Impartial retailing at TVMs

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by calc7, 15 Nov 2011.

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  1. calc7

    calc7 Established Member

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    Today I was at Milton Keynes Central. I had bought a London Terminals - MKC CDR (Rte Virgin Trns Only) at Euston earlier, but lost my return portion (first time this has ever happened - there's the moral hazard in business expenses! :oops:)
    I was in a rush for a train by this point, and, wanting to minimise expense to my company, sought to buy a CDS of the same routeing to London (there was a train in four minutes' time).
    I approached the LM-operated TVM, expecting to be presented with the usual "popular destinations" screen. Instead, it was a screen showing specific tickets to various presumably popular destinations. The issue was that whilst it showed the CDR (Any Permitted), it also showed the CDR (LM only) but not the CDR (VT only). I'm not sure which of these is the most popular, but I can't help but feel that because the machine is operated by LM, they choose to deliberately exclude the VT ticket.

    For those of you more au fait on ticketing obligations, are there any possible implications of this for LM?
     
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  3. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    You were simply looking at the 'hot list' of popular destinations and ticket types, based on popular tickets sold from that location. Different machines are made by different manufacturers and have different software settings. Selecting the ''any destination'' should bring up the full list where you can enter a station name manually and are presented with all the possible choices of routes, and then ticket type.

    However, not all ticket types and routes are available from TVMs, as I have discovered in the past.
     
  4. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    TVMs are not required to be impartial.

    Try buying a EUS-MKC route LM Only ticket from the Virgin TVM at Euston. You won't find it.
     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2011
  5. calc7

    calc7 Established Member

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    I bought that ticket today from one of said machines...did you mean LM only?
     
  6. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Yes I did! :oops:
     
  7. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Should TVMs be impartial?
     
  8. embers25

    embers25 Established Member

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    Try buying MANY tickets to many destinations (lots around Birmingham such as Walsall) from SWT machines and you'll find you can't. Also try getting to offer all cheap tickets cos it won't. SWT say they have no obligation to offer all tickets and all stations as I can buy online. I disagree given machines are replacing ticket offices but SWT are adamant. they promised an upgrade a year ago but it still hasn't happened and why would it as this way they rip of unsuspecting customers and make more money. Given fGW machines offer all fares and destinations there is no reason why SWT can't except greed and a general contempt for their passengers.
     
  9. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    No. With those TVMs, you need to type in the destination first. A screen will then come up with all of the available routes, you'll want the Virgin Trains Only one.
     
  10. calc7

    calc7 Established Member

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    Luckily for me I quickly figured that out (23 minute wait after the one I was going for).
    My main point was that whilst it sells tickets to London, it prioritises the Any Permitted and LM Only routed ones, ie the ones from which LM gets the most revenue.
     
  11. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Yes, but in any case, TVMs are not impartial retailing outlets. There's nothing to compel LM to sell that ticket from the TVM.
     
  12. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    Which is perfectly allowable with TVMs, unfortunately. It is only most ticket offices that are required to be impartial.
     
  13. Greeby

    Greeby Member

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    You think that's bad? The SDS remains on the front screen even after the switch to off-peak. Network Railcard doesn't become available until 10:00 exactly, which isn't much help when the first train is the 10:02 Virgin.

    Hoping this fares change brings the elimination of at least some of these TOC-specific Euston/Travelcard fares at MKC. Went through 12 years of privatization with only two, and now we have 18. The VT Only ones can be cut back as the CDS is the same price as Any Permitted, and the SDR and ADT aren't justifiable given the massive gaps in Virgin service during peak time.
     
  14. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    No, they should only sell Anytime singles to the operating TOC's destinations...

    Is there any argument other than maximising short-term profit for the TOCs for then not to be? It makes a mockery of the idea of impartiality, given the huge number of TVM-only stations.

     
  15. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I would have thought that one of the industry apologists would have come up with an excuse by now. Given that TVMs are now the 'de facto' way of buying tickets, surely impartiality is crucial? Sounds like TOCs are exploiting a loophole that needs regulation to close.
     
  16. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    No need for an excuse. With the current rules they're doing nothing wrong.


    Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk
     
  17. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    We know they are not breaking the rules as they stand. The question is, should they be changed? Is there a good reason why they shouldn't be changed?
     
  18. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    But in this case the TVM was being impartial. The most popular tickets purchased from that location does not include the VT Only CDR, but it is still available. It wouldn't be reasonable to expect Birmingham Moor Street's TVM to offer all three routes from their 'hot list' owing to the fact that most people going from there would want the route 'High Wycombe' and the other routes would be either invalid or valid but unnecessary.
     
  19. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    Indeed I recently had another play around with one of their TVM's and discovered that the only destinations available in Scotland are Glasgow cen/qst and Edinburgh Waverley, no Haymarket, Inverness or Aberdeen.

    I also discovered this year when I wanted to go their that despite many direct services to Freshford it is not a destination on SWT's TVMs.

    However you can buy tickets to the IOW from them.

    and I thought Brian Souter was a generous donor to the SNP.
     
  20. Greeby

    Greeby Member

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    MKC has three Virgin to EUS every hour during the bulk of the day, and certainly the VT Only CDR is more than just popular. "Virgin Fanatics" are what we call them. Even on a Sunday morning when the line is down from four roads to two, and everything takes an hour to EUS. They'll still insist on Virgin Only even if the next LM train will be in first.

    I'd put it down to the machines simply being out of date as the other two fares have been around longer, the LM Only CDR being an inheritance from Silverlink. For the longest time, Shepherds Bush wasn't available on the S&B despite there being direct hourly services for nearly two years at that point.
     
  21. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    That isn't going to happen! Though people will continue to have a go at staff (in any uniform) at Euston for the lack of peak hour services. They will complain that they were sold a ticket at Milton Keynes, where no-one told them that there was a gap in the evening peak. They didn't bother to consult a timetable beforehand, or tell the ticket office clerk what time they were returning, but somehow it's all the railway's fault!
     
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