Railcard Refund

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glynmonhughes

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A friend bought a new Senior Railcard online but failed to tick the box which said they did not want to QR code download to a smartphone. Although he has a smartphone it is an older model and it does not support the download offered by the Railcard. They now say that they will not refund the price paid and they will not issue a card. He has, therefore, paid the fee and does not have a card. Is this acceptable practice? Any views gratefully received.
 
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Tazi Hupefi

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Didn’t read the terms, didn’t pay attention to the delivery method - yes acceptable and wholly liable for their mistake. They have presumably provided a railcard or a means to display a railcard, albeit your friend does not have the means to consume it, despite indicating that they did.

If a gesture of goodwill is not available, I’m afraid it’s a case of either buy a cheap Android compatible phone, (£50), and probably a worthwhile investment anyway, or write it off.

There can be a 14 day cooling off period in certain circumstances for distance selling, but it depends precisely when all of this happened, and whether there could have potentially been use made of the product in the interim, which means even if a refund could be obtained, it would be reduced by a factor. Looking at the prices, for £30, I’d buy a phone. Even paying £80 including a new device, your friend is more than likely going to save that after a few trips anyway.
 

Haywain

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A friend bought a new Senior Railcard online but failed to tick the box which said they did not want to QR code download to a smartphone. Although he has a smartphone it is an older model and it does not support the download offered by the Railcard. They now say that they will not refund the price paid and they will not issue a card. He has, therefore, paid the fee and does not have a card. Is this acceptable practice? Any views gratefully received.
How long was it between buying the railcard and seeking a refund?
 

WesternLancer

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Didn’t read the terms, didn’t pay attention to the delivery method - yes acceptable and wholly liable for their mistake. They have presumably provided a railcard or a means to display a railcard, albeit your friend does not have the means to consume it, despite indicating that they did.

If a gesture of goodwill is not available, I’m afraid it’s a case of either buy a cheap Android compatible phone, (£50), and probably a worthwhile investment anyway, or write it off.

There can be a 14 day cooling off period in certain circumstances for distance selling, but it depends precisely when all of this happened, and whether there could have potentially been use made of the product in the interim, which means even if a refund could be obtained, it would be reduced by a factor. Looking at the prices, for £30, I’d buy a phone. Even paying £80 including a new device, your friend is more than likely going to save that after a few trips anyway.
No doubt correct of course, but again the railway not passing the 'John Lewis / M&S' test of service that makes the customer a repeat customer, IMHO.
 

Llandudno

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Didn’t read the terms, didn’t pay attention to the delivery method - yes acceptable and wholly liable for their mistake. They have presumably provided a railcard or a means to display a railcard, albeit your friend does not have the means to consume it, despite indicating that they did.

If a gesture of goodwill is not available, I’m afraid it’s a case of either buy a cheap Android compatible phone, (£50), and probably a worthwhile investment anyway, or write it off.

There can be a 14 day cooling off period in certain circumstances for distance selling, but it depends precisely when all of this happened, and whether there could have potentially been use made of the product in the interim, which means even if a refund could be obtained, it would be reduced by a factor. Looking at the prices, for £30, I’d buy a phone. Even paying £80 including a new device, your friend is more than likely going to save that after a few trips anyway.
Go on EBay and buy a second hand unlocked iPhone for under £100 and a £10 a month SIM card.
 

BluePenguin

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Go on EBay and buy a second hand unlocked iPhone for under £100 and a £10 a month SIM card.
I agree, or even a pay-as-you-go one. Maybe even use the personal hotspot from the first phone to use the railcard app on the other
 

Wolfie

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Didn’t read the terms, didn’t pay attention to the delivery method - yes acceptable and wholly liable for their mistake. They have presumably provided a railcard or a means to display a railcard, albeit your friend does not have the means to consume it, despite indicating that they did.

If a gesture of goodwill is not available, I’m afraid it’s a case of either buy a cheap Android compatible phone, (£50), and probably a worthwhile investment anyway, or write it off.

There can be a 14 day cooling off period in certain circumstances for distance selling, but it depends precisely when all of this happened, and whether there could have potentially been use made of the product in the interim, which means even if a refund could be obtained, it would be reduced by a factor. Looking at the prices, for £30, I’d buy a phone. Even paying £80 including a new device, your friend is more than likely going to save that after a few trips anyway.
Letter of the law? Possibly.

Spirit of the law? Definitely not.

Yet still some apologists on here still support everything that the rail industry does, no matter how blatantly ridiculous. Yes, a mistake was made. But how hard would it be to rectify it? If necessary the same £10 fee levied on ticket changes could be levied. But no......

Then the same individuals get very upset very fast when some of us, in the spirit of "don't get mad get even", advocate, in response, doing everything that we can to inconvenience that smug complacent arrogant industry and cost it time and resources too. Behave like AHs, rail industry? Get treated like AHs.... If you deserve it then own it.

Oh, and when GBR (bloody awful name) is in place and up and running expect complaints to politicians to go through the roof.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Letter of the law? Possibly.

Spirit of the law? Definitely not.

Yet still some apologists on here still support everything that the rail industry does, no matter how blatantly ridiculous. Yes, a mistake was made. But how hard would it be to rectify it? If necessary the same £10 fee levied on ticket changes could be levied. But no......

Then the same individuals get very upset very fast when some of us, in the spirit of "don't get mad get even", advocate, in response, doing everything that we can to inconvenience that smug complacent arrogant industry and cost it time and resources too. Behave like AHs, rail industry? Get treated like AHs.... If you deserve it then own it.

Oh, and when GBR (bloody awful name) is in place and up and running expect complaints to politicians to go through the roof.
In fairness, £30 is already pretty cheap, and one longer distance journey alone could have seen the cost fully recouped within the time frame they have made the railcard technically available, so, coupled with the fact that the customer is actually at fault, I'm struggling to see how it is even unreasonable.

I did advise that there may be a recourse to a partial refund, depending on the circumstances. People do need to take some responsibility for their errors occasionally though! In an ideal world, I'd have charged a £10 fee and swapped it to a non-mobile version with the same expiry date, but I suspect however the scheme is set up, it's probably been like that for decades.

It's also a timely reminder that a relatively modern mobile phone (even a cheap, second hand one!) is increasingly a necessity (and certainly a convenience) in life. Even entering my grey haired years, I am well aware that I need a suitable phone. Obviously you don't NEED a modern phone, and that's a personal choice, but the trade off is that you have to accept some things are more difficult.

I still think even buying a cheap second hand phone and the £30 fee will still be far less than the savings of someone using a rail card for a few journeys a year! So it's still a good investment!
 

Mcr Warrior

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I mean whether a railcard is refundable or not.
Always been the case that unused / unwanted railcards (physical or digital) aren't ever refundable, hasn't it?

Question seems to be whether it is reasonable to expect a physical railcard to be issued as replacement for a digital railcard, when the latter, for one reason or another, has been inadvertently or incorrectly purchased.

But there won't ever be any refund, AFAIAA!
 

miklcct

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I still think even buying a cheap second hand phone and the £30 fee will still be far less than the savings of someone using a rail card for a few journeys a year! So it's still a good investment!

Only if the train journeys are long-distance journeys - you will need to take 24 off-peak day returns over the year to make up the cost of a railcard if you travel between Bournemouth - Branksome, definitely not a few!

I bought a railcard anticipating that I would be able to take a few long-distance journeys. I have done a return from Bournemouth and Brighton, a few rides to Branksome and Poole, and planned an overnight trip to Folkestone, a day trip to London, and possibly Torquay as well, but no more because of COVID restrictions not able to fly into the European countries I want to go.
 
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roversfan2001

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Only if the train journeys are long-distance journeys - you will need to take 24 off-peak day returns over the year to make up the cost of a railcard if you travel between Bournemouth - Branksome, definitely not a few!
That's less than one every two weeks so isn't a lot really. It's really quite easy to make the cost of the railcard worth it in one trip, for example an SVR from my local station to London is more than £30 cheaper with a railcard.
 

Tarquin88

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OP does not say whether the friend bought from Trainline but if the friend did then this Q & A from The Times today might be a useful precedent to quote to enable the friend to obtain a refund. [A quick glance suggests that Trainline only offers digital whilst the Senior Railcard offers a choice of paper or digital.]

My elderly parents are having a nightmare with senior railcards and Trainline. My father wanted to renew the three-year railcards that he and my mother had, so went online last month and purchased two cards, each costing £70. After he paid, a notification on the website told my father that he needed to download the app for a digital railcard, but neither he nor my mother have smartphones, and he has been trying to talk to Trainline customer services about this issue since then. Trainline has told him that the money he spent was non-refundable and non-transferable, and that digital railcards couldn’t be changed for plastic ones. Can you help?

More than 80 per cent of the UK population has a smartphone, so it’s not surprising that Trainline offers a digital-only railcard (and it makes this clear on its website). But it should have been prepared to offer a refund when it was obvious that your parents had wasted their money. “While we do show in the booking process that the railcard is digital-only and our app is required to access it, we appreciate that they did not feel this was made clear enough, and so we’re happy to provide a full refund as a gesture of goodwill,” it said. Your parents can instead buy their railcards, which would be posted to them, at senior-railcard.co.uk.


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/...covid-claim-on-a-lake-garda-holiday-xpgpz9w8g (behind paywall but full article quoted: ignore the title of the link)
 

P Binnersley

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30 Dec 2018
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The terms and conditions don't explicitly state you can't transfer from digital to paper railcard.
2.4. Train Companies will not issue refunds on unused/unwanted Railcards, or extend their validity period.

The railcard is "wanted" and the replacement physical railcard can have the same expiry date. The railcard is a single product with two formats. Nowhere does it say that physical and electronic railcards are different products. The single terms and conditions cover both formats.
 
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