Public Misconceptions!

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Ferret, 24 Mar 2012.

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  1. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Would poster space at stations being used to warn of the consequences not be an idea? I know LM have their name and shame posters, and I know that acts as a deterrent to some.
     
  2. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Yes, I believe it would help.
    Perhaps not the same approach for posters at all stations, as the range of circumstances variers considerably (the Unstaffed commuter stations on busy local lines near cities, long distance and barriered stations, etc.).

    We also know that there are some areas which are hot-spots for fare dodgers of one sort or another, perhaps a different message again would be appropriate there.
    There's only so much that could be achieved by publicity, but I do suspect that there is a lot more the industry could do to help itself (and I'm not having the usual moan about lack of revenue staff on board and at stations), effective publicity is just one of those; and not just on posters.
    I see that there is a Twitter feed from somone who re-posts 'boasts' by fare dodgers. Perhaps the TOCs could include the occassional Tweet reminding their passengers of their obligations?
     
    Last edited: 24 Mar 2012
  3. Anon Mouse

    Anon Mouse Established Member

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    A passenger once told me "The barriers will be open so I don't need to buy a ticket"
     
  4. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    I used to think that a 158 was a 156 that had been refitted..
     
  5. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Yes, sometimes we (as in the railway) really don't help ourselves do we?!
     
  6. MarkyMarkD

    MarkyMarkD Member

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    Things one of the barrier staff at my local station believes (very irritatingly):

    Must stress if this turns up from a search the following are NOT true
    - All trains before 9:30 are peak and therefore require an anytime ticket
    - All trains before 10:00 are invalid for travel on a super off-peak ticket.
     
  7. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Oh crumbs! It's hardly as if it's difficult to look in an Avantix at the restrictions....:(

     
  8. island

    island Established Member

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    It is according to my local station, where I was refused sale of an off-peak ticket before 0930 despite it being valid; I asked the clerk to look up the restrictions and he said "And are you going to tell me how to do that then?"
     
  9. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    I give up!
     
  10. gnolife

    gnolife Established Member

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    One misconception local to me.
    "I can hop on the Metrolink on my Macclesfield to Rochdale ticket"
    (Stations chosen as a random example)
     
  11. Squaddie

    Squaddie Established Member

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    A friend of mine recently went to Swansea station to buy an Advance ticket from Paddington to Swansea for Easter Monday. She was told that even though it's a bank holiday normal peak hour restrictions still apply and thus Advance tickets were not available.

    That is so fundamentally incorrect that I can't even imagine the "training" that the booking clerk must have had.

    (So she went home and bought one on FGW's website for £8.25).
     
  12. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    But don't you find this interesting?
    Some of these responses to your OP illustrate quite clearly that something is wrong within the industry. Something that has become institutionalised and systemic.
    I have my own examples - during one phone call with ATOC when I was pointing out a lack of awareness of a matter, I received this reply, which was both astonished and annoyed: "But we told them (the TOCs)", which left me with the impression that the industry is too fragmented.

    It would be wrong to lay the blame in just one area - the gulf between the spin of marketing and promotions on one hand, and the actual facilities provided and responsibilities of passengers and staff on the other, is inevitably going to lead to confusion, inconsistency and conflict.
     
  13. Anon Mouse

    Anon Mouse Established Member

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    I had a Scotrail Guard years ago refuse to do me a WEF on a Bank Holiday. To his credit he came back a bit red faced and apologetic after he had rang his control to double check. After insisting WEF's were only avalible on Sat's & Sun's and threatend me with a TIR!
     
  14. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Interesting is not the word I'd use Dave. Worrying maybe! I mean, if there's something I don't know with regard to my job, I have a damn good idea there's someone I can ring to find the answer to my problem. Some of the things highlighted in this thread are elementary though - hence my rather frustrated comment!
     
  15. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Are the railways being unique as the only non-police/CPS body who criminally prosecute (ignoring the odd private prosecution such as Stephen Lawrence, etc)?

    If I didn't enjoy my meal in a restaurant I don't pay. And I don't pay safe in the knowledge that the waiter can't whip a pad out and write an MG11 out.

    If I put something in my Tesco basket which I later change my mind about and remove it, I remove it safe in the knowledge that the store manager can't prosecute me in the magistrates court (or any court) - including even if I have read the magazine or newspaper.

    If I read a newspaper of the guy next to me in the park bench, I am secure that he can't suddenly take me to court for not paying to read half his paper.

    Why are the railways different? The answer I believe is a mixture of their archaic rules, the lack of a tangible product, and the industry's reluctance to provide the framework for 100% tickets bought before entering barriers.

    Regarding the OP, I wouldn't claim to be familiar with the rules in Wales, however here (West Yorkshire) child tickets are until 31st Aug after the 16th birthday (as child tickets require a Metro half fare permit to purchase them). Others can comment on wales or other areas.
     
  16. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Just the one? I hear that regularly! <(
     
  17. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    One advantageous misconception to those "in the loop" is the fact you have to sit in the reserved seat that accompanies your Adavanced 1st Class Ticket.

    Hence on East Coast where they are all packed into Coach M you can utilise a "four" for sole use in an carriage that will be virtually empty.

    Another misconception is that all 1st Class Fares are prohibitively expensive when on occasion they can be cheaper than 2nd class.

    If I told someone I got a 1st Class Single from Falkirk to Berwick Upon Tweed for less than £9 with catering thrown in no one would believe me. :p
     
  18. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    In November, I got Exeter to Bristol 1st class for the same price of standard. When they're the same price, I bet some people must ask themselves if the system is playing up or something. because generally when it looks to good to be true...
     
  19. calc7

    calc7 Established Member

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    Without wishing to go too off-topic, am I the only person who finds it outstanding that if you use a WebTIS-powered site (which cleverly lists trains-by-fare instead of fares-by-train like thetrainline) the amount of times there's either no Standard Advances left for a journey for the entire day and still plenty of departures left in First, or even Standard Advances going at a higher price than First on a raft of trains (evening peak EUS-MAN for instance).
    I'd like to know whether it's
    -Crap trainline-powered sites and NRE list the fares in a complicated way that doesn't always pay homage to the sometimes cheaper First Advances.
    -People do searches (even on WebTIS) for Standard Class tickets only, in the mistaken belief that First could never be a viable option.
     
  20. Wath Yard

    Wath Yard Member

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    I suspect a fairly common misconception is you will be sold the cheapest appropriate ticket for your journey.
     
  21. MarkyMarkD

    MarkyMarkD Member

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    Perhaps when the restrictions start being printed on the ticket (rather than the completely pointless "SEE RESTRICTIONS") each TOC might produce a list of restrictions to which each time limit applies. But - particularly where the restrictions are on arrival time in London, rather than departure time, it's impossible for barrier staff to effectively restrict things anyway. I can travel by many different routes to London, and experience journey times varying by around 30 minutes - so a restriction on arriving by 1000 translates into a wide range of departure time possibilities depending which way I choose to travel.
     
  22. barrykas

    barrykas Established Member

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    One from today...A ticket from London Terminals to Derby route Any Permitted is valid to travel Marylebone - Banbury/Leamington Spa/Birmingham - Derby.

    Bet the passenger in question had a good argument on CrossCountry when they changed trains. :rolleyes:
     
  23. calc7

    calc7 Established Member

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    Reckon that could have been deemed "reasonable" under BR?
     
  24. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    Another popular misconception is that the alternative to 1st Class in the UK is 2nd Class.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Reluctance? Prohibitive costs with little benefit at hundreds of stations is the more likely reason. If you really want a 100% closed system then be prepared for masses of station closures, huge hikes in fares to cover the staffing costs at the remaining stations and the potential end of a turn up and go railway. Oh, and a decline in passenger numbers, meaning a decline in revenue, meaning cuts in services between the remaining stations.

    So not relutance on the part of the railways. Cost/benefit decision whether to barrier or not.
     
    Last edited: 24 Mar 2012
  25. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Note that for 'only valid with reservation' advance tickets you could be subject to having to buy a new ticket if you don't sit in your booked apex seat.

    Also note that on east coast one coach is for the cheapy advance first people and the other two for the 'proper' first passengers.
     
  26. Skymonster

    Skymonster Member

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    If we exclude situations where passengers are deliberately "trying it on", most of these misconceptions end up costing the punter more - by paying more than they need to for unnecessarily expensive tickets, or in excesses, penalties, new/replacement tickets, fines... On the basis that misconceptions often end up with the customer paying more, which ultimately swells the coffers of the TOCs, I'm not convinced there is likely to be a drive within the industry to do anything to address common misconceptions.
     
  27. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Don't dispute what you're saying at all. So let's modify the archaic rules instead.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Don't dispute what you're saying at all. So let's modify the archaic rules instead.

    A better analagy that reading a newspaper would be a cinema - its about the only other thing (apart from railways) where one could feasibly get into something without paying (due to the cinema company - whether dopey staff, lack of barrier or whatever)
     
  28. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    I'm sure the TOCs would love to hear your foolproof way of telling between an honest mistake and pre-meditated intention ;)
     
  29. Skymonster

    Skymonster Member

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    I haven't got one - I'm just suggesting that I doubt the industry wants to solve the problem because a lot of these public misconceptions ultimately result in the taking of more revenue. The checking mechanisms - barriers, guards, RPIs - have to be there to try to catch those who deliberately flout the rules, but they increase the overall revenue take by also picking (excessively sometimes IMHO) on innocent misconceptions and customers who unintentionally fall foul of complex, archaic and sometimes misleading rules and conditions! or systems that don't always deliver what the customer might expect them to.
     
  30. calc7

    calc7 Established Member

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    Must stress if this turns up from a search the following are NOT true

    Southern Only tickets are not valid on "Gatwick Express" services.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 25 Mar 2012
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