Excess into TOC-only ticket?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by maniacmartin, 27 Apr 2015.

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  1. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Hi all,

    It is well-established on this forum that one cannot excess away a TOC-only restriction, but can you excess into one, either as a 'change of route' style excess* or a 'change of travel time' excess?

    *e.g. London Terminals to Birmingham Stations return, route via High Wycombe.
    Excess to Route: London Midland only.

    If so, can this be done in one direction only, and how would that be calculated?
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  2. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    I've had it done before, as a change of route excess so half the difference. Can't think of any reason it wouldn't be permitted.
     
  3. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Providing it hasn't been used on another Train Company already (so a completely unused ticket is fine), then yes, but good luck actually getting it issued - you may have to shop around!
     
  4. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    I think Martin's talking about only excessing one half of the ticket.
     
  5. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Can I just check I've understood this correctly as I've never heard of this before:

    If you buy a specific TOC only routed ticket, you cannot "excess it" up to a more expensive Any Permitted ticket (valid on any TOC on the route) Eg:

    1. Liverpool Stations to London Terminals Super Off Peak Return (LM only) could not then be excessed to a Off Peak Return (Route: AP) to then be used on VT.
    2. Brighton to London Terminals ticket (Route: Thameslink Only) could not be excessed to Route: AP to then be used on SN too.

    However, with example 1 above. Could you excess it up say from the Super Off Peak to the Off Peak (Route: LM Only) or Anytime (Route: LM Only) for the purpose of allowing you to travel on a wider choice of services with the same TOC (LM).
     
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yes. That's absolutely right.

    There is no genuinely good reason* why you can't excess away a TOC restriction, it's just the way it is. :|

    (* Before anyone says "revenue allocation", that's a red herring, as a geographically restricted ticket does not have its ORCATS revenue re-distributed upon the issuing of an accompanying excess fare for it!)
     
  7. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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  8. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Contrary to the opinion of certain Virgin Trains ticket office staff, what you can do is refund the ticket less the £10 admin fee and buy a new one.

    The fact that this type of excess is not permitted is basically allowing them to get away with murder - and flies in the face of the convention of integrated ticketing, which we are supposedly still benefitting from :|

    Also, I know I'm being really picky and annoying but please please please don't use 'AP' to mean 'Any Permitted' - it does appear on the route of some tickets meaning something very different - Advance Purchase.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  9. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    There's some unofficial signage at some VT ticket offices (e.g. Macclesfield) stating that Virgin Trains Only tickets are not refundable, which is an oversimplification that's unhelpful in many cases.
     
  10. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    The basics of the rule is "You cannot excess a TOC specific fare for use on another TOC".

    You CAN excess a TOC specific fare to an "Any Permitted" fare. What you CANNOT do is then use it on another TOC.

    Example:

    A Manchester-Sheffield "TPE Only" Advance Single CAN be excessed to an "Any Permitted" Anytime Single, however, you CANNOT use EMT, XC, Virgin Trains, ATW or Northern services on that ticket.
     
  11. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    So even though you've paid the price you would have paid (by vertue of paying the excess) to get a ticket vaid on any TOC, you REMAIN tied down to travel only on the TOC that the first ticket you got - in your example TPE only. If I have understood it correctly, that looks really unfair on the customer :(

    From my examples above actually (buying a Super Off Peak Liverpool to London valid on LM only), would I be allowed to "excess" it up to an Off Peak LM Only ticket? I might actually have to do that in a couple of weeks? I'm going to go down on the Super Off Peak Return ticket but there is a chance (slim but not impossible, hence going for Super Off Peak) I may have to come back on a service that I'd only be allowed to use an Off Peak LM only on. (just to be clear, I am NOT suggesting for one moment I want to excess it so I can come back on VT, I'd still be tied to LM)

    Would this be very straight forward to do at the booking office at Euston before travel (surely, its not going to be a game of pot luck depending on who serves me.)
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  12. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Welcome to the Railway Industry! In practice, by definition an excess converts one fare into another, so an 'Any Permitted' ticket would be quite likely to be accepted for travel on EMT in the above example. There are even guards on here who could say if they would accept that ticket or not - but it would be very ill-advised to try it without asking first.

    If an admin fee were applied when doing the excess though, for a journey as short as Manchester - Sheffield, a new Any Permitted ticket would still be cheaper.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It should not be at all difficult for any ticket office or the LM guard on the train to excess your ticket to the Off-Peak Return, route LM Only yes.
     
  13. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Am I right that I would be required to do this before boarding the train on the basis that there is a ticket office at EUS? If I didn't can the guard on the train refuse to do the excess and I be treated as having boarded the train without a valid ticket?

    How would they work my excess out if I wanted to only do it for the return leg. i.e. I travel the outward sector during the Super Off Peak allowed hours, and it is only the return bit for which I want to travel at "Off Peak" hours?

    Liverpool to London Super Off Peak return (with r/card) is £21.10 and the Off Peak (LM Only) Return is £28.40 - difference of £7.30 - but would they charge that if only wanted to "excess" it one way because in effect I'm then paying the Off Peak fare for the entire journey?
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  14. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    So far as I know all the guard on the train would do is issue the excess if you were travelling outside of the times at which your ticket is valid.
     
  15. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Excessing into a different ticket type is the full difference, not half, even if only for one way.
     
  16. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    So in my case I will need to pay the full £7.30 if I need to come back early (before the easement on the 18.xx something LM service to Stafford for the Super Off Peak) and basically, excess the entire ticket up to a LM Off Peak (rather then just one leg, was not sure if they would base it on the difference between the Super OP Single and Off Peak Single Price but clearly not) :)

    Much better I do this though then buy the Off Peak and then end up traveling on trains which I could have used the Super Off Peak on both. I'd feel like I'd overpaid £7.30.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  17. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That is correct. You would be in no worse situation financial than if you bought the Off-Peak fare to start in the first place.

    Also note that you cannot be subject to a Penalty Fare if your ticket was only invalid due to a time restriction. Only an excess fare can be charged.
     
  18. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Thanks bb21! That is REALLY useful to know (given its only an hourly service on the LM EUS to Stafford via Trent Valley Line) because it means if I did get to Euston with not much time to spare I could just run onto the train and have the cash ready to pay on board. I'm assuming the Super Off Peak would open the automatic ticket barrier anytime or gate staff would not be so bolshy as to not allow me to excess on board.

    Hopefully I won't have any trouble with the guard doing this and he/she won't try to sell me a full fare ticket on-board or insist on only being excess me to the Anytime fare - on the basis there was a ticket office open at Euston I could have got the Off Peak excess from.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  19. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    I had an excess from a TOC-only ticket to an unrestricted one when ticket office clerk issued the wrong type and I said that I'd been given the wrong ticket. Should I have asked any guards before "trying" to use a ticket that's only invalid by rules internal to the railway industry, nowhere published; and that's not the same as the one I asked for?

    It's very clear that should such an excess be issued, it may be used.

    Of course, this is the opposite of the scenario the OP is enquiring about - that one's not even forbidden by unpublished rules, let alone binding ones!
     
  20. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I cannot speak for the gates, as they may or may not reject your ticket. In the event your ticket is rejected by the gate, you may be referred to the ticket office.

    There is no penalty for paying your excess fare onboard in the event of travelling on a time-restricted service where there is an opportunity to pay before boarding, according to Excess Fare Procedures. If the Off-Peak fare were valid on your chosen service, that is what your ticket will be excessed to.
     
  21. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    We (the forum) have been down that road before.

    I'd be interested to see any evidence you have to support the claim that this is "quite likely".

    There are guards on here who could say if they would accept it, but I'm not sure I have ever seen one say they would (they are free to speak up now as far as I am concerned, I'd like to see the numbers).

    Maybe, I haven't looked at the figures, it was just an example.
     
  22. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That's right, and yes railway ticketing can be very unfair!
    Can I interest you in one of our free fares workshops?
     
  23. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    It would depend how busy I was and therefore how much attention I was paying. I'd be inclined to just look at the excess and accept it probably. I don't have that much time on busier Manchester to Sheffield ticket checks to forensically examine everything, I usually ask for a random sample of railcards etc to be shown and make sure I cancel period tickets to wind up the 'buy two returns and make them last a month' prats.

    Bearing in mind that we're at the time of year my ticket inspections are interrupted by trying to bully class 158 air con units back into life and having to cross the trolley multiple times, a few enquiries about things like the tight connections on to Hull/Lincoln services at Sheffield can eat up the time.
     
  24. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    I must have missed it!

    How many of them do you think there are! I can only report from my own experiences, which tend towards tolerance in the case of asking before boarding. The one exception is Northern, where I now don't bother because it's either a "No of course that's not valid, why are you even asking me." or just profound confusion about the question, or maybe "Yes this train goes to X.".

    Anyway, I'm not quite sure how your approach tallies with what most people call 'common sense', but if someone has a ticket that is from Manchester Stns and to Sheffield, and is routed Any Permitted... why wouldn't that be acceptable to most guards?

    Of course, fine in principle for a longer journey.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    So in one case I'm asked for evidence that the ticket would be accepted if a consultation before boarding took place, in another I'm asked why there should be a question mark over it's validity in the first place.

    You can hammer out the details if you like - the point I'm making is that the passenger has paid the same amount as someone who bought the Any Permitted Anytime Day Single in the first place (plus possibly an admin fee). There's very little justification for the rejection of such a ticket therefore.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  25. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I believe hairyhandedfool might be referring to this thread: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=111484

    I argued that because the TOC-specific instructions are clearly defined on the ticket (i.e. contract) as a "route" (and not as a restriction on "validity") then an excess can be issued and would override any TOC-specific routing restriction (a full exposition of my reasoning can be found in post #10 of that thread).

    That was my interpretation ... but then I'm not an expert and the real world is rather different! ;)
     
  26. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    I have no idea.

    Do you get this sort of excess often?

    What has common sense got to do with anything? (I tend to find "common sense" varies depending on who is applying it).

    But do they have that? Or do they have a ticket that says "TPE Only" and an Excess Fare for travel an earlier or later TPE service?

    I would think that an official document saying "not valid" might perhaps mean that some guards might not find it acceptable. Maybe most guards do accept it, maybe they don't, bit dangerous to suggest that people are 'quite likely' to be allowed to use it based on personal experience though, when documents available to staff say otherwise.

    It's certainly one I was thinking of, but by no means the only one.
     
  27. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    To answer the question, a significant proportion of Guards apply their 'common sense' rather than the actual rules. (I am not arguing for or against this, just purely answering the question, but in most cases I believe it makes no material difference as most tickets are used in accordance with both the rules and common sense, and many - though of course not all - rules are common sense)

    As for what you wrote above in brackets, you're absolutely spot on.
     
  28. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    I am yet to see any convincing evidence that they are somehow not one and the same, as you mention below and then do not elaborate upon.

    Nope, but I'm frequently and happily granted permission to travel in similar ways that you would describe as categorically not permitted.



    If only you knew how much people, as you would see it 'get away with' despite this attitude. That's what I mean by common sense :p

    I've sat and listened to entirely made up gibberish rules invented in seconds by people who have already decided your ticket is not valid enough times to know that what the rules actually are matters in a tiny margin of cases only.
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2015
  29. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Thanks, I'd be really excited to attend one of those! I shall PM you about it!
     
  30. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    I am yet to see any evidence that they are one and the same! I, however, do have access to the documents that say no and if I get some time in the near future, I might endeavour to provide a copy here, if that would be of any assistance?

    So you would admit your experience of using TOC restricted tickets on other TOCs is rather limited then?

    Oh, that sort of "common sense", well why didn't you say so! I'm amazed the Disputes threads exist, because they are all just "common sense" too!

    Erm...... Okay...... Maybe you don't want to see a copy of those documents then, as you've clearly already seen enough of them to make an informed decision already.....
     
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