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I wanted to add a 16-25 railcard to my oyster and was refused.

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mangyiscute

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So the other day I went to the staff at Paddington (in the ticket office by the H&C platforms) and asked if they could add my railcard to my oyster card, since I had seen online they said go ask someone to do it. however, the staff told me that because of some sort of covid nonsense I had to do it online, and when I told them that online it said to do it in the station they said to call TfL. Were they just lazy and couldn't be bothered to add it or do I need to add it online?
 
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Fawkes Cat

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The guidance on the TfL website (https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/free-and-discounted-travel/national-railcard-discount) still says (right at the bottom of the page)

Add your discount to your Oyster card​

A member of staff can add your Railcard discount at:

You'll need to show your National Railcard.

When you renew your National Railcard, you'll need to add the discount on your Oyster card again.

and I can't find anything elsewhere on the website (in particular https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/safer-travel-guidance?intcmp=63123) which seems to allow a way for you to do this yourself online. So I think you need to ask again. Given that Paddington also has the Bakerloo and District platforms, might you get a better response from the staff there?
 

CyrusWuff

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Given the requirement to verify the Railcard expiry date and record that on the card as part of the process of adding the discount, I can't see TfL allowing you to add a discount online any time soon, though I'm more than happy to be corrected on that front.
 

Watershed

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I think the most charitable interpretation possible is that the member of staff concerned has forgotten how to set the discount because they haven't had to do it in a while.

TfL would rather not have to give Railcard and other discounts, and it shows.
 

Hadders

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The staff at Paddington were wrong. They are able to add a railcard discount to an Oyster card and you should not have been refused. Covid is nothing to do with it.

I would complain to TfL.
 

swt_passenger

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The staff at Paddington were wrong. They are able to add a railcard discount to an Oyster card and you should not have been refused. Covid is nothing to do with it.

I would complain to TfL.
I agree about it being unrelated to COVID - after all we‘ve had quite a few reports of staff avoiding this responsibility over quite a few years beforehand...
 

Kite159

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I think the most charitable interpretation possible is that the member of staff concerned has forgotten how to set the discount because they haven't had to do it in a while.

TfL would rather not have to give Railcard and other discounts, and it shows.

Agreed, they have probably forgotten how to do it and threw up some excuse regarding Covid to avoid telling the truth.
 

Nippy

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I’ve found the Paddington TfL staff to be utterly useless when I’ve wanted to add Priv to my oyster. Far too busy apparently. I must have disturbed their chat.
 

northken

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You have to unfortunately shop around at Paddington. The Praed Street (District and Circle lines) did it for me, but the staff under the concourse refused with the same barrage of excuses you got.
 

yorkie

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Were they just lazy and couldn't be bothered to add it or do I need to add it online?
The behaviour you describe has been exhibited by London Underground Customer Support Assistants on many occasions that I'm aware of. This does not surprise me one bit.

I take anything they say with a pinch of salt when it comes to fares matters.

You need to shop around. Eventually you will find a good one.
 

sonic2009

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I had to walk to Pimlico the other week to get my 26-30 railcard on. As nobody at Victoria could be bothered to do it, and kept telling me to go to ticket stops.
 

Mike99

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I tried to put my Disabled Rail Card on my Oyster a couple of years back, after about the fifth attempt (after 4 knockbacks all claiming that it couldn't be done) I asked a chap at Victoria Underground (District & Circle lines), who did it without any fuss and was just happy to help me.
 

Hadders

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I usually get my Gold Card discount added at Kings Cross St Pancras. A couple of times staff have claimed they can't do it, has to be done online etc. I insist they can do it and last time told the member of staff it was in the supervisor functions on the POM. The staff member managed to add the discount for me.
 

TFN

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The LU staff at Paddington don't even stay by the gateline anymore from the countless times I've passed through.
They just stay at the station office watching the gates through the window.

I've had my Railcard added in Earl's Court in September with no issues at all so I guess I was lucky.
 

ChrisC

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When I got my 3 year Senior Railcard added two years ago at Kings Cross the LU staff were really friendly and helpful. We had quite a laugh and a joke about how much would I be willing to pay them for doing it. There are some good ones.
 

ABB125

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You have to unfortunately shop around at Paddington. The Praed Street (District and Circle lines) did it for me, but the staff under the concourse refused with the same barrage of excuses you got.
I've had it done twice at the Paddington District gateline. On both occasions it took the staff a few seconds to work out what I wanted, but they were happy to do so.
 

kristiang85

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I got my Gold card discount added to my Oyster this morning at the first time of asking. A lovely chap as well (Northern/Bakerloo entrance at Waterloo - if you see this, thanks!).

That's very different from last year, when it took five different attempts to get it added, with all the excuses listed above trotted out.
 

Barnsley

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I had a right faff yesterday trying to get Priv added. I thought it already was, but noticed a high charge, when I asked Romford booking office to look, the discount had been set to Railcard instead of Priv, he removed the railcard but said he couldn't add Priv (Tfl Rail booking office)
Tried again at Liverpool Street Underground, and despite them going into the Supervisor menu and me being able to see the Priv-NR function, said they can't do it, I walked to Moorgate, staff there did exactly the same, then said they can't do it, only National Rail can.

Annoyed at this point, I got the train up to Finsbury Park, the booking office can't do it as all Oyster kit been removed, I went round to the Underground, young bloke in the assistance booth did it straight away, no problem!
 

Meglos

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I find London Overground station ticket offices are the best at this, as many of them are still manned for large parts of the day, and can link an Oyster to my Annual cold card without having to leave their warm office. My nearest is Imperial Wharf, and I've never had a problem there. You need to check for opening times first though.
 

Kilmarnocklad

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I work in healthcare and am dismayed some railway seem happy to dismiss folk. If I worked in the railway and someone approached me and asked to have a ticket added on, I'd seek someone to help them, seems the railway folk just say "nope", in my job nope is not an option. In my humble opninion, if you work somewhere, and a certain thing IS possible then you should be expected to do it, if not ask for help, or hand in your uniform. Some Railway staff seem unable to do their job, never mind go over and above, like I do every day in the NHS.

I’ve found the Paddington TfL staff to be utterly useless when I’ve wanted to add Priv to my oyster. Far too busy apparently. I must have disturbed their chat.
And who holds these lazy busy folks to account lol?
 
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gray1404

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I would be seaking a refund of additional fares paid (difference paid) from Tfl too through the formal complaints procedure.
 

Vespa

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I would be making complaints and do it social media as well, complaint departments are designed to sandbag and roadblock you in the hope you'll shut up and go away, just like the bad old days of BR.

I did find somebody to add my railcard for me, I did have to talk him through the TFL website "adding your railcard" webpage to explain what I needed, he was ok about it once it was explained.
 
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