Refund charges on tickets bought and surrended before travel

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lightbulb

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I regularly buy One Day Travelcards in advance each day for the following week, but have since changed my plans and no longer need the ticket for the day after tomorrow (London Terminals & London Zones 1-6 with a DSB railcard for £5.60). Having taken it back to St Pancras today (the ticket office I bought it from), I've been told that the £10 admin fee still applies. I thought that the fee didn't apply if the ticket was surrendered before the date of travel, and as a former BR employee in the 1980s and 90s, that's what I used to tell the passengers back then...
 
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transportphoto

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Unfortunately, the admin fee is applicable.

TP
 

hairyhandedfool

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These days the admin fee always applies unless the railway is at fault for you not using the ticket.
 

lightbulb

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Thanks, both.

I was also told that I had a maximum of 20 minutes to return the ticket for the charges not to apply. Is this "period of grace" defined anywhere? The NRCoC doesn't seem to say anything about this.
 

142094

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I haven't heard of the 20 minute rule (seems very specific), but in general some ticket office staff will give a refund without charge if the ticket has been bought genuinely in error and the person has gone back straight away to change it.
 

Deerfold

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If you're doing this regularly you might be better using Oyster with the cap so you don't have to queue at the ticket office to buy when you're setting out.
 

Greenback

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I haven't heard of the 20 minute rule (seems very specific), but in general some ticket office staff will give a refund without charge if the ticket has been bought genuinely in error and the person has gone back straight away to change it.

We generally 'allowed' 45 minutes in Reading, but I don't believe that this was either written down anywhere or actually enforced that strictly.

It's probably just what has evolved as custom and practice.
 

Mojo

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I've had an immediate refund issued after I bought a First class return and First class was not available as advertised on my return train (as advertised), and I've also had tickets refunded from the same booking office the following day as they were mis-sold.

Last week my father tried to return non-Advance tickets and was told a £10 Admin. fee was due. When he complained to the station manager she agreed that this was unreasonable (although allowed for in the conditions) and ordered the clerk to refund the full fare paid, but stated that this was only in this instance. So there is some element of discretion...

In all three instances cash was refunded immediately at the ticket office.
 

Greenback

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I've had an immediate refund issued after I bought a First class return and First class was not available as advertised on my return train (as advertised), and I've also had tickets refunded from the same booking office the following day as they were mis-sold.

Last week my father tried to return non-Advance tickets and was told a £10 Admin. fee was due. When he complained to the station manager she agreed that this was unreasonable (although allowed for in the conditions) and ordered the clerk to refund the full fare paid, but stated that this was only in this instance. So there is some element of discretion...

In all three instances cash was refunded immediately at the ticket office.

Yes, there has always been discretion. I did issue immediate refunds on a number of occasions myself, where the circumstances warranted it (eg someone had bought a ticket for the following day, but had not travelled due to disruption) and with no admin fee.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Thanks, both.

I was also told that I had a maximum of 20 minutes to return the ticket for the charges not to apply. Is this "period of grace" defined anywhere? The NRCoC doesn't seem to say anything about this.

Ticket office staff can 'non-issue' a ticket within a set time of issue (the exact time varies but more often than not I believe it is 20 minutes). Non-issuing is not strictly for refunding passengers, but rather accounting for tickets wrongly issued. It is not a right to refund the passenger has, but staff have, in the past, used it as a way of refunding when a customer service issue has arisen.
 

Greenback

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Ticket office staff can 'non-issue' a ticket within a set time of issue (the exact time varies but more often than not I believe it is 20 minutes). Non-issuing is not strictly for refunding passengers, but rather accounting for tickets wrongly issued. It is not a right to refund the passenger has, but staff have, in the past, used it as a way of refunding when a customer service issue has arisen.

Exactly right, though I never had any issues from my non issues (sorry!) that w ere done more than 20 minutes (or even more than 45 minutes) after the ticket wa sissued.
 

LexyBoy

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Yes, there has always been discretion. I did issue immediate refunds on a number of occasions myself, where the circumstances warranted it (eg someone had bought a ticket for the following day, but had not travelled due to disruption) and with no admin fee.

The customer is entitled to a full refund if they decide not to travel due to disruption aren't they?

Reading have been very reasonable in my experience too.

 

hairyhandedfool

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Exactly right, though I never had any issues from my non issues (sorry!) that were done more than 20 minutes (or even more than 45 minutes) after the ticket was issued.

Northern like a good reason for such delays in non-issuing, I prefer not to need them!
 

Greenback

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The customer is entitled to a full refund if they decide not to travel due to disruption aren't they?

Reading have been very reasonable in my experience too.


Yes, they are, but that would not ordinarily have been done straight away with tickets that had been bought the day before. Not in those days anyway, things might be different now with these newfangled TIS's!

I worked in Reading, some clerks were a lot more flexible than others when i was there!
 

hairyhandedfool

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You could do a lot with APTIS that might not have strictly been in the rules, but then you could do things on APTIS that were well within the rules that you can't do on 'these new fangled TIS's'.

FasTis only allows you to non-issue on the same day (infact it might even be the same shift). When I used Smart last (that's only going to be about 7 years ago!) you could non-issue a ticket from any shift or machine that was on the same network, but I imagine they have changed that by now.
 
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You could do a lot with APTIS that might not have strictly been in the rules, but then you could do things on APTIS that were well within the rules that you can't do on 'these new fangled TIS's'.

FasTis only allows you to non-issue on the same day (infact it might even be the same shift). When I used Smart last (that's only going to be about 7 years ago!) you could non-issue a ticket from any shift or machine that was on the same network, but I imagine they have changed that by now.

You can still non issue tickets from a different machine or TVM as long as it is on the same station PC network. Saves me a lot of refund forms :lol:
 

Flamingo

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With an Avantex, you can non-issue a ticket any time before logging off. Sometimes passengers will approach me after buying an extension to say plans have changed, or sometimes I might end up giving someone a refund, for example if I had excessed their ticket but there is subsequent disruption I might decide to give them their money back.

However, they are looked at by auditors, and if we are doing lots of non-issues of cash fares, especially short distance journeys, then we are liable to have to answer questions...
 

londonbridge

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I regularly buy One Day Travelcards in advance each day for the following week, but have since changed my plans and no longer need the ticket for the day after tomorrow (London Terminals & London Zones 1-6 with a DSB railcard for £5.60). Having taken it back to St Pancras today (the ticket office I bought it from), I've been told that the £10 admin fee still applies. I thought that the fee didn't apply if the ticket was surrendered before the date of travel, and as a former BR employee in the 1980s and 90s, that's what I used to tell the passengers back then...

See my post here:

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showpost.php?p=1115478&postcount=1

After receiving the message from the agency I went to the ticket office, explained the circumstances and was given a full refund for change of travel plans, with no admin fee
 

barrykas

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The usual circumstances for which an admin fee isn't charged are:
  • Service disruption
  • Change of travel plans where a new ticket is bought
  • Ticket(s) purchased whilst awaiting issue of a Duplicate season
  • Refunds for ticket(s) bought when a Season Ticket is left at home (first occasion in a twelve month period only)

Any other waiving of fees is at the TOC's discretion.

Cheers,

Barry
 
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