Etiquette when booking clerk tries to sell you the wrong thing.

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4SRKT

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Just had the clerk at Shipley try to sell me an SOR from Sheffield to Derby at £33 instead of a SVR at £18.80 as part of a Shipley > Gravelly Hill split. I knew it was wrong when I saw £33 come up on the screen, but I'm not at all comfortable telling people if they're doing something wrong in their job. Obviously I had to point it out, but don't like appearing to be some sort of know-all. Would someone who didn't know what the fare should be simply have paid the higher fare?
 
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Would someone who didn't know what the fare should be simply have paid the higher fare?
In that case, the passenger probably wouldn't have asked for a particular split in the first place.

I don't think booking office clerks would be surprised if you pointed out to them that the ticket is not the one you wanted, as you would have worked out the prices beforehand. As long as it is pointed out in a polite manner, I don't think anyone would mind.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Just had the clerk at Shipley try to sell me an SOR from Sheffield to Derby at £33 instead of a SVR at £18.80 as part of a Shipley > Gravelly Hill split. I knew it was wrong when I saw £33 come up on the screen, but I'm not at all comfortable telling people if they're doing something wrong in their job. Obviously I had to point it out, but don't like appearing to be some sort of know-all. Would someone who didn't know what the fare should be simply have paid the higher fare?
The clerk should offer the cheapest fare, however it is important that you state when you are travlling and you should get the cheapest price based on that, clerks make errors sometimes and maybe this time was one of them. If Shipley use Fastis (as they probably do) they needed to select a different mode for travel later in the day (or another time).

Would someone else have paid more? maybe, but that entirely depends on the other person.

If you think something is wrong, there is no harm in being polite about it, clerks can admit they are wrong sometimes
 
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RJ

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Hold fire before jumping on the defensive!

If I've read it right, there is probably too much irrelevant detail in the OP's post. It would appear that it's as simple as an SOR being offered for sale instead of an SVR for one of the partitions of the journey.

There's nothing wrong with correcting an error made by a clerk - why would you be out of pocket just to save someone's feelings? Of course, I hope you were very specific with what you asked for (in terms of ticket types) and didn't just state the splitting points, hoping the clerk would guess correctly. Sometimes you have to be assertive when you have a clerk who doesn't listen to you and tries to sell you what they think you should be buying.
 
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Clip

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It all depends on what you actually asked for ticket wise.

But there is nothing wrong with letting them know they may have selected the wrong ticket type as long as you are friendly and not rude about it.
 

Brucey

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I tend to just pose it as a polite question after they say the price, knowing already what the answer to my question will be, e.g.:
"Is that route Not London?"
"Is that a day return?"
etc etc
 

323235

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I had a guard just yesterday who told me you couldn't buy a Super Off Peak Day Return (SCO) on the train as it required reservations. I was very polite and firm that I'd bought them previously on the train and he eventually found and sold me the correct ticket. He left with a red face.

I did wonder if he was testing me on my knowledge as I think most guards on my line do know me, especially as I do sometimes go and seek them out occasionally if I've got a tight connecion.
 

WelshBluebird

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For me, it really depends on the situation.
Initially its best just to double check, so ask a question such as "is that off peak" or whatever is relevant to the ticket you want. Or even a "are you sure, it never used to be that". I have only had such a situation a few times, and most of the time the staff are quite apologetic and probably a little bit embarrassed. But at the end of the day, everyone makes mistakes. Its only when (a minority of) staff then cannot accept their mistakes that I get annoyed and push a bit more, even getting to the point where I have had to find the fare on my phone to show the guard to prove he was wrong.
But certainly the majority of staff will not take any offence to you checking they have the right fare. Indeed, based on a few posts I have read on this forum, quite a few are often thankful or just genuinely surprised that the fare was possible (for the more obscure ones).
 

4SRKT

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It all depends on what you actually asked for ticket wise.

But there is nothing wrong with letting them know they may have selected the wrong ticket type as long as you are friendly and not rude about it.
I asked for an off-peak return from Sheff to Derby and the same from Derby to Gravelly Hill. OK, this was twenty past six in the morning, but I was breaking my journey in Leeds for the whole day before travelling onwards. He got his felt pen out and wrote 'not valid before 09:30' all over the tops of the outward portions!

 

yorkie

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He got his felt pen out and wrote 'not valid before 09:30' all over the tops of the outward portions!
Sample letter:-
Dear Sir/Madam,

I requested an Off Peak Return from Sheffield to Derby from the ticket office at Shipley Station on dd/mm at hh:mm. To my surprise, I was quoted £33, which was the Anytime fare. Eventually, the requested ticket was sold, however the clerk wrote "Not valid until 0930" on the ticket.

However, this is incorrect, the ticket is valid from 0900.

Please can you confirm if your clerk was acting in accordance with Northern's instructions and policies, and can you also confirm what would have happened if I had tried to use the ticket between 0900 and 0930, when it should have been valid?

Please can you provide me with assurances that suitable training will be given to your ticket clerks to ensure that the rules of impartial retailing are adhered to, and can you give me a date by which this training will be complete?

Providing you can give me a satisfactory response, that will be the end of the matter. I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,
Hopefully Northern will apologise and arrange for suitable training to be provided.

If they do not give a good response, contact ATOC & Passenger Focus, and request for some 'mystery shopping' to be carried out to ensure the ticket office is complaint.
 

RJ

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I asked for an off-peak return from Sheff to Derby and the same from Derby to Gravelly Hill. OK, this was twenty past six in the morning, but I was breaking my journey in Leeds for the whole day before travelling onwards. He got his felt pen out and wrote 'not valid before 09:30' all over the tops of the outward portions!

Doesn't make the slightest bit of different to the actual validity of the ticket though. Someone who knows the job properly would know how to check the restriction on a ticket.
 

p123

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I find most staff members are happy for you to remind them about certain tickets, especially seeing as us enthusiasts often buy awkward ones ;)

Last time I went to Edinburgh at the weekend, I used my ScotRail Advance (loyalty scheme) membership card for the free weekend first upgrade. The Conductor looked at it and said to me "I have no idea what this is", and was happy enough for me to simply explain and allow me to stay seated in first class.

I think if you were confrontational, they'd likely take the huff. But I find if you explain something politely to someone then they're more than happy to help.
 

Gathursty

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I have a hopefully temporary issue with Wigan Wallgate. Since their ticket office is being fixed up, they are just using handheld Avantixes at the bottom of the stairs and when buying a Wayfarer from a particular guard, I got a blank look and was offered the Daysaver instead. It surely would not hurt them to keep a few in the back office or a tray somewhere. They don't take up too much room!!
 

hairyhandedfool

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Wayfarers are locked stock and have to be held in a secure place (like a safe), they have to be recorded and they may not be present on Advantix (they are sundries on Fastis rather than rovers/rangers or regular tickets (like Daysavers)). It may also be worth noting that as ticket office staff aren't trained on Advantix, it is probably G4S that are selling the tickets.
 

Deerfold

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I asked for an off-peak return from Sheff to Derby and the same from Derby to Gravelly Hill. OK, this was twenty past six in the morning, but I was breaking my journey in Leeds for the whole day before travelling onwards. He got his felt pen out and wrote 'not valid before 09:30' all over the tops of the outward portions!

You might have got the same chap I had a while back who was telling me he couldn't sell me a day rover for a future date unless it was a weekend as the ticket wasn't valid until 0930.
 

4SRKT

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You might have got the same chap I had a while back who was telling me he couldn't sell me a day rover for a future date unless it was a weekend as the ticket wasn't valid until 0930.
I think he was piqued because I'd pointed out that I'd asked for an off-peak and he pulled up an SOR. Therefore decided to p*** on my chips in case I was trying to cheat!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Massive difference between peak and off-peak on EMT BTW.
 

142094

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Had a problem last week when trying to buy a railcard discounted ticket before 10.00 - of course it is now July but the person at the booking office had forgot about the change.
 

Greenback

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Had a problem last week when trying to buy a railcard discounted ticket before 10.00 - of course it is now July but the person at the booking office had forgot about the change.
I must admit I sometimes forgot at the start of July too! I hope I was always apologetic when my error was pointed out though! I don;t like making mistakes, but I do occasionally as I am just a human being (not a big green toad) at the end of the day!
 

lewisf

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And yet I had no problem buying an off-peak railcard discounted ticket at 08.15 on a Friday morning at Surbiton. I did have to specify that I wanted the Not London fare though, as they tried to sell the Via London to me at first.
 

142094

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And yet I had no problem buying an off-peak railcard discounted ticket at 08.15 on a Friday morning at Surbiton. I did have to specify that I wanted the Not London fare though, as they tried to sell the Via London to me at first.
I'm assuming the Friday you're talking about wasn't in July or August, and that the ticket cost less than the minimum fare of £12.00? That happened to me once, although it was because both the conductor and myself were confused and he accidentally sold a ticket with the railcard discount before 10am.
 

David Goddard

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When buying a combination of tickets, I always approach the window with a list, and specifically ask for the ticket type that I require:

For example, when I go to Coventry:
Off Peak Day Return Reading to Banbury
Anytime Day Return Banbury to Coventry.
This certainly gets the message across that I know what I want!
 

Poggs

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No minimum fare applies to 16-25 or HM Forces Railcard tickets when bought in July (or August).
Ah, that brings back memories. I recall one particular member of staff nearly dirtied his trousers when I pulled out a Fares Manual to back me up.

Me: "There's no minimum fares in July and August - check your Fares Manual"
Him: "Oh yeah? Which page?"
Me: *pulls out NFM* "This one"

This was a number of years ago - I'm in those middling years where a Y-P is a distant memory, and a Senior Railcard is incomprehensibly far off.
 
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