e-Tickets: mobile phones only

Starmill

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I recently opted for an e-ticket as an experiment, on the back of information from this website and a number of other sources, about how versatile, flexible, and easy to use they are.

I bought a TransPennine Express Only Advance ticket from their website (the only place it was available from).

Unfortunately, the email which I received said this:
Ticket Collection

This email is not a valid ticket for travel.To receive your tickets you will need to download the TPExpress app, available from Apple or Google Play Store, then sign-in to My tickets within the app.Please click here for information on how to download the application.You must ensure your device is sufficiently charged to show the ticket for the entire duration of your journey.
Unfortunately when I go to their app and open the tickets tab, I don't get my ticket (I was already logged in), I just get a loading screen and then this error message:
Screenshot_20191117_012036.jpg

I have tried several things and none work, including uninstalling and reinstalling the app. The phone is correctly connected to the internet, and the app can access the internet, because it can do a search for live departures right now. My device is an Honor 10, so while plainly it is not the top end of the Smartphone market it is not anything like too old or low-end to handle their app correctly.

My only thought is to call their web support and ask for the ticket to be changed to collection at the station. If they won't agree to this, I wonder if they will formally permit me to travel with only a confirmation email? Obviously I won't be agreeing to buy a new ticket.

Needless to say, I now have a less positive impression of TransPennine Express, and I am unlikely to be using any more so-called "e-Tickets" again soon. Suddenly I feel more like @yorksrob !
 
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Lewlew

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Did you not get an email with a PDF of your ticket as well?

I use the Trainline app (it's a really nice app and no fees if you buy on the day of travel) and I can view the ticket in the app or use the PDF they emailed me when I purchased the ticket.

Just checked my emails and I have tickets for SWR, GWR and WMR/LNR
 

yorkie

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If it was an actual e ticket you would have another email with a PDF attachment or link.

I'd this has been falsely advertised as an e ticket , when it's actually the awful m ticket format, you should be refunded and compensated for the wasted time dealing with it.

TPE need to stop misleading their customers.
 

Starmill

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That's an M ticket, not an E ticket. If they're calling it the latter that's misrepresentation.
The "e-ticket" option in the website is:
- Called e-ticket, not m-ticket
- Selected by default
- Alongside ToD, self-print and post delivery

The website describes the tickets this way:

Buy an e-ticket and download it straight to your phone. These train tickets are available to buy up to 10 minutes before your train's scheduled departure time.

You can buy e-tickets on our website and TPExpress app, which is where your tickets will be stored. Download the app and sign into your account to access your tickets (stored within the 'Ticket's tab).

When you're travelling you'll be asked to present your e-ticket barcode for scanning, so make sure your phone is fully charged and ready to go.

e-tickets are currently available for TransPennine Express only tickets, including Season Tickets between Yarm and Middlesbrough, and Scarborough and York. Availability will increase in the coming years as more train operating companies meet this new mobile ticketing industry standard.
 

Joe Paxton

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TPE are very confusingly using the wrong terminology, however having just gone through the motions to buy a ticket on the TPE website whilst they do wrongly call it an "E Ticket" the explanatory text does very clearly state that you will need the TransPennine Express app on a mobile device (this is before the point of purchase).

 

Joe Paxton

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That's an M ticket, not an E ticket. If they're calling it the latter that's misrepresentation.
The potential problem in my mind with calling it misrepresentation is that I'm not sure the term 'E Ticket' (and for that matter 'M Ticket') is widely understood enough to have a protected meaning.
 

Starmill

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TPE are very confusingly using the wrong terminology, however having just gone through the motions to buy a ticket on the TPE website whilst they do wrongly call it an "E Ticket" the explanatory text does very clearly state that you will need the TransPennine Express app on a mobile device (this is before the point of purchase).

I don't recognise this.

The 'TransPennine Express app' wasn't mentioned. It's coincidence that I have it, I downloaded it because it provides ease of access to their onboard media server when connected to WiFi.

I have therefore repeated my booking steps and I haven't come across anything that looks even similar to the screen you're looking at. I have been shown this information:

E Ticket

Your ticket will be delivered directly to your registered mobile device. You must have a UK registered iTunes account or Google Play account. If you don’t have a UK registered iTunes or Google Play account you will need to choose another fulfilment method.
Now, maybe you'd be expected to guess that the app is necessary. Perhaps it's TPE's view that it's incumbent on you to get this right because they mentioned iTunes and Google Play, but I totally didn't pick up the significance of those. Am I expected to? It simply says the ticket will be delivered to your device, which is totally fine under normal e-ticket fulfilment. Ticket delivery may be done 'directly to my mobile device' by PDF format.

Regardless of that the ticket can't be downloaded to their app.
 

Mag_seven

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The potential problem in my mind with calling it misrepresentation is that I'm not sure the term 'E Ticket' (and for that matter 'M Ticket') is widely understood enough to have a protected meaning.
Is a universally accepted definition as to what constitutes an "e-ticket" and an "m-ticket" written down anywhere and if so does it have any legal weight behind it?
 

Starmill

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Is a universally accepted definition as to what constitutes an "e-ticket" and an "m-ticket" written down anywhere and if so does it have any legal weight behind it?
Experts on this forum have given totally clear and all-encompassing definitions.

However, TransPennine Express empirically do not use their definitions (!)

Here is a clear definition, although I haven't read this thread in detail and I've just found it through the forum search function:

Those would be m-tickets then.

Basically:
- needs an app and to be activated = m-ticket
- doesn't need an app, or to be activated, and can be popped in your Apple Wallet or just shown on screen or on paper = eTicket

The barcode's the same in both.
 

_toommm_

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This happened to me for a good year Starmill with the TPE app.I wouldn't wasted your time phoning them up as they'll just tell you they've never heard of this issue, it must be your phone or device, and to buy a new ticket and request a refund for the old ticket.

The app worked a good 5% of the time for a year for me, and has only recently started working consistently. I'm not even sure how it started working either, as it worked neither on my Samsung Galaxy S8 or Samsung Galaxy Note 9...
 

Mag_seven

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Experts on this forum have given totally clear and all-encompassing definitions.

However, TransPennine Express empirically do not use their definitions (!)

Here is a clear definition, although I haven't read this thread in detail and I've just found it through the forum search function:
Just discovered this on "the definitive source of customer information for all passenger rail services on the National Rail network in England, Wales and Scotland."

https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/191371.aspx

1. M-ticket
An m-ticket is a train ticket held on your mobile device in a rail travel app. Just download one of the free apps and purchase a ticket online for participating stations.

2. E-ticket
An e-ticket is purchased online and is emailed to you; you can then either scan the barcode on your phone at the gates or print the ticket out and scan it at the gates.
So it looks like TPE are wrong in their definition of an "e-ticket" - it is in fact an "m-ticket"
 

Starmill

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Joe Paxton

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I don't recognise this.

The 'TransPennine Express app' wasn't mentioned. It's coincidence that I have it, I downloaded it because it provides ease of access to their onboard media server when connected to WiFi.

I have therefore repeated my booking steps and I haven't come across anything that looks even similar to the screen you're looking at. ...
Aha... I provided a screenshot of what's shown when you use the new (default) UI of the booking engine, however if you opt for the classic Worldline WebTIS interface (via the tickets.tpexpress.co.uk URL) then one indeed arrives at the screen you saw...

 

Bletchleyite

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Of note is that on GWR if you buy an e-ticket in their app (and it is an e-ticket - no activation needed and the format is the e-ticket format) they don't send it you in an email, just show in the app. Goodness knows why that is, it seems like they've gone out of their way to be awkward.

But this looks to me like an m-ticket named wrongly. Does it need activating?

(And then you've got LNR's quirk - like most things they do a bodge-job - you buy an e-ticket, it's emailed as a PDF, but you can also pull it into their app, and if you do what you get is an m-ticket (activation required), but you can still use the PDF if you want!)

I really don't get what's difficult about making all TOC's apps and e-ticket purchase processes work exactly the same way, and to bin off the poorly-designed abomination that is the m-ticket. The Trainline app, fees aside (none on the day), does it right - why doesn't everyone else?
 

Hadders

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This thread just sums up the railway's attitude to ticketing.

They have some decent ideas
They mean well
They try to do the right thing

But the execution is a nightmare. Passengers get confused and something that should be 'simple' ends up becoming 'complex' and 'confusing' to the point where passengers lose trust and faith.
 

Joe Paxton

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I had same issue with Grand Central : https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/grand-central-e-tickets.194177/#post-4262360

If multiple TOCs are doing this, is it worth raising with RDG?
Yes.

Many insiders and people familiar with the rail ticketing business have posted on here that proper, fully fledged, media agnostic eTickets are the way forward for the industry. However, if various players fail to subscribe to the conventions then the push towards eTickets will become muddied in consumer confusion and fall apart.

I do wonder if the problem is TOCs feeling that they need to be able to say they offer eTickets, and so just renaming mTickets as eTickets, in order to keep some entity happy... perhaps the DfT? In other words it's a box ticking exercise rather than a genuine change on the part of some TOCs.
 

Joe Paxton

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This thread just sums up the railway's attitude to ticketing.

They have some decent ideas
They mean well
They try to do the right thing

But the execution is a nightmare. Passengers get confused and something that should be 'simple' ends up becoming 'complex' and 'confusing' to the point where passengers lose trust and faith.
Absolutely. ITSO smartcards have been heralded as the future for many years now, but in reality have only really been deployed widely for season tickets. I fear a similar fate of false starts and 'promise the moon' disappointments for eTickets.
 

Bletchleyite

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Absolutely. ITSO smartcards have been heralded as the future for many years now, but in reality have only really been deployed widely for season tickets. I fear a similar fate of false starts and 'promise the moon' disappointments for eTickets.
I really don't get why. I do understand the costs and complexities of smartcard equipment, but to accept barcoded e-tickets you literally just need a minor barrier mod and an app on a cheap Android phone, which no doubt guards and RPIs already have.
 

Starmill

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I really don't get why. I do understand the costs and complexities of smartcard equipment, but to accept barcoded e-tickets you literally just need a minor barrier mod and an app on a cheap Android phone, which no doubt guards and RPIs already have.
And some form of cross-London solution, apparently.
But this looks to me like an m-ticket named wrongly. Does it need activating?
This is a very good question. Anyone who has actually had one know?
 

sheff1

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I do wonder if the problem is TOCs feeling that they need to be able to say they offer eTickets, and so just renaming mTickets as eTickets, in order to keep some entity happy... perhaps the DfT?
I get that feeling too. As well as the option of m-tickets in their app TPE used to offer Print at Home for Advances but discontinued the latter after all the hype about e-ticketing appeared in DfT/RDG press releases etc. I often used PaH, but have now reverted to ToD collection.
 

TUC

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I do think most people other than rail enthusiasts and some App experts don't notice or care whether something is actually an m-ticket or e-ticket. They just buy their ticket and follow the instructions.
 

Starmill

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I do think most people other than rail enthusiasts and some App experts don't notice or care whether something is actually an m-ticket or e-ticket. They just buy their ticket and follow the instructions.
And, err, don't have a ticket? As I currently don't?
 

td97

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This is a very good question. Anyone who has actually had one know
No activation required.

I believe First use the same app across all TOCs, only with different branding, so this setup will be the same on GWR/SWR.
The app is IMO a worse implementation than the Arriva-TOCs/VT apps. Last week all of my tickets disappeared from the TPE app mid-journey. Fortunately it was a case of poor mobile signal, but I didn't like how the fallback option was to empty my ticket wallet.
Presumably one of the joys to look forward to once First take on WCP.
And then you've got LNR's quirk - like most things they do a bodge-job - you buy an e-ticket,
Same as VT (and presumably XC). Emailed an e-ticket PDF but the app presents a m-ticket requiring activation. Northern's app is the same style but they only issue m-tickets.

I never had the displeasure of having to use an Abellio TOC's app so can't comment on their system, but it sounds similar to VT/XC.

LNER probably have the best e-ticket delivery options at present, with Google Pay, Apple Wallet, and email/PDF all available and only as e-tickets.
 

Bletchleyite

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I'm using Trainline for on the day purchases of e-tickets, it just seems to work most smoothly and do them properly, i.e. presented as an e-ticket in the app and sent as a PDF by email. No fees on on the day walk-up purchases (I wouldn't use it if they charged one).
 

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