Is this correct or have I been mis-sold my ticket?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Upset76, 19 Jul 2019.

  1. Upset76

    Upset76 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    19 Jul 2019
    Hello,

    Very upset right now. I have an off-peak return day ticket with any route permitted bought at Crewe to Manchester. Due to the London virgin train at my platform being late, I accidentally got on the London train instead of my train to Manchester at 10.12. The Virgin conductor told me not to worry, to get off at Wolverhampton and get the direct train from there to Manchester.

    So I got the cross country train from Wolverhampton to Manchester, which does not stop at Crewe. The train manager came by and told me what I’ve done is wrong. My ticket is not valid for their train and my issue is nothing to do with them. He made me by a single ticket from Wolverhampton to Manchester and refused to let me use my 16-25 railcard making the cost £40.05 for an any time single.

    Is all this information correct? I am so upset.
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    40,527
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    It is all correct, yes; the ticket is not valid that way. Had the Virgin guard endorsed your ticket with a request to accept it on XC (it would only be a request; without contacting XC Control he is not an authorised person to make them accept it) things would probably be OK.

    You may wish to write to Virgin customer services to make a complaint about his conduct (staff shouldn't be advising people to do things like that outside of their authority, there is a big problem on the railway with them doing so) but I doubt you will see the money back, as in the end you did make the unintended journey by boarding the wrong train and technically a fare is due for it, though his poor advice did lead you to just boarding the XC rather than going to the ticket office and purchasing a discounted ticket for it.
     
  4. Upset76

    Upset76 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    19 Jul 2019
    I don’t even understand why I wasn’t charged an off-Peak single by the Cross country manager
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    40,527
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    Because you are not entitled to a discounted ticket if you board a train without a ticket at having started it at a station where ticketing facilities were available.

    It's a bit harsh, but what happened strikes me as being fully within the rules. The person who made an error was the VT guard just saying it'd be OK - he needs a serious ticking off for doing that as he had no right to say that for a train of another TOC. It might be VT policy to let people off if they board the wrong train unintentionally, but in that case he should have advised you to take the next VT back to Crewe and "try again".

    I just can't understand why he didn't endorse your ticket. XC would not be required to accept it, but sensible advice would have been to do so, and then to say "Make sure you ask the guard of the train you board before boarding and show them this - if they say they have to charge you a fare, you might be better taking a Virgin train back to Crewe - I will advise Control so they don't try to charge you".
     
  6. lyndhurst25

    lyndhurst25 Member

    Messages:
    949
    Joined:
    26 Nov 2010
    Possibly within the rules but more than a bit harsh in my opinion and very customer unfriendly. The railway should be doing all it can to help accidentally stranded passengers get to their intended destination as quickly as possible, not profiteering from honest mistakes. Granted, the VT guard should have endorsed the ticket in writing, but it should be no concern of the passenger which company runs the train that he needs to use to get to where he is going. If VT and XC accountants want to argue about revenue behind the scenes then let them.

    National Rail Conditions of Travel section 6.1 applies here. It basically says that you have have a valid ticket to travel before boarding a train, given some exceptions, one of which is
    "6.1.2. Where you are specifically permitted to board a train service by an authorised member of staff or notice of the Train Company whose service you intend to board".
    For starters, you can interpret that sentence in a number of ways. And how is your average passenger supposed to know who is and who is not "authorised"?

    Upset76, write to Customer Services and I hope that you get your money back, along with an apology.
     
  7. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

    Messages:
    11,721
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2008
    Location:
    Milton Keynes
    No, it is not correct.

    You already held a valid ticket from Crewe to Manchester (it is also valid on the XC train if it's Any Permitted) so there was no need for the CrossCountry TM to charge you all the way to Manchester. He should have charged you only to Crewe, although he is not strictly obliged to offer a 16-25 discount.

    Did you approach him or wait to be found?
     
  8. Upset76

    Upset76 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    19 Jul 2019
    I'm afraid I waited to be found - did not even think to approach him to be honest as did not think there was going to be any issue based on the original discussion with Virgin.
    How should I proceed with this?
     
  9. Upset76

    Upset76 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    19 Jul 2019
    lyndhurst25, thank you for your message I really appreciate it. Should I be writing to Cross country customer services? The train conductor was extremely unpleasant. The person prior to me was a young girl who he demanded ID from to prove she was 15, which she didn't have and was lambasting her for not being in school, she said her school was closed for summer! Was truly awful.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    40,527
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    The XC did not stop at Crewe per the OP's post so this is not correct (they run via Stafford and Stoke). There is no overlapping validity so the charge was correct (albeit a bit insensitive to the circumstances).

    Unless Crewe to Manchester is valid via the EMT or LNR to Stoke thence Manchester, in which case there would be a small overcharge.

    EDIT: Just checked on NRE and Crewe to Manchester is not valid via Stoke, so there was indeed no validity overlap at all.

    To me the issue (as I put on the other instance of this thread) is that the VT guard should not have said what he did and a complaint to VT Customer Services may not be a bad idea, though whether you will get anything from them other than a reference number is debatable.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2019
  11. Upset76

    Upset76 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    19 Jul 2019
    The train I was supposed to get went from Crewe calling at Wilmslow, Stockport and Manchester. The train I got from Wolverhampton called at Stafford, Stoke on Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly
     
  12. Upset76

    Upset76 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    19 Jul 2019
    Just to add my original ticket restriction code was B1, not sure if relevant.
     
  13. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

    Messages:
    1,077
    Joined:
    29 Dec 2016
    Indeed. You should only have been charged a fare to Stockport from where you could use your original ticket to get to Manchester.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    40,527
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    Ah yes, missed that! :D

    However the fare is the same as Manchester, so that would be neither here nor there. And indeed you could, having not used it at all, potentially refund your Crewe-Manchester ticket, if it's over £10 (though you won't get much back) so issuing to Manchester was actually preferable.
     
  15. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    3,634
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    I think the criticism of the Virgin Trains guard is rather harsh, as he could easily have charged for a ticket to Wolverhampton instead of just accepting the ticket. He might also have failed to realise that direct trains from Wolverhampton do not travel via Crewe. However, I think criticism of the CrossCountry guard is due, given that he failed to take the unintended circumstances into account and charged the maximum he possibly could.
     
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    40,527
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    It's not, at all.

    There is a big problem with staff saying things that sound like authority to travel that they are not authorised to give. It comes up in the disputes/prosecutions forum all the time.

    No member of staff should EVER do this. In these days of strict revenue enforcement, it is vitally important that staff only issue authority to travel in writing and only on services to which they are entitled to do this, unless there is general ticket acceptance in place. The OP might quite easily not have found themselves £40 down, they might very easily have found themselves being prosecuted.

    It simply is not good enough, and a formal complaint is very much needed. It has to stop, now.

    The correct thing for him to do, as I said, would be:
    - To explain to the OP that he was not charging him to travel on his train (this is sensible use of discretion).
    - To endorse the OP's ticket (or provide an accompanying note) including their name, signature and the headcode of the train, stating (a) that they authorised free travel on their train, and (b) that they request the guard of the next suitable train to Manchester or back to Crewe to accept free travel as well.
    - To explain to the OP that they do not have the authority to mandate the guard of another TOC's train to do this, and that the OP should approach the guard at Wolverhampton BEFORE boarding, show this and ask for permission to travel, explaining that if this is denied the OP should accept this decision and go downstairs to purchase a ticket, or take a VT back to Crewe where the guard presumably does have the authority to allow free travel.

    This is possibly true, but an Anytime Single is not the worst possible outcome. With RPIs meeting the OP in the wrong place, a Byelaw prosecution would have been quite feasible.

    I also bet people lie about having been overcarried/boarding the wrong train so they get free travel all the time, so without the VT guard putting it in writing it's forgiveable that they perhaps did not believe it.

    Fundamentally, the VT guard caused the issue by giving incorrect advice and not endorsing the ticket.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2019
  17. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

    Messages:
    4,722
    Joined:
    10 Apr 2013
    Location:
    Sunny Tuscany
    Could the XC guard, just charge the OP with an overdistance excess instead of a new ticket? ( Ie excess from Crewe to Wolverhampton)
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    40,527
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    Interesting...possibly! It isn't however an "entitled excess" - i.e. the NRCoT doesn't entitle you to it, it's a discretionary one. Also, non-entitled excesses must be done before boarding if there is the option to do so, which there was at Wolves.
     
  19. Bertie the bus

    Bertie the bus Established Member

    Messages:
    1,232
    Joined:
    15 Aug 2014
    Indeed. Other than perhaps not being particularly pleasant, if the OPs account is correct, I can't see what the XC TM did wrong. Somebody was trying to travel from Wolverhampton - Manchester with a Crewe - Manchester ticket and claimed somebody working for another company said they could. The fault lies with the OP for not paying attention (catching the wrong train at Crewe isn't easy with all the departure screens and both manual and auto announcements) and the Virgin TM for giving verbal permission when they had no authority to do so and not doing it in writing.
     
  20. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    5,640
    Joined:
    15 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Crayford
    I get that a 16-25 discount wasn't allowed, but why was the £33.70 off-peak single not the appropriate fare to charge?
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    40,527
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    The NRCoT allows staff to charge the Anytime Single fare in the event of boarding with no valid ticket. It specifically states the Anytime Single.

    https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/National Rail Conditions of Travel.pdf
     
  22. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    5,640
    Joined:
    15 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Crayford
    Ah yes, I was confused with the later section 9.5. Sorry.
     
  23. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

    Messages:
    11,721
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2008
    Location:
    Milton Keynes
    I agree. I knew XC didn’t run via Crewe and made the same mistake upthread.

    I once got on the wrong Glasgow train at Euston and ended up in Warrington rather than Milton Keynes - but wasn’t charged at all.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    40,527
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    I think the XC guard was being a bit of a misery-guts for not allowing travel, but he didn't break any rules, whereas the VTWC guard implied authority to travel beyond his authority to give it (he had authority to give it on his train but not on others).
     
  25. Upset76

    Upset76 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    19 Jul 2019
    OK so it's clear then, the XC TM did not do anything wrong and I therefore cannot claim any refund :'(
     
  26. londonboi198o5

    londonboi198o5 Member

    Messages:
    369
    Joined:
    28 Dec 2010
    Correct although there is nothing stopping you fro contacting XC explaining what happened and ask as a gesture of goodwill if they would refund the ticket although they are not obliged to.
     
  27. Upset76

    Upset76 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    19 Jul 2019
    The thing is if the virgin conductor told me this would happen I could have bought an off-Peak single to Manchester with my railcard making the cost substantially cheaper. How was I to know not to trust what he told me. Why was I expected to take additional verification steps on top of what an authorised train conductor told me?
     
  28. Upset76

    Upset76 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    19 Jul 2019
    Also if he told me to speak to the next conductor before boarding I would have absolutely done this. I just blindly followed his instructions.
     
  29. hkstudent

    hkstudent Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    11 Nov 2018
    I think at least the OP should attempt to claim a refund from the Crewe - Manchester ticket from the ticket sales if the train intended to take is late and the OP didn't travel on that service.
     
  30. furlong

    furlong Established Member

    Messages:
    1,998
    Joined:
    28 Mar 2013
    Location:
    Reading
    You should complain to both companies separately - fundamentally the root cause was a change to the departure time of your train of which you were inadequately notified. If you were then given permission to travel by an alternative route then you certainly should not have been charged on the second train. If the permission was not given "correctly" or should not have been given at all that's an internal matter for the two companies to sort out between themselves. Unless the companies can show you were negligent, you may also be able to obtain compensation for the delay to your journey.
     
  31. Upset76

    Upset76 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    19 Jul 2019
    I can’t get a refund for my original Crewe - Manchester ticket as it cost me £9.05 for off peak return with my railcard :(
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2019

Share This Page