I do have a railcard..but I forgot it. Refund?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by dstrat, 21 Jun 2011.

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  1. blacknight

    blacknight Member

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    So your not a passenger sorry I mean valued customer you certainly give impression that you are in your post here.
     
  2. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Established Member

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    He is a passenger, but not the OP - who is the person who forgot his railcard. Incidentally, the OP seems to have dealt with the situation quite gracefully, which might explain why the guard was happy to show discretion.

    Respect is a two-way thing in every walk of life, I find.
     
  3. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    If you didn't have a valid ticket (i.e. no railcard) you weren't a customer - you were trespassing!!

    For goodness sake... you were shown leniency and now you want more, despite it being YOUR fault? You didn't lose the railcard, it wasn't stolen, you didn't merely struggle to find it then later discover you did have it all along - you forgot it. YOUR fault.

    Man up and accept some responsibility for your own actions.

    If you'd been charged full whack, by all means write in and hope the person reading the letter was in a good mood - but can't you see when you're on to a good thing and should shut up?!!
     
  4. Clip

    Clip Established Member

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    Let me get straight to the point that i have bolded.Your problem and your responsibilities as a customer(i know you were not the OP) of the railway is to carry with you the correct documentation with you - railcards/photocards - when you purchase a discounted ticket.

    Your attitude quite frankly disgusts me over this. You may say Customer service should do this,that or the other and you dont care what happens to the staff but it is good natured staff like was outlined by the OP who keep the goodwill of a lot of people on this forum and passengers of the railway in the plus.. If they all took the right attitude as outlined in the manual then the OP wouldve got a far higher fare given to him.

    Again the traveller has a responsibility to ensure they have everything with them when they travel and i can clearly see that the guard was doing him a favour and for that he should be applauded not shot down by someone whos attitude is that the customer can do no wrong and should be refunded moneies he doesnt have a right too
     
  5. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Until the railway (and let's hope it never does, bar Eurostar) goes the way of the airlines, with every station having check-in and security, with reserved seating, people will always think that the normal common sense 'rules' don't apply.. just like not bothering to get a ticket if nobody comes to you to sell one (on a non-PF route obviously) and walking out at the other end.

    As has been made very clear, even though it should be obvious, you couldn't get away with forgetting tickets, passports and other supporting documentation on planes, or even coaches, ferries, turning up to Wembley for the FA Cup (or the Olympics next year) without your tickets etc.

    Treat your ticket and associated railcards like cash. Lose em, you're stuffed.

    By all means write in and hope for a gesture of goodwill, but don't expect it or get upset over it.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2011
  6. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Established Member

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    Can people stop bashing the OP? Fulshaw is not the OP and not the person who forgot his railcard here.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    Complete balderdash.
     
  7. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    My comment applies to anyone in this situation. I don't discriminate!
     
  8. jamesr

    jamesr Member

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    I agree with almost everything you're saying. I think I actually would care on a one-to-one basis that a staff member was "told off" though. But the railway rules and regs shouldn't be so morally wrong as to put their own staff in a position where they feel the penalty they need to dish out for an honest mistake is so utterly ludicrous that they can't bring themselves to charge a passenger the full amount.

    Your point about customer service is absolutely right. Obviously, the onus is on the customer to remember to bring a railcard with them. Obviously, if they don't, they should pay the non-railcard fare, and they should do it gracefully and without argument. But if they've made an honest mistake, and end up buying two tickets for the same train as a result, it's not unreasonable to refund them for the first one. Sure, the rules and regulations of the railway say this isn't necessary, but we're not talking about people who are trying to "pull a fast one" here, we're talking about railway customers who travel often enough to make it worth buying a railcard. Good customers who have made a mistake, have hopefully without argument realised it with or without prompting from a guard, and bought a second ticket.

    The point made in other posts about regularly contacting customer services for a refund is irrelevant... we're not talking about "problem" customers, we're talking about regular customers who have made an honest mistake.
     
  9. snail

    snail Established Member

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    The OP didn't buy two tickets for the same train. They bought a discounted ticket then had it excessed to the (lowest) non-railcard fare. Sounds like a fair result to me. You accept the T&Cs when buying the railcard, not read them and think "ah, that doesn't apply to me, customer services will let me off if I can't be bothered using it".

    The season ticket scenario is similar but has one significant difference IIRC: The issuing office have a log of tickets issued and thus are able to record 'forgotten' tickets. Railcards do not have a similar facility so it would be more difficult to track repeated abusers of the system (not that I am implying the OP is such a person :) )
     
  10. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I said in the other thread that I had no problem with someone applying for a refund, less an admin fee, when producing the valid YPRC. That way, the train staff can sell the new full price ticket and;

    a) If the person was trying it on, they're stuffed. Suitable punishment for someone buying a cheap ticket and hoping to be let off by insisting they have a railcard, honest..
    b) If they were telling the truth and DO have a card, they get the money back less the fee which should be less of a shock and acceptable for a mistake of their own making.

    With this procedure in place, staff don't need to worry about discretion and people begging/crying, it's one simple process and the staff can quickly deal with it and move on.

    Until that happens, I stick with the thought that you treat that railcard as being as vital as carrying your passport when travelling abroad.
     
  11. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I really am mystified as to how many people seem to forget to bring their railcard with them...mine lived in my wallet, if I didn't have the wallet than I wasn't going anywhere anyway!
     
  12. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    I am mystified by the number of people who "left it in their other wallet!". How many wallets do most people have? I only use one, does anybody else use more than one? And transfers everything over from one to the other?

    The OP was treated very well.

    The last time I had someone say they were going to write in and complain about me when I was excessing them for a missing railcard they got very upset. The conversation went:
    Me: "Don't do that, I'll get into trouble with my boss"
    Them: "Good"
    Me: "You don't understand, I'll get into trouble for only charging you an excess, now I'll have to charge you £94.50 for a Standard Open Single - can I have your PIN number please, or you can discuss it with a Revenue Inspector who has the power to send you for prosecution".

    The last case I had of a missing railcard that went to court ended up costing the guy £460 when he went to court. I had offered to excess him £30, but he knew better.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    We have recently had a memo reminding us that the correct procedure for an Advance ticket is sell a new Standard Open Single, not excess it, after somebody wrote in to complain that they were usually excessed, but on this occasion they had been sold a new (supersaver) ticket.

    Please remember, anything less than a SOS is the guard using their discretion. The guard checking the ticket is them doing their job, not being a jobsworth.
     
  13. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    This debate seems to pop up on here quite regularly! Still, nobody has yet managed to answer why it is that the railways are the big bad wolf when it was the customer who purchased a railcard and explicitly agreed to be bound by the condition that they carry their railcard on every journey made using a discounted ticket! It's yet another case of wanting the TOCs to be held to every last word of their contractual obligations, but when the shoe is on the other foot, demanding discretion or a blind eye to the rules in the name of customer service! It really is tiresome.
     
  14. snail

    snail Established Member

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    When I had a YP railcard I kept in its wallet. Then made sure any tickets I bought in advance of travel were also put there, so when I walked out of the house I would always have the railcard - or no ticket!

    This discussion has also made me think of trips to London, if I forget to take my Oyster card with me then I have to buy a new one before I travel on the tube. I can't pay a cash fare then have it refunded when I get home.
     
  15. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I do not believe these two statements are compatible with each other...
    ...as the person you agree with, fulshaw, does not appear to share this view.

    Sorry if this sounds harsh, it's not meant to be, but I think you need to re-read the first post by the original poster (OP). The OP was not charged for two tickets.
    The customer in question, who may - or may not - be regular (I don't know as I've not seen any evidence either way) has been treated in a way that is consistent with someone who made an honest mistake.

    I say that as someone who is pro-customer, but also friends with many railway staff (including someone who managed a team in the department that a complaint is being proposed to be sent to). I firmly believe the customer has been treated as fairly as possible and a request for a refund of the excess is inappropriate, doomed to failure, and frivolous. It could in fact be seen as cheeky and it could, though I'd hope not, lead to the guard being told he should have followed the rules by the book and charged the OP a far, far, greater sum of money. It serves no-ones interest for a complaint to be made in this case.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I totally agree. The OP's question has been answered, both by fares experts and others who have a different view, to which they are entitled. But just because people are entitled to a view does not mean they have the right to issue poor advice to someone who asks for advice, nor bash the OP when someone gives the OP advice that conflicts with the advice by more established members.
     
  16. 1V53

    1V53 Member

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    A point which has been made yet not refuted regarding buying two tickets:

    I know op was excessed, but say he had been sold a new SOS or SOR.

    That day he writes a letter of complaint and posts it off to customer services. The following day (the day after the tickets were valid) they receive the letter. Enclosed a YP discounted ticket and a full fare for the same journey.

    How do they know it wasn't two people travelling, one with a railcard, one without?

    So even in that instance you have no opportunity for any reimbursement.

    In the op's example, he sends in the original and the excess. Who is to say they were his, and not a friend who doesn't have a railcard trying it on. He gets home, tells his flatmate who has a railcard, who says he will pretend it was him, and write in.

    So you see, there is no chance of any reimbursement after the event in my opinion.
     
  17. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Thanks to the way people abuse things in this country, like it or not, you are going to have to assume most people ARE lying or trying it on these days. From what I can see, staff usually have good cause to think this too.

    It's not nice. You could argue it's unfair, but that's the way it is - and if anyone is still able to show discretion or show goodwill, I am sure that will decrease as time goes on.

    I don't have a problem with someone writing in, sending a ticket, copy of the YPRC and getting a refund less the admin fee. You also make sure that you apply the rules like a forgotten season ticket, allowing no more than two in any year. Any refund request should be logged, by the railcard number, to stop someone just offering a refund service for mates without railcards.

    Until that happens, I cannot repeat it enough times; don't forget the railcard! If you do realise you have, get an excess BEFORE travel or seek out a member of staff straight away on the train. It's not the same as being unable to buy a ticket before travel where you could reasonably wait until you're approached (only seeking staff at the end of the journey).
     
    Last edited: 23 Jun 2011
  18. snail

    snail Established Member

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    But who keeps the records? Is there a central registry of railcards? I ask because my YP railcard was issued through NatWest, not bought from a station. If someone writes to a TOC requesting a goodwill refund for a full fare ticket it would require some joined up thinking to log that refund against the YP card number. What happens if the next journey is with a different TOC?
     
  19. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Perhaps for security reasons there should be a central register of railcards? But, given the fact that even my season ticket can't be cancelled if lost (or stolen) I guess the industry hasn't thought of that.

    This is the same industry where FCC recently upgraded its credit card C&P terminals and didn't install ones supporting contactless payment, and of a design that makes it hard to see where the card slots in (such that they've got to have big stickers on them to say how to use them!).

    It's crazy to think that they can't add the serial number of my ticket to a 'block' list to have it killed the next time it's put through a gate - but I've been told that they can't, which is why they only issue a fixed number of replacements if lost (obviously you can have as many replacements as you like if it's simply damaged and you hand back the ticket).

    You raise a good point, but I think a central database would make sense for many reasons.
     
    Last edited: 23 Jun 2011
  20. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Established Member

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    What you are suggesting would be very expensive. Also, it'd need to store photographic data of an image of the holder.
     
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