Gold Card Validity

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Bert1977, 20 Apr 2015.

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  1. Bert1977

    Bert1977 New Member

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    Hi there

    This morning I went to a train station and got a season ticket lasting one month and 3 days from the station to London Terminals.

    To my surprise, the ticket officer gave me a 'Annual Gold Card' season ticket. I queried this and they said I was entitled to one because my season ticket is longer than one month. However I thought you only got a gold card if you got an annual season ticket.

    I've read enough horror stories on here about people getting prosecuted for travelling on invalid tickets so am I allowed a gold card on a season ticket lasting one month and 3 days or has the ticket officer made a mistake? The TOC is Great Northern if that makes any difference. I'd rather not identify the exact station I purchased it from however for obvious reasons!

    Thanks

    Bert
     
  2. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Correct. This was a mistake.
    It's a mistake and therefore you're advised not to obtain any Gold Card discounted tickets with it.

    Perhaps you can advise the booking clerk the next time you see them. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to pick up a leaflet, but I am not sure if there is such a thing as a Gold Card leaflet. Alternatively this document can assist.
     
  3. First class

    First class Established Member

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    It is an issuing error.

    Worst case is that an RPI withdraws it and you will have to obtain a (free) replacement, with added days for any lost validity. That is the official procedure as it is technically a ticket irregularity.

    I suspect that as long as you just use it as a season, and not attempt to use any Gold Card benefits, that you'll be fine until it comes up for renewal.

    If you're VERY worried, just "lose" it, pay £10 for a replacement on the correct stock, but you really don't need to.
     
  4. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    The clerk made a mistake.

    I work in a ticket office and have used the "Tribute" ticket issuing software that Great Northern use. When season tickets for longer than a month are purchased, the machine ejects the standard orange ticket stock and requests special period season stock to be fed in. For period season tickets, this will be blue stock, or grey stock if the station still has them.

    I've been where I am for 2 years and 2 weeks now and never been asked for a period season ticket - only weeklies, monthlies and annuals. If they are so rarely issued elsewhere, it's possible the clerk wasn't aware of the correct stock that ought to be used. Maybe there's a supply of blue season stock in their office which is turning yellow with age.

    I doubt you can be prosecuted for the ticket simply being on the wrong stock - perhaps you might if you used it to get Gold Card discounted tickets however. If you want a ticket on the correct stock, I suggest dropping into another Great Northern ticket office and asking for a replacement, which is free of charge.
     
    Last edited: 20 Apr 2015
  5. Bert1977

    Bert1977 New Member

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    Thank you both. Not willing to pay £10 for something which isn't my fault, so I think the best thing to do would be to take the ticket back to the office tomorrow morning and ask for a replacement - unless you can think of a reason why I would get in trouble.

    The regular booking office clerk (it's quite a small station) is quite pleasant and I am guessing if they are doing this regularly may get in trouble from their bosses, so I'd rather they knew so they don't get in trouble.

    Thanks

    Bert.
     
  6. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

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    You're correct. Season tickets (other than some products issued on behalf of PTEs) of up to one calendar month should be issued on ordinary "orange" stock (RSP 9599 for the most part), with longer periods issued on blue season ticket stock (RSP 9699).

    This has, in fact, been the case since 2005, but there are still some Ticket Offices using the wrong stock (e.g. using pre-printed Travelcard Season stock, then wondering why the TIS overprints it).

    The main exception being Annual Seasons and Annual Travelcard Seasons in the Gold Card Area, which are issued on the appropriate Gold Card stock when sold at a station in the area, or through a Business Travel Office.

    Theoretically, the "worst" that should happen is that an RPI withdraws it as an issuing irregularity and advises you to get a (free) replacement. After all, it's not your fault that it was issued on the wrong stock.
     
  7. First class

    First class Established Member

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    I would almost bet that they will refuse to replace it for you if you go back. They'll tell you not to worry and crack on using it.
     
  8. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    I don't work for Great Northern, but I'd happily replace it if it was brought to my window. Customers of the railway ought not to be put in a position of worry because of clerical errors.
     
  9. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

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    In theory, it should be possible to get a replacement issued at any Ticket Office, though I suspect a not insignificant number wouldn't touch it with a bargepole due to the issuing error.

    Saying that, I'm not sure what sort of season ticket recording system GTR use on the Great Northern side, but it MAY be possible to get a replacement issued at another Great Northern office without too much hassle.
     
  10. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I concur that you won't get into any trouble if you simply use it as a normal season ticket. It is clearly an issuing error. You could get into hot water if you tried to get discounted tickets using the gold card appearance, but if you don't do that then you've nothing to worry about.
     
  11. causton

    causton Established Member

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    How did you know? :lol:

    We still have tons of them, thanks to Oyster we issue about 1 or 2 period Travelcards a month I guess! And 2 or 3 school term length seasons, that's about it for odd-period seasons...
     
  12. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    I would advise the above, quoted, course of action.
     
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