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Denied Ticket Onboard

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FartinLewis

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Morning all,

Currently on my commute, Colchester to London on one if the Norwich expressed into Liverpool Street. I hold a season ticket but on Monday evenings I travel to Hythe (Essex) which is one stop over my ticket validity. So, I usually buy a ticket on the way to work, a single from Colchester to Hythe so I don't have to queue up at Liv St in the evening.

Usually this is no problem and the conducter issues the ticket, I pay my money and everyone is happy. This morning, however, I was told that he could only sell tickets for the journey I was on. I don't doubt this is a policy but I'm struggling to see the logic here, I wanted to buy the ticket and he clearly had the means to issue it. Now I have to queue up and buy it (a minor inconvenience but still annoying!). Anyone know why, seems a bit passenger unfriendly?

Thanks!
 
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district

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This makes no sense whatever and isn't a policy as far as I'm aware. Most conductors make a small amount of commission per ticket sold as well so I can't see the reasoning behind this.
 

ainsworth74

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No reason why they couldn't sell that I can think of.

As a time saving measure you could buy the ticket online and then collect from any of the ticket machines at Liverpool Street to save queuing at the booking office?
 

FartinLewis

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Thanks - I thought it was odd. Perhaps it was because a ticket from Colchester to the Hythe is £2.70, but he happily sold two tickets from Manningtree to Liv St to the gents behind me for £60+, maybe the commission from my ticket wasn't worth the bother!

I did question him and he said that it is possible but policy dictates that you can't, and he knew colleagues would issue them but they would probably get into trouble!

Yes, I went to Liv St this morning to get the ticket but the queue was horrendous so I had to bail otherwise I would have been late for work. I will buy online and collect but the TVMs are really busy in the evening peak so I will probably miss my tight connection and be late for my event.

So annoying, and completely avoidable!
 

Tetchytyke

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I can sort of understand, as the rules are that when you're split-ticketing you're supposed to buy all the tickets you require at the ticket office before you set off.
 

SickyNicky

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What season ticket do you hold? Is it Colchester to London Terminals, or a Travelcard?

If it's the former, you could extend your season ticket to Hythe for an extra £2.20 per week - cheaper than the £2.70 ticket and more convenient.

If you have a travelcard, it would actually be £1 a week cheaper to buy it from Hythe instead of Colchester!

Either way, your season ticket would be valid to start or end your journey short at Colchester.
 

FartinLewis

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What season ticket do you hold? Is it Colchester to London Terminals, or a Travelcard?

If it's the former, you could extend your season ticket to Hythe for an extra £2.20 per week - cheaper than the £2.70 ticket and more convenient.

If you have a travelcard, it would actually be £1 a week cheaper to buy it from Hythe instead of Colchester!

Either way, your season ticket would be valid to start or end your journey short at Colchester.

It's a Colchester to London Terminals - interesting that I could extend it for that much, it expires early next month so that is certainly an idea if the weekly events continue, thanks!
 

Tim R-T-C

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I guess the reason behind such a policy might be to avoid people wasting the conductor's time by buying a bundle of random future tickets, thereby stopping them checking and selling fares for the journey they are on. Although I can't imagine this is an overly common occurrence.
 

sheff1

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I can sort of understand, as the rules are that when you're split-ticketing you're supposed to buy all the tickets you require at the ticket office before you set off.

What rules are these ?

I use split ticketing frequently but never buy the tickets I require at the ticket office.
 

FartinLewis

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Thanks all for the continued thoughts, yes just to clarify I was not splitting anything, I just wanted a single from Colchester to Hythe so I could continue my journey this evening.

I'm starting to come round to the idea that either he just couldn't be bothered, or the commission was so small not to be worthwhile, pretty poor customer service either way!
 
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Tetchytyke

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What rules are these ?

The NRCoC says you must buy all tickets you require for your journey before boarding the train at the first station, where that station is staffed

Neil Williams said:
He's buying it on an earlier journey, not the one involving the split.

Oh, that makes more sense.
 

ainsworth74

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We don't need to get into a debate about what a Conductor's role is or is not so I've deleted some posts that were leading us in that direction. If we could refocus on the issue at hand that would be appreciated.
 

Sleepy

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:idea: Is he new to the job and thinks that this is the rule (mixing up buying a new season rules ?)
 

les.

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Could you not have bought it from the conductor during your return journey, rather than queueing up at the station?
 

rs101

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Could you not have bought it from the conductor during your return journey, rather than queueing up at the station?

I think he was trying to avoid buying it whilst on the actual journey in question, presumably to avoid the possibility of a penalty fare as he had opportunity to buy at Liverpool Street.
 

FartinLewis

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Could you not have bought it from the conductor during your return journey, rather than queueing up at the station?

I would, but I get the 17:38 train which is DOO so no conductor to purchase from unfortunately.
 

yorkie

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Could you not have bought it from the conductor during your return journey, rather than queueing up at the station?
You are meant to purchase the ticket before the journey commences if there is opportunity to do so, which there would be at Liverpool Street.
 

les.

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You are meant to purchase the ticket before the journey commences if there is opportunity to do so, which there would be at Liverpool Street.

But surely the journey that he is buying the ticket for doesn't commence until he reached Colchester so I would have thought as long as he purchased a ticket before reaching Colchester, that would have been okay.
 
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MikeWh

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But surely the journey that he is buying the ticket for doesn't commence until he reached Colchester so I would have thought as long as he purchased a ticket before reaching Colchester, that would have been okay.

The OP is certainly allowed to travel on the direct train from Liverpool Street to Hythe without the final ticket, as long as they are happy to alight at Colchester if no opportunity to purchase on board has materialised. As the service is DOO there is unlikely to be an opportunity. Even if there was one, a strict interpretation of the rules would say that the seller could insist that the OP detrains at Colchester, although if the OP maintained that their plans changed since boarding the train it would be a pretty mean seller who forgoes their commission just to uphold the letter of the rules.
 

hairyhandedfool

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But surely the journey that he is buying the ticket for doesn't commence until he reached Colchester so I would have thought as long as he purchased a ticket before reaching Colchester, that would have been okay.

I believe you would be one of the few to hold that definition of "journey" (noting previous discussion on this forum about Delay Repay, Splitting Tickets and Break of Journey). Yes the op could travel to Colchester before needing to get off to buy a ticket, but not because that's where his journey starts.
 
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lyndhurst25

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I can sort of understand, as the rules are that when you're split-ticketing you're supposed to buy all the tickets you require at the ticket office before you set off.

I was "told off" by a guard for split ticketing and trying to buy one of the tickets on the train recently. My journey was from Arnside to Steeton & Silsden, already holding an Arnside to Liverpool ticket (valid via Hellified and to break journey there) and trying to buy a Hellified to Steeton & Silsden ticket on the train from Carnforth to Skipton. Arnside is unmanned. Carnforth station, where I changed train, ticket office is closed in the evening when I was travelling. Hellifield is unmanned. As the guard was willing to "let me off" and issued the ticket then I didn't argue, but if he had refused then I could have just stepped off the train at Hellifield and got straight back on! I don't think that he'd thought it through.

I had actually tried to buy the Hellifield to Steeton & Silsden ticket earlier in the day at Lancaster station but was refused tha sale. I was asked if I already had a ticket to get me to Hellifield and when I said yes, I was asked to show it. The guy in the ticket office didn't accept that my Arnside to Liverpool ticket was valid for travel via Hellifield as "it's completely the wrong direction" and "you have to go via Preston"! As a result of this difference of opinion he refused to sell me the ticket that I asked for and I left empty handed, having to buy the ticket on the train, as above. I have complained to Virgin about this.
 

hairyhandedfool

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....I had actually tried to buy the Hellifield to Steeton & Silsden ticket earlier in the day at Lancaster station but was refused tha sale. I was asked if I already had a ticket to get me to Hellifield and when I said yes, I was asked to show it. The guy in the ticket office didn't accept that my Arnside to Liverpool ticket was valid for travel via Hellifield as "it's completely the wrong direction" and "you have to go via Preston"! As a result of this difference of opinion he refused to sell me the ticket that I asked for and I left empty handed, having to buy the ticket on the train, as above. I have complained to Virgin about this.

To be completely honest I'm not at all surprised that route got doubted. Aside from initially going in the wrong direction, the only way I got it to show on a journey planner was to ask for times on a Sunday, and even then I had to specify "via Clitheroe". I only considered that because I know the Sunday service and Routeing Guide weirdities exist.
 

lyndhurst25

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To be completely honest I'm not at all surprised that route got doubted. Aside from initially going in the wrong direction, the only way I got it to show on a journey planner was to ask for times on a Sunday, and even then I had to specify "via Clitheroe". I only considered that because I know the Sunday service and Routeing Guide weirdities exist.

Putting the disputed routeing aside, I don't think that ticket offices should be demanding to see the tickets that a passenger already holds before they are willing to issue another ticket for use as part of a split, and then flatly refusing to issue the ticket that is specifically asked for.
 

Ianno87

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Putting the disputed routeing aside, I don't think that ticket offices should be demanding to see the tickets that a passenger already holds before they are willing to issue another ticket for use as part of a split, and then flatly refusing to issue the ticket that is specifically asked for.

That happened to me. London Midland office at Milton Keynes Central refused to sell me a Northampton to Rugby day return ticket unless I showed them the season ticket I already held from MK to Rugby.

Also, I've had the "not allowed to sell tickets not for this train" before. Was with a colleague travelling from MK to Euston. He had a MK-London Terminals return, and wanted to by a Z1-2 Day Travelcard. LM conductor refused and said it wasn't possible. At the same time VT TMs however actively encouraged people walking down to the office on Coach C to buy their Travelcards on the run into Euston!
 

hairyhandedfool

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Putting the disputed routeing aside, I don't think that ticket offices should be demanding to see the tickets that a passenger already holds before they are willing to issue another ticket for use as part of a split, and then flatly refusing to issue the ticket that is specifically asked for.

Perhaps an excess fare is cheaper, maybe the clerk can think of a better ticket to get, maybe the ticket allows routes the passenger doesn't realise, maybe, just maybe, the ticket they think is valid, isn't.

Now I would check if I doubted it was valid, I'd explain why I think it's not valid and I would listen to why the passenger thinks it is valid, I might even get a second opinion if there is another member of staff around. If it's valid, no problem, if it's not, I'll suggest something that is. If there is no way to agree then there is no sale. I don't think that is unfair.
 

lyndhurst25

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Perhaps an excess fare is cheaper, maybe the clerk can think of a better ticket to get, maybe the ticket allows routes the passenger doesn't realise, maybe, just maybe, the ticket they think is valid, isn't.

Now I would check if I doubted it was valid, I'd explain why I think it's not valid and I would listen to why the passenger thinks it is valid, I might even get a second opinion if there is another member of staff around. If it's valid, no problem, if it's not, I'll suggest something that is. If there is no way to agree then there is no sale. I don't think that is unfair.

Are you saying that station X is within its rights to refuse to sell a ticket from Y to Z, unless a passenger can produce a valid (or that they think is valid) ticket from X to Y?
 

hairyhandedfool

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Are you saying that station X is within its rights to refuse to sell a ticket from Y to Z, unless a passenger can produce a valid (or that they think is valid) ticket from X to Y?

I think that would very much depend on the situation at hand, not all situations are the same.
 

lyndhurst25

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I think that would very much depend on the situation at hand, not all situations are the same.

The next time I'm asked if I already have a ticket to get me to Y, then I'll probably just lie and tell the clerk that I will be travelling there in my private helicopter and won't be needing one! :D I don't know if the request to see the ticket(s) that I already held was out if the desire to be helpful or to hinder, but I don't expect the Spanish Inquisition when asking to buy a ticket starting from a different station to the one that I am at. I've never had trouble buying a Hellifield to Steeton single at Lancaster before so this was hopefully a one off. I prefer to use ticket offices but I could just as easily have bought the ticket online and collected it from a TVM with no questions asked, so ticket clerks being awkward are doing themselves no favours with respect to job security.

Unfortunately my complaint to Virgin about the incident has produced a generic, waffle-laden reply that doesn't really address the points I raised. A simple "we'll remind Lancaster that tickets to Liverpool can be used via Hellifield and that you shouldn't have to show any existing tickets that you hold to be allowed to buy a ticket starting from another station" was all I wanted. I have printed out the relevant pages from the a Routeing Guide in case I have any hassle in the future. I might use a different station ticket office in future but attempts to buy this ticket using a Dales Railcard at Merseyrail, Liverpool Lime Street and Preston stations have been unsuccessful in the past as they couldn't find the railcard on their machines!

Anyway, this thread us supposed to be about being refused a ticket onboard. Can we just clarify that, the rule is that when using split tickets for a journey, you should purchase all the tickets beforehand. However if the split point is a station with no ticket issuing facilities, e.g. Hellifield, then it is OK to buy the ticket from there onboard the train? Is that right? I can't see why it shouldn't be allowed.
 
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