Hatton-Lapworth Gold Card "Not available" in RDG

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ravenik45

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Yes you've read it right. I tried to buy an annual season ticket to get the Gold Card using the Hatton-Lapworth route, but the staff on the counter said that she "cannot find it in the system."

"It's not showing as part of the Gold Card area."

Obviously I showed her the latest Gold Card area map... but she said she can't do anything. I also asked her to try Lichfield City - Lichfield Trent Valley. Surprise, it's "not appearing in the system" as well.

She just told me to buy a Network Railcard if I am insistent on the discount. I begrudgingly just bought one as I had to travel on that day.

I don't know how to approach this. Should I just get the Ryde St Johns Rd-Ryde Esplanade to be 100% sure?
 
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Hadders

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It absolutely can be purchased. I've had a Lichfield version for the last 2 years albeit not purchased at Reading station.

Either Reading are making things up or there is a fault with their ticket issuing system.
 

ravenik45

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It absolutely can be purchased. I've had a Lichfield version for the last 2 years albeit not purchased at Reading station.

Either Reading are making things up or there is a fault with their ticket issuing system.

I see. Well then, I'll try another counter tomorrow.


Sounds ominous to me. Was she prepared to sell the season without a Gold Card?

Hmm no not really. I told her upfront that I planned to get a Gold Card using the route. She searched it on her PC, then showed the screen to me. She said it won't produce the Gold Card if ever I'd confirmed my purchase, which left me confused. Same thing with the Lichfield route.
 

jon0844

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I couldn't get one at Welwyn Garden City either, so went to a AGA station (Tottenham Hale) to get one.

Funny how these aren't small stations we're talking about here. Nor was the person I asked someone who was new. I've seen his face on and off for many, many years.
 

causton

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"It" wouldn't produce the Gold Card?

It produces whatever bloomin' ticket you stick in the printer!

So if SHE would not put the Gold Card stock in then it is her, not the system ;)
 

Paul Kelly

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I told her upfront that I planned to get a Gold Card using the route. She searched it on her PC, then showed the screen to me. She said it won't produce the Gold Card if ever I'd confirmed my purchase
Hmm, I presume if you did confirm the purchase then the machine would prompt her to insert the Gold Card stock.
 

ravenik45

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I couldn't get one at Welwyn Garden City either, so went to a AGA station (Tottenham Hale) to get one.

Funny how these aren't small stations we're talking about here. Nor was the person I asked someone who was new. I've seen his face on and off for many, many years.

Yea shocker. I've read threads about staff not selling them as you aren't buying from one of the two stations mentioned. I've also read a thread where they accused the commuter of cheating the system.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
"It" wouldn't produce the Gold Card?

It produces whatever bloomin' ticket you stick in the printer!

So if SHE would not put the Gold Card stock in then it is her, not the system ;)

Hmm, I presume if you did confirm the purchase then the machine would prompt her to insert the Gold Card stock.


To be frank I don't know how their PC works. I blindly assumed that the software will tell her first that it's in the Gold Card area, and then it will be printed.
 

causton

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To be frank I don't know how their PC works. I blindly assumed that the software will tell her first that it's in the Gold Card area, and then it will be printed.

The printer will have a main hopper of tickets (the standard orange ones) but obviously it cannot stock every single type of ticket inside the printer, so any non-standard tickets are simply fed through a manual slot in the front or back of the printer and passed through and printed that way. Depending on how smart the software is, it will tell them what to insert but whatever they insert is up to them - they can insert whatever they want and it will print it, so it is down to them to ensure they actually use the correct ticket stock.

So unless their software says "Insert a Gold Card" or "Insert a non-Gold Card" or whatever, it is unlikely the system is wrong. And if the system is wrong... as I said, you can insert the Gold Card if you don't believe the system... :)
 

Bletchleyite

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Yea shocker. I've read threads about staff not selling them as you aren't buying from one of the two stations mentioned. I've also read a thread where they accused the commuter of cheating the system.

Well, they sort of are, but it is perfectly legitimate. Like tax avoidance, as distinct from evasion.

And there would be no need to do it at all if the railway would simply sell a National Railcard at a similar price. Heck, you could even call it a Gold Card and give people one free with annual seasons above a certain value.
 

embers25

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The lady at Guildford today refused to sell my friend a Guildford to Farringdon route Not Underground ticket (a VERY useful ticket for anyone going to London at any time). She issued the ticket took his money and then decided that her screen said she couldn't actually give it to him and so instead tore up the ticket and did a refund! He protested and she showed him her screen with all trains with crosses next to them and he explained he was travelling later so it didn't matter what her screen said but she refused anyway. You can't make this stuff up!
 

Bletchleyite

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This kind of thing does not, as I said on another thread, bode well for the continuing existence of staffed ticket offices. The railway really needs to sort its act out so staff either know things, or know where to find them out.
 

maniacmartin

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How about Southern TVMs not displaying Standard Class Off-peak tickets?
Tried at both Purley and Reedham (London) to get a ticket for tomorow with origin Clapham Junction and greeted with this: (note Gold Card discount applied)



Note also that it has standard class Anytimes, and First Class Off-Peak! There are no other tickets hidden in additional pages.
 

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Bletchleyite

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I don't think any TOC sells, from the TVM, Off Peak tickets for tomorrow if tomorrow is a weekday. But it should really state which fares are missing and why.

The 1st Class one is probably an error.
 

craigy68

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My tvm's (Southern) don't sell off peak tickets (weekdays) until after our last peak departure has gone, well, timetabled to leave :D
 

talldave

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My tvm's (Southern) don't sell off peak tickets (weekdays) until after our last peak departure has gone, well, timetabled to leave :D

But the website does, and you can stand next to that ticket machine whilst you buy on the website then collect it immediately from the TVM. It's a pathetic restriction. You also can't buy tickets for tomorrow until after 3pm today. Southern must be the only organisation that can't comprehend that "tomorrow" exists all day. Idiots.
 

jon0844

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TOCs don't seem to appreciate that websites sell all tickets, so any attempt to restrict sales and reduce potential abuse can't work.
 

maniacmartin

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It is a major inconvenience having to use a phone with a fiddly keyboard on slow 3G though
 

bb21

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Well, they sort of are, but it is perfectly legitimate. Like tax avoidance, as distinct from evasion.

And there would be no need to do it at all if the railway would simply sell a National Railcard at a similar price. Heck, you could even call it a Gold Card and give people one free with annual seasons above a certain value.

Gold Card - Season tickets £10000 or more in value - unlimited First Class travel at weekends, and Railcard fare for three companions travelling together with ticket holder in any class.

Silver Card - Season tickets £7000 or more in value - unlimited Standard Class travel at weekends, and Railcard fare for two companions travelling together with ticket holder in Standard class.

Bronze Card - Season tickets £4000 or more in value - unlimited Standard Class travel at weekends, and Railcard fare for one companion travelling together with ticket holder in Standard class.

"Orange" Card - Season tickets less than £4000 in value, no additional benefit.

There is your simple solution.
 

MikeWh

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"Orange" Card - Season tickets less than £4000 in value, no additional benefit.

There is your simple solution.

So you'd basically end the benefit for most people who genuinely have it? A zones 1-9 annual travelcard season is only £3368. Going off you a little ;)
 

jon0844

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I can't see how I'm doing anything remotely dodgy. Paying £140 odd a year to travel unlimited times between two stations I've never been too in my life? Two stations I had to look up on a route map to see where they even were!

How does it matter if I bought that over a £3500 annual season for London, where I would use it daily?

I'm good profit for London Midland and don't add any congestion to services at all!
 

Bletchleyite

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I can't see how I'm doing anything remotely dodgy.

It's not "dodgy", it's perfectly legal. But it is using the system in a way it was not intended to be used. Same with tax avoidance (rather than evasion).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
TOCs don't seem to appreciate that websites sell all tickets, so any attempt to restrict sales and reduce potential abuse can't work.

If you buy a ticket on a website, they have your name, address, telephone number, email address and credit card details - and the payment wouldn't have succeeded if those details were totally false. It's a heck of a lot easier to prosecute an offence with that than it is to identify and prosecute a cash buyer from a TVM.
 

craigy68

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On the tvm's ... What about a pop up screen, after the customer has chosen their ticket, that advises on the ticket restriction(s) and has to be accepted before the sale can continue ❓

Our tvm's have an 'I' next to the ticket options that will display (if pressed) further information, but from experience, people ignore it.

When purchasing tickets online customers accept the terms & conditions of the sale and any associated restrictions ... How many chose to read them is a different matter. Online can also have the added benefit of journey planners that will display the relevant ticket options based on the times you have inputted ... tvm's don't have that luxury.
 

Bletchleyite

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When purchasing tickets online customers accept the terms & conditions of the sale and any associated restrictions ... How many chose to read them is a different matter. Online can also have the added benefit of journey planners that will display the relevant ticket options based on the times you have inputted ... tvm's don't have that luxury.

DB's TVMs have done that for years. I don't think it would be beyond the wit of man to add a journey planner to the UK ones, at least those that are in locations with permanent Internet access.
 

talldave

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On the tvm's ... What about a pop up screen, after the customer has chosen their ticket, that advises on the ticket restriction(s) and has to be accepted before the sale can continue ❓

Our tvm's have an 'I' next to the ticket options that will display (if pressed) further information, but from experience, people ignore it.

When purchasing tickets online customers accept the terms & conditions of the sale and any associated restrictions ... How many chose to read them is a different matter. Online can also have the added benefit of journey planners that will display the relevant ticket options based on the times you have inputted ... tvm's don't have that luxury.

If it was implemented by Southern, it would be wrong - because they're just incompetent. So the less they say the better really.

GTR (same organisation) can't even inform customers correctly which GatEx service they can use an Off Peak ticket on they're so incompetent.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It's not "dodgy", it's perfectly legal. But it is using the system in a way it was not intended to be used. Same with tax avoidance (rather than evasion).

How can buying an available ticket be classed as "using the system in a way it was not intended to be used"?

The deal is, you buy an Annual Season ticket, you get a Gold Card. That's it. I've bought the annual ticket and I've got the Gold Card. It's irrelevant what I do or don't do with that ticket, because there are no conditions relying on use of that ticket to maintain the Gold Card's validity.
 

Bletchleyite

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How can buying an available ticket be classed as "using the system in a way it was not intended to be used"?

Because the intention is you pay a substantial sum out to buy an annual season ticket, which exists primarily for travel on its line of route, and you get an extra benefit for doing so.

There's nothing morally wrong about it, but treating one of those short journeys as a means of obtaining a Railcard isn't what they meant you to do. Though if it bothers them that much, they will simply impose a minimum price for said season ticket, say £1000, which would make it not worth bothering with.

Or they could see sense and actually sell Gold Cards (or even a proper National Railcard) for about £150 each. Were it the latter I'd buy one. (There isn't enough advantage over a Network Railcard for me to pull the Gold Card trick - the benefit for me would be the ability to use it on VTWC).
 
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Starmill

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Well, that might be your view of what the 'intention' is, and it might be my view as well, but as you're neither God or the person who came up with the scheme it's a little presumptuous to claim that's an established fact.

It's likely that this was a risk assesed at the outset and reviewed over the years. It's almost certain that the TOCs know about people doing this, and yet it's never been addressed. It's almost a tacit admission that the shrewd can use the system to their benefit.
 

maniacmartin

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I suspect that Chiltern were well aware of this 'loophole' when they joined the Gold Card area. Perhaps there is even a price war between TOCs to have the cheapest Gold Card season in the fares database. CH get all the revenue from these tickets and don't have to carry any passengers - many people who bought the card card will use it mostly on other operators' routes.
 
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talldave

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Well, that might be your view of what the 'intention' is, and it might be my view as well, but as you're neither God or the person who came up with the scheme it's a little presumptuous to claim that's an established fact.

It's likely that this was a risk assesed at the outset and reviewed over the years. It's almost certain that the TOCs know about people doing this, and yet it's never been addressed. It's almost a tacit admission that the shrewd can use the system to their benefit.

Agreed, the only "intention" we can infer is that you buy an annual season ticket. That's all.

I should really be asking for a discount on my annual ticket, because I never wear the trains out ;).
 
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