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Print at home query

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Wigangooner

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Hi all,

Hope you can help, Virgin Trains Customer Services have been a nightmare!

I purchased a first class return, from Wigan to Euston on the 2nd August at 17:40, I attempted to print the tickets later that night. Unfortunately my printer failed.

I got to the station 20 mins prior to departure and spoke to the ticket desk. They assured me that the e-Ticket was valid and I should just show my phone to the guard. Off I trotted, reasonably assured that all was going to be OK.

On the train the Guard approached I showed him my e-Ticket and he refused to accept it. Stating "Can't you read - its not valid unless you print it" - which firstly is counter-intuitive, as its an e-ticket and e-tickets in every other organisation is a valid method of travel. Secondly, his whole manner was aggressive and embarassing.

I was forced to pay for my journey to London again £237!! - and continued on my journey and logged the complaint with Virgin.

Despite the above facts, the fact that there is CCTV in the station, the fact that I have whatsapp messages to my wife confirming that I had received advice that it would be OK, Virgin refuse to help or offer any refund whatsoever.

Across several emails I have been told that the staff had been subject to disciplinary, then told that the staff deny all knowledge of the incorrect information given and that I must be making it up.

I am at a loss how to proceed. I have logged a case with Transport Focus but not heard anything for over a week now.

Can anyone help?!
 
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Master29

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Something clearly wrong somewhere here. An e ticket is not the same as a printed ticket. Any staff should know that. Are you certain it was an e ticket? You did say you attempted to print the ticket. If of course it was a printed ticket then that explains why you were stung as you will be seen as travelling without a valid ticket. If you can show us anything I am sure many here can help.
 
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Bletchleyite

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If it is a print at home ticket you MUST print it, it is not acceptable to show it on a phone screen. A print at home ticket is not an e-ticket in that sense, it is a ticket in and of itself.

Exactly what did the member of staff say? Are you sure you did not just interpret what he said in the way you wanted to hear it?
 

AlterEgo

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Unfortunately this is a Print At Home ticket. The name of the ticket was changed a couple of years back from eticket to Print At Home in response to exactly the sort of situation the OP describes.

I'm not quite sure where people get the idea than an eticket is "something you show on your phone". This isn't true at all. Etickets for concerts must usually be printed. You can read all about etickets here, and the myriad of forms they take: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_ticket

Still, whoever told you you'd be fine just showing the ticket on your phone is a coward. Classic, wilful fobbing off so that some poor other sod has to deal with a disappointed customer. Happens everywhere.

I'm afraid I don't believe the OP when he says he's received an email saying the staff are "subject to disciplinary". Railway customer relations NEVER say this. They say something along the lines of "disappointed to hear, blah blah, passed on to manager, blah blah, who will take any action deemed necessary". Nobody would be formally disciplined for an incident as described in the OP.

Much more to this than meets the eye.m

Edit: correct and logical procedure for station staff in this instance: ring up back office and check it's a legit ticket reference number. If the staff feel comfortable that the OP is genuine, issue an Authority to Travel. It is not a hard process. Lazy, LAZY, staff.

Honestly, I could throw a brick at the person who told the OP it would be okay.
 
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PeterC

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This isn't true at all. Etickets for concerts must usually be printed.
Musicglue explicitly tells customers not to print them.
 

najaB

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Musicglue explicitly tells customers not to print them.
Then they are mobile tickets. This is precisely why the term e-ticket is rarely used by industry. They either call them 'print at home' or similar or m-tickets.
 

Bletchleyite

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An e-ticket is generally a ticket in a database to which the customer holds a reference. Thus the railway does not issue e-tickets. Airlines and Megabus do.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Though there is a distinction in airline terms between ticketless and e-ticketed. The latter has an endorseable IATA format ticket in the database, the former something else.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

miami

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Do Virgin give bigger discounts on "print at home" tickets? I assume this would be an advance ticket, I'm just at a loss why anyone would take the cost, hassle, and risk, to print a ticket at home when they could simply collect it at the station?

If it wasn't an advance ticket, and was an open ticket (single or return), could the OP apply for a refund as it was unused?
 
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Tim R-T-C

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Do Virgin give bigger discounts on "print at home" tickets? I assume this would be an advance ticket, I'm just at a loss why anyone would take the cost, hassle, and risk, to print a ticket at home when they could simply collect it at the station?

I can't see why anyone would take the hassle and risk to queue up to use a ticket machine and hope it is working and prints the tickets correctly and then know that the tiny piece of card is your only receipt for a £200 spend, when you could just print at home for a couple of pennies and make spare copies if you need them.
 

Agent_c

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Do Virgin give bigger discounts on "print at home" tickets? I assume this would be an advance ticket, I'm just at a loss why anyone would take the cost, hassle, and risk, to print a ticket at home when they could simply collect it at the station?
That presumes there are facilities to do so.
 

miami

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That presumes there are facilities to do so.

From Wigan I suspect there is. If the advertised facility isn't available that's the rail industries fault.

However my question (and the part of the conversation that may help the OP) remains -- could this have been a open return which is available for refund, or do these print-at-home tickets come with more restrictions / only advanced?


Virgin suggests that "e-tickets" can be either printed at home or shown on an app

From their website

To make your life a little easier, from 3 August 2016, you’ll also be able to save your e-ticket as a PDF on your mobile to use, as well as use our mobile app to access your ticket. Just select the new e-ticket (Mobile barcode ticket) option when you book.

https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/tickets/get-your-ticket

So the OP just missed out on that option by 6 hours!
 
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sheff1

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I'm not quite sure where people get the idea than an eticket is "something you show on your phone".

Airlines routinely advise that they have issued you with an eticket. Lufthansa have even registered the name of theirs as "etix" ®.

Most also say that you do not need to print the eticket and should quote the booking reference, if required, when checking in at the airport. The easiest way for most people to do this would be to display the confirmation email on their phone.
 

najaB

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Airlines routinely advise that they have issued you with an eticket. Lufthansa have even registered the name of theirs as "etix" ®.
The difference, of course, being that it is the boarding pass rather than the ticket which needs to be presented when boarding the aircraft.
 

miami

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The difference, of course, being that it is the boarding pass rather than the ticket which needs to be presented when boarding the aircraft.

And on most airlines a lack of boarding pass means a grump gate person/lounge person/checkin person reprinting it for you.
 

sheff1

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The difference, of course, being that it is the boarding pass rather than the ticket which needs to be presented when boarding the aircraft.

Quite, but the poster I answered could not understand where people got the idea that etickets were something you showed on phone. If they are used to airline etickets then that might well be where they got the idea from.
 
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Puffing Devil

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Quite, but the poster I answered could not understand where people got the idea that etickets were something you showed on phone. If they are used to airline etickets then that might well be where they got the idea from.

Where on earth could they get that impression from?

Here's an extract from my eticket email from VTWC for a trip in September:

How to use your e-ticket(s):
Show the ticket(s) on your device or
Access the ticket(s) via our mobile app. Download it here, or
Print the ticket(s)

Perhaps the OP does have a case?
 

richw

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The difference, of course, being that it is the boarding pass rather than the ticket which needs to be presented when boarding the aircraft.

And on most airlines a lack of boarding pass means a grump gate person/lounge person/checkin person reprinting it for you.

As a Ryanair regular they try to encourage using their app and their mobile boarding passes. I haven't had a paper boarding pass in about 10 flights now.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Where on earth could they get that impression from?

Here's an extract from my eticket email from VTWC for a trip in September:



Perhaps the OP does have a case?

They have 3 types of e-ticket/m-ticket. Simplification is needed here by the looks of it,

e-ticket (self-print): For some bookings we allow you to print your own ticket ("self-print").

You must ensure that you print the self-print ticket clearly on A4 paper before you travel and carry the self-print ticket with you when you travel. Self-print tickets that have not been printed are not valid for travel. Self-print tickets presented on the screen of your device are not valid for travel.

Self-print tickets denote passenger names and passengers must carry one of the following types of ID (matching the name printed on the tickets) when travelling in order to be valid:

Credit or Debit card
National Railcard
Passport
Driving Licence
Self-print tickets are non-transferable and you must ensure that no one else is able to obtain and/or print a copy of your ticket.

Some train operating companies apply additional restrictions to the use of self-print tickets - you must note any additional restrictions notified during the booking process.

m-ticket: For some bookings we allow you to travel with paperless tickets ("m-tickets") delivered to the Mobile Application installed on a mobile phone, tablet or similar device ("Mobile Device"). M-tickets are not available on all Mobile Device operating systems.

When booking such tickets via the Website or call centre, you must check that your Mobile Device is compatible with our tickets by following the instructions provided before purchase and that you have an up to date version of the Mobile Application.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you carry your Mobile Device on the relevant journey and that your Mobile Device is charged, functional, displaying the correct date and time and that you are able to display the ticket on your Mobile Device for inspection and scanning when you travel. m-tickets must be activated from within the Mobile Application before boarding the train in order to validate the M-ticket. The Mobile Device must be capable of running the Mobile Application and clearly presenting the M-ticket in a legible manner.

Due to the wide variety of Mobile Devices and networks we are unable to offer technical support or assistance. You may incur data usage charges from your mobile network provider for downloading a ticket. You should check with your network provider as to what charges may apply.

If tickets have been booked for more than one passenger, all passengers should travel together.

The ticket must be stored on your Mobile Device until the date and time of travel and such safekeeping shall be your responsibility. m-tickets are non-transferable.

By purchasing an m-tickets , you agree to cooperate with the train inspector and let him/her clearly view and scan the ticket on your Mobile Device and you acknowledge that you may be requested to hand over your Mobile Device voluntarily for inspection and scanning. If you do not produce your ticket or hand over your Mobile Device upon request by the train inspector, the train inspector shall be entitled to consider that you are travelling without a ticket.

Some train operating companies apply additional restrictions to the use of M-Tickets - you must note any additional restrictions notified during the booking process.

e-ticket (Mobile barcode ticket): For some bookings we will allow you to use an e-ticket (Mobile barcode ticket). Where you select an e-ticket (Mobile barcode ticket) we will email you your tickets and you will have the option to use the e-ticket (Mobile barcode ticket) in one or more of the following ways:

1. Open the PDF attachment and show the ticket on your Mobile Device. If you are using this option then you must ensure that your Mobile Device can receive email and display a PDF attachment prior to purchase. It is your responsibility to ensure that you carry your Mobile Device on the relevant journey and that your Mobile Device is charged, functional and that you are able to display the ticket on your Mobile Device for inspection when you travel. You may incur data usage charges from your mobile network provider for downloading a ticket. You should check with your network provider as to what charges may apply. The ticket must be stored on your Mobile Device until the date and time of travel and such safekeeping shall be your responsibility. You agree to cooperate with the train inspector and let him/her clearly view and scan the ticket on your Mobile Device and you acknowledge that you may be requested to hand over your Mobile Device voluntarily for inspection and scanning. If you do not produce your ticket or hand over your Mobile Device upon request by the train inspector, the train inspector shall be entitled to consider that you are travelling without a ticket.

2. Print the tickets. If you are using this option then the terms relating to self-print tickets set out above will apply to your use of the e-ticket (Mobile barcode ticket), save that ID is not required for e-ticket (Mobile barcode ticket).

3. Download the e-ticket (Mobile barcode ticket) on the Mobile Application. If you are using this option then the terms relating to m-tickets set out above will apply to your use of the e-ticket (Mobile barcode ticket).

You must ensure that you present your e-ticket (Mobile barcode ticket) for inspection and scanning in one of the ways described above.

An eticket (Mobile barcode ticket) can only be used by one customer for one valid journey. It is a criminal offence to amend and/or reproduce an eticket (Mobile barcode ticket) for fraudulent use. Where more than one customer presents the same eticket (Mobile barcode ticket) for travel, both may be deemed invalid for travel. You shall have full liability for any fraudulent use of your eticket (Mobile barcode ticket). Trainline shall have no liability for any fraudulent use of etickets (Mobile barcode tickets).
 

yorkie

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Just keep insisting on a refund, and go through all the steps with Transport Focus (escalating it to your MP if necessary).

Some train companies do allow e-tickets, which include Print@Home tickets, to be shown on mobile devices. This even includes the much maligned Govia Thameslink Railway on their Gatwick to London route, for example.

If GTR can accept it, so can Virgin Trains, who in theory are meant to offer a much higher level of customer service, and who apparently aim for high levels of customer satisfaction.
A print at home ticket is not an e-ticket in that sense...
ATOC define the term "e-ticketing" as including self print ticketing.
http://www.atoc.org/clientfiles/files/Policydocuments/Ticketing.pdf

ATOC said:
e-ticketing

This term includes self print ticketing....
 

najaB

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As a Ryanair regular they try to encourage using their app and their mobile boarding passes. I haven't had a paper boarding pass in about 10 flights now.
Oh, I know that. The point I trying to make is that showing the ticket on your mobile screen isn't the same thing as showing your boarding pass on your mobile screen.

This is directly analogous to the OP's situation (had it been post 3rd Aug) - they had the email confirmation, rather than the barcode.
 

rmt4ever

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Airlines routinely advise that they have issued you with an eticket. Lufthansa have even registered the name of theirs as "etix" ®.

Most also say that you do not need to print the eticket and should quote the booking reference, if required, when checking in at the airport. The easiest way for most people to do this would be to display the confirmation email on their phone.

This is the good thing about flying domestic with BA. You could have dozens of trips booked and paid for in your account and you don't have to worry about printing or showing anything on your phone.

Just turn up to the check in desk give your BA executive club card and off you go. Even further afield in EU, just show your passport at check in and away you go.
 

rs101

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Isn't all the talk about airline e/m-tickets irrelevant to this case.

Doesn't this simply boil down to the customer had a problem printing their ticket, asked for help at the ticket office and was told they could travel with just the email on their phone.
That later proved untrue and they were charged for another ticket.
 

Puffing Devil

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We've already established this new policy came in after the OP's journey/ticket.

Really? I see no discussion about this. I do see that the OP purchased a ticket on 2nd August. If it's the same as my Virgin e-ticket, arriving on 8th August, he will have an email containing the e-ticket with the following images:
https://postimage.org/
https://postimage.org/

There is the option to print or show on a device. Maybe the OP had a different email, though I suspect that this is now the standard for VTWC.

(NB I would never recommend an e-ticket normally, due to the restrictions. The cost of my advances to London are less than £10 each with railcards, making them worthless to change anway)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Isn't all the talk about airline e/m-tickets irrelevant to this case.

Doesn't this simply boil down to the customer had a problem printing their ticket, asked for help at the ticket office and was told they could travel with just the email on their phone.
That later proved untrue and they were charged for another ticket.

Given my recent emails, I can see the confusion that may be out there - especially if station staff have been briefed that etickets can now be shown on mobile devices.
 

Wigangooner

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Hi all

Firstly thank you for your many responses. For clarification, as I understand it, I have a Print@Home ticket as you refer to it.

I purchased the tickets at 17:40, received the email(with the tickets attached as PDF's) whilst driving home and I then attempted to print them around 9pm.

My printer failed - left with no option at that time of night I went to the station early to find out what my options were. Had I been told that this ticket was not valid unless printed, I could have gone up the street to the newsagents and got it printed, or as I've since been told, some stations will print them for £5. Both of which I was happy to do, if I had been told it was necessary/an option.

Instead I was advised by the ticket desk that my e-Ticket was perfectly valid on my phone and I should show it to the guard.

So I did.

The rest is just a horrible, frustrating mess.

Thanks all

Graeme
 

neilmc

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I had this couple visiting from America in September who had purchased one of these tickets, fortunately my experience on this forum with the many dubious antics of TOCs led me to check the ticket very carefully with the result that I ended up going round Cumbria trying to get it printed for them (on my son's wedding day) before they could travel. Otherwise I dread to think what Virgin would have stung them for.

I wouldn't dream of using anything other than a real physical ticket, preferably obtained from a real live person at a station, or if necessary booked online and collected at a station machine.
 

Paul Duck

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Would love to know where this £5 charge for printing at stations has come from. How to I create a £5 fare? I will just print them at the tickets office is some one has had problems printing their ticket just need 15 minutes to do it that's all.
 
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