East Coast [email protected]

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GadgetMan

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Just booked a trip to York in May. I couldn't decide whether to go for [email protected] or ToD. I plumped for [email protected], but a thought just occurred to me: I used my credit card as ID. What happens if I don't have it any more, eg if I loose it or it's stolen?
Not sure on East Coast's policy, but on XC and Virgin, if you are not able to produce the card used to pay for the tickets then your ticket becomes invalid and a new ticket will be sold.

If you lose your card or it is replaced with a new one then I would recommend you contact the TOC asap and explain the situation to them before traveling, or as a last resort speak to the guard before boarding. I'm sure most staff will use discretion as long as they don't feel you're on the fiddle.
 

Fare-Cop

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Just booked a trip to York in May. I couldn't decide whether to go for [email protected] or ToD. I plumped for [email protected], but a thought just occurred to me: I used my credit card as ID. What happens if I don't have it any more, eg if I loose it or it's stolen?
Yes, in these cases this is notified as a part of the T&C's accepted when the confirmation is made and it prints out on the booking confirmation.

This is a part of the safeguards to prevent Mr A booking and paying for one ticket, printing off two copies and giving one to Mr B in order to avoid a fare.

The terms make clear that if you cannot produce the card that the ticket was booked with, a full single fare will be charged as if no ticket were held. I think East Coast policy is the same as the others, but may be mistaken.

XC and others have taken on board the fact that Mr X might want to pay for a ticket for someone else, maybe a son or daughter etc, and now allow for a named passenger to be the holder of the ticket on some online bookings, but that traveller will need to carry proof of identity to avoid further inconvenience and application of the same rule.

As Gadgetman says, if there is clear evidence that the traveller is genuine, good staff will exercise discretion, but it's always best to comply with the rule and then the problem doesn't arise.

If a traveller has lost the card that a ticket was booked with and the ticket is still in date, get on to the agengy that it was booked with straight away and see what can be done to help you.
 
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PaxVobiscum

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The terms make clear that if you cannot produce the card that the ticket was booked with, a full single fare will be charged as if no ticket were held. I think East Coast policy is the same as the others, but may be mistaken...

As Gadgetman says, if there is clear evidence that the traveller is genuine, good staff will exercise discretion, but it's always best to comply with the rule and then the problem doesn't arise.

If a traveller has lost the card that a ticket was booked with and the ticket is still in date, get on to the agengy that it was booked with straight away and see what can be done to help you.
Just thinking - presumably the booking engine will always process the sale if the card is in date at the point of sale, but does it matter if, by the time you travel, the card has passed its expiry date? You would need to remember to keep it to take with you.

I must say I still prefer to have Advance tickets posted out first class. ScotRail still seems to do this free.
 

Barclay

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I was caught out my this yesterday. A friend came down from Edinburgh to see me and I booked him a train ticket to get home. Noticed EC are now offering print at home so thought I would give that a try and save myself a trip to the station to pick up the tickets.

Unfortunately, when I selected print at home I did not notice that the selection of a debit card, its last four digits and name were for ID and not payment purposes. Result is that my friend boarded at KX yesterday with a ticket in my name not his and was stung for a full fare from London to Edinburgh when the gripper came round, at £150 ish.

I am cross about this. It is my fault for not paying enough attention when booking, but I think that it needs to be made more obvious on the EC website that the person named must be travelling or you will be liable for the full fare. Also, if they are introducing these new systems the revenue protection people should show some discretion in these early stages when people are not familiar with the product and can make a genuine mistake.
 

BorisWiffWaff

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I used this system on Virgin last week and the train manager on both legs just took a cursory look at the ticket and didn't ask for the debit card.
 

Oswyntail

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It seems yet another poorly thought through system. I would guess the basic design question was "How can we link the ticket to the traveller?" without thinking of the possible, perfectly legitimate, exceptions. Any good systems designer knows that the exceptions need working through in much greater detail than the standard situation Laziness!
I await the first response from inside the industry along the lines of "Pax have duty to comply with NRCoC"
 

Oswyntail

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:roll:
Well, don't they? Do they not click that they agree to the retailers terms and conditions as well as the NRCoC?
:roll:
Yes - but here is a new system, designed (possibly) fairly recently. It would have been quite possible to cater for the realities of everyday life before it was incorporated into the NRCoC. But no, that seems to be beyond the industry's imagination. And, lest we forget, it is the industry that is trying to make its customers book their tickets further in advance, so the industry should really cater for the (quite predictable and legitimate) events that inevitably occur between booking and travel
 

TEW

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East Coast will let you specify a number of different types of ID for your print at home tickets, which gets round the problem of buying them for somebody else but you could still lose the other ID.
 

GadgetMan

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Although I have never purchased such a ticket, we (staff) have been lead to believe the customer is reminded numerous times throughout the booking process what supporting documents will be required with a print at home ticket.
 

Bungle73

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Although I have never purchased such a ticket, we (staff) have been lead to believe the customer is reminded numerous times throughout the booking process what supporting documents will be required with a print at home ticket.
What good are reminders if the selected ID is no longer available?
 

MarkyMarkD

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What on earth benefit is there in [email protected] compared to TOD? Unless you are travelling from a (rare) station with ToD or to avoid queuing for TOD, I guess?

I was stuck at Rochester station the other day waiting what felt like 10 minutes for passengers to slowly use the (one) machine whilst the ticket office was closed.

It was particularly frustrating when I realised that the "passenger" at the front of the queue was the ticket office staff member, filling the machine up with 10p coins one at a time for some mysterious reason. Not very considerate, a few minutes before the known departure time of a train!
 

exile

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Bill Bryson had a similar problem when boarding a plane. When he presented his driver's licence he was told it was expired - he replied "then I'll promise not to fly the plane". His next attempt was to produce a book he had written, with his name and photo on the back cover.... this was also not accepted......
 
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As long as the ticket scanning equipment is working that should be fine on EC. No ticket barcode will scan twice. This equipment seems to have improved a lot of late, tbh i dont know of any guards who ask for the card.
 

TEW

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I've been asked for the card on East Coast, even when my ticket has been scanned.
 

sheff1

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I used this system on Virgin last week and the train manager on both legs just took a cursory look at the ticket and didn't ask for the debit card.
This seems to be the norm on XC & EMT as well. On maybe 30 journeys my card has only been examined once. Contrast this with Germany, where my card has always been inspected.
 

calc7

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I would be cautious to draw the conclusion "one will be ok" from "in x journey's, one's card debit card has never been inspected".
 

SussexMan

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As long as the ticket scanning equipment is working that should be fine on EC. No ticket barcode will scan twice.
So what happens if someone's ticket is checked twice on a journey? How can that tell the difference between one person checked twice and two people checked once?

Or do you mean that an individual scanner will reject the same barcode twice - but a second different scanner will not reject it? And if so, how would that help if the ticket was not tied to a specific train? I'll travel on this train, you get the next one....
 

Clip

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There is really a simple procedure that they should have on the booking page and then the print out

Nominated traveller ......................


That way it gets filled in online and even if its different to the person who purchased it and as long as the nominated traveller has ID then it should be fine.

The one thing that isnt rocket science is that.
 

Bungle73

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I was caught out my this yesterday. A friend came down from Edinburgh to see me and I booked him a train ticket to get home. Noticed EC are now offering print at home so thought I would give that a try and save myself a trip to the station to pick up the tickets.

Unfortunately, when I selected print at home I did not notice that the selection of a debit card, its last four digits and name were for ID and not payment purposes. Result is that my friend boarded at KX yesterday with a ticket in my name not his and was stung for a full fare from London to Edinburgh when the gripper came round, at £150 ish.

I am cross about this. It is my fault for not paying enough attention when booking, but I think that it needs to be made more obvious on the EC website that the person named must be travelling or you will be liable for the full fare. Also, if they are introducing these new systems the revenue protection people should show some discretion in these early stages when people are not familiar with the product and can make a genuine mistake.
It is obvious. It states that you are entering the info for the passenger.


That wasn't aimed at you, my previous response covered your opening post.
Oh.

There is really a simple procedure that they should have on the booking page and then the print out

Nominated traveller ......................


That way it gets filled in online and even if its different to the person who purchased it and as long as the nominated traveller has ID then it should be fine.

The one thing that isnt rocket science is that.
It already comes up with options like that. I don't know how they could have made it any clearer.
 

WestCoast

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DB offer this service across their network and they just require an acceptable ID that matches the lead passenger on the ticket - whether that is a credit/debit card, ID card or railcard.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
What on earth benefit is there in [email protected] compared to TOD? Unless you are travelling from a (rare) station with ToD or to avoid queuing for TOD, I guess?
Personally, I like the system very much having used it extensively abroad. It means I have a ticket to travel and do not have to rely on a TVM that could throw up all sorts of problems.

Oh, and many, many stations on the Northern, ATW and FGW networks don't have Ticket-On-Departure facilities, which means the only other option is the post.
 
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Or do you mean that an individual scanner will reject the same barcode twice - but a second different scanner will not reject it? And if so, how would that help if the ticket was not tied to a specific train? I'll travel on this train, you get the next one....
Yes sorry that is what i meant. Currently all EC print at home tickets are advance tickets only so will be tied to a specific train and therefore linked to the headcode on the guards ticket machine.
 

island

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This seems to be the norm on XC & EMT as well. On maybe 30 journeys my card has only been examined once. Contrast this with Germany, where my card has always been inspected.
That will be because the gripper's machine won't verify the ticket unless he swipes the card :)
 

DaveNewcastle

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Not sure on East Coast's policy, but on XC and Virgin, if you are not able to produce the card used to pay for the tickets then your ticket becomes invalid and a new ticket will be sold.
My understanding from EC is that your description is an accurate summary of their policy.
Perhaps the on-board staff (and almost definitely any gateline staff) will not request ID - but that is an observation, not an interpretation of policy. I fully agree with this:
I would be cautious to draw the conclusion "one will be ok" from "in x journey's, one's card debit card has never been inspected".
What good are reminders if the selected ID is no longer available?
None. (Of course).
But from a pragmatic point of view, it is worth remembering that [email protected] tickets are (currently) only Advances, and therefore come with a seat reservation, which should correspond to a reservation on the back of the seat being occupied for the journey. Whilst this is no evidential support whatsoever, it certainly would be evidence of abuse if the passenger was not sitting in the seat identified on the [email protected] confirmation.

[the suggestion I'm making here is in complete contradiction to sugestions I often make to passengers unfamiliar with EC, that they may sit in seats (or coaches) which are more attractive than their booked seats. The [email protected] system does tie a passenger to their booked seat in a more binding sense for the purpose of confirming validity].
 
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Bungle73

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But from a pragmatic point of view, it is worth remembering that [email protected] tickets are (currently) only Advances, and therefore come with a seat reservation, which should correspond to a reservation on the back of the seat being occupied for the journey. Whilst this is no evidential support whatsoever, it certainly would be evidence of abuse if the passenger was not sitting in the seat identified on the [email protected] confirmation.

[the suggestion I'm making here is in complete contradiction to sugestions I often make to passengers unfamiliar with EC, that they may sit in seats (or coaches) which are more attractive than their booked seats. The [email protected] system does tie a passenger to their booked seat in a more binding sense for the purpose of confirming validity].
If that were the case, what's to stop me sitting in another seat with a ticket and ID, and someone else sitting in the booked seat with the same ticket and no ID?

Anyway, here's what EC said to me:

East Coast Customer Services said:
If a situation arose where your card was stolen or lost prior to travel and therefore would render the ticket invalid, this is an option we can action in order to allow you to travel. We require customers to contact the our web support team if they have any issues with the card and they will send an authorisation to travel to be sent to you and then another form of I.D used.
 

yorkie

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[email protected] is best avoided. If you lose your card weeks (perhaps days) in advance, it can be sorted (with some hassle). Lose it on the day, or perhaps a day or two before and you are then down to luck as to whether or not the guard is strict or not. Who wants to be in that situation?

I got a few [email protected] tickets when they were new. I do not bother now, and will not. I will collect from the TVM. I do not book with XC as they charge for TVM collection.
 

Bungle73

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Luckily I've only booked my out journey (I decided to book it as soon as it became available). My return should be available tomorrow and I think I'll order a couple of proper tickets this time.

Why is it all these things that are supposed to make our lives "easier" actually end up being more hassle? :?
 

radamfi

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DB offer this service across their network and they just require an acceptable ID that matches the lead passenger on the ticket - whether that is a credit/debit card, ID card or railcard.
Print at home seems to be becoming the standard across our neighbouring countries. Only the UK and Ireland seem to be determined to persevere with TOD as the dominant format, possibly influenced by the proliferation of ticket gates. Although gates could be equipped with barcode readers, like Eurostar, which accommodate print at home.

Belgian and French Railways also offer TOD but also offer print at home. Dutch Railways offer print at home for regular single (non-Advance) tickets. You just have to have some kind of ID, matching the name on the ticket. In fact, I don't know anywhere outside the UK that insists that you have to have the payment card. I don't see why Virgin, XC et al insist on the payment card being presented. It can only lead to problems with lost payment cards, or the potential for cards being replaced by banks on an ad hoc basis, which can happen well before the expiry of the original card.
 
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