Fare Conditions KGX to PBO

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Peter Kelford, 9 Sep 2019.

  1. Peter Kelford

    Peter Kelford Member

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    I regularly travel LNER between London King's Cross (KGX) and Peterborough (PBO), but the last few times, I have been repeatedly penalised by staff. The ticket machines at Peterborough never seem to sell the right tickets:

    upload_2019-9-9_18-18-8.png

    and when on board, the staff refuse to sell me tickets with the Family and Friends Railcard discount applied, despite the fact that I was unable to buy tickets in the station. Then, very recently, a particular person decided to give in, but decided to charge us an anytime rate (we were on the 15:10 1A33 service on a weekday). However, now that I intend to travel on the same service again, I find the website states that an off-peak ticket is offered for the journey in question.

    1. Was the onboard staff correct to sell an anytime ticket when the off-peak ticket was available?
    2. Why do the PBO ticket machines not sell the right tickets?
    3. What are the regulations surrounding the sale of tickets and/or why are they suddenly being enforced to the letter?
     
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  3. Peter Kelford

    Peter Kelford Member

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    The image from above in reasonable size.
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Sorry to hear you are having difficulty attaching a reasonable size image; image attachments should be no greater than 2MB in size; if you resize the image so that it's not too big it should attach. A width of around 600 pixels would be plenty. :)

    What ticket exactly are you expecting, for what price, and for what quantity of passengers?

    Is the ticket office open at these times, and able to sell the ticket?

    Is there a notice on the machines stating the full range may not be available?
     
    Last edited: 9 Sep 2019
  5. Peter Kelford

    Peter Kelford Member

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    1 adult and one child, with a Family and Friends Railcard, we normally purchase off-peak tickets at £31.70 one-way.

    There is no sign showing a limited selection of tickets, the ticket office was open but with a mile-long queue for 1 or 2 kiosks. When we asked the on-train staff who scammed us (he appeared to give us the railcard discount, in exchange for charging us an anytime rate), we drew his attention to the absence of ticket selling machines at the station. To this he created some reason related to 'a limited number of seats being released', although we were on a rather quiet train and this has happened repeatedly.

    I hope that this answers your questions
    PBOT.jpg

    Here is the image.
     
  6. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    On the top right of your image there is a button marked "More tickets". If you touch on this you will be shown relevant fares for the LNER trains, including the fare you seek. There is definitely no case of the machines not selling the tickets you require, I'm afraid.
     
  7. Peter Kelford

    Peter Kelford Member

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    I did tap on that, yet that does not yield the right tickets. And tapping the 'I' button next to the train details doesn't yield the right tickets either. Anyhow, that is not what the ticket machines were like a few months ago, so why the sudden change?
     
  8. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I've tested it this morning and you will have to tap on 'More tickets' a couple of times to get past the full range of GTR dedicated fares for their one train on that display. But I can assure you that nothing has changed other than, perhaps, the time you are looking - if there is a Great Northern/Thameslink train on the diplay the 'AnyPermitted' fares will be further across.
     
  9. Peter Kelford

    Peter Kelford Member

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    Thanks.
     
  10. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    I have heard on the grapevine that there is one of those old fashioned ticket office type establishments at Peterborough as well as all the TVMs , that could be the reason you are having problems onboard
     
  11. Peter Kelford

    Peter Kelford Member

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    Ok, thanks
     
  12. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

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    When you know what kind of ticket you want, it may be easier to buy it via an app (I use Abellio Greater Anglia's, but there are others). You can normally do this, in practice, up to c.15 mins before departure time and collect the ticket from the machines you have taken picture of. It is easier that debating with ticket offices (and waiting in their queues) or wading through not very clear screen displays. Each of the rail apps will book tickets for any train company, so you can book LNER tickets using any of the apps or websites offering national rail fares.
     
  13. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    My recommendation to the original poster is they they should gather what evidence they can, including their tickets, receipts and photos of the ticket machine from recent occasions when they've been travelling and complain to LNER by email. Ask for a refund of the difference between the total you've paid and the correct fare for the journey you've made (which sounds like you want an Off Peak ticket with a railcard).

    If they don't pay this, you can open a case with the Rail Ombudsman.

    For all further journeys from Peterborough I would recommend you speak to a member of staff at the station. Tell them which train you're catching and ask what tickets you need. Follow their advice - don't just get on the train. They should point you in the direction of a colleague who can help you if they're not able to serve you themselves, or go through the ticket machine process all the way with you.
    With reference to the image we've been shown here, it's hard to imagine a much worse design for a user interface than one which fills literally almost the entire screen with null values, and offers just 3 options on one screen. The button to advance to the next screen is also far too small. Why is it so much smaller than the button to see First Class tickets (which comparatively only a tiny proportion of the ticket machine's users will need)?

    An attempt to blame the end user for failing to use the pictured machine correctly when the UI designers have done such an unbelievably appalling job is breathtaking. Only in the railway industry...
     
    Last edited: 15 Sep 2019 at 18:19
  14. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I resent that remark. My comments were aimed at helping the user find the required ticket. But then this is the anti-railway forum, isn't it?
     
  15. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The forum is merely the collection of wide ranging individual members, and their equally wide ranging topics/postings.
     
  16. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Whilst I agree with the sentiment that it is a poorly designed UI, perhaps you've gone a bit over the top with the words.
    The first sentence is understandable, particularly if you are/were involved in the design. The last negates any credibility from the first.
    Well, quite.
     
  17. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Regardless of what you think of the TVM GUI the fact remains that this person boarded a train without a ticket at a staffed station.
     
  18. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    But, for balance, do we know roughly know long the queueing time was?

    Also, if the queues were long as claimed, is it normal for there to be long queues at Peterborough?
     
  19. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Seems the gate line was working well too
     
  20. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    A long queue doesn’t always translate into a long wait. The transaction when I’ve been in Peterborough have been fairly quick and very repetitive. Such as the tickets in this case.
     
  21. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I accept that I have interpreted your comments incorrectly; I'm sorry.

    I don't agree with your other points. I also still think that the customer cannot be blamed for selecting the wrong ticket, because the design standards of the machine are so sub-par. In my opinion the customer should have been given the remedy to pay the correct fare due, as if the ticket machine had sold them the correct tickets in the first place. The best way for LNER to do this would have been to refund the ticket they bought at the machine, and charge them a new ticket at the correct prices for their journey. LNER seem to have not done that. Perhaps the train manager would have struggled with this, but they could still have asked the customer to resolve the situation at the Kings Cross ticket office. Therefore, I criticise LNER's approach.

    If the customer writes to customer relations, this remedy is still possible. I have confidence that the OP would see this as highly satisfactory?

    I accept that this will be a subject where some people at LNER might disagree, and think that the standards of their ticket machines are good enough that they don't need to resolve the matter with the customer in this 'generous' a fashion. If so, we'll have to agree to disagree.
    In my opinion, the fact that LNER take this view is the real problem that we have here.

    It is the wrong view, and it does LNER no favours any more than it does customers like the OP.
     
    Last edited: 15 Sep 2019 at 20:42
  22. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    The comment I resent was that the customer was being blamed. Thoughts on the UI are an individual matter and of no consequence to me.
     
  23. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    OK so boarding a train without a valid ticket at a manned station is fine. Don’t really think I can add any more given this new revelation.
     
  24. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It can be. But we don't have enough information to form a conclusion in this case. The OP refers to a "mile-long queue" but you are right that "a long queue doesn’t always translate into a long wait". If the OP arrived in plenty of time for the train and was queuing for a significant length of time before giving up then they are potentially within their rights. But we don't really know either way.
     
  25. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    These sort of replies are simply more evidence of the problems customers face. Nobody actually said the above at all, but you claiming this does show that many people at LNER have a bad attitude to this type of issue, which they need not. I see absolutely no evidence whatsoever from the OP that they were trying to avoid payment of thr correct fare. Indeed, the fact ghat they've created this thread is convincing evidence to the contrary.

    Given the appalling poor UI in their software created the issue, I don't see how LNER could have a problem with refunding the incorrect ticket in full and charging for new, correct, tickets instead. I'm sure the customer would have been quite happy to agree on that, but the unreasonable approach taken by LNER means it hasn't happened.
     
  26. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    I think we’re talking at cross purposes, I’ve read the first post as no Ticket was bought from the machine.
     
  27. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The original post suggests that, due to a combination of the length of queue (admittedly we don't know enough information about how long the queuing time would have been) and difficulty finding the appropriate fare, the passengers boarded without a ticket. It sounds like there has been a misunderstanding of the facts.
     

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