Late connection on Advance ticket at Manchester

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by table38, 5 Jun 2015.

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  1. table38

    table38 Established Member

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    OK so I'm booked on a single Advance journey from Stalybridge to London, due to depart SYB at 10:50 and catching the 11:15 at Manchester Piccadilly.

    The SYB to MAN train was 7 mins late, and with an additional fester at Ardwick we got into platform 14 at 11:14. I did my best, but got to the top of the stairs of Platform 6 just in time to see the 11:15 depart.

    So off to Platform 5 for the 11:35, except the Virgin staff at the end of the platform won't let me on because apparently it's my fault I'm late. I made the fatal mistake of assuming the guy I was speaking to was misinformed, and asked him to check with a colleague, but that's when they closed ranks and just started to make things 100 times more difficult for me.

    So a brief discussion about the National Conditions of Carriage and it being a single journey later (ticket is Stalybridge to London Terminals), he decides that he needs to confirm that the inbound train was indeed late. He wanted to take my tickets and leave me stood there, but he wouldn't give me a receipt so we compromised and I agreed to accompany him to the Virgin desk.

    Here I had a rather surreal conversation with the guy in a grey suit behind the desk, who maintained that it was Northern's fault (because apparently they are the agents for Transpennine at Piccadilly) and "if I'd bought something from Marks and Spencer I couldn't expect to get a refund from somewhere else" :(

    So we went off insearch of a TPX dispatcher but to no avail. The Northern guys at the end of Platforms 11/12 suggested we went to the information office, where finally someone confirmed that the inbound train was late and it was all OK and they should let me on the 11:35, but that I had to go to find the Train Manager in Coach C first and check with him, which I duly did. She is delightful and said there was no problem.

    I guess I shall not be arriving Awesome today.
    </rant>
     
  2. transportphoto

    transportphoto Established Member Quizmaster

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    I dare say put that, plus a bit of waffling, in a letter to Virgin Trains, they'll send you some Rail Travel Vouchers as compensation... they won't read your letter though!

    TP
     
  3. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    VT are pretty good at compensation
     
  4. table38

    table38 Established Member

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    I'm not really after compensation, just maybe the possibility that they might train their staff a little better, and to not automatically assume every passenger is trying it on!

    I'd agree maybe it'd have been worth checking if I'd had a Manchester to London ticket, (even with a split SYB-MAN MAN-SYB although still valid), but surely if someone rocks up with a Stalybridge to London ticket, it's a no-brainer?
     
  5. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Established Member

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    VT's platform staff are a pain in the backside at the best of times. "No you can't board the LM service on the platform next door until our precious Pendolino has departed".

    They're a bit over zealous, bless them.
     
  6. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    They might not be so keen when they have to hand out cash.
     
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    It's sort of nice when virgin send a RTV as a 'fob off' but the problem is it doesn't get to the root cause of the problem (ie. the lack of staff knowledge in this case) because Virgin don't even read these complaints.

    In the long term this attitude from Virgin will cause problems. Good organisations welcome and react to feedback. Ignore feedback at your peril!
     
  8. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write in and complain. When Virgin send their standard we have not read your letter but lets fob you off with a RTV, write back again saying you are not happy. Please also write to the company the man worked for who gave the "if you brought something form Marks and Spencer" comment from.

    If you don't have the time to do this I will gladly take this up with the TOCs and companies concerned on you behalf if you will allow me and draft any letters. I say that because this really has angered me and I can see so many other travels being victim to this scam! This is totally corrupt! PM me if you wish.

    Can you imagine the situation had you have been using a split ticket with these fools!
     
  9. BurtonM

    BurtonM Member

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    I also so SYB-London on occasion (well, Beckenham Junction, but I have to go through Euston). Same thing has happened to me, but the TM was quitel literally a miserable old man, and just let us on his 1135 without checking our train from SYB was late or anything. Come the ticket check, he just marked our tickets and didn't say anything. Yes, it wasn't any hassle, but even a token effort would have been nice. There's a whole spectrum of experience on VT, it's all pot luck.
     
  10. herschell

    herschell Member

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    Sounds to me like staff not paying attention as surely there would have been announcments that it was late or depending where they were standing wouldn't the information be on the departure boards?
     
  11. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    At a busy station like Manchester Piccadilly I wouldn't expect staff to notice every delay on the boards. However there are ways for them to look it up. And the main problem seems to be not that they didn't believe there was a delay but they didn't think this entitled table38 to catch the next available Virgin Train.
     
  12. table38

    table38 Established Member

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    Yet the train manager was charming and said there was no problem (as has always been my experience when this has happened before), so presumably it's more a training issue for the station staff, rather than Virgin making up their own rules!

    Anyway I shall no doubt be contacting them when I return home :)
     
  13. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    And lets member people that when our trains are delayed and we miss our connections while using an Advance ticket, the train company as a legal duty to allow us to travel on the next service. They are not doing us a favour or good turn, its part of the 2 way contract that has been formed with them. If ever a member of staff is unable to check the information then they should give the customer the benefit of the doubt and let them on the train. The ticket checker on the train can always doubt check a delay. Personally, I would give the customer the benefit of the doubt (I'm not going to get into any discussions btw about those that try it on) I am surprised the OP didn't miss that train 20 minutes later all the messing about.
     
  14. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    If it happens again, consider boarding the train from a different entrance to the platform ;)
     
  15. table38

    table38 Established Member

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    Having watched the 11:15 depart, I should have just continued along the overbridge, but I wasn't sure which platform the 11:35 was on, so I walked down Platform 6 to look at the screens.

    Incidentally, when I was finally allowed to board (and thanked the member of staff as I considered he was probably only doing what he'd been instructed to do), he helpfully suggested I sit in coach "F" or "U" as they would be unreserved. Makes you wonder if he had looked at anything other than the departure time on my tickets (which he had helpfully underlined), as I had a First Class advance :(

    And as someone else helpfully pointed out, what would have happened if I'd been an ordinary member of the public or infrequent traveller or tourist and accepted their refusal and meekly bought a new ticket because I didn't know any better and assumed they were right? I wonder how often that has happened
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2015
  16. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    They would probably also keen to avoid causing delays to customers who have a right to travel on a particular service by denying them access to that service! At the moment if you are delayed because of staff being difficult, then you'd probably get some vouchers back in return. If they had to give you cash back, maybe they would try to eliminate the cause of that delay in the first place!
     
  17. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    or what if you'd have been someone who was not as confidant as you or lacked the ability not only to assert themselves, but also stand up to being bullied by these members of staff. its not right they try to take away your rights and enter into situations of conflict. a total breach of contract and non existent customer service. imagine if you'd have been vulnerable adult or disabled person who's disability (which could quite easily be a hidden disability) meant you have a communication problem and were unable to explain things.

    Whenever friends of mine come to me for help booking their tickets and we get them an Advance, I hammer it home to them that they are entitled to use the next train if there is a delay.

    I would even go so far as to saying you do NOT have to even run for your connecting train if you arrival is late. Those minimum connection times are there fore a reason and its a 2 way process - a customer cannot reasonably be expected to connect in less then that amount of time.
     
  18. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    I hope that you also hammer home with them the necessity of being on their booked train to begin with, and be in possession of any railcards required (and if an m-ticket, having their devices adequately charged)...
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And hopefully also that there is no entitlement to switch TOC.
     
  20. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Correct. You may be surprised though at how often staff will go out of their way to help passengers when they don't have to. Recent example: returning from Brighton to Liverpool on a LM&SN only advance ticket with an onward ticket from Liverpool to Manchester for last train of the night. Southern service late, miss northbound LM. Southern staff at CLJ radio ahead to get my ticket passed on all LMs northbound from MKC. But a Virgin guard was happy for me to hop on and then looked up all possible permutations of making the journey and told me I was okay to travel to Birmingham and XC were happy to accommodate me direct to Manchester.

    Tldr; Not all staff have the same attitude as those encountered at Piccadilly.
     
  21. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I had the same situation on the exact same ticket and this was not even a last service of the day job. Got off at MKC. LM to Stafford cancelled. a VT pulled in and a 10 second chat with the guard "oh course its fine mate" and on I got. The rest of the passengers who were waiting for the LM just stayed at MKC. Got that to Birmingham New Street and I picked up the same train at Birmingham going to Liverpool that I was booked to get on at Stafford. I didn't get my ticket checked until approach Crewe so didn't need to explain anything there. I look the attitude "he can only say no."

    Btw Jake, I hope you claimed delay repay too as you can exchange a SN RTV for hard cash!

    There would have come a point though in that situation whereby they'd have to have got you to Manchester. You had a valid split ticket. So even if you'd only have got say as far as Crewe on LM say and then there were no more services, you've have had to have been taxied (or refunded for the fare later) to Manchester from there.

    And yes, of course, I hammer home to them about only being allowed to travel on the booked train and must keep EVERYTHING ticket wise (tickets/reservations) and to carry railcards.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2015
  22. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Plus the fact that (if it is a TOC specific ticket) that they can only catch a train operated by the same TOC unless they have got their ticket endorsed by a suitable person.
     
  23. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Not true. There is no requirement for a passenger to actually get their ticket endorsed. This is becoming something of a misconception and I hope it doesn't leak over into the minds of staff on the network. I say it is not a requirement because acceptance measures may have been communicated to staff by the control centre of their TOC. E.g. Friend of mine was traveling from Euston to Liverpool on a LM Only ticket. Gets to Stafford and due to severe delay on the arrival from EUS, he was advised by platform staff something like: "customers with LM tickets are allowed to catch the next VT to Liverpool" When he double checked he was told that the control centre had authorised it.
     
  24. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    I think this is too harsh - I suspect it is merely the case that 455Driver meant to say the operator restriction must be taken into consideration - along with an opportunity to get one's ticket endorsed and published ticket acceptance. There is not going to be a problem with any ideas 'leaking over' that when ticket acceptance is in place, as in the case you explain here, tickets need to be endorsed.

    By the same token, I'm confident that 455Drivers colleagues who are involved will take ATOC's views into account at all times:

    My bold. Available at: www.atoc.org/latest-publications/

    Perhaps this document has escaped the notice of the gentleman in the grey suit, table38.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2015
  25. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    So the ticket was 'endorsed' because of the ticket acceptance then wasn't it!

    My point still stands though.

    We are talking about one person being delayed on one train, not a wholesale eff up of the whole system which you seem to be talking about just to make your point valid.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2015
  26. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Both would seem to count as disruption to me?
     
  27. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Of course they are! :roll:
    They are hardly going to announce ticket acceptance when one or 2 train(s) is/are late though are they, so I fail to understand the relevance of the point to the OPs case?
     
  28. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    No, the ticket was no endorsement put on the ticket. He was merely told that information and his ticket did not need to be marked in any way by a membe of staff.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Lets not make this complicated, all I was saying is that there is no requirment for a customer to actually get the endorsement box on the back of their ticket marked in order for it to be valid during disruption.
     
  29. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Yes, the requirement is for the train company to endorse tickets, put into place ticket acceptence or come up with some other way for the passenger to complete their journey. I don't think 455 Driver was disagreeing?
     
  30. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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