Friend offered reduced train tickets -- Question

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wandacat

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Whilst talking to a Friend today who does a regular commute several times a week they mentioned that they have been able to obtain train tickets at 50% of the usual fare.

Upon questioning them, these have been obtained from a friend of a friend who works on the railways. They have sent a copy of the tickets to myself that they have been given, which are Any Time Day Single E Tickets which have a code on the bottom but no price on the Ticket.

I advised my friend that I suspect these are 75% discounted PRIV tickets (Visual inspection does not indicate they are PRIV tickets as they just show Anytime Day Single, with no price) and that although they do open the barriers at the originating and destination stations, I suspect that if scanned by an inspector whist on the train, they would reveal that they are a PRIV ticket which could lead to my friend being questioned and prosecuted

My friend thinks I am over reacting. They think that if I am correct, it will be the seller of the ticket who would be in trouble, not them as the User. Can you advise if my suspicions are likely to be correct and that these tickets are scanned are likely to reveal that they are a PRIV ticket.

Thank You.
 
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6Gman

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Whilst talking to a Friend today who does a regular commute several times a week they mentioned that they have been able to obtain train tickets at 50% of the usual fare.

Upon questioning them, these have been obtained from a friend of a friend who works on the railways. They have sent a copy of the tickets to myself that they have been given, which are Any Time Day Single E Tickets which have a code on the bottom but no price on the Ticket.

I advised my friend that I suspect these are 75% discounted PRIV tickets (Visual inspection does not indicate they are PRIV tickets as they just show Anytime Day Single, with no price) and that although they do open the barriers at the originating and destination stations, I suspect that if scanned by an inspector whist on the train, they would reveal that they are a PRIV ticket which could lead to my friend being questioned and prosecuted

My friend thinks I am over reacting. They think that if I am correct, it will be the seller of the ticket who would be in trouble, not them as the User. Can you advise if my suspicions are likely to be correct and that these tickets are scanned are likely to reveal that they are a PRIV ticket.

Thank You.
Very, very dodgy.

I doubt they are Priv tickets - all the Priv tickets I have ever seen, and that's a lot, have PRIV printed on them. And the fare.

Not sure what these would be - possibly straightforward fake printing ?

But your friend. And his friend. And his friend's friend would be well advised to keep well away.

There could be some very unpleasant people at the end of this particular chain.

Does anyone involved fancy ending up giving evidence in a court case for fraud with a group of what I can only call gangsters sitting in the dock staring at them ?
 

wandacat

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Have just re-looked at the ticket I have a screenshot of and there is actually a Fare printed on the very bottom. It also looks to have been issued via trainline.com
 

Fawkes Cat

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The quick answer is that no-one should be getting involved in anything like this: it has enormous potential to go wrong to your disadvantage.

More formally, the sale of railway tickets is restricted to authorised parties - basically train companies and online vendors such as Trainline. I think some travel agents can sell them as well. But the important point is that authorised vendors do not include people on eBay, Facebook or in the pub. The implication for this for the purchaser is in condition 4.3 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel (https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/National Rail Conditions of Travel.pdf, 4 December 2019 version):
4.3. You may only buy your Ticket from a Train Company or Licensed Retailer, otherwise it will not be valid.
So if you are caught using a ticket bought from an unauthorised source, you will face all the problems that anyone travelling without a ticket faces, and there are plenty of examples in this sub-forum of how unpleasant that can be. Rather more speculatively, I also suspect (but don't know) that if you could be considered to know that the ticket was fake, then you could face prosecution for fraud - just because there are special laws about railway tickets, that doesn't mean that the general law about fraud and so on doesn't apply as well.
. (ETA - all based on a partial reading of the NCoT. See a post below that explains why I should also have read rule 5)

In practice, if I legitimately buy an ordinary ticket and then find that I can't use it, will anyone care if I sell it to a mate in the pub (maybe at a discount) who does use it? Of course they won't (always assuming that my mate meets any special conditions for the ticket - age, railcard possession and so on). But if I rock up in the pub with twenty cheap 'tickets' and flog them round the pub, and do the same again next week, then at some point I will be in trouble, and so will the purchasers
 
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Tazi Hupefi

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A lot of companies get corporate fares and discounts via Travel Management Companies like Trainline Business. We now get 50% reduction to/from on London a certain InterCity operator with a complimentary upgrade to 1st.

Could just be something like that. Perkbox and other employee benefits often have discount codes / schemes for rail travel.
 

furlong

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More formally, the sale of railway tickets is restricted to authorised parties - basically train companies and online vendors such as Trainline. I think some travel agents can sell them as well. But the important point is that authorised vendors do not include people on eBay, Facebook or in the pub. The implication for this for the purchaser is in condition 4.3 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel (https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/National Rail Conditions of Travel.pdf, 4 December 2019 version):
Tickets can be transferred (resold) for an amount not exceeding the price paid:
5. TRANSFER OF TICKETS
5.1. A Ticket may be transferred by the person who bought that Ticket to another person, but only if:
...
5.1.3. the transfer is not a resale for more than the price paid for the Ticket by the person who first purchased it from a Train Company or a Licensed Retailer.
 

Fawkes Cat

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Tickets can be transferred (resold) for an amount not exceeding the price paid:
So they can. I should have read all the NCoT, instead of stopping when I found something that suited my argument.

My earlier post now edited to (hopefully) make it clear that it's inaccurate.
 

some bloke

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I should have read all the NCoT
I think it was reasonable for you to come to the conclusion you did. Maybe it's more that the Conditions need to be clearer.

The first condition seems to say buying from an unauthorised person definitely isn't allowed. That would imply there isn't any need to read further. The second condition seems to me to contradict it.
 
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Brissle Girl

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I think it's designed to stop people trading in tickets to make a profit. If you can't sell it for more than you paid then what's the point. As an example, if I have bought an advanced ticket from A to B, but no longer wish to travel, I can turn up at A and sell it for the purchase price (or advertise it online), and recover my loss, but I can't sell it for any more. In that way, it prevents people buying up all the cheapest advance tickets and then selling them on for a profit, either by "touting" around a station, or selling them down the pub or online at close to the walk up price. But I agree there is a contradiction with 4.3.
 

Fawkes Cat

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I think it's designed to stop people trading in tickets to make a profit. If you can't sell it for more than you paid then what's the point
Indeed. To try and tie this tangent back to the original post, the OP's friend needs to think about why someone might be offering'cheap tickets'. It's possible that the vendor has legitimate access to cheap tickets, and is sharing their good fortune. But let's face it, it's not very likely, is it?

On the balance of probabilities, this is a scam to obtain money. Most people will recognise that there's something dodgy about tickets sold in volume below price. But they may decide that the money they save makes it worth ignoring the dodginess. And because they know it's dodgy, if they are taking advantage of the scheme they won't report it (because as users that will leave them in trouble as well).

In short: it's dodgy. Stay clear.
 

alistairlees

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These tickets are not PRIV tickets as they can’t be issued as eTickets (except in a couple of cases). They sound very much like corporate discount tickets. They should not be used by anyone other than the intended audience.
 

Roy Badami

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Did this change at some point recently, then? I had always understood, since many years ago, that tickets were technically non-transferable, even if in practice that was rarely, if ever, enforced.

EDIT: To answer my own question, it seems it wasn't historically allowed. I found a copy of NRCOC 2012, which said:

6. Transferring a ticket to another person
A ticket may only be used by the person who bought that ticket, or the person on whose behalf that ticket was bought. When a ticket is purchased on behalf of an organisation, business or similar entity, then that ticket may be used by any person employed by such entity unless otherwise shown on the ticket by means of a person’s name, photocard number or other identifying mark. In such cases it may only be used by the person so identified. No purchaser of a ticket may resell or transfer that ticket for value to anyone else unless this has been specifically allowed by the terms and conditions which apply to that ticket, and which will be made clear when you buy your ticket.
 
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thedbdiboy

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It was changed a few years back to reflect the requirements of the EU Passenger Rights Obligations directive which stated that use of tickets could not be restricted in this way unless the passenger's name is printed on them.
 

sheff1

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It was changed a few years back to reflect the requirements of the EU Passenger Rights Obligations directive which stated that use of tickets could not be restricted in this way unless the passenger's name is printed on them.
If it changed a few years back why were the NRCoT not changed until December 2019 ? The previous NRCoT (dated 11 March 2018) stated:
"5. Tickets are not transferable
5.1. A Ticket may only be used by the person who bought that Ticket or on whose behalf that Ticket was bought unless specifically allowed by the terms and conditions applying to that Ticket. A Ticket may not be resold to anyone else."
 

Roy Badami

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Agreed. In case it wasn't clear, I was just interested by the fact that there is no longer the blanket ban on ticket resale that there used to be. In the case at hand, I agree with the other posters here that there is likely to be something illegal going on and that anyone would be very ill advised to buy such tickets.

As the saying goes, if something seems to good to be true, it probably is...
 

thedbdiboy

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If it changed a few years back why were the NRCoT not changed until December 2019 ? The previous NRCoT (dated 11 March 2018) stated:
"5. Tickets are not transferable
5.1. A Ticket may only be used by the person who bought that Ticket or on whose behalf that Ticket was bought unless specifically allowed by the terms and conditions applying to that Ticket. A Ticket may not be resold to anyone else."
The old (ex-BR) conditions simply stated that tickets were not transferable. When the EUPRO took effect, the DfT made use of a transitional period to moderate the full requirements, which is why the NRCoT changed to the wording that allowed tickets to be used as per the intention of the purchaser, including businesses. This was a bit woolly (as clearly 'intent' can't be proven, as in 'yes I bought it but I did so on x's behalf and they gave the money for it'). The transitional qualifications were removed in the latest version, which is basically a straight lift from the EU legislation.
 

Elecman

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Wasn’t there a prosecution where it came to light that some company was encouraging delivery drivers ( Or something similar) to leave unwanted return parts of tickets in a messroom for others to use?
 

some bloke

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My friend thinks I am over reacting. They think that if I am correct, it will be the seller of the ticket who would be in trouble, not them as the User.
Have you asked them the basis of that legal opinion?

If they board without a valid ticket intending to travel (and aren't covered by the exceptions), that's a byelaw offence regardless of the reason for not having a valid ticket.

And:

Crown Prosecution Service said:
"Intent to avoid payment" does not require a dishonest intent, just an intent to avoid payment of the sum actually due: Browning v Floyd [1946] 2 All E.R. 367: where a man used the return portion of a non-transferable ticket given to him by his wife who had not used it, he was guilty of the offence and she was guilty of aiding and abetting him.
https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/transport-offences
 

LowLevel

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They are Adult tickets apparently being offered at half of face value. All done by way of Social Media.
A lot of these tickets are fakes being manufactured in a fraudulent way. I won't go into details but I've come across several of them - ticket inspectors are under instruction to refer suspected fake e-tickets for police attention immediately rather than just taking details etc - there has always been an immediate and substantial police response to the train as they're often linked to organised crime amongst other things.

The good news is that the police generally treat the persons in question, provided they cooperate with disclosing details of the purchase and vendor, as victims of crime rather than prosecuting them for fare evasion.
 

philthetube

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That may be deliberate given the common problem of people asking for and selling on ‘finished with’ travelcards at London terminals.
This problem has largely gone away with the advent of Oyster and contactless, there just aren't enough paper travelcards about to make it worth hanging around trying to find someone to ask.
 
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