Daughter needs to get home urgently-how to buy ticket remotely for her

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TUC

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My daughter is in Liverpool at present and feels unsafe with the present situation and wants to get home to Teesside as quickly as possible. I want to buy her rail ticket for this but what is the best way of doing this remotely for her (I'm in Belfast). If I buy a ticket on-line for her and give her the collection reference will the machine still require my bank card to be inserted? I've read some comments that TOD machines will accept any card as long as the collection reference is given but obviously I don't want to buy the ticket only for her not to be able to collect it. If doing it this way isn't an option how else can i best buy a ticket for her?
 
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AlterEgo

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Hi there

It is theoretically possible to collect a ticket using "any card". This is an unadvertised feature that a small handful of booking sites offer. They do not officially offer the service to customers as it is a very insecure way of doing business. Your daughter would likely get little to no sympathy if the machine did not accept her card when she herself hasn't paid for the ticket. Ticket collection by private individuals is not intended for third party collection.

The most sensible option is to transfer money to her so she can buy her own ticket.

If all else fails, you can ask for a SILK Arrangement. SILK stands for Stranded Individual Location Known. The person with the money must got to their nearest staffed station, and ask for SILK. The ticket office will liaise with Liverpool and your daughter must be present to collect the ticket. Only Anytime Single fares can be bought at full price. There are no discounts and a £10 admin fee is also charged. AFAIK the SILK has ToD (collect from machine) facilities but this is very much in it's infancy and I am not sure if this is yet practical.

I hope this is of some help to you.
 

John @ home

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If I buy a ticket on-line for her and give her the collection reference will the machine still require my bank card to be inserted?
Yes, it still needs the bank card. If the card is lost or stolen, it needs the purchaser with evidence of their identity, so that doesn't help you either.

I've read some comments that TOD machines will accept any card as long as the collection reference is given but obviously I don't want to buy the ticket only for her not to be able to collect it.
Yes, this can be done if the card is lost or stolen but it needs the purchaser to be present with evidence of their identity, so it's not suitable for you.

If doing it this way isn't an option how else can i best buy a ticket for her?
There is a method known as SILK (Stranded Individual(s) Location Known) but it is cumbersome and expensive and relies in most cases on the person paying being able to get to a staffed GB railway station.

An Anytime Single (SOS) or an Anytime Day Single (SDS) are the only ticket types available for the SILK arrangement, and £10 administration fee is charged but Child and Railcard discounts apply. For example, an Adult Liverpool - Middlesbrough ticket via SILK would cost £58.30.

As AlterEgo has suggested, it would probably be better to transfer money to your daughter. If this can't be done, do you know anybody in the Liverpool area who would be willing to lend her money for a ticket? If that fails, we are left with SILK. You will probably need to arrange for someone to attend a staffed GB railway station to do this on your behalf.

From "The Manual":
The National Rail Conditions of Carriage require all customers to hold a valid ticket for their intended journey before travelling.

There are, however, occasions when customers intending to purchase tickets find themselves without any means of payment. Arrangements exist for assisting stranded customers to get home whereby payment for the ticket is made remotely. ...

Advance booking is not acceptable. The stranded customer “SILK” arrangements can only be made on the day of travel.

If customers find themselves without any means of payment for tickets you may allow them to travel if you receive confirmation from another station that the following have been paid:
  • the Anytime or Anytime Day Single fare for the journey. If the stranded customer is a child or holds a Railcard, the discounted Standard Anytime Single or Standard Anytime Day Single fare should be charged. However, if payment is made with a warrant then no Railcard discount is allowed;
  • any expenses (beyond the cost of telephone calls) incurred by either or both stations in making the arrangements; and
  • the £10 administration fee. ...
The preferred method for issuing the ticket paid for by the SILK procedure is now the Ticket on Departure method (ToD). If the station receiving payment can create tickets to be issued using the Ticket on Departure facility, find out from the station issuing the ticket whether they can issue tickets using the Ticket on Departure method. If so, advise the station issuing the ticket of the customer’s name, journey details and the ToD CTR reference number. Note that the CTR reference should only contain the actual ticket and not the £10 administration fee. Process the £10 administration fee separately according to local instructions.
 
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transportphoto

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Is there a possibility of phoning a Telesales department and explaining the situation, asking for an anycard collection from Liverpool? You then phone your daughter and give her the reference number?

I know its late at night but there may be the one telesales still open..

Just an idea.

TP
 

causton

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I heard rumours RedSpottedHanky allowed any card collection... of course if you pay with a voucher/Tesco clubcard vouchers it will be any card collection! May have just been a rumour that RSH accepted any card on their ticket collections though.
 

yorkie

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I had a look at splitting:-

Liverpool > Manchester CDS £10.40
Manchester > Leeds CDS £14.70
Leeds > York CDS £11.00
York > Middlesbrough Rte Not Darlington CDS £11.00
Total = £47.10

Hardly worth it, when the through fare is £48.30

(All the above are only 10p less than a CDR :()

There are other ways - by starting 'short' on bizarre routes permitted by the Routeing Guide. Probably best not suggested though for several reasons. If it would help PM me and I will let you know some alternative ideas for bringing the price down. Doesn't help getting the tickets to her though, sorry.

The price of an Advance ticket is £27 for the 11th if that is any use? (Which should be £13.50 when booked on the TPE website using the student promo if she has a Railcard) departing Liverpool at xx22 and arriving in Middlesbrough just over 4 hours later with 1 change.
 

RJ

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I've done such things at my window, taken payment for tickets then provided all relevant receipts containing the collection code and ticket details. One girl whose parents were coming from Italy bought Gatwick - Dover tickets on their behalf as they didn't speak English and she couldn't go to meet them, so what I did was the ideal solution. All they needed was a card purely for ID purposes.

At my discretion I also printed TOD tickets without the card present if it could be proven that the person in fron of me was being genuine.

So yes, it is possible. No, it's not official, or advertised. I did it because I knew the ticket office software inside out and had the necessary authority to do so, but be warned that it might be near impossible to find a clerk who will to do these things. Good luck.

 
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rail-britain

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This might have changed, so would need confirmation
If someone is left in peril or has to travel for emergency purposes (and doesn't have the means for payment) they should contact BTP who may arrange for them to travel to their destination
If approved and accepted, they then make payment within a set period of time once they have reached their destination

I've had to use this once, in order to attend a relative at short notice
The Police turned up at my front door, advising me to travel to Birmingham as quickly as possible (either by airline or train) and I obtained the officers details
BTP at Glasgow Central made arrangements for me to travel (a return ticket Glasgow to Birmingham) after I explained the situation and provided the officers details
On my return there was a letter and invoice for the ticket, with no admin fees, to be paid within 7 days
 

TUC

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Thanks for everyone's help with this. It does strike me that there will be many different circumstances where someone wants to buy tickets for another and it is surprising that a straightforward way of doing so hasn't been developed. I recognise the security issues but there would be ways of addressing this such as having two separate collection references being required which were emalled separately by the on-line retailer or by requiring a security password to be set , which would then be required by the TOD machiine. I know this would need different programming for the TD machines but it doesn't sound like significant software change.
 

dzug2

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Western Union will send money that she can pick up as cash The Post Office run somrthing similar called Moneygram
 

Chris999999

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This problem will be resolved when our railways eventually stagger into the 21st century and allow people to print their own tickets. I have recently bought them and printed them at home for journeys in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holand and Austria yet to buy a ticket from my local station I have to queue up to use one of the inadequate number of ticket machines provided. The only ones I have been able to print at home in the UK have been for Eurostar.
 

Dora2011

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It's really strange how you can't seem to order online for someone else. I know you can do it for national express service, I have ordered coach tickets for my sister several times without a problem. It is frustrating that some companies don't provide that service. I tried ordering a student train ticket on behalf of my sister again and it went through fine, even provided me with an option of e-ticket or mobile ticket so she can just collect the ticket at the station closest to her which proved to be very convienient.
 

snail

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Thanks for everyone's help with this. It does strike me that there will be many different circumstances where someone wants to buy tickets for another and it is surprising that a straightforward way of doing so hasn't been developed.
If you aren't in a rush there is a straightforward way: buy the ticket and put it in the post!
 
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At my discretion I also printed TOD tickets without the card present if it could be proven that the person in fron of me was being genuine.

So yes, it is possible. No, it's not official, or advertised. I did it because I knew the ticket office software inside out and had the necessary authority to do so, but be warned that it might be near impossible to find a clerk who will to do these things. Good luck.

Yeah, I don't think most ticket office clerks know of it. My card wouldn't swipe and she just kept swiping it until it worked (and eventually just entered the full number)

But she did have a supervisor behind her, so that might have swayed things
 

b0b

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given the circumstances, and presumably if the daughter can show ID and check with the guard before boarding, would she have any possibility of a guard being nice enough to issue her a UPFN?

normally the advice would be for your daughter to do whatever she needs to do to feel safe, but just getting on a train risks a criminal record - no matter the circumstances. :(
 

island

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I tried ordering a student train ticket on behalf of my sister again and it went through fine, even provided me with an option of e-ticket or mobile ticket so she can just collect the ticket at the station closest to her which proved to be very convienient.
Except that the e-ticket is only valid with the payment card used, and collection requires the said card to be inserted.

given the circumstances, and presumably if the daughter can show ID and check with the guard before boarding, would she have any possibility of a guard being nice enough to issue her a UPFN?
London Buses do this as a matter of policy for stranded passengers; officially I think people are supposed to do a SILK for these situations although I would hope most guards use their discretion sensibly.
 

TUC

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If you aren't in a rush there is a straightforward way: buy the ticket and put it in the post!
Well, leaving aside the fact that its more complex for me to buy a National Rail ticket in Northern Ireland, it does seem a very old world, snail mail solution compared to, as has been pointed out above, how airlines and coach companies use self-printed tickets as their core delivery method.
 

richw

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just a thought, most credit card machines can have the card details entered manually, does this apply to rail station card machines?
Ours can be done over the phone by the customer reading out the following:
16 digit number
expiry date
3 digit security number,
house number
numbers from postcode
Date of Birth.

perhaps if your daughter went to the train station explained the situation, you can pay over the phone whilst she is at the ticket office.
 

ian13

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just a thought, most credit card machines can have the card details entered manually, does this apply to rail station card machines?
Ours can be done over the phone by the customer reading out the following:
16 digit number
expiry date
3 digit security number,
house number
numbers from postcode
Date of Birth.

perhaps if your daughter went to the train station explained the situation, you can pay over the phone whilst she is at the ticket office.
This seems the most sensible to me. If I were stranded, I'd phone a relative and put the clerk on the line...
 

Flying Snail

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just a thought, most credit card machines can have the card details entered manually, does this apply to rail station card machines?
Ours can be done over the phone by the customer reading out the following:
16 digit number
expiry date
3 digit security number,
house number
numbers from postcode
Date of Birth.

perhaps if your daughter went to the train station explained the situation, you can pay over the phone whilst she is at the ticket office.
Are station ticket offices allowed to take such orders? I would be surprised if they are, card not present transactions are much more prone to fraud and crucially the vendor is not always refunded by the CC company where they are with a verified chip+pin transaction.


I would say that Western Union is the best solution to this, it also means that they can send some additional cash if need be.
 

barrykas

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perhaps if your daughter went to the train station explained the situation, you can pay over the phone whilst she is at the ticket office.
And get the clerk disciplined in the process, as it'll almost certainly be a breach of their TOC's Cash Regulations, let alone their Merchant Services Agreement!

The only TOCs that accept card payments for a SILK by phone at their stations are ScotRail and Southern; First Great Western will also accept phone payment, but only through their Telesales office.

Not that it's any use in the OP's case, but East Coast's WebTIS implementation now lets you enter the lead passenger's name and last four digits of a credit/debit card, passport or driving licence as ID for self-print tickets, instead of just using the card used for payment.

Cheers,

Barry
 

hairyhandedfool

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Are station ticket offices allowed to take such orders? I would be surprised if they are, card not present transactions are much more prone to fraud and crucially the vendor is not always refunded by the CC company where they are with a verified chip+pin transaction....
Not sure if it has changed recently, but I believe Southern do, and First Great Western do in certain circumstances.
 

dzug2

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perhaps if your daughter went to the train station explained the situation, you can pay over the phone whilst she is at the ticket office.
I don't think station ticket offices have phones that the general public can call - all contact is via call centres.
 

185

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Stuff this. In circumstances like this, take ID, go to the station, and see the guard at the back. Ask permission to pay an Unpaid Fares Notice at a later date.

In the event of one-off major incidents, providing you have ID linked to an address, as long as you have not had one befoe, there is no real reason for a guard or a train company to say no.

7 days to pay.
 
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