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Railcards

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Urban Gateline

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Just because I'm mean, I've now resorted to asking to see the Railcard if a Railcard discounted ticket gets rejected in the barriers! In the hope that one time someone won't have the railcard and they'll get their comeuppance! ;) I think people need to be challenged more than ever before now that Railcard discounted tickets are so easy to get hold of. Yesterday I caught a student with a Senior Railcard discounted ticket...a blunt "speak to my colleague" and the RPI penalty fared him, not only that he had the wrong Railcard discount but he was using this at around 8:30am!
 
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Asian Demon

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I have been asked to show my Senior Railcard more often recently, at least by Virgin.
My view is that if you buy your ticket at a ticket office, the Railcard will have been checked there and anything afterwards is overkill.
On the other hand I do understand that if you buy your ticket at a TVM you should be asked to show a Railcard, because it won't have been checked at the time yuo bought it.
The source of tickets is obvious - from a ticket office they have round corners and are often better printed, from a TVM they are square and have obviously been torn from a strip.
However, the on-board checks don't seem to follow this rule.

1. Ticket offices have been known to just glance at a rail card and not check it properly. The amount of ticket office sold tickets that on closer inspection of a rail card, the rail card is found to be out of date is way too much.

2. When asked to do so it is the responsibility of a passenger to be able to present a rail card when asked to do so. Not being asked before doesn't mean it gives people some right to not have to present it when asked to do so (or get abusive about it). If this truly bothers people, then people should choose not to discount their tickets with documents that they have to carry with their tickets.

3. People have been known to use rail cards not belonging to them. This becomes harder to detect when it's a non photographic rail card aka senior/disabled. Closer inspection is required in these cases.

It may be a inconvenience for some passengers when asked to produce these, but there are valid reasons why they are asked for. Many which members of the public may not understand. Regardless of this, if people do not want to produce them, then don't discount your tickets with them.
 

noddy1878

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I like others have my two rail cards (Devon and Cornwall and Network) in my railcard wallet. Just show them at same time as ticket. I see loads of people get asked for their railcard if they haven't shown it automatically, which I think is a good thing.
 

The islander

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Just because I'm mean, I've now resorted to asking to see the Railcard if a Railcard discounted ticket gets rejected in the barriers! In the hope that one time someone won't have the railcard and they'll get their comeuppance! ;) I think people need to be challenged more than ever before now that Railcard discounted tickets are so easy to get hold of. Yesterday I caught a student with a Senior Railcard discounted ticket...a blunt "speak to my colleague" and the RPI penalty fared him, not only that he had the wrong Railcard discount but he was using this at around 8:30am!

I have heard that they might put railcards onto the ITSO smartcards. But nothing definite.
 

motherwell334

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I had one the other day who showed me a 16-25 the rail card had clearly been tampered with the month had been peeled off(paper issue railcard) he told me that it expires on the 31st june 2012, so i asked him to take the rail card out of the wallet and i swiped it on my avantix and suprise suprise it expired 30th JAN 2012 so i removed his railcard and charged him a SDR as he walked past the booking office and it was open
 

Anon Mouse

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I had one the other day who showed me a 16-25 the rail card had clearly been tampered with the month had been peeled off(paper issue railcard) he told me that it expires on the 31st june 2012, so i asked him to take the rail card out of the wallet and i swiped it on my avantix and suprise suprise it expired 30th JAN 2012 so i removed his railcard and charged him a SDR as he walked past the booking office and it was open

Personally, I would have probably done a TIR as by tampering with the railcard and insisting it was in date is an out and out attempt at fraud, but at least by him getting charged at least something has been done rather than him being flagged past.
 

motherwell334

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Personally, I would have probably done a TIR as by tampering with the railcard and insisting it was in date is an out and out attempt at fraud, but at least by him getting charged at least something has been done rather than him being flagged past.

Doing a TI report is a real pain in the butt filling out the paperwork then makng a phone call to verify details can take around 15 mins.. By rights we shouldnt be selling discounted tickets on board but up here in scotland at the moment the stations are short staffed so they could be doing other duties ie. cleaning or winter workings.so we relax the buy before you board policy...
 

Anon Mouse

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Doing a TI report is a real pain in the butt filling out the paperwork then makng a phone call to verify details can take around 15 mins.. By rights we shouldnt be selling discounted tickets on board but up here in scotland at the moment the stations are short staffed so they could be doing other duties ie. cleaning or winter workings.so we relax the buy before you board policy...

oh yeah, don't I know it :D

TI's are a pain in the butt and I do try to find another way of dealing with them, but the case you have described would (for me) have been a TIR!
 

spacehopper

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I do think it has improved over the years- I'm coming across less and less tickets with no railcard present. When going back about 5 years I'd be finding 3 or 4 a day!

In my experience I would say 80% of YP users show railcard without having to be asked. Most of these will be in a railcard holder and most will have even taken the ticket out so you don't have to fumble around to try and stamp it.

If I can see it's a Nat West or RBS YPRC I tend not to dwell too long on these as they mostly have the same expiry date so more than likely they will be in date. Same goes for if it has been issued on train as I'm sure a fellow guard wouldn't have sold them a YP discount if they didn't have a YPRC.

TVM or online purchased tickets with a railcard discount always get checked!

"You got your railcard in there?"- is what I normally say when they don't show it. Often followed by removing their headphones- normally just a glance at them and mouth railcard tends to work as well.

Most pensioners are okay as well but these tend to get the most aggressive when asked for their railcard. "Can't you see I'm a pensioner" and "Huh nobody else asks for it". They are also more vocal than students when trying to get money out of them for not having a railcard. Tend to write in and complain about your in an over top way if you don't give them a railcard discount as well.

Take each situation on its merit- attitude, delay to train, UFN or TIR, willingness to cough up. If they are on an outward portion I will give them the lecture and offer to do a new ticket if they get shirty and I know the struggle won't get a result I will endorse the return ticket with "check RC present" and tell them to get a YP or renew it before return trip.

If they are going to be traveling on another train after mine- I will always try and sell them a new ticket or if they don't play ball a single as far as I'm going or to the nearest open booking office and tell them to renew or buy a YP there so ticket will be valid. I don't want to create problems for my colleagues on another train.

If it is just out of date I tend to give them grace and say put the money I'm not going to charge you for a new ticket towards renewing it. I try and give them as much advice as possible and show them that having a YP is the cheapest option it is not worth risking it. Tell them they can get one free with a Nat West or RBS account and even put Tesco clubcard vouchers towards cost of buying one as well as any special online offers that are on at the moment.

It makes our job easier and quicker if you show us your railcard at the same time as your ticket! Thank you.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Who is "they"?
Unfortunately ITSO seems to be being rolled out on a piecemeal basis by different with no co-ordinated plan in place.

ATOC. Good article in this month's Modern Railways (p38).
Admittedly, it's mainly the smartcard industry talking about what it is offering rather than ATOC taking about rolling it out.
But they are definitely in there.

On all this Railcard stuff, I come from a generation where people bought the right tickets and didn't seek to defraud the system.
All the gates and repeated ticket checks are what makes rail travel a pain.
One check on your entry to the system should be all that is required.
Of course the ticketing system should support this, but we are still in the dark ages.
If Tesco and M&S can scan loyalty/store cards to personalise purchases I'm sure ATOC can personalise and scan Railcards.

The best thing BR did was to have open stations - much more relaxed.
How did we manage to lose them?
 

Bungle73

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On all this Railcard stuff, I come from a generation where people bought the right tickets and didn't seek to defraud the system.
I don't know what your "generation" is, but I very much doubt that.
All the gates and repeated ticket checks are what makes rail travel a pain.
Your ticket checked once (maybe) at the boarding station, and then once (maybe) on the train, hardly a "pain".
One check on your entry to the system should be all that is required.
And how do you accomplish that without employing a member of staff to physically check every ticket at every single station in the country?

Edit: And not only that, you'd need someone selling tickets at every railway station too.

Of course the ticketing system should support this, but we are still in the dark ages.
How? Except by doing the previous?
The best thing BR did was to have open stations - much more relaxed.
How did we manage to lose them?
"Open" stations?
 
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Bungle73

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Well, to be fair, that is what BR called them when they introduced them...

I was questioning what one was. So it's a station with no ticket checks? Didn't he just say he thought the only ticket checks should be at stations.....?
 

Greenback

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I welcome frequent ticket checks. It ensures that people don't enter the system on a short distance ticket and travel further than they have paid for, or use first class where available on a standard ticket, and that they are on the correct train and the correct route.

On board checks are a good customer interface - you can check arrival times and connections as well as have your ticket checked. It's not just about railcards!
 

Oscar

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Do you officially have to show a railcard when buying railcard-discounted tickets from a booking office? Sometimes I have been asked for mine at my local station, sometimes not. Would the staff there be within their rights to refuse sale of any ticket, even an advance purchase one, if they did not actually see the railcard even though the ticket could be bought on the internet or through a machine where there is no way anyone can prove who has one and who does not. Surely the railcard should be checked on the train?
 

bb21

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The source of tickets is obvious - from a ticket office they have round corners and are often better printed, from a TVM they are square and have obviously been torn from a strip.

Hmm well never had one of those sorts from a TVM before myself.

Further to what others have said, the new ToDler machines print on the same tear-off stock (RSP9399) as the S&B machinies.

In addition, I have been issued with tickets from the ticket office on RSP9399 stock. They normally print on RSP9599 stock.

he told me that it expires on the 31st june 2012

That date alone is sufficient for reporting I hope. :lol:
 

Greenback

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Do you officially have to show a railcard when buying railcard-discounted tickets from a booking office? Sometimes I have been asked for mine at my local station, sometimes not. Would the staff there be within their rights to refuse sale of any ticket, even an advance purchase one, if they did not actually see the railcard even though the ticket could be bought on the internet or through a machine where there is no way anyone can prove who has one and who does not. Surely the railcard should be checked on the train?

The railcard should be checked at the ticket office and, if many had their way, there would also be a method where you had to input/provide your railcard number when using an ATM or buying over the phone!

But wait! Why shouldn't someone buying a ticket in advance do so before they have actually bought or renewed a railcard? What if the railcard expires during the validity of the ticket? Should a sale be refused if the clerk spots that the ticket might be used on a date later than the validity of the card? Should they insist that a new card railcard is bought? I'm pretty sure there would be complaints if that happened!

It seems that the best way is to rely on stringent onboard railcard checks, and I find it surprising that when a railcard is not produced, it is not always asked for.
 

tony_mac

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It seems that the best way is to rely on stringent onboard railcard checks, and I find it surprising that when a railcard is not produced, it is not always asked for.
When I first got the railcard, it was quite some time before anyone ever asked to see it; probably at least 10 journeys (and I don't look like I am 16-25!).

I almost always get it out now anyway, but sometimes they surprise me and I don't have it ready. In those cases, it gets asked for maybe 1 time in 4.

Although, quite recently, a guard was happy with just my assurance that I did have a ticket in one of my many pockets!
if they get shirty and I know the struggle won't get a result I will endorse the return ticket with "check RC present" and tell them to get a YP or renew it before return trip.
At least I know what to do now if I forget my railcard!
 

trainophile

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As the proud owner of a Senior Railcard at last :D can I just ask whether I should present this automatically when I'm asked for my ticket, or just have it handy in case it's asked for? The little wallet they gave me with it does not fit in my normal ticket pouch, and I'd like to keep it in the plastic wallet to prevent damage. I will of course have it with me on all occasions, but do I need to automatically show it to the ticket inspector, or will (s)he just ask for it if they wish to see it?
 
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As the proud owner of a Senior Railcard at last :D can I just ask whether I should present this automatically when I'm asked for my ticket, or just have it handy in case it's asked for? The little wallet they gave me with it does not fit in my normal ticket pouch, and I'd like to keep it in the plastic wallet to prevent damage. I will of course have it with me on all occasions, but do I need to automatically show it to the ticket inspector, or will (s)he just ask for it if they wish to see it?
I have had mine for a few years and never been asked to show it however I always keep it with me.
 

yorkie

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do I need to automatically show it to the ticket inspector
Many ticket inspectors would greatly appreciate it if you do.

You are required to show it, and it certainly speeds things up if you show it first time without being asked.

or will (s)he just ask for it if they wish to see it?
See Railcards for a rough idea of the proportion of the time they will ask to see it - depends on many factors. As we have no idea what train(s) you are getting it is impossible to answer that question with any accuracy ;)
 

wintonian

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I wish someone would check mine I feel left when I only get asked for it about once a year, last year it was XC and the year before it was Virgin at Euston. :(

Guards sometimes do ask if I ask them to buy or excess a ticket but almost never when doing checks

I assume it's because the disabled ones don't have photos on them.
 

AlterEgo

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Keep your railcard in your ticket wallet. Then, when you take your ticket out you can just show the railcard with no extra effort.
 
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