Euston - Milton Keynes on Virgin and Kings Cross - Stevenage on East Coast.

    We have the farcical situation on these routes of Gold Cards no longer being valid when they previously were, but Network Cards still being allowed!

    I wonder if Virgin/EC get any ORCATS revenue from Gold Card discounted tickets on these routes?
     
  13. philjo

    philjo Established Member

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    Barry Doe mentioned in his column in the latest issue of Rail (that arrived yesterday) about the Lichfield season ticket. He had mentioned this as being one of the cheapest season tickets in the new Gold card area a few weeks ago, so LM had looked at this. LM had discovered that most years no one actually bought the annual Lichfield TV- City season ticket and the price had hardly risen for over 10 years. so the price has increased but it is still one of the cheapest tickets.
     
  14. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Presumably they'll increase the price by as much as they can from now on. On the plus side, at least the rate for this year is what I'll be paying next year so I don't need to worry about it for a while.
     
  15. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I'm not au fait with this whole Gold Card / Network Railcard / Gold Record Card and so on and so forth malarkey, but it seems to me that someone has got this very wrong indeed. Can you buy an Any Permitted return from London to Milton Keyens with a Gold Card which is somehow not valid on Virgin Trains but it used to be? And then this same thing now happens for London to Birmingham tickets too?
     
  16. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I wonder what the maximum they could put it up by is? Clearly anything to high isn't worth doing or no revenue will result from it. Not that any revenue resulted from it before the recent changes, so anything they get now will be a bonus. Well as long as it's not people solely living within the London Midland area who otherwise would have paid more of their fares hit or were under the minimum £13 network rail card cap. If that makes sense.
     
  17. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Yes!

    Any Permitted return from London to Milton Keynes with a Gold Card discount is not valid on Virgin trains. You would have to use London Midland (or Southern) to make the journey. Until 01/01/2015 it would have been permitted on Virgin.

    Any Permitted return fro London to Milton Keynes with a Network Railcard discount is valid on Virgin trains.

    Now that Birmingham is included in the extended Gold Card area a discounted Any Permitted London to Birmingham return is valid for travel on London Midland and Chiltern but NOT Virgin Trains.

    Birmingham continues to be outside the Network Railcard area so you can't get a Network Railcard discount on a London to Birmingham ticket.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I thought season tickets were regulated?

    I suppose LM could argue that this years increase corrects an anomaly but they couldn't use this excuse every year.
     
  18. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    How do they get around Condition 10?
     
  19. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    The discount code shown on the ticket is a proxy for the TOC restriction. Gold Card discount = no validity on Virgin/East Coast. Those using the discount are expected to know and accept that as a condition.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2015
  20. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I assume that the ticket would be considered totally invalid, or would an excess be payable if 'caught' on Virgin Trains?

    I have to assume there will be a fair few people who will be caught at least for the first few months, not so much for the extended area but now being unable to use tickets on services they have used before (having not read any of the documentation talking about the changes).
     
  21. island

    island Established Member

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    Use on Virgin would probably be grounds for a new ticket, if the usual principle of not being able to excess away a Railcard discount is applied.
     
  22. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I wonder how long until we hear a story in the media (or on this forum!) about someone caught out with a discounted Any Permitted ticket and not being aware of the fact that their railcard places additional restrictions on it, which didn't exist before the 2nd.

    It means it might be worthwhile using the discounted £10 railcard offer to buy yourself a Network railcard for those situations.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2015
  23. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    The Gold Card discount over rides the Any Permitted status in a similar way to an Anytime ticket with (say) a Two Together Railcard which cannot be used until 0930 despite it being an Anytime ticket.

    I have a Lichfield Gold Card and Network Railcard for the forthcoming year (although I didn't need to pay £10 for my Network Railcard).
     
  24. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    For time restrictions, I quite agree. But TOC restrictions are something quite different, as TOC policy makes startlingly clear.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Sounds like a clear, straightforward and sensible discounting scheme, in which everyone knows where they stand and can easily get the best deal.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Try as you might to "make it fit" - that doesn't sound like it's in accordance with condition 10 to me!
     
  25. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I wonder if a restriction code will be printed on Gold Card discounted tickets which can at least say what TOCs can't be used?

    Of course the easiest solution would be to either get Virgin etc to 'sign up' or make it a blanket rule that you can't use Intercity services.
     
  26. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    As much as I am a proponent for passenger rights, I think this is on the wrong side of tenuous. Condition 10 doesn't say where on the ticket such a restriction would be shown. If it bears the mark of a discount that prohibits use on certain TOCs, that's enough to satisfy it.
     
  27. lj9090

    lj9090 Member

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    What do groupsave tickets currently have on them?

    Similarly valid for a route but not certain TOCs.
     
  28. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    I would say that Condition 14 makes it clear that you have to comply with the Railcard T&Cs as well as the ticket T&Cs.
     
  29. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

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    Depends on the TOC...For the "National" scheme, it's GSV as the discount indicator; for Chiltern's "Small Group" discount (essentially the same as "old" Groupsave), it's GU3 for groups of three, GU4 for groups of four, and GUC for "Kids for a Quid"; and for EMT it's handled as a ticket type of "Groupsave Day" with no discount indicator or route restriction.
     
  30. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    First day out for me as a Gold Card holder. Southern TVM still says Gold Card after 10am but at least sold me the ticket. Gatwick barriers rejected ticket just before 09.30, so may still be in 10am mode.

    Unsurprisingly the guy on the barrier told me the rejection was due to the ticket being off peak and only valid from 09.30!! Oh they never learn! !! I know from experience that those barriers accept "C0" off peak from 09.13.
     
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