Forgot to renew Railcard

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Xzuk

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Hi all,

I travelled using cross country and forgot to renew my railcard but used it. I wasn’t aware it’s invalid as I thought it was at least 3 years. I tried to find the railcard but couldn’t and purchased the railcard on the return journey back home. The ticket inspector stopped me and I showed my new rail card but he said I purchased it just today so it’s not valid and said I still had to receive a letter to my home. Is this correct as I do understand it makes sense. It’s been a few days now and I have no letter. Thinking back I don’t know if my address was written clearly. Can I contact a team regarding this or is it best to leave this?
 
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Haywain

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Was this a digital railcard that you showed, or the proof of purchase for one to be posted to your home?
 

gray1404

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Once a railcard is issued its valid. So nothing to say its not valid because it was purchased that day.
 

Xzuk

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Was this a digital railcard that you showed, or the proof of purchase for one to be posted to your home?
I showed the digital railcard. But I showed it once I realised the railcard was not valid. I was already on the return journey as when the ticket inspector asked for the railcard I realised it’s my new phone is il have to sign in. Once I found the code it said not valid. So that’s when I purchased the new one.

Once a railcard is issued its valid. So nothing to say its not valid because it was purchased that day.
I showed the digital railcard. But I showed it once I realised the railcard was not valid and the inspector waited at the stop to find me to ask me if I’ve found my railcard.

Only thing is I was already on the return journey as when the ticket inspector asked for the railcard, I realised it’s my new phone so il have to sign in. Once I found the code it said not valid. So that’s when I purchased the new one.
 
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Gloster

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It usually takes several weeks and occasionally several months for the letter to reach you. You just have to be patient, however frustrating that may be. Others, more expert than me, will give you advice as to what to do then.

If you are sure that you gave the ‘inspector’ the correct address, it is best to wait until the letter arrives; if you move, make sure that you either have your post forwarded or somebody reliable watching it. Others on this forum will give you advice about what to do if you have genuine doubt as to whether the inspector had your address correctly.
 

furlong

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he said I purchased it just today so it’s not valid

There are various laws around ticketing, but it seems like the relevant one here would be a byelaw that says that at the moment in time you get onto the train to make your journey you need to have already paid the correct fare (if there were facilities available enabling you to do that). Anything you do after that point in time - like buying a necessary railcard - would come too late unfortunately as the alleged offence, if there was one, would already have occurred.

However, many people would consider this a technicality and expect to see discretion used and no further action taken. If you get a letter, writing back apologising politely and showing the railcard you purchased might be enough to lead to a settlement.

We've another thread on here musing about why the train companies aren't doing more to make sure people check expiry dates now that travel is starting up again.
 

MotCO

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Does the digital railcard show the time the ticket was purchased? If so, is the inspector taking the view that the ticket on the outward journey was invalid since the new rail card was purchased afterwards? Or is it too late to challenge a journey (the outward one) that's finished? (In theory, he could have had a railcard for the outward journey, but had since lost it, hence the purcase of a new one.)
 

pelli

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when the ticket inspector asked for the railcard I realised it’s my new phone is il have to sign in. Once I found the code it said not valid. So that’s when I purchased the new one.
[...]
I showed the digital railcard. But I showed it once I realised the railcard was not valid and the inspector waited at the stop to find me to ask me if I’ve found my railcard.

Is the following order of events correct? You boarded the train for your return journey. An inspector appeared and asked to see your ticket and railcard. You said you needed some time to bring up the railcard on your phone. The inspector went away to deal with other duties. You brought up the railcard, realised it was expired, then bought a new one. The inspector found you again, and rejected your railcard as being newly purchased.

If so, I think most people would agree that you were properly caught without a railcard.

If you had bought the railcard at any time before the inspector turned up, then one could argue that leniency should be shown as furlong says. [Edited to add:] The point is that if you have put things right without being prompted by an inspector, then in some sense the railway hasn't lost out, even if technically you were in violation at the start of your journey. But if the only reason you put things right is because an inspector turned up (because you wouldn't have realised your railcard was out of date otherwise), then it could be argued that if the inspector weren't there then the railway would have lost out.
 
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Xzuk

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26 May 2021
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Gloucester
Is the following order of events correct? You boarded the train for your return journey. An inspector appeared and asked to see your ticket and railcard. You said you needed some time to bring up the railcard on your phone. The inspector went away to deal with other duties. You brought up the railcard, realised it was expired, then bought a new one. The inspector found you again, and rejected your railcard as being newly purchased.

If so, I think most people would agree that you were properly caught without a railcard.

If you had bought the railcard at any time before the inspector turned up, then one could argue that leniency should be shown as furlong says. [Edited to add:] The point is that if you have put things right without being prompted by an inspector, then in some sense the railway hasn't lost out, even if technically you were in violation at the start of your journey. But if the only reason you put things right is because an inspector turned up (because you wouldn't have realised your railcard was out of date otherwise), then it could be argued that if the inspector weren't there then the railway would have lost out.
I purchased a new iPhone so tbh my awareness that when I restored my phone my railcard wasn’t installed didn’t cross my mind. I opened it for the first time after he gave me some time and I got the old confirmation code and found it’s expired. I travelled to uni for 3 years with a railcard so my history speaks for itself. I also acted in a way to purchase the railcard so I’m showing I’m happy to oblige by the law not oppose it. I do understand their point of view but I will call them tomorrow and get them to send me the letter and apologise and explain the circumstance.

I was a bit surprised as I gave my details but the ticket officer was adamant I found ID and didn’t let me leave for my next change until I gave him proof which in the end I couldn’t even find in my wallet.
 

Xzuk

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26 May 2021
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Location
Gloucester
There are various laws around ticketing, but it seems like the relevant one here would be a byelaw that says that at the moment in time you get onto the train to make your journey you need to have already paid the correct fare (if there were facilities available enabling you to do that). Anything you do after that point in time - like buying a necessary railcard - would come too late unfortunately as the alleged offence, if there was one, would already have occurred.

However, many people would consider this a technicality and expect to see discretion used and no further action taken. If you get a letter, writing back apologising politely and showing the railcard you purchased might be enough to lead to a settlement.

We've another thread on here musing about why the train companies aren't doing more to make sure people check expiry dates now that travel is starting up again.
Yh hopefully they can understand. Il be honest I’m happy to pay if it sorts the issue out but I just hope it doesn’t get to that. I have my railcard now and that’s sorted.
 

Watershed

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I was a bit surprised as I gave my details but the ticket officer was adamant I found ID and didn’t let me leave for my next change until I gave him proof which in the end I couldn’t even find in my wallet.
There is no obligation to produce ID to prove your name and address - quite a lot of people don't own any ID at all, some might not have it on them, and others will (as it entirely their right) refuse.

Of course, refusing is more likely to mean you are treated "by the book", as opposed to receiving the benefit of the doubt/discretion, but RPIs shouldn't be intimidating you into doing something you don't have to.
 

Brissle Girl

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I guess the situation is the same as being asked for your ticket, saying you can't find it, and the inspector gives you some to time to do so. When he returns you show a ticket just bought via an app. The point is that when originally challenged, you didn't have a ticket and only by virtue of the inspector giving you some time did you purchase one.

Now I think in that situation it's fairly clear that you were not in position of a valid ticket when first challenged, and you shouldn't be able to just buy a ticket (else everyone would do this, and it would make a mockery of revenue collection). So the same principle should apply for a railcard, which is needed to make the ticket you had valid.
 

RHolmes

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You can’t buy your railcard on the train if you’ve already shown it’s invalid (or expired).

In theory if you didn’t have a ticket check you may have never purchased the railcard and travelled with a discounted ticket you weren’t entitled to. The revenue inspector is correct on this occasion that you can’t use a railcard you’ve just purchased on the train after being asked to produce one.

Had you purchased the ticket prior to boarding this would have been valid.
 

AlterEgo

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It’s still unclear to me whether:

1) The OP went on his outbound journey, with no valid railcard, but wasn’t stopped, then realised on the return journey his railcard wasn’t valid but purchased one before inspection, only for the inspector to say “hey that was bought today, that’s not right” (which doesn’t make sense)

or

2) On the return journey the inspector challenged the OP and he was unable to produce a railcard, yet went away, only to return and then say “hey you bought that today!”
 
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