Rail vouchers not accepted at ticket office.

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by TheJester, 20 Jan 2020.

  1. TheJester

    TheJester New Member

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    Infrequent traveller but had a bit of bad luck with the trains recently so I’ve ended up with £60 in rail vouchers from delay repay claims.

    Today at Glasgow Queen Street I attempted to redeem these for a couple of single tickets from Glasgow to Edinburgh for me and my better half.

    After much attempted voucher scanning for 10 minutes, I was told that all 4 vouchers (2xTPE and 2xLNER) could not be redeemed and I would “Have to send them back to the train companies concerned as they could not be scanned and are invalid”. Ended up having to pay cash for both tickets.

    Is this right? All the vouchers are legitimate. Do I have to send them back? Most confused.

    thanks for any advice!
     
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  3. Geeves

    Geeves Member

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    It depends on what the companies official line is regards to scanning but at Northern we just type in the details at the bottom of the voucher. We have had hundreds of these none scanning dud vouchers over last year. Its not that easy to get everything in but once you know what you're looking at its not that hard to figure it out.

    They them again at the other end.
     
  4. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    This sounds distinctly like there was a problem with the systems at Glasgow Queen Street ticket office, in that it was unable to validate the vouchers.

    Seems incredibly unlikely that there would be problems with seperate issues of vouchers from different TOCs - indeed I can't ever recall reading about people who were issued 'duff' vouchers (though it must have happened at some point).

    The 'advice' you got, i.e. to send them back, was a bit of lame customer (non)service. I'd say it's worthy of a complaint to Abellio ScotRail.

    In the future, it's probably easier to get your delay repay paid straight into your bank account rather than issued as vouchers.
     
  5. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Unless something incredibly untoward is going on, it sounds like Glasgow Queen Street are refusing a valid payment method, which they are not allowed to do. I would send a complaint to Scotrail about that.

    Can you use the vouchers for another journey? If so, I'd do that (along with complaining).

    If not, I'd argue Scotrail owe you the money!

    The Scotrail ticket office at Glasgow Central have been caught acting incorrectly by myself recently so I am not at all surprised to hear of this incorrect behaviour. Incorrect following of procedures is rife in the rail industry.
     
  6. Geeves

    Geeves Member

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    They might genuinely also not know that you can just type in the details, again it depends on the company line regards to vouchers and also the system they are using. There was a huge batch of vouchers that didnt scan at all from all the TOCs.

    Could well be quite innocent before we go accusing booking office staff of being up to "Incorrect behavior"
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    The Scotrail ticket office is acting incorrectly.

    I am quite prepared to believe the management in charge of the ticket office are responsible, so I am not accusing any individual staff of incorrect behaviour.

    (another example of incorrect actions by the ticket office can be found at https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/tod-collection-problem-return-portion-not-printed.189276/ )
     
  8. Mogz

    Mogz Member

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    I once had about £40 worth of delay repay vouchers from TPE.

    Wouldn’t scan.

    Returned them.

    The second lot wouldn’t scan.

    Returned them.

    No third set received. Radio silence when I chased them up.

    £40 lost and no replies to correspondence.
     
  9. Geeves

    Geeves Member

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    Bring them to Manchester Vic, we will sort any vouchers out. :D
     
  10. SteveM70

    SteveM70 Member

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    Most of the Northern ones I’ve had over the last 18 months haven’t scanned, although oddly some have done. LNER, GWR, Scotrail and TPE ones have always scanned.
     
  11. TheJester

    TheJester New Member

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    Thank you to everyone who has replied.

    It was all a bit embarrassing. They tried to scan the vouchers on several of the scanners, but they couldn’t make them work.
    I asked if they had any way of entering the voucher numbers but they said they did not.
    The insinuation was that I was trying it on with invalid vouchers.
    I’ll certainly request account payment on future delay repay claims.

    What can I say/do at ticket offices if these vouchers are rejected next time I try to use them? I’ve got £60 worth of vouchers that I’m loath to try and use again.
     
  12. janb

    janb Member

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    Although I had a TPE voucher that
    a) wouldn't scan conventionally
    b) wouldn't accept manual input (STAR didn't accept the check digit)
    c) wouldn't scan the alternative method Northern have briefed

    Thankfully wasn't for much money so customer was ok paying and trying with a different TOC a different day.
     
  13. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    I believe there has been some formatting problems with voucher barcodes and an numbers
     
  14. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    One member of staff at Worksop cannot scan them as they don’t work as they’ve had new scanners and they don’t do RTV. Another member of staff just scans them and issues me my tickets. (Same RTV, same scanner). Why I should have to wait until certain staff members are working to purchase a ticket using an approved payment method I’ll never know.

    Nice little earner for them.
     
  15. janb

    janb Member

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    Yes there is a "bad batch" that has been causing the problems.
     
  16. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    We've had issues also, normally it's the check digit for us. But recently we've had a couple from LNER that flat out reufsed to work.
    Sam
     
  17. reb0118

    reb0118 Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Some systems are formatted to only accept seven digits whereas some TOCs issue vouchers with nine digits. You merely have to drop the first two zeros from the nine digit ones to get them to work - maybe?.....
     
  18. janb

    janb Member

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    Yes if there is a check digit error and the voucher number has 9 digits drop the first 2 zeros and see if that works.
    I can't speak for other TOCs but Northern have now briefed a procedure of how to accept even if nothing works.
     
  19. RPI

    RPI Member

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    I've encountered some of these and I just started at 0 and kept going up until a digit worked as the check digit. This was on Star mobile though
     
  20. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I’ve also done this on the Worldline TIS that goes by various names.
     
  21. 323235

    323235 Established Member

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    That's horrendous, i'd have contacted my local MP about that because they can't just leave you with nothing after all that trouble.

    I certainly wouldn't give up.
     
  22. 323235

    323235 Established Member

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    At least you tried your best to help
     
  23. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    So, as is normally the case, it would appear that the alleged malfeasance was actually incompetence.

    Funny how it normally turns out that way.
     
  24. Flying Snail

    Flying Snail Member

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    A better question is why these things exist at all, last time I was in your country I noted the existence of a funny set of vouchers emblazoned with the face of a miserable looking old woman that seemed to be universally accepted, perhaps the railway should use these instead.
     
  25. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    Sending such "vouchers" in the post is generally not a good idea, particularly for large sums (I have recently received some £50+ payments). Having said that, I am not sure that RTVs are that much more secure. OK, you have to put your name on them when using them, but no-one has yet asked for verification of my identity.
     
  26. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I was once heading out the door to catch a train for a weekend away. Postman arrived and I noticed a letter from a TOC which I had been expecting. Open letter and noticed 2 RTVs enclosed for £25 each. It was a letter from a TOC known back then to send you "fob off" RTVs for a standard amount. Got these and headed to station and used the RTVs to buy my ticket and paid the small difference (£2-3) with cash. No problem, accepted.

    Got home on Sunday evening and looked at letter, they'd enclosed two identical letters in fact. Second one stapled to the front one addressed to me. The second letter however (and thus the second £25 which I had used already) was addressed to a lady at an address the other end of the country.
     
  27. Kilopylae

    Kilopylae Member

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    But then you could spend them however you wanted! Who'd want that?!

    /s
     
  28. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    But there are 'vouchers' which can be safely sent in the post - you fill in the name of the person, the amount in figures and words, then sign it, and only they can present it for payment...
     
  29. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    You mean those ones that the banking industry has been trying to kill for the last ten years or so?
     
  30. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I would be tempted to write to ScotRail customer services enclosing the tickets or a copy of the tickets, receipt if you have one, and the original vouchers, with a cover letter explaining what happened. If you ask them to send you a cheque or ideally make a bank transfer for the value of the vouchers, assuming that your tickets were more expensive in total, I would expect them to organise cash for you under these circumstances.

    This will alleviate the risk of the vouchers expiring or you being turned away elsewhere, although it is still rather a faff.
     
  31. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I would strongly advise NOT getting delay repay in Rail Travel Vouchers for exactly this reason. Not only can it take longer to receive them as they have to be posted out, they can also get lost in the post or have problems them being accepted as shown.

    Given you presented vouchers from more then one TOC and from more then one claim, so thus issued at separate times, it is more then likely that you received poor (non existent) customer service from Scotrail. If it is not going to be possible for you to use them by the time they expire, then I would also be tempted to send them into Scotrail but perhaps you could ask Scotrail to issue a cheque for the amount of them. If they are unable to do this perhaps they could issue RTVs for the amount as you assume there will be no problem their own booking offices accepting their own vouchers. It would seem very unreasonable for them not to at least do the latter.

    Provided the RTVs are still in date I suspect Scotrail would still be able to claim the value of the vouchers from the issuing TOCs through company accounts anyway.

    If of course you present the vouchers to another booking office (perhaps ran by a different TOC) and you are told the same then you might need to think about sending them back to the TOCs that issued them. But I think this is highly unlikely.

    The other advantage to Scotrail issued RTVs is they can be exchanged for cash within 28 days from the date of issue at a Scotrail booking office. If you are sending the RTVs in the post though, given the value concerned, I would be tempted to pay for Royal Mail Special Delivery. Hopefully any compensation/goodwill gesture Scotrail provide may make up for this additional cost.
     
    Last edited: 27 Jan 2020

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