Fun with BZ6 tickets- Dartford

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by rg177, 11 Jul 2019.

  1. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    Just had an interesting experience.

    Popped out at Dartford with my 1-9 Travelcard intending to purchase a BZ6-Gillingham return for £6.95 with 16-25 railcard. Seems simple enough.

    Woman at the ticket office firstly quoted £10.70 despite me saying with railcard and showing said railcard. Took me challenging her to be quoted £7.05 which didn't click as being wrong as it was only 10p.

    I get handed a return from Slade Green. Useless, as I'm returning via Longfield and Bromley South! She then gets very defensive when I tell her she's sold me the wrong thing, that she's trying to save me money and it's policy to sell tickets from Slade Green not BZ6 and "that's what you asked for".

    I told her no, I asked for a BZ6 return and so I expected to be a sold a BZ6 return which is in fact slightly cheaper! Another load of sarcasm and "sorry for bothering to help you" later, followed by awkwardly refunding and purchasing again, I walk away with the correct tickets.

    For the record, I wasn't rude to her in return and was just stating what I wanted and that I'd been sold the product incorrectly.

    So is this SE policy to just sell from Slade Green no matter what people ask for, or did I just deal with a complete pain in the backside of a staff member?
     
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  3. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    People like that need to be spoken to in a language they understand, otherwise they'll walk all over you even if they are in the wrong.

    You asked for a BZ6 - Gillingham return and was given something else. Hand the tickets back and in as few words as possible, tell her that's not a BZ6 - Gillingham return and ask her to sell you what you asked for.

    Everyone makes mistakes and has lapses of concentration but if their attitude then stinks when you politely ask them to correct it then you need to be firm with them. Being too nice to people like this will get their back up.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jul 2019
  4. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    I was pretty matter of fact with her while she went off on her rather odd monologue.

    After she started getting rude I just silently did as asked, carried out the second transaction and walked away, as she clearly wasn't capable of being told she was wrong or talking to me like a normal human being.

    After I walked off she proceeded to rip into the person behind me in the queue for whatever reason in the same way about what they were asking for so it certainly wasn't personal.
     
  5. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Some people enjoy doing their job in that manner and arguing with people they cause issues for. The less time spent interacting with them, the better.
     
  6. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    There really ought to be boundary zone 8/9 tickets to stations via Chatham as both Dartford and Swanley are in zone 8.
     
  7. 800002

    800002 Member

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    When you talk about zones 7,8 and 9 - on southeastern, at least, what is it you are referring to?

    As far as I can find out, zones end with zone 6, at slade green / barnehurst / crayford. Oyster being accepted at Dartford, as an extension to zone 6.
     
  8. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    If you look at the London Rail and Tube services map you'll see that both Dartford and Swanley are in zone 8. Travelcards valid up to zones 8 or 9 are valid at both stations.
     
  9. 800002

    800002 Member

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    Thanks!
    Affraid Google rather let me down on that one.
    Are you able to say when this amendemnt took place?

    Maybe more importantly - is there BZ8 / BZ9 to whereever one wants to travel to excess / ticket available?
    Thanks again kind sir.
     
  10. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Dartford was September 2015, Swanley slightly later.

    As far as I know there are no BZ8/BZ9 tickets available, even where they have been a thing for decades (eg Amersham). I still thnk they ought to be introduced, especially as more places now have stations in them.
     
  11. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

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    I think rg177 may have picked up a distant echo of the policy that BZ246 fares could only be sold from stations within those zones and that outside the zones the station nearest the boundary would be used as the origin/destination. Thus Dartford to BZ6 would be sold as Dartford to Slade Green or another specific station meaning that a route E. of Dartford has to be specified. I am not sure if this is still a rule: I managed to get a BZ2 to Didcot issued at Swindon the other day but TSGN stations south of Gatwick still seem to want to issue a ticket to either or Clapham Jnc or Honor Oak Park when I try buying a BZ2 ticket that way round. Maybe MikeWH knows the definitive position? In the meantime, I would suggest trying to buy tickets at LBG going forward: the ticket office there is normally reasonably helpful?
     
  12. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    Newcastle ticket office have merrily sold me BZ6 tickets without issue before. Then again they've never refused me a sale of any ticket no matter how wildly away from Newcastle it is!

    If the policy was that you have to be within the zones, then this should be properly communicated. What I was told yesterday was that they just sell tickets from Slade Green because it's 'helpful' and cheaper. Which it isn't!
     
  13. district

    district Established Member

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    This isn’t the policy. If a passenger asks for a Boundary Zone ticket then this is what they should be sold. However, some passengers (for example passengers with London freedom passes which have validity in the Travelcard zones) will ask for a ticket specifically for Knockholt (the first station where their pass has validity) in which case this is what they are sold. But if they show one of these passes and ask for a ticket to London, then they should be sold the Boundary Zone ticket.
    I’m not sure if any policy has existed in the past as you suggest, but it certainly doesn’t now as far as I’m aware.
     
  14. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Looking at the National Rail journey planner and corroborated by Southeastern's website, the following singles are valid via Gillingham and can be purchased without the need to go to a ticket office.

    Dartford to Swanley - £12.60
    Slade Green or Barnehurst or Crayford to Swanley - £10.60
    Dartford to St Mary Cray - £7.70
    Slade Green or Barnehurst or Crayford to St Mary Cray - £4.50

    The fares all offer different levels of flexibility on what trains you can take, which is presumably why the prices vary. Some trains from Gillingham to London stop at Swanley and some of those also stop at St Mary Cray.

    If Dartford to St Mary Cray is valid by that route then Dartford to Boundary Zone 6 is too for £2.90 with the most flexibility on trains that can be taken of them all.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2019

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