Hassle at St Pancras International due to excessed ticket

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jon0844

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Yesterday, I was lucky enough to go to a pre-Olympics event at Stratford, and chose to go via HS1 instead of a slower, but cheaper, route via Stratford.

I thought to buy ahead to save time and so asked at Hatfield for two returns from St Pancras to Stratford International.

I was given a price, put my card in, paid and then got given two singles! I said I'd asked for returns and was told that I hadn't. The man even tried to repeat what I'd said in a different voice, which was quite funny, yet I'd clearly asked for a return because a return is what I wanted!

So, I gave the tickets back and the receipt, expecting him to cancel the ticket and issue me with new ones. But he didn't, and gave the return tickets as an excess.I paid the difference and got a second receipt. I asked if it was okay to have a single ticket and a ticket marked return, and he said it was (as against OUT and RTN as I'd normally expect).

That meant we had two single tickets and two 'RTN' tickets, which I didn't notice at the time said 'Only valid with ticket nnnnn' on it.

Can you guess what happens next? Oh yes, to cut a long story short, got to Stratford, tickets taken by machine and then upon the return we're stopped and asked to present the original tickets that the excessed tickets related to.

I hadn't even noticed what it said on them so I was somewhat confused, and then we had to explain what happened before being allowed through (mentioning that our tickets were in the very gateline we were being stopped at). I guess I was lucky that I had a receipt in my wallet too.

Also, the single ticket that was issued at Hatfield triggered a 'seek assistance' at St Pancras - as well as on the way back. I hope that isn't going to be the case for all tickets issued from other stations, or else the gates will become a massive bottleneck when loads of people are going to be using them during the games and having their tickets rejected.

Anyway - how are you supposed to use an excessed ticket in these circumstances when your supporting ticket will be lost? Demand to hold on to the ticket, or should my single ticket have been cancelled and replaced?
 
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Ferret

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Anyway - how are you supposed to use an excessed ticket in these circumstances when your supporting ticket will be lost? Demand to hold on to the ticket, or should my single ticket have been cancelled and replaced?
Well, if I cock up a ticket issue, I have a choice - either excess it to what the customer actually wanted and they therefore keep the originals and the excess. Or I non-issue the ticket, and issue correct new ones. I then keep the incorrectly issued tickets. What you do not do as a ticket seller is issue an excess and keep the original!!!! I'm not impressed with the ticket seller here Jon!
 

island

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If you are given a single when you wanted a return, the same clerk can void the ticket within a certain time limit, refund it, and sell the right ticket, and that is what I think should have been done in this instance.

If you have a single excessed to a return it would be wise not to insert the single into an exit barrier for the reason given.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Well, if I cock up a ticket issue, I have a choice - either excess it to what the customer actually wanted and they therefore keep the originals and the excess. Or I non-issue the ticket, and issue correct new ones. I then keep the incorrectly issued tickets. What you do not do as a ticket seller is issue an excess and keep the original!!!! I'm not impressed with the ticket seller here Jon!
I don't think the seller kept the original ticket, but the ticket barrier at Stratford Int SE did.
 

Ferret

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I don't think the seller kept the original ticket, but the ticket barrier at Stratford Int SE did.
Ah, that would make sense - in which case common sense says you should non-issue and then issue new tickets!!! By default, I'm still sticking by my moan about the ticket seller!
 

jon0844

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It must have been within a certain time, as he never looked at the tickets to write down the ticket numbers the excess was tied to. I never looked at them that closely, as I merely spotted 'RTN' and thought to ask about the implications of a SGL and RTN instead of OUT and RTN. The discussion meant not even looking at anything else!

Fortunately we were let through and managed to make the train that was already on the platform (they must be set to dwell at the station for a fair time now and during the games). I'd have been somewhat more annoyed otherwise, as the train allowed me a nice quick connection at King's Cross to get home without any waiting there either.
 

John @ home

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I asked if it was okay to have a single ticket and a ticket marked return, and he said it was (as against OUT and RTN as I'd normally expect).

That meant we had two single tickets and two 'RTN' tickets, which I didn't notice at the time said 'Only valid with ticket nnnnn' on it.
The section of The Manual on Changing a Single ticket into a Return has only existed for a few days. The relevant part is:
It is permitted to charge an excess fare to upgrade a Single ticket into a Return (but not into London Day Travelcards), provided the excess fare is paid before departure. If no ticket office facilities are available, it must be done at the earliest possible opportunity, but before the validity of the Single has expired, or in the case of Advance tickets before the departure time of the first reserved train. ...

Charge the difference between the price of the Single ticket and the price of the appropriate Return ticket, bearing in mind the train on which the Single ticket is used with regard to time restrictions applicable to the Return.
There is no detail on the issuing process but, if this happened to me, I would report the matter in writing to the train company which operates the origin station. The facts tend to suggest that correct operation of local procedures may leave a passenger with a ticket for the return leg "Valid Only With Ticket 12345" but ticket 12345 retained by a ticket gate. If that is so, it is unacceptable and must be changed.
 
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