Northern Rail - complimentary travel ticket validity?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by harz99, 8 Nov 2011.

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  1. harz99

    harz99 Member

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    Hi, I have a Northern complimentary ticket sent out as a "prize" for signing up to their online offers.

    The flyer says valid for one day travel, and must be dated (similarly to 4 in 8 rovers), with two boxes for travel, and if two people travel together both boxes to be dated.

    However the actual ticket says "This travel ticket is valid for [ 2 ] days anywhere on Northern Rail Service only". There are a total of six dateable boxes of which four are overprinted void.

    My question is, in view of the wording on the actual ticket, will I be able to use the ticket for travel out one day (dating the first box) and returning the next day (dating the second box)?

    I assume these are the sort of complimentary tickets regularly handed out by Northern's Customer Services for whatever reason?

    My journeys will be this Thursday/Friday.
     
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  3. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I would think the wording on the ticket itself would have precedence. It may refer to "any other terms associated with an offer" or similar though, in which case the flyer may come into play.

    Are the T&Cs online anywhere, or if not could you upload a scan of the flyer and ticket? (Someone else may well be more familiar with the offer though). The wording on the flyer could be compatible with the ticket - "one day travel" meaning unlimited travel for one day.
     
  4. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Why not phone Northern's customer relations team? They will tell you in 30 seconds and the answer will be definitive.
     
  5. harz99

    harz99 Member

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    Because we both know the answer is almost certainly going to be no.

    What I am looking for is a workaround to use this ticket in the way the wording on it implies, rather than the terms of the offer which are NOT printed on the ticket itself (which appears to be a standard goodwill freebie - the sort of thing given following a complaint maybe).
     
  6. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Oh right, so you want to break the terms and conditions of the ticket and manipulate them to suit yourself.

    I'm sure Northern will be delighted their goodwill gestures are being abused.
     
  7. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    If you look at the original post it says the OP won them in a competition. I haven't seen a complimentary pass like the one described. However, I do remember Northern running a competition to win your daily commute for a week, so it sounds like they've used left overs from that and stamped the word void on some sections to stop to make their use more limited.
     
  8. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    What I object to is that the actual (correct) answer can be obtained in 30 seconds from Northern, but that isn't good enough, and we're being asked to pick over semantics to see if we can get twice the use out of the ticket.

    That's hardly fair given that Northern have handed this out as a freebie, and as a gesture of goodwill.
     
  9. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have to say that I agree with AlterEgo.

    The forum does not condone any behaviour that seeks to break the conditions attached to a ticket.

    Sometimes ambiguity can be used to the passenger's favour, however please bear in mind that this isn't always the case, especially if Northern can prove that the terms and conditions were clearly provided with the ticket.
     
  10. harz99

    harz99 Member

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    How does one person doing one return journey - admittedly over 2 days - equate to twice the use, especially given that two people can actually use the complimentary ticket to travel all day on one day.

    I am simply asking for opinions given what is printed on the complimentary ticket versus what is printed on the holder it came in - it's not my fault if Northern allow such an ambiguous ticket to go out.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It's not a goodwill gesture; it's a marketing ploy to bring more custom in via its website - did you read my OP?
     
  11. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    My opinion is that it's ambiguous, definitely. If it were me, I'd phone whoever issued the (free) ticket to clarify its validity...
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Same thing, different gravy.
     
  12. Mystic Force

    Mystic Force Member

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    How dare someone attempt to maximise the use of a ticket, while remaining with in its validity from now on I will only buy anytime singles for my journeys as the others are to cheap.
     
  13. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    It apparently says on the ticket, valid for two days. Therefore it is valid for two days, despite what may be said elsewhere in a flyer, or by a call to Northern.

    "If there is doubt about the meaning of a written term, the interpretation which is most favourable to the consumer shall prevail....." etc etc. Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations.
     
  14. harz99

    harz99 Member

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    To illustrate what I said above; the journey I want to make out one day back the next is worth £40.60p for a walk on fare for me, 2 people doing the same trip as a day's journey together (again at walk on fares), would be a total of £67.60p.

    There is no intention to defraud whatsoever, just use the ticket(s) in the most advantageous way possible.
     
  15. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    I'm sure this is a hopelessly naive comment from me, but "what contract?"
     
  16. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    I would hardly say using the ticket as printed on the ticket itself could be considered breaking the terms and conditions or manipulating them.
     
  17. island

    island Established Member

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    That's a very good question. A complimentary ticket cannot create a contract, as there is no consideration.
     
  18. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Northern have said it's only valid for one day in their flyer. The second box is for a companion (if there is one). The OP has already been told the TnCs of the ticket, but because the ticket says 'two days' (Northern's fault really!) he wants to use it for two.

    I'd never advise that, even if the OP could 'get away' with it. This is a free ticket given away as a 'thank-you' by Northern. If he wants to know what he can do with it in light of their conflicting publicity, he should contact them, and they will tell him the answer, and it will be the right answer. He already knows what the answer is, hence his refusal to contact them, and is asking us to agree with him that the ticket can be used for two days.

    Go ahead, use the ticket for two days. But I think everyone knows exactly what Northern's intentions for the tickets are (that one person should use it for one day only), and just because they've made a boo-boo on the face of the ticket itself does not make it OK to abuse their goodwill.

    If you ask for a single ticket at the booking office, pay for a single and you're given, by mistake, a more expensive return ticket, is it OK to use the return portion? I think morally you have a duty to be honest and to highlight the error. Maybe I'm too naive for this game.

    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    My point exactly.
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2011
  19. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    No, don't get me wrong, I agree with you in that case.
    However there are a few differences between this and your example.
    Namely that you have asked for something, but been given something different.
    With the OP, he has not asked for a single (or a return), so he doesn't know what he should be getting.

    You do have a point. But it isn't about breaking the T&C's of a ticket. As using a ticket given to you in the way described on the ticket cannot be breaking its T&C's. Your point is about being honest and highlighting the error, as you say above.

    Of course, I do think the OP should contact Northern to clear it up. I didn't mean to imply any different. But I don't think the issues with the T&C's of the ticket, as the ticket itself says 2 days.
     
  20. harz99

    harz99 Member

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    Now who's confused!!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    So if there is no contract, surely the person in possession of the relevant complimentary ticket (me) is entitled to take it at face value as printed?
     
  21. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    I don't understand your point. Northern, I would imagine (from the information you posted), intend this to be used for one day only by one person, or for one day only by two people (hence two boxes). They have sent out a physical ticket which suggests you may be able to use it over two days. I'm not sure, as I haven't rung Northern, which would be the most sensible and mature thing to do, rather than asking people whether it's okay to play on semantics and confusion.

    Maybe you've been sent the wrong ticket - maybe not. Only Northern can tell you. But you won't ring them. Ho-hum.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Maybe. Why not ask them? Nobody on here can tell you the 'right' answer.
     
  22. harz99

    harz99 Member

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    Whats not to understand; in one sentence you are saying the second box is for a companion, and in another you are saying that Northern's intentions are for one person to use the ticket for one day only.

    "Make your mind up" springs to mind!

    As for the "right" answer, I have never asked for that.
     
  23. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    As I have previously said, before you took my quote out of context, I believe that Northern intend (as per their literature, which you can read for yourself):

    One person - valid for one day only, one box to be filled.
    Two people ('winner' and a companion) - valid for one day only, two boxes to be filled.

    I have a feeling that you are going to use the ticket over two days anyway, so this discussion is rather irrelevant. I find it disappointing that someone who has been given a free ticket as a gesture of goodwill is concerned with jumping on an obvious error for their own advantage, instead of politely ringing up Northern and clarifying the terms of use - who knows, they may say it's okay! ;)

    [/victormeldrew]
     
  24. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    I emailed Northern this morning to ask, as I also have one of these (and no friends).

    No reply yet, but I'll let you know...
     
  25. harz99

    harz99 Member

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    Stop wriggling!

    I didn't take a quote out of context; what I did do was respond to your post (not quote) within which you posted two contradictory sentences, hence my response.

    Northern may well have intended one thing, but owing to them posting out a ticket that clearly states something different, I placed my OP to gauge views.

    The ticket I have is in no way a gesture of goodwill; It could be a "prize" although I doubt the voracity of the "competition" I alledgedly entered by simply registering with them online. It is the bait to get more customers.
    Goodwill is where you seek to retain existing customers who are thinking of going elsewhere for whatever reason.

    In any case several phone calls to Northern (not the 30 seconds you fondly state) resulted in me being told that a complimentary ticket valid for two days needs to be separately dated for each day of travel - that was the question I asked.

    That's good enough for me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 10 Nov 2011
  26. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    It's good enough because you asked a question you already knew the answer to. I'm not going to go on about it, though. You, I and everyone reading the thread can see you have no intention of highlighting a possible error to a well-meaning party who has given you a free ticket. That is a great shame. You asked for advice; I gave it and obviously it isn't what you wanted to hear.
     
    Last edited: 11 Nov 2011
  27. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Are we just going around in circles here? The OP clearly has made his mind up. The advice has been offered. He decided not to take it. Good luck if you're going to do it your way, but please do let us know how you get on.
     
  28. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    One of those bits of advice was to contact Northern. Which the OP eventually took and which resulted in Northern saying the ticket is valid for two days.

    Seems pretty clear to me now. Both the ticket and Northern say 'valid for two days'. Maybe the flyer was wrong...
     
  29. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It could well be. There is a whole host of possibilities why the information provided does not match.

    Good to see that Northern adopted a common sense approach.
     
  30. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    It would have been the flyer, the advertising of the competition, the terms of the competition and the congratulatory email that were all 'wrong'.
    I think it is far more likely that they just did not print specific ticket stock solely for this compeition.

    I don't think they did - they were asked about a ticket that they were told was valid for two days, and answered according to that.

    But that does not clarify anything about this ticket - everything, apart from the ticket itself, says it is only valid for one day for two people.
     
  31. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Edited and deleted.
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2011
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