GroupSave changes?

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bb21

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I have seen it argued a number of times on this forum that you should be advised of restrictions at the point of sale - you have been and don't like it, but that doesn't make it wrong.

I think this succinctly sums up the situation presented in this thread and the irony contained within.

Ultimately you are seeking confirmation from forum members that what you are doing is valid. The correct answer has been given.

No one can stop you if you want to ignore all that and still go ahead with it regardless. You may get away with it and you may not. You will not get unanimous support from here for the very simple reason that what you are doing is not valid and have been correctly advised. You cannot just pick and choose what you like and not. This, to me, firmly falls into the category of "taking the pee".
 
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jkdd77

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Am I the only one who thinks it is unsatisfactory that different TOCs publish different versions of the Groupsave conditions, given that it is an interavailable product?

For example, the FCC version of the Groupsave T & Cs: http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/tickets-and-fares/off-peak-tickets/groupsave/groupsave-tcs/
makes no mention of any 09:30 restriction.

Hypothetically, if the ticket had been purchased online, from the Southern website, in good faith, with itinerary and seat reservations [leaving aside the fact that the ticket would cost more due to the reduced discount percentage], then how exactly could the passenger possibly be expected to know that the ticket was invalid, given that the T & Cs he or she consulted appeared to permit it?
NRCoC Condition 12 said:
12. Restrictions on when you can travel
Restrictions apply to the use of some tickets (including those bought with a Railcard) in addition to/other than those in Condition 10 above such as the dates, days, and times when you can use them, and the trains in which they can be used. These restrictions will be made clear to you by the seller when you buy your ticket
The principle of unclear, opaque or contradictory publicly available conditions also applies to other matters. To give an example that is more favourable to the passenger, only a couple of TOCs make any mention in their Groupsave conditions of the little-known condition allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to travel as children as part of large groups of 10 or more. On the other hand, the Southern website claims that certain 'PB' Off-Peak Day Returns/ Travelcards prohibit BoJ, even though the T & Cs made available at the point of sale say that it is permitted unless the restriction code says otherwise (and the restriction code on the NRE website makes no mention of any BoJ restriction).

In such circumstances, what restrictions are enforceable, bearing in mind that information placed on Knowledgebase alone is not publicly available and so surely cannot form part of the contract for travel, unless the passenger is informed of the information at the point of sale, as indeed happened here? I do agree with tractakid that information on the Chiltern website alone is unlikely to be relevant to a ticket purchased elsewhere, for travel wholly on other operators.

If tractakid had purchased the Groupsave ticket in good faith, without being told by the seller or being otherwise aware that it might be invalid, and then used the ticket in good faith, he or she may have had a case for validity, or at any rate, acceptance of the ticket. As it is, however, having been informed of the restriction at the time of purchase, NRCoC Condition 12 has been fulfilled, and I would not advise attempting to use the ticket prior to 09:30, all the more so since the ticket has been marked to the effect that the passenger has been advised of the restrictions.
 
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barrykas

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Here are a couple of screenshots taken from Trainline and FasTIS that illustrate the "not valid before 09:30" rule being applied. I would've included a Journey Planner screenshot, but we've not got access to that any more.

On the Trainline shot, notice the lack of radio button under the 09:13 and 09:20 departures, and on the FasTIS one the 09:13 is greyed out, indicating the ticket isn't valid.

Trainline:


FasTIS:
 

tractakid

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It is utterly bizarre that the ONLY public place that such a restriction is stated is on a website belonging to an irrelevant TOC.

The ticket seller at Milton Keynes Central could find no written evidence of this 0930 rule, and wrote as such on the ticket! Which at best makes the whole situation rather confused.

I would like to say that I find results returned by non Southern or London Midland booking engines utterly irrelevant.

What would be helpful now is a consideration of all available options and potential outcomes.
 

island

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Potential outcome 1: Everything goes fine.
Potential outcome 2: You get refused through the ticket gates at MKC and have to buy an excess/new tickets.
Potential outcome 3: You get refused through the ticket gates at GTW and have to buy an excess/new tickets or get charged penalty fares or get reported.

Those are the main ones. In the latter two cases you then have lots of argument on your hands.
 

IanD

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It is utterly bizarre that the ONLY public place that such a restriction is stated is on a website belonging to an irrelevant TOC.

The ticket seller at Milton Keynes Central could find no written evidence of this 0930 rule, and wrote as such on the ticket! Which at best makes the whole situation rather confused.

I would like to say that I find results returned by non Southern or London Midland booking engines utterly irrelevant.

What would be helpful now is a consideration of all available options and potential outcomes.

How about contacting Southern and seeing what they say? After all, it's the information on their website that says that the tickets are valid and it's their services you will be using. Of course, if they then confirm that the 'secret' restrictions referred to by everyone else is correct then you're stuffed.
 

hairyhandedfool

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It is utterly bizarre that the ONLY public place that such a restriction is stated is on a website belonging to an irrelevant TOC....

It is in iKB (Knowledgebase) and to be honest, it's not especially hard to find, but only ticket office staff could provide you a copy of that.
 

Haywain

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The principle of unclear, opaque or contradictory publicly available conditions also applies to other matters. To give an example that is more favourable to the passenger, only a couple of TOCs make any mention in their Groupsave conditions of the little-known condition allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to travel as children as part of large groups of 10 or more. On the other hand, the Southern website claims that certain 'PB' Off-Peak Day Returns/ Travelcards prohibit BoJ, even though the T & Cs made available at the point of sale say that it is permitted unless the restriction code says otherwise (and the restriction code on the NRE website makes no mention of any BoJ restriction).
The reason TOCs don't mention this is because it is not a condition of Groupsave. It is actually related to Group travel, which is a different thing and not available across the counter. For Groupsave the normal adult/child distinctions apply.
 

jkdd77

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The reason TOCs don't mention this is because it is not a condition of Groupsave. It is actually related to Group travel, which is a different thing and not available across the counter. For Groupsave the normal adult/child distinctions apply.

I stand corrected.
 

tractakid

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How about contacting Southern and seeing what they say? After all, it's the information on their website that says that the tickets are valid and it's their services you will be using. Of course, if they then confirm that the 'secret' restrictions referred to by everyone else is correct then you're stuffed.

I have sent Southern an email.
 

bignosemac

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Chiltern are saying on Twitter that they are continuing the old offer (4 for 2). Having spoken on the phone to them they've confirmed this, currently only available from stations until the booking engine is updated.

I was told it is only for flows they price, but what about tickets marked 'Any Permitted'?

So it looks like complexity and potential problems have been added to the system by one rogue TOC. This is not the same as the issue with CrossCountry not accepting 'Any Permitted' GroupSave discounted tickets as they are not in the scheme full stop.

FGW are in the GroupSave schem So what If I purchase London Terminals to Banbury Off Peak Return (Any Permitted) GroupSave 4 for 2, which is priced by Chiltern? That should be valid from Paddington via Oxford as well as direct from Marylebone. Chiltern told me by phone that FGW won't accept the old offer. How so? Any such restriction should be printed on the ticket. Can FGW get away with saying we accept GroupSave, but not this type of GroupSave? Surely Chiltern need to introduce Chiltern Only to all the flows where they are pricing GroupSave valid fares at 4 for the price of 2.

It's not just with FGW there could be problems. There are 'Any Permitted' flows priced by Chiltern where you can use London Midland for part of the journey as well. London Midland are also in the GroupSave scheme.
 

Deerfold

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Chiltern are saying on Twitter that they are continuing the old offer (4 for 2). Having spoken on the phone to them they've confirmed this, currently only available from stations until the booking engine is updated.

I was told it is only for flows they price, but what about tickets marked 'Any Permitted'?

So it looks like complexity and potential problems have been added to the system by one rogue TOC. This is not the same as the issue with CrossCountry not accepting 'Any Permitted' GroupSave discounted tickets as they are not in the scheme full stop.

FGW are in the GroupSave schem So what If I purchase London Terminals to Banbury Off Peak Return (Any Permitted) GroupSave 4 for 2, which is priced by Chiltern? That should be valid from Paddington via Oxford as well as direct from Marylebone. Chiltern told me by phone that FGW won't accept the old offer. How so? Any such restriction should be printed on the ticket. Can FGW get away with saying we accept GroupSave, but not this type of GroupSave? Surely Chiltern need to introduce Chiltern Only to all the flows where they are pricing GroupSave valid fares at 4 for the price of 2.

It's not just with FGW there could be problems. There are 'Any Permitted' flows priced by Chiltern where you can use London Midland for part of the journey as well. London Midland are also in the GroupSave scheme.

I've just had an offer e-mail from Chiltern inviting me to travel this weekend, promoting 4-for-2 groupsave (It simply says "With Groupsave 4 travel for the price of 2" - which seems misleading- though if you click the link it takes you to an area that describes it as a "Small Group Discount").

http://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/t...l&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=latemaybh2014
 
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Haywain

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Chiltern are saying on Twitter that they are continuing the old offer (4 for 2). Having spoken on the phone to them they've confirmed this, currently only available from stations until the booking engine is updated.

I was told it is only for flows they price, but what about tickets marked 'Any Permitted'?

So it looks like complexity and potential problems have been added to the system by one rogue TOC. This is not the same as the issue with CrossCountry not accepting 'Any Permitted' GroupSave discounted tickets as they are not in the scheme full stop.

FGW are in the GroupSave schem So what If I purchase London Terminals to Banbury Off Peak Return (Any Permitted) GroupSave 4 for 2, which is priced by Chiltern? That should be valid from Paddington via Oxford as well as direct from Marylebone. Chiltern told me by phone that FGW won't accept the old offer. How so? Any such restriction should be printed on the ticket. Can FGW get away with saying we accept GroupSave, but not this type of GroupSave? Surely Chiltern need to introduce Chiltern Only to all the flows where they are pricing GroupSave valid fares at 4 for the price of 2.

It's not just with FGW there could be problems. There are 'Any Permitted' flows priced by Chiltern where you can use London Midland for part of the journey as well. London Midland are also in the GroupSave scheme.
They wouldn't be permitted to set a "Chiltern only" fare on flows where they are the lead operator and fare setter, so that isn't an option.

However, looking at their website, it is clear that this is a Small Group Discount and not Groupsave which is also available. They are also clear about where it can be used:
10. Tickets with the Small Group discount are only valid for travel on services operated by Chiltern Railways and London Midland. They are not valid for travel on services operated by Virgin Trains, CrossCountry or First Great Western, other than Off Peak Day Travelcards are valid for travel on First Great Western services within the London Fare Zones.
 

sarahj

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Noticed yesterday that while the advantix will happily GSV a travelcard, it wont discount a eg Eastbourne to Zones 1-6 SVR. (ebn to 0786)

TBH a pain, but I old the punters standard GSV Ebn to london terminals SVR's and told them to use oyters in london as the £12.00 extra for this ticket is not worth it for the one tube trip in zone 1 they were going to use it for.

Anyway, its been reported. Not sure if the websites are the same.

GS4 is till on the advantix, but does not work now.
 

bignosemac

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However, looking at their website, it is clear that this is a Small Group Discount and not Groupsave which is also available. They are also clear about where it can be used:
10. Tickets with the Small Group discount are only valid for travel on services operated by Chiltern Railways and London Midland. They are not valid for travel on services operated by Virgin Trains, CrossCountry or First Great Western, other than Off Peak Day Travelcards are valid for travel on First Great Western services within the London Fare Zones.

What will the routeing say on these '2 Pay 4 Travel' tickets though? If it's an offer unique to Chiltern and London Midland, that surely needs to be communicated on the ticket. If the tickets say 'Any Permitted'... Also if it's an offer unique to a couple of TOCs, can it be made available 365 days a year? Isn't there some rule about TOC specific special offers only being available for so many weeks in the year?
 

hairyhandedfool

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The rules for tickets may be different to the rules for discounts, but I'd have to look that up to be sure.
 

bignosemac

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The rules for tickets may be different to the rules for discounts, but I'd have to look that up to be sure.

The National Rail Conditions of Carriage will be the same for both. How will Chiltern get around the requirement for any TOC restriction to be printed on the ticket?
 

johnnycache

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Groupsave has never been available on some TOCs and this has never been printed on tickets

Its a weakness of groupsave that it is organised as a series of separate TOC initiatives rather than as a co-ordinated scheme like the national railcards
This is one area where ATOC definitely adds value

Its perhaps not generally known (by passengers) that groupsave can be used for most journeys in the south-east using multiple tocs - often it seems that its just something your local TOC offers.

So passengers have always had to find out from the small print that they can't use East Coast or Virgin Trains as the ticket doesn't refer to any restrictions

It would have been good if the operators had created a groupsave scheme as part of the latest round of changes and produced a leaflet with a network map and a set of common terms and restrictions
 

bignosemac

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And it would have been good if one TOC, Chiltern, hadn't had to go and complicate things by being part of the new scheme and having to continue the old one for journeys into London.

Strange that they didn't go for a derogation of the franchise terms that mean they have to continue offering the old scheme. Perhaps they didn't realise until too late. Can't have been for revenue reasons as they are losing out having to still offer 4 for 2 on journeys to and from Marylebone.

I'm still interested in the workaround they are going to use for their continuation of GroupSave 4 for 2. What are the revenue share implications for tickets such as, say, Solihull to London Terminals that would have previously been valid on, and had some portion of the fare going to, First Great Western? As lead operator they can't make this a TOC only product.
 

bb21

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I'm still interested in the workaround they are going to use for their continuation of GroupSave 4 for 2. What are the revenue share implications for tickets such as, say, Solihull to London Terminals that would have previously been valid on, and had some portion of the fare going to, First Great Western? As lead operator they can't make this a TOC only product.

Either consent from FGW is not required, or that they already have made arrangements with FGW for offering the additional discount. (Not sure which one.)

I would imagine it would be similar to what happened when LM did 50% sales on some flows.
 

bignosemac

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I was told by Chiltern quite categorically that the new 'old' Chiltern GroupSave will not be valid on FGW. Their own website says it is only valid with Chiltern and London Midland. That's why I'm interested to see what fudge they've made with these tickets, in particularly the 'route' field printed on them.
 

CyrusWuff

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bignosemac:1807814 said:
I was told by Chiltern quite categorically that the new 'old' Chiltern GroupSave will not be valid on FGW. Their own website says it is only valid with Chiltern and London Midland. That's why I'm interested to see what fudge they've made with these tickets, in particularly the 'route' field printed on them.

Tickets issued with the Chiltern "Small Group Discount" print a status indicator of GU3, GU4 or GUC, whereas those issued with a GroupSave discount now print with an indicator of GSV.

In all other respects, the tickets are printed with exactly the same ticket type and route details as an undiscounted ticket for the same journey.
 

johnnycache

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Solihull to London has route via High Wycombe fares set by Chiltern
I would expect the old groupsave tickets to be issued for this route only
ORCATS will only consider trains that pass through High Wycombe (as long as High Wycombe is a "green" station which i'm sure it is) for revenue allocation - so Chiltern will get virtually 100%
The Any Permitted fares set by Virgin West Coast will allocate revenue according to any route that does not go through High Wycombe - First Great Western may pick up a few pounds here but i assume the new groupsave rules will apply with these fares (and they are not accepted by Virgin).
Virgin will continue to be allocated revenue in the normal way (even though they don't accept the tickets) unless one of the other TOCs challenges it
 
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CyrusWuff

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Here's one to ponder:

Super Off-Peak tickets between London and the West Midlands routed "Any Permitted" are valid on Chiltern, subject to the time restrictions Virgin have set.

As said tickets use the old "SuperSaver" ticket types (SSS and SSR) they theoretically attract a GroupSave discount, even though Virgin wouldn't accept them with same.

Would it be permissible to issue said tickets at the discounted rate purely for travel on Chiltern services?
 

johnnycache

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i have just checked the Chiltern website (which is ATOS webTIS based) and was able to select the following for a group of 4 adults for Wednesday 04 June

Birmingham Moor Street 1115
London Marylebone 1308

London Marylebone 2115
Birmingham Moor Street 2302

Total fare £84.40

That is 4 adults at £21.10 each reduced from £32.00 (super off-peak return)

So yes you can buy a super off-peak return and get the new groupsave discount and travel on Chiltern
 

RJ

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i have just checked the Chiltern website (which is ATOS webTIS based) and was able to select the following for a group of 4 adults for Wednesday 04 June

Birmingham Moor Street 1115
London Marylebone 1308

London Marylebone 2115
Birmingham Moor Street 2302

Total fare £84.40

That is 4 adults at £21.10 each reduced from £32.00 (super off-peak return)

So yes you can buy a super off-peak return and get the new groupsave discount and travel on Chiltern

Yes - there are some operators that have kept on the '2 pay 4 travel' type scheme - details of which and other "small group" schemes are all contained on one page in the Knowledgebase. I've no reason to suspect it wouldn't apply to any SSS/SSR valid on their route, even temporary ones.
 
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johnnycache

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Yes - there are some operators that have kept on the '2 pay 4 travel' type scheme - details of which and other "small group" schemes are all contained on one page in the Knowledgebase.

Is it just Chiltern or are there others too?
 

387star

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Sorry has kids for a quid been abolished? I read somewhere flat rate fares for children can still be issued with groupsave
 
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