GWR will not do zero fare excess

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s3an

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I went into the Paddington ticket office (12.35) to get my return half of a Newport - Paddington excessed to Abergavenny and they wouldn't/couldn't do me an excess.

It seems anyone who did it previously couldn't/shouldn't have. I went to two different people who said they would sell me a single Newport-Abergavenny, but excesses don't exist. i was advised that I should buy my ticket at Abergavenny and that it can't be done because I have left Newport.
I asked where it said all this and the guy thumbed through a booklet trying to find it, until I got bored and left.

the supervisor wasn't at all helpful, as he was wandering around picking up litter. he just repeated what I'd already been told.

I usually buy online if I know I am going back to Abergavenny, but sometimes I get a call late at night and I have to catch the 5.30am from Newport the next day.
Arriva help say their machines sell tickets from any destination, but they don't and the ticket office staff at Newport say the machines don't too.

Any help getting this sorted? Anyone from GWR like to comment?
 
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LexyBoy

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Paddington aren't great IME, I've had various problems such as being overcharged on a change of route excess and being refused to book tickets with reservations for a journey to Edinburgh via Glasgow.

I believe in this case they are correct in that overdistance excesses shouldn't be issued for travel beyond the origin station (IIRC, it's a bit confusingly worded). However if the ticket office is closed at Newport when you start your journey, you are entitled to change your ticket for the one you intended to buy (NRCoC Condition 3). This should be done before the completion of your outward journey - best bet would be the guard on board the morning train.
 

Sprinter153

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A lot of staff are concerned about doing zero fares because they're scrutinised and there's paperwork (though at least where I'm from it's only a two line box at the bottom of the TIS operator sheet!). I've done literally hundreds for various reasons (overdistance, change of ticket type, withdrawal of original ticket for investigation) and never been questioned on it.
 

hairyhandedfool

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I went into the Paddington ticket office (12.35) to get my return half of a Newport - Paddington excessed to Abergavenny and they wouldn't/couldn't do me an excess.

It seems anyone who did it previously couldn't/shouldn't have. I went to two different people who said they would sell me a single Newport-Abergavenny, but excesses don't exist. i was advised that I should buy my ticket at Abergavenny and that it can't be done because I have left Newport.
I asked where it said all this and the guy thumbed through a booklet trying to find it, until I got bored and left.

the supervisor wasn't at all helpful, as he was wandering around picking up litter. he just repeated what I'd already been told.

I usually buy online if I know I am going back to Abergavenny, but sometimes I get a call late at night and I have to catch the 5.30am from Newport the next day.
Arriva help say their machines sell tickets from any destination, but they don't and the ticket office staff at Newport say the machines don't too.

Any help getting this sorted? Anyone from GWR like to comment?

I'm not from GWR, but there may be two issues at play here.

First is the zero fare aspect. Some train companies (and some local managers) don't like zero fare tickets being issued, there is a small cost for each one being issued, although I doubt that it is very much.

Second is the wording of the excess fares rules. This would be an "over-distance (travelling beyond the destination on the ticket)" excess fare. There is nothing to say if the destination is the destination on the outward part of the ticket only, or if the destination can be as printed on the return part of a return ticket. This is further not helped by the wording that it can only be done before boarding a train, again without being entirely clear about what that means in terms of the return journey. As far as I can tell, there is no contractual right to this excess fare.
 

tony_mac

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As he was unable to buy it before boarding, then the ticket bought could be considered a 'part payment' under condition 3.
This would need to be exchanged 'as soon as is reasonably practicable'- I guess this could be a while later bearing in mind the difficulty in getting someone to actually do it.
 

Starmill

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Is it possible for you to buy a ticket with an origin of Abergavenny online and collect it at Newport before you travel when the ticket office is closed?
 

hairyhandedfool

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As he was unable to buy it before boarding, then the ticket bought could be considered a 'part payment' under condition 3.
This would need to be exchanged 'as soon as is reasonably practicable'- I guess this could be a while later bearing in mind the difficulty in getting someone to actually do it.

Could the Op buy an appropriate ticket for the journey they are making? No straight forward answer to that, but, given what the op intends to do and what they already have, I'd have to lean towards an appropriate ticket being available (a Newport-Abergavenny Single).
 

s3an

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Paddington aren't great IME, I've had various problems such as being overcharged on a change of route excess and being refused to book tickets with reservations for a journey to Edinburgh via Glasgow.

I believe in this case they are correct in that overdistance excesses shouldn't be issued for travel beyond the origin station (IIRC, it's a bit confusingly worded). However if the ticket office is closed at Newport when you start your journey, you are entitled to change your ticket for the one you intended to buy (NRCoC Condition 3). This should be done before the completion of your outward journey - best bet would be the guard on board the morning train.

Newport ticket office is not open at 5.30am. The guards on the 5.30am train seem to be good at checking tickets and selling(?) new tickets, but tell me of the excess 'it's best done at Paddington ticket office'.

Newport ticket office will do it, if I can manage to change trains there during the day. I have to explain that the ticket hasn't been used and that Paddington won't excess it. They laugh.

There used to be staff in the old ticket office at Paddington who could do it. it involved writing things in a book and printing a receipt from the machine and stapling that in too. And stapling the two tickets together - not something you want when you catch the 19.15 to South Wales on a Friday :)
 

Starmill

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It's a bit of a waste of £8.80 though for the OP, as they don't get anything that they wouldn't with the ticket they already wanted to buy.
 

s3an

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Is it possible for you to buy a ticket with an origin of Abergavenny online and collect it at Newport before you travel when the ticket office is closed?

I travel into London twice a week, sometimes three times. If i know enough time in advance I buy online. If I take a car to Newport that is fine. BUT occasionally I know a few hours before travelling and I don't have access to a car and get driven by my wife.

The last time I got an excess was nearly a year ago.
 

tony_mac

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Could the Op buy an appropriate ticket for the journey they are making? No straight forward answer to that


The passenger wants to buy an Abergavenny to Paddington return, which is perfectly valid for his journey, but can't because the ticket machine at Newport doesn't happen to sell it.

I can't see why an Abergavenny to Paddington return is not an appropriate ticket for that passenger, but I realise that there will always be some people who have a different opinion.
 

s3an

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It's a bit of a waste of £8.80 though for the OP, as they don't get anything that they wouldn't with the ticket they already wanted to buy.

yes, that is the point!

A few years ago I had five tickets that needed excessing in a matter of two months.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Could the Op buy an appropriate ticket for the journey they are making? No straight forward answer to that, but, given what the op intends to do and what they already have, I'd have to lean towards an appropriate ticket being available (a Newport-Abergavenny Single).

What I could do i suppose is take a photo of the Abergavenny TVM, with the handwritten note saying it has a problem with some cards, and buy on the train. ??

I have never claimed delay repay, because FGR/GWR have always got me home, which I think is being fair to them, but I expect them to be fair to me in return.
 
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Clip

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I travel into London twice a week, sometimes three times. If i know enough time in advance I buy online. If I take a car to Newport that is fine. BUT occasionally I know a few hours before travelling and I don't have access to a car and get driven by my wife.

The last time I got an excess was nearly a year ago.

You can still buy the ticket you require online and pick it up from Newport TVMs though - I assume these are accessible when the station is open for the first trains?
 

s3an

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You can still buy the ticket you require online and pick it up from Newport TVMs though - I assume these are accessible when the station is open for the first trains?

No I can't. I sometimes get a call at 11pm (or later) at night, which means I need to be up at 4am, so I go to bed. I drive her to Newport and she drives back. How am I supposed to buy a ticket?


What did people used to do when buying a ticket for an early train in a situation like this? Were the ticket offices open before the first train? Could you buy on the train?
 
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Darandio

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No I can't. I sometimes get a call at 11pm (or later) at night, which means I need to be up at 4am, so I go to bed. I drive her to Newport and she drives back. How am I supposed to buy a ticket?

Online, presumably after you get the call, or when you get up?
 

sheff1

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If I understand things correctly, you buy a return from Newport to London from the guard on the 0530 train, without difficulty, because the booking office is closed.

If that is the case, the same guard should be able to sell you an Abergavenny to London return just as easily - there is no break of journey restriction on this ticket, so starting short at Newport is fine.
 

trentside

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I believe there have been problems in the past obtaining relatively simple excess fares from GWR ticket offices, as well as various other issues. Unfortunately the rules concerning excess fares can be overridden by local instructions in some instances.

I find the attitude towards zero fare excess tickets baffling. When I worked in booking offices it was just a case of recording the ticket number and type of excess in the continuity record, which was audited from time to time by managers or accounts clerks. As a guard, I simply have to provide a short explanation on my shift sheet as to why I issued a zero fare - e.g. Ticket No 22222 Over Distance X/S AAA to BBB.
 

323235

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I was denied an overdistance excess at a Virgin station recently where I have previously purchased excess fares. The clerk said it couldn't be done.

It seems to me that things might be on a downward slide again with excesses. Perhaps the train companies are now determined to get rid of them by claiming people don't buy them.
 

s3an

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If I understand things correctly, you buy a return from Newport to London from the guard on the 0530 train, without difficulty, because the booking office is closed.

If that is the case, the same guard should be able to sell you an Abergavenny to London return just as easily - there is no break of journey restriction on this ticket, so starting short at Newport is fine.

No, I buy it from the machine, one of which is usually working, which I have always presumed I should do.

I asked a guard if I could buy from him instead and he said I should really buy from the machine if it is working.

Will a guard sell me one even though the extra cost is £0.00p?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Ask the guard to excess it up for you - for him its just a ticket sold, it doesn't have to be logged on the paying in sheet seperately. I did an excess the other week for 5p!!

but what if it is for zero?
 

hairyhandedfool

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The passenger wants to buy an Abergavenny to Paddington return, which is perfectly valid for his journey, but can't because the ticket machine at Newport doesn't happen to sell it.

I can't see why an Abergavenny to Paddington return is not an appropriate ticket for that passenger, but I realise that there will always be some people who have a different opinion.

If the Op arrived at Newport with no ticket I'd agree that it could be bought "as soon as reasonably practicable", but the op says they already have the ticket to London and back to Newport, bought online, for the purpose of travelling from Newport to London and back.

Given that there is not a specific right to the excess fare, that the NRCoC doesn't really account for buying in advance, and that the return from Abergavenny to London would have been available online at the time the Newport-London ticket was purchased, what is an appropriate ticket needed to cover the journey?

The only part of the journey not already covered by the Op's ticket is from Newport to Abergavenny and the TVM will sell a ticket for that.

I'm not saying that an Abergavenny-London ticket isn't appropriate for the journey(s) being made, but that, given the ticket already held, a Newport-Abergavenny single might be, and that, if it is, an appropriate ticket is available and Condition 3 won't apply.

I think basically, for future reference, if the Op is buying an Anytime Return or an Off-Peak Return, just buy it on the day on the train, or buy an Abergavenny-London ticket all the time, or both.
 

s3an

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I believe there have been problems in the past obtaining relatively simple excess fares from GWR ticket offices, as well as various other issues. Unfortunately the rules concerning excess fares can be overridden by local instructions in some instances.

I find the attitude towards zero fare excess tickets baffling. When I worked in booking offices it was just a case of recording the ticket number and type of excess in the continuity record, which was audited from time to time by managers or accounts clerks. As a guard, I simply have to provide a short explanation on my shift sheet as to why I issued a zero fare - e.g. Ticket No 22222 Over Distance X/S AAA to BBB.

It seemed to be quite simple at Paddington and didn't take the couple of members of staff who did it much time. I haven't seen them recently and do not wish to identify them.

As you say GWR may have instructed them to not sell any. It saves on the training. One of the clerks said he'd be able to excess my ticket if I had bought it from Abergavenny :)

A few weeks ago I saw a guard that I complained about a while ago, for not selling me a super-off peak to off-peak upgrade, because 'that isn't what he does'. claiming a ticket wasn't valid and selling a new one. He also showed discretion to a pretty girl who had 'forgotten' her student card. GWR retraing/training obviously isn't working :)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If the Op arrived at Newport with no ticket I'd agree that it could be bought "as soon as reasonably practicable", but the op says they already have the ticket to London and back to Newport, bought online, for the purpose of travelling from Newport to London and back.

Given that there is not a specific right to the excess fare, that the NRCoC doesn't really account for buying in advance, and that the return from Abergavenny to London would have been available online at the time the Newport-London ticket was purchased, what is an appropriate ticket needed to cover the journey?

The only part of the journey not already covered by the Op's ticket is from Newport to Abergavenny and the TVM will sell a ticket for that.

I'm not saying that an Abergavenny-London ticket isn't appropriate for the journey(s) being made, but that, given the ticket already held, a Newport-Abergavenny single might be, and that, if it is, an appropriate ticket is available and Condition 3 won't apply.

I think basically, for future reference, if the Op is buying an Anytime Return or an Off-Peak Return, just buy it on the day on the train, or buy an Abergavenny-London ticket all the time, or both.

I do not think you have read my post(s) correctly. I buy (before boarding) at Newport TVM, but want my return to be to Abergavenny. This is for the 5.30am train. I have been told I should buy before getting on the train. It is only an occasional occurrence, but I do not think I should pay for a Newport-Abergavenny single when I have had no opportunity to buy the ticket I want. Unless you are saying it is ok to board the train without a ticket?
 

father_jack

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I believe there have been problems in the past obtaining relatively simple excess fares from GWR ticket offices, as well as various other issues. Unfortunately the rules concerning excess fares can be overridden by local instructions in some instances.

I find the attitude towards zero fare excess tickets baffling. When I worked in booking offices it was just a case of recording the ticket number and type of excess in the continuity record, which was audited from time to time by managers or accounts clerks. As a guard, I simply have to provide a short explanation on my shift sheet as to why I issued a zero fare - e.g. Ticket No 22222 Over Distance X/S AAA to BBB.

I can be 100% definite that there are no "local instructions" on GWR regarding zero excesses not to be done !!! And since STAR came in (2008 ?) there's no accountancy- the end of shift report shows how many you did but there's no paperwork or investigation.
 

hairyhandedfool

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....I do not think you have read my post(s) correctly. I buy (before boarding) at Newport TVM, but want my return to be to Abergavenny. This is for the 5.30am train. I have been told I should buy before getting on the train. It is only an occasional occurrence, but I do not think I should pay for a Newport-Abergavenny single when I have had no opportunity to buy the ticket I want. Unless you are saying it is ok to board the train without a ticket?

I though you said you had bought online before travel, sorry.

If you haven't already bought a ticket before arrival at Newport station in the morning, but need one to go back to Abergavenny in the evening, this CANNOT be bought from the TVMs, so you CAN buy onboard if the ticket office is shut (if a Penalty Fare Scheme is in operation you will need to get a permit to travel (if available)).

If you haven't already bought a ticket before arrival at Newport station in the morning, but need one to go back to Newport in the evening, this CAN be bought from the TVMs and you CANNOT buy a discounted ticket onboard unless the ticket office is closed and none of the TVMs are working (rules for Penalty Fare Scheme Areas may differ slightly, check with local staff)
 

MikeWh

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Why not buy online and collect it from the TVM?
Because at the time he gets to know that he needs the ticket he wants to spend every moment possible in bed asleep.

Or use mobile ticketing?
and leave himself open to all the restrictions and issues that that method suffers from? I wouldn't, and I won't recommend anyone else to do so either.
 

s3an

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Why not buy online and collect it from the TVM? Or use mobile ticketing?

Most of the time I buy online, but if you have read my earlier posts, I may get a call at, or after 11pm and need to leave at 4am to get the train.

I mostly work as a computer forensics and security consultant and do not use a smartphone, or tablet, for obvious reasons.

It looks like I will do what one of my neighbours does and register for an Access course at a Welsh college, then get a student card and drop out of the course. I won't mind buying the Newport-Abergavenny single then.

Although as I work for various police forces I might not do this :)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Because at the time he gets to know that he needs the ticket he wants to spend every moment possible in bed asleep.


and leave himself open to all the restrictions and issues that that method suffers from? I wouldn't, and I won't recommend anyone else to do so either.

exactly
 
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Clip

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Because at the time he gets to know that he needs the ticket he wants to spend every moment possible in bed asleep.

Quite and I agree with getting a call that late to be up so early then every minute in bed is a bonus. However, it takes 5 minutes to purchase a ticket online and that can be made up by a snooze on the train the next day so its not that much of an effort is it?

As hairyhandedfool has pointed out and RFUK's own ticketing guide point out, this excess is not a a given for passengers.

You may be refused such an excess if you wish to extend the journey beyond the origin.
 

David Goddard

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Most of the time I buy online, but if you have read my earlier posts, I may get a call at, or after 11pm and need to leave at 4am to get the train.

With respect, it only takes two minutes to book a ticket online, either at 11pm or at 3.58am. You can thus book the Abergavenny to London ticket while drinking your cocoa (or coffee) and then collect at Newport before boarding. Tickets are normally available to retrieve from the machine within fifteen minutes, so in the time it takes to travel to Newport it will be ready.

Sorry if this puts the cat in the pigeons.
 
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