Good ol' Auntie Beeb...

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Failed Unit

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I don't get why they are not retained, scotrail ones are always retained on exit. If you station was no barrier on entry you can't use it again the other way as the barrier will reject it if you try and put it in again. Staff at the gate line will always put the ticket through.

Yes they are easy to abuse, but I don't see reuse through barriers as one way. Lack of ticket checks on trains is the biggest risk.
 

ess

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the ones to london terminals on gn are valid to moorgate on lu so they shouldn't be retained by the barriers
 

Mike395

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I can see FCC's point here, although I don't agree with outward & return portions being the answer (granted, I can't yet think of a better solution) - the issue is that at stations like Bedford, a huge queue would form at the wide gate if every ticket was put through the barrier - especially in the peaks, they just let everyone through with a visual inspection of their ticket.

It doesn't help in that respect that FCC seem to have a permanent block on railcard-discounted tickets on their barriers outside Z1-6.
 

jon0844

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We should be more concerned at the content of the article.... Does seem like FCC pulled a fast one there
Besides wondering why someone would use carnets to go to work (as against buying a season), it may be that the writer is wrong - and perhaps should have checked with FCC before writing anything.

I am going to check myself, but I am hopeful that the rather clever fraud that this change has now eliminated will enable me to buy a peak excess on the few occasions I need to travel before 0930. If that's the case, the BBC writer will be able to do what he wants - by simply buying five peak upgrades for the outbound legs.

The pricing is still the same, and the tickets are all valid for three months. Thus, you could travel in to London today and back tomorrow on your return, or the next day after - or in fact up to three months from the purchase date.

You can even buy a carnet pack to start in the future, to extend the three months usage period if you really don't travel often but want to have some ready.

My real problem with them is the paper stock making it so risky when writing in the date. Other than that, they work fine and I actually think the change will have helped me if they confirm you can excess them AND they aren't restricted in the evening peak if a normal ticket wouldn't be (and if the say otherwise, I'll take things further as the deal is 10 tickets for the price of 9. That implies they're the same as buying ten tickets, not different tickets for which there's no actual comparison).

FCC said:
"Because they are valid in any direction for three months and are non-date specific, our ticket gates don't retain the tickets upon returning to the home station.
Yes they do! It's only at King's Cross (I'm talking only about the GN side here) that they give them back, because you can continue on to Moorgate via the Northern Line [not sure if the underground gates take them though, or say seek assistance as normal tickets usually do]. When I go back to Hatfield, it's taken by the machine. I expect the same will happen with the new ones, so you'll still be given the ticket back at KGX.

FCC probably won't want to detail what the real fraud was, but using a ticket over and over for ages wouldn't be possible if they're dated. And I've had them checked loads of times and they always check the date - and I'd expect to be prosecuted if caught using a ticket again. Surely anyone showing one should have the ticket taken, or be made to use the gate? The gate would at the very least mark the magstrip to show it had been used.
 
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calc7

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Well the first day of opening of the Thameslink route was in 1866.
I remember when a friend at uni told me, upon the commencement of the W&S service from Shrewsbury to London, that "they'd just built and opened a new line from Shropshire to London". Oh how I smiled.
 

yorksrob

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Besides wondering why someone would use carnets to go to work (as against buying a season), it may be that the writer is wrong - and perhaps should have checked with FCC before writing anything.
I think some people may work some days in London and some days at home - hence a season would be a waste of money as you have to travel several days in a row to get the benefit.

Why they can't just retain or invalidate the used portion, whichever direction the traveller is going in as it's used, I'm not sure. Does sound like they've pulled a fast one to me I'm afraid.
 

transmanche

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Couldn't FCC have bought a stack of ex-LUL Carnet validators (I bet they're knocking about in a cupboard somewhere) to fit at unbarriered stations? I can't understand why FCC can't make the system work, if LUL managed to do it...

Although it's just another argument for a faster rollout of ITSO smartcards.
 

jon0844

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Let's wait until I (or someone else) confirms if you can excess these tickets. If you can, it's a non-story.

And, yes, you could excess the old tickets until they suddenly refused to issue them because of fraud. Seemed a bit unfair but as they've effectively solved the problem now, it's not going to be so bad if they can now go back to doing them.
 

IanD

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Let's wait until I (or someone else) confirms if you can excess these tickets. If you can, it's a non-story.
It would only be a non-story to those who know about excesses.

Most people I know have no idea what an excess fare is, they think it is some sort of fine and are unaware of how useful they can be.
 

jon0844

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It would only be a non-story to those who know about excesses.

Most people I know have no idea what an excess fare is, they think it is some sort of fine and are unaware of how useful they can be.
Well, you have a point - except the writer could inform a lot of people by saying what an excess is. Instead of writing a blog that could turn out to be, well, wrong.

Personally, I doubt people would think that paying an excess on their ticket to upgrade it in some way is like a fine. I am sure people are used to paying an excess to upgrade to first class, or perhaps get better seats in a theatre.

If people wish to call an excess an 'upgrade' that's fine - I am sure most people at a railway ticket office would understand.
 

mailman

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So FCC has changed the carnet system...which in reality appealed to me as I dont have to work in London 5 days a week and would have used a mix of peak and off peak. However thats now a thing of the past if the article is to be believed.

Naughty FCC!

Mailman
 

jon0844

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I am not travelling into London anytime soon, so can someone please ask FCC (at a station) if you can excess an off-peak carnet ticket? You used to be able to, so I can't see any reason why not. I'm not even sure FCC was allowed to refuse to do upgrades before, even if they were worried about fraud.

If you can, you can buy an off-peak pack and upgrade as and when required (which can be in advance of travel - the excess is valid as long as the ticket you're excessing). This could be a win on those days where you oversleep, or can actually go in later.

In fact, it's the peak carnet pack that is more likely an issue - if both ways are peak and you're coming back off-peak.

Once clarified, we can decide if FCC is being naughty or not.
 

IanD

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Personally, I doubt people would think that paying an excess on their ticket to upgrade it in some way is like a fine. I am sure people are used to paying an excess to upgrade to first class, or perhaps get better seats in a theatre.
What I mean is that I believe that most people are unaware of what an excess fare is. The most well-known usage of excess is the excess baggage charge when flying. People see this as a "penalty" or "fine" for taking too much luggage.

The writer of the blog may have misled people but FCC should be obliged to inform customers that they can excess/upgrade one half of this ticket if necessary.

I've known people to throw away tickets they think are "unusable" when in most cases they could have done some sort of excess. For example my friend who had an off peak ticket from London to Northampton http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=65450 was just going to throw it away and buy a peak ticket - she didn't even know she could get a refund for it let alone try and excess it and potentially save a fortune.
 
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