Mis-sold my rail ticket ?

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stupot52

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I am a bit new to all the online rail ticket purchasing and hunting around for "cheaper" tickets, so please bear with me.

Wednesday 11/04/2012 I had to travel from Redhill (Surrey) rail station to Park Royal underground. Time of outward journey was 6.30 am approx, and return 1.15 pm approx.

I went to the ticket counter and asked if a return ticket to Park Royal was more or less expensive than a day travelcard. The ticket clerk told me it was 30p dearer. So I asked for a travelcard.

I was shocked to be charged £26.20 for this little item. Now and in hindsight, I thought I was travelling off-peak and that if I limited the target zone to my destination it would be cheaper.

It's here I need some help.

If there are cheaper fares available, should a ticket clerk offer them ? Should he/she ask some general questions in order to provide the best value for the customer ? Or should he/she just try to sell the most expensive ticket in order to secure revenue for the rail company?

Thanks in advance for all thread replies
 
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Bungle73

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6.30am isn't off-peak. Off-peak doesn't generally start until 9.30am (exception being places like where I live where "off-peak" is any train that arrives in London after 10am).

Also, ime, it's generally cheaper to purchase a Travelcard rather than a normal train ticket + Underground zones
 

barrykas

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For Day Travelcards, peak time from Redhill is defined as trains arriving in London before 09:50 Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

An Anytime Day Return from Redhill to any Underground station within the zones is £26.90 (with the move to zonal point-to-point fares inside London, such tickets are issued to Zone U1256 from Southern stations), whereas the Travelcard is £26.20.

Under the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement, Ticket Office staff should ask whatever questions they deem necessary to sell you the most appropriate ticket for the journey you are making.

Cheers,

Barry
 

LexyBoy

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If there are cheaper fares available, should a ticket clerk offer them ? Should he/she ask some general questions in order to provide the best value for the customer ? Or should he/she just try to sell the most expensive ticket in order to secure revenue for the rail company?
The ticket clerk must offer the cheapest single ticket which is valid for the itinerary you tell them.

They should ask enough questions to ascertain which is the cheapest ticket suitable; this would usually include asking times of travel, time/date of return, whether Underground travel is required (for London tickets), route (if more than one route available), and whether a flexible or fixed time ticket is required (for tickets bought in advance).

They are not allowed to offer combinations of tickets (which in some cases may be cheaper), nor tickets to/from stations other than those specified (again, these are cheaper in some cases; they are allowed to offer rovers/rangers etc though). If specifically asked for "split" tickets or tickets from other stations, they should be sold.
 

stupot52

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My sincerest thanks to Bungle73, barrykas and LexyBoy for prompt responses.

Just shows how out of touch I am with things concerning rail-travel....I seem to remember in the dim and distant past, PEAK time travel had nothing to do with what time one arrives in London and more with the actual time of travel and...strangely enough, how crowded the trains were likely to be..hence the work "Peak." The fact that I climbed aboard a train at 6.30 am yesterday and was in London by 7 am (train could only be described as "medium" crowded, i.e. still plenty of seats available), I find it hard to understand how this can be described as "Peak Time.".....but maybe I'm just miffed with at being charged the princely price of £26.20....For sure, if I had travelled during the rush hour both directions, I would have expected to pay the maximum price...

On the current Peak Time rules, anybody like me, travelling to London early in the morning is compelled to pay Peak Travel time fares, even if the traveller arrives in London early enough to avoid the main rush hour traffic..This seems a bit unfair IMHO..Another way of looking at it is that should I have travelled to London on the 1st train out of Redhill yesterday, i.e. 05.35 am and arrived in London at 06.00 am..seems a bit much to consider that "Peak" time travel..
 

island

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The clerk sold the correct ticket, but not the cheapest one. As mentioned above, ticket clerks are not required to offer split tickets, but a cheaper option for your particular journey would have been the following:

Anytime Day Single Redhill to London Terminals £9.50
Oyster PAYG £3.10 zones 1-3 peak
Oyster PAYG £2.60 zones 3-1 off-peak
Super Off-Peak Day Return Redhill to London Victoria £8.20, using only the return portion

Total £25.40, saving 80p. There may well be something better out there.

Travelling in the morning peak is expensive! If you could have managed with an off-peak day travelcard (arrive London Terminals at or after 0950 on this route), it would only have been £14.20.

In an ideal world for the TOCs, everyone would be charged exactly the maximum they're willing to pay for any given journey. Fortunately, we don't live in that world, so their targeting of off-peak and peak fares is a bit blunter. But in this case it seems to have worked, as you paid £26.20!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I don't think there's ever been a time when there's been a "pre peak" period
How about 0430-0630 on Oyster pay as you go?
 
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hairyhandedfool

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Indeed, the rules for impartiality state only what the clerk must offer, however, it has been known for managers to tell staff not to offer splits.
 

stupot52

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I don't think there's ever been a time when there's been a "pre peak" period
I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that in the 60s, when I first started commuting, fares were priced on the time they were purchased at the ticket desk, not the time one arrives in London prior to 09.50 or whatever... This made it fairer for workers travelling at the crack of dawn plus not clogging the trains up a la rush hour ....and also provided an incentive for people to travel earlier, thus reducing rush hour crowding etc. I believe in those days (and prior) that "Peak" travel time commenced at 7 am and finished at 9.30 am across the board...But I'm sure some railway fare buff will shoot me down in flames...lol

Thanks to all those responses concerning cheaper ticketing methods ...but hey what the heck ?..perhaps next time I'll just jump in my BMW Roadster and brave the M25..probably will turn out cheaper !
 

AlterEgo

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I don't think there's ever been a time when there's been a "pre peak" period

No such thing as "pre peak period". Off Peak and Peak are specific to the ticket held. It's entirely possible to be on a train with an Off Peak ticket when the majority of other passengers may be disbarred.

In terms of "pre-peak", if you will, an Off Peak ticket from Birmingham to London bars arriving into London before 1130, making the first train you can take from New Street the 1010. However, you can take the 0529 and 0550 services on an Off Peak ticket.
 

LexyBoy

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Anytime fares on this route (as with many) are very overpriced. A regular commuter would pay at most £15.34 per day, based on a weekly Redhill-Z1-6 Travelcard; the daily cost would be less for monthly or annual tickets.

The reason for this is that Anytime fares are not regulated, whilst Seasons and most Off Peak tickets are.

Indeed, the rules for impartiality state only what the clerk must offer, however, it has been known for managers to tell staff not to offer splits.
I was under the impression that it was not permitted to offer splits etc as this could allow staff to offer tickets which benefit their TOC over others. Are the RSP retailing rules available online?
 

hairyhandedfool

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They must offer the cheapest through fare for the journey being made, unless the passenger requests something specific. There are no official industry wide rules on offering splits.

The only examples I know of for splits not being allowed to be offered have come from TOC management either at a company level or a local level.

I'm sure there is a pdf on the web somewhere but I'm honestly not sure where it is.
 

MikeWh

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I think I'd have gone for:

Redhill-East Croydon Anytime Day Return: £10.50
Oyster zone 5-zone 3 via zone 1 peak single: £5.90
Oyster zone 3-zone 5 via zone 1 off-peak single: £4.10

Total price £20.50. Drawback the need to detrain at East Croydon to touch in/out.

If money was really the key barrier the I'd replace the Oyster fares with avoiding zone 1 versions at £3.10/£2.10 but changes at East Croydon, possibly Clapham Junction, West Brompton and Earls Court would make it a long journey.
 

stupot52

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No such thing as "pre peak period". Off Peak and Peak are specific to the ticket held. It's entirely possible to be on a train with an Off Peak ticket when the majority of other passengers may be disbarred.

In terms of "pre-peak", if you will, an Off Peak ticket from Birmingham to London bars arriving into London before 1130, making the first train you can take from New Street the 1010. However, you can take the 0529 and 0550 services on an Off Peak ticket.
On that basis, it IS possible for travellers to take early trains and arrive in London by paying for Off-Peak tickets, despite their arrival prior to 11.30am ?

In those instances mentioned, arrival at Euston appears to be about 1 1/2 hours later...

..Doesn't say much for my journey from Redhill which commenced at 6.30 am and arrived at London Bridge at 7 am where a Peak Travel ticket was sold to me.
 

Failed Unit

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It has always amazed me that we don't have an off peak ticket for services arriving into major cities before say 0730, you never know it may spread the peak out a bit (or make the 0729 arrival extremely overcrowded)
 

AlterEgo

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On that basis, it IS possible for travellers to take early trains and arrive in London by paying for Off-Peak tickets, despite their arrival prior to 11.30am ?

In those instances mentioned, arrival at Euston appears to be about 1 1/2 hours later...

..Doesn't say much for my journey from Redhill which commenced at 6.30 am and arrived at London Bridge at 7 am where a Peak Travel ticket was sold to me.
An example (as there will be many hundreds of different examples) is someone on a Lancaster to London Terminals ticket travelling via Birmingham. The restriction code for this ticket is 3A, meaning one must arrive in London "Before 04:30 and at or after 10:05". So they can take, say, the 0910 from Birmingham New Street, but someone with a Birmingham Stations to London Terminals ticket cannot.
 

island

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An example (as there will be many hundreds of different examples) is someone on a Lancaster to London Terminals ticket travelling via Birmingham. The restriction code for this ticket is 3A, meaning one must arrive in London "Before 04:30 and at or after 10:05". So they can take, say, the 0910 from Birmingham New Street, but someone with a Birmingham Stations to London Terminals ticket cannot.
As long as they didn't break their journey at Birmingham New Street!
 

OwlMan

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A Redhill to Zone U23456 LONDN would probably be the best bet
SDR - ANYTIME DAY R SN
00754 - VIA BALHAM

1 Adult @£ 15.20 = £ 15.20
__________
£ 15.20
Redhill - Clapham Junction (via Balham) - West Brompton - Earls Court - Park Royal for £15-20 return.
 

142094

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It has always amazed me that we don't have an off peak ticket for services arriving into major cities before say 0730, you never know it may spread the peak out a bit (or make the 0729 arrival extremely overcrowded)
TPE have the Early Bird Season ticket, so might be a good idea for some flows to have a similar Early Bird single/return type ticket?
 

barrykas

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Another possible option for the OP, depending on whereabouts in Park Royal he was headed, could've been to buy a ticket to Harlesden or Willesden Junction and walk from there.

By changing at Clapham Junction onto London Overground that'd be £15.70 for an Anytime Day Return (route Clapham Junction Not London).

Cheers,

Barry
 

cuccir

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On that basis, it IS possible for travellers to take early trains and arrive in London by paying for Off-Peak tickets, despite their arrival prior to 11.30am ?

In those instances mentioned, arrival at Euston appears to be about 1 1/2 hours later...

..Doesn't say much for my journey from Redhill which commenced at 6.30 am and arrived at London Bridge at 7 am where a Peak Travel ticket was sold to me.
Yes: the rules for what times are off-peak vary from ticket to ticket, according to a specific code given to each ticket. As barrykas notes above, from Redhill the rule is that any train arriving into London after 09:50am is off-peak - that's because it carries code [http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/pdfs/CDR_C0.pdf C0].

If you really want, the full list of all off-peak codes is [http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/pdfs/OffPeak.pdf here, in a long pdf document]. As you can see, some of these include a 'pre-peak' period eg codes 1J, 1U and 1V (I'm sure there will be more if you looked further down the document).

Each peak/off-peak distinction should (in theory) be designed around the particular demands of a given 'flow'.
 
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