Oyster - adding a discount entitlement

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RJ

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Right, genuinely a bit stuck here and interested to hear if anyone has found a way to overcome discount entitlement issues.

I have a Year Of The Bus standard retail Oyster which has been attached to my online account for a while. London Underground should be able to add a 26-30 and a second discount entitlement. Tried at more than one station and the staff present won't come to the self service machines to do it. The official advice on the TfL website stays that staff at Undeground stations can do it but it seems that is not the case at some stations.

I also have a Rail Staff Leisure card and have tried going to a NR station to get the relevant discount added. Despite the Oyster card being linked to my online account, it shows up on their computers (and the self service machines at LU stations) as non-registered. The staff at the NR station say they can't add the discount while it shows as non-registered.

Tried speaking to the Oyster Helpline - they say in both cases the staff should be doing it. They said that discounts can be added to non-registered cards and there's nothing they can do at their end to flag the card as registered if it's already attached to my online account. They suggested I should return and initiate a phonecall whilst at the station so the staff can be talked through it. I can't see this working and not convinced this is a particularly covid safe practice.

Can anyone else suggest a way to overcome these as I'm not keen on generating fruitless trips to stations that can't help.
 
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Ashley Hill

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I've had trouble in the past getting my priv Oyster updated each year. I think it's often a case that most LU gateline staff can but some can't be bothered to do it. Since the closure of the booking offices I've often received various excuses like there's nobody qualified or you'll need to go to a main station. It's all nonsense! Find the right member of staff and it takes no time to update the card on a normal ticket machine once they've signed into it.
 

Watershed

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I've had success (during the pandemic) at Euston Underground station and St Pancras Thameslink ticket office FWIW.
 

Hadders

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Originally the Oyster card had to be registered but I don't think that's the case any longer. Perhaps @MikeWh can advise.

I have a Gold Card which I've got loaded on my Oyster card. Every year I normally get it loaded at Kings Cross Underground station. Usually (but not always) it starts with the staff member claiming they can't do it, can only be done online and other such nonsense. I then insist it can only be done in the supervisor functions of the POM, the staff member relents and does it for me (it did feel like I was training the staff member the last time I had the discount applied as he told me he'd never actually done it before!). So far I've always managed to get it sorted first time, but maybe I've just been lucky.
 

CyrusWuff

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Originally the Oyster card had to be registered but I don't think that's the case any longer. Perhaps @MikeWh can advise.
To add a discount, the card needs to be "part" registered, which entails a member of staff entering a photocard number (the station NLC being the usual alternative if you don't have a photocard) and password (Oyster is a popular choice, and you can change it online later) in the appropriate fields. Once that's done, it'll let you add a discount.

A "full" registration (name and address, etc) is only required to add Monthly or longer Travelcard Seasons to the card, and even that may no longer be the case with sales having moved from Ticket Offices to online.
 
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RJ

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I've been driving Metropolitan Line rail replacement today and managed to get the first ones done at Watford Met. It showed up as unregistered and a postcode and password had to be entered.

Unfortunately I don't pass any Overground or TfL Rail run ticket offices on my routine journeys. I will try other National Rail ticket offices however.
 

bubieyehyeh

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I've had no trouble getting a gold card added at Marylebone, just asked one of the underground gate line staff for three years running.
 

Wolfie

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Originally the Oyster card had to be registered but I don't think that's the case any longer. Perhaps @MikeWh can advise.

I have a Gold Card which I've got loaded on my Oyster card. Every year I normally get it loaded at Kings Cross Underground station. Usually (but not always) it starts with the staff member claiming they can't do it, can only be done online and other such nonsense. I then insist it can only be done in the supervisor functions of the POM, the staff member relents and does it for me (it did feel like I was training the staff member the last time I had the discount applied as he told me he'd never actually done it before!). So far I've always managed to get it sorted first time, but maybe I've just been lucky.
I got mine sorted at Stratford TfL ticket office after Underground staff said that they couldn't do it.
 

Sleepy

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Don't try Liverpool St. - GA ticket office no longer have any oyster card capability unfortunately. The list on Rail Staff travel website needs updating.
 

Mawkie

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I've had trouble in the past getting my priv Oyster updated each year. I think it's often a case that most LU gateline staff can but some can't be bothered to do it. Since the closure of the booking offices I've often received various excuses like there's nobody qualified or you'll need to go to a main station. It's all nonsense! Find the right member of staff and it takes no time to update the card on a normal ticket machine once they've signed into it.
I'm sorry to hear that you think LUL staff can't be bothered. I'm sure that must be a very small percentage of staff.

Once the ticket machines (POMs) had their coin vaults removed, there was little reason for most trained staff to use their log in, inputting log in details incorrectly three times invalidates the PIN. Getting the PIN reinstated has, it seems, been one of the casualties of covid, with staff at my station applying months ago without success.

In addition, a lot of these skills are degradable, and with the massive decrease in passenger numbers, staff simply haven't been required to use them for a year now.

I often tell customers that I am not qualified, or I don't have the technical ability, or something along those lines as it's easier than trying to explain the intricacies of LUL ticketing and revenue protocols. And I'm afraid I do advise going to large stations for two reasons:

1.There are many more staff at larger stations, so the chances of finding one with the ability is greater.

2. Main line termini stations (pre covid) have far more railway workers arriving from all over the country and consequently, it's much more likely that staff will have the knowledge to add privs and other discounts. It's just a numbers game.

I would invite you to the station I was working at today, but 3 out 3 of the CSAs today wouldn't have been able to help you for the reasons above.
 

Hadders

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I'm sorry to hear that you think LUL staff can't be bothered. I'm sure that must be a very small percentage of staff.

Once the ticket machines (POMs) had their coin vaults removed, there was little reason for most trained staff to use their log in, inputting log in details incorrectly three times invalidates the PIN. Getting the PIN reinstated has, it seems, been one of the casualties of covid, with staff at my station applying months ago without success.

In addition, a lot of these skills are degradable, and with the massive decrease in passenger numbers, staff simply haven't been required to use them for a year now.

I often tell customers that I am not qualified, or I don't have the technical ability, or something along those lines as it's easier than trying to explain the intricacies of LUL ticketing and revenue protocols. And I'm afraid I do advise going to large stations for two reasons:

1.There are many more staff at larger stations, so the chances of finding one with the ability is greater.

2. Main line termini stations (pre covid) have far more railway workers arriving from all over the country and consequently, it's much more likely that staff will have the knowledge to add privs and other discounts. It's just a numbers game.

I would invite you to the station I was working at today, but 3 out 3 of the CSAs today wouldn't have been able to help you for the reasons above.
I do understand this problems but they really are no concern of passengers. If PIN need resetting then LUL need to have a robust system in place to get them re-validated, if staff genuinely cannot remember how to add the discount, then there should be a way for them to look it up (it isn't exactly difficult - I guided a staff member through it at King's Cross)
 

Mawkie

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Sorry if I've offended you but I did say only some staff can't be bothered.
Absolutely no offence taken.

I do understand this problems but they really are no concern of passengers. If PIN need resetting then LUL need to have a robust system in place to get them re-validated, if staff genuinely cannot remember how to add the discount, then there should be a way for them to look it up (it isn't exactly difficult - I guided a staff member through it at King's Cross)
We are in agreement on all your points. My intention is not to make excuses as much as give possible reasons for the apathy witnessed.

(As a side note, the fairly thorough LUL Continuous Professional Development processes have be reformed into Competence Verification now due to covid restrictions - that 3 day CSA course is now an 1hr online test and a chat with a manager. The 5 day Train Operator course is now a 1 day session with a trainer! So a lot of skills which don't get used much are not getting refreshed as they would normally.)
 
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infobleep

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Absolutely no offence taken.


We are in agreement on all your points. My intention is not to make excuses as much as give possible reasons for the apathy witnessed.

(As a side note, the fairly thorough LUL Continuous Professional Development processes have be reformed into Competence Verification now due to covid restrictions - that 3 day CSA course is now an 1hr online test and a chat with a manager. The 5 day Train Operator course is now a 1 day session with a trainer! So a lot of skills which don't get used much are not getting refreshed as they would normally.)
What are trainers doing instead? Have they simply let them go, given TfL don't have their usual amount of revenue streams?
 

Mawkie

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What are trainers doing instead? Have they simply let them go, given TfL don't have their usual amount of revenue streams?
My maths will be wonky, but train op CPD was typically a 5-day course of 8-10 candidates in a room and train-based fault finding - due to covid restrictions that is now 2 candidates and a trainer.

So this is where my maths will let me down, but my guess is the trainers are still working at the same rate - running more courses per week, working full time, every day, just with fewer candidates.

Incidentally, I know some of the CSA trainers were on secondments, so perhaps they have returned to their substantive grades?

I'm sure someone with better knowledge will be along to confirm/contradict, but as far as I know there was no cull in Skills Development. They are a superb team, with such a breadth of knowledge, it would be very short sighted to reduce them by any significant amount.
 

Lewlew

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Skills Development have seen a bit of natural wastage (just like every other area). There was talks of redundancy but don't think anything actually come of it. A lot of them were originally furloughed.
 

infobleep

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Skills Development have seen a bit of natural wastage (just like every other area). There was talks of redundancy but don't think anything actually come of it. A lot of them were originally furloughed.
I'm surprised they were allowed to furlough them. Local government were told they shouldn't forlough anyone.

My maths will be wonky, but train op CPD was typically a 5-day course of 8-10 candidates in a room and train-based fault finding - due to covid restrictions that is now 2 candidates and a trainer.

So this is where my maths will let me down, but my guess is the trainers are still working at the same rate - running more courses per week, working full time, every day, just with fewer candidates.

Incidentally, I know some of the CSA trainers were on secondments, so perhaps they have returned to their substantive grades?

I'm sure someone with better knowledge will be along to confirm/contradict, but as far as I know there was no cull in Skills Development. They are a superb team, with such a breadth of knowledge, it would be very short sighted to reduce them by any significant amount.
Thanks for the explination. I thought all the courses had moved online but perhaps they do a greater breadth of training than just revenue duties at stations and some are still taking place face to face.
 

MikeWh

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Local government were told they shouldn't furlough anyone.
Really? My local council furloughed some of the library staff in the first lockdown, which seemed sensible as they had nothing to do. They're now supporting testing amongst other things.
 

infobleep

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Really? My local council furloughed some of the library staff in the first lockdown, which seemed sensible as they had nothing to do. They're now supporting testing amongst other things.
I was told whilst it wasn't against the legistation to do so, the government was asking local authorities not to do so, as they are already funded by the tax payer.
 

Haywain

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I was told whilst it wasn't against the legistation to do so, the government was asking local authorities not to do so, as they are already funded by the tax payer.
But that's not the central taxpayer, it's the local council taxpayer and local authorities are already hit by loss of income like other businesses.
 

bicbasher

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I wonder if some of the TfL Ticket Stop retailers will add railcards on? I had to search for ages to find a retailer who would be bothered to do my Bus and Tram Photocard as most would say no or didn't know how to input the number into the tiny device the retailers are given.
 

infobleep

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But that's not the central taxpayer, it's the local council taxpayer and local authorities are already hit by loss of income like other businesses.
Indeed it is the local tax payer, hence I am told why the government said this. The government provided funding but of course it doesn't match what is lost.

However, this is a whole other area of conversation.
 
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