Refund or Credit?

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tedcharlton

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I work in the North Sea Offshore Industry and have web purchased a single ticket back to Invergordon, Scotland, a terminal for that industry. Weather dictates my next offshore visit, and I am now on standby. I tried to change my ticket not valid until 18th April to an undisclosed date within the next 2 to 3 weeks. I was informed that my only option was to pay the £10.00 fee "fare" enough (joke). However I need to give a date of travel which I don't know. I was further informed that I could choose a date, then change that and pay another (unfair) £10.00 fee. My current fare was only £41.40 so I suppose I could save myself £20.00 by changing well in advance and bring the date back to my travel date when known.
I ask should credits be offered for future journeys for a one off admin fee?
 
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calc7

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Can you let us know what type of ticket is held? Advance Single/Anytime Single/Off-Peak Single etc?

If changing an Advance ticket you will need to provide a revised date and time of travel.

For Off-Peak or Anytime tickets, there is no price advantage of buying ahead (other than the occasional sale such as the recent London Midland one) so your best bet in this instance would be to refund the ticket minus the £10 "fee" (or ask for it to be waived) and then buy the ticket on the day.

Is your question asking whether the £10 admin fee should be refunded as rail credits? Probably not IMO - regular travellers will then buy dirt cheap Advance tickets and trade them up to walk-up tickets as much as they like since they know they'll use the credit anyway.
 

tedcharlton

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Hello Calc7,
I purchased an advance single, The credit I referred to was the fare, less the £10.00 admin fee, a possible credit off £31.30 against the £41.40 original fare.
Credits to be used against further ticket purchases online. Regards.
 

calc7

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In that case, sadly you will continue to accrue a £10 fee each time you change the ticket (plus any increase in price between the ticket held and the ticket wanted).

I think I see what you mean now - a refund of the Advance ticket price, minus £10, in rail travel vouchers. I suspect the reason this is not currently offered is to stop eager people buying Advance tickets then refunding them for nearly the full amount when they decide they can't travel - thus depriving other passengers of their use. For regular travellers the fact that it is offered as a credit note is not really a deterrent as they would use it anyway.

If you were to post the route you are taking we could perhaps give you suggestions to save money in future on "walk-up" tickets. For instance, if travelling from London to Scotland, East Coast sells half-price Super Off-Peak Single tickets on its website if bought up to the day before travel from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh. This is much better value that the walk-up Super Off-Peak Single.
 

LexyBoy

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I'm not really sure what the question is here.

To change the date or time of an Advance ticket, there is a £10 admin fee. On top of that, the difference between the fare paid and the fare for the alternative service is due. If the new fare is less than the original paid, no refund is given - this is standard for most changes to tickets.

An Advance ticket can be changed to another Advance ticket, i.e. also restricted to a single service, or it can be changed to an Off Peak, Super Off Peak or Anytime fare, which will be valid on any service on the specified day. The cost of changing to these ticket types will be the same up until the departure time of your originally booked train.

If you don't know which day you'll be travelling then I would say that Advance tickets are probably not for you (unless you accept that there is a gamble to be made buying a very cheap fare which you may or may not use). Members of this forum will likely be able to assist in cutting the cost of travel using "walk-up" tickets if you can supply more details of your travel, as outlined in the sticky on the forum index.

There are special tickets available for oil workers which are valid for two months, I think.
Yes, there is an "Offshore Return" which is like an Off Peak Return but the return portion is valid for two instead of one month. They need to be bought at the station or via telesales AFAIAA.
 

Brucey

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There are special tickets available for oil workers which are valid for two months, I think.
Offshore Returns are available on some routes.

Without knowing which station the OP is travelling from, we are unable to advise whether such a ticket is available.
 

GadgetMan

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The OP may be better off excessing to an off-shore ticket and forfeiting the outward portion, if such a ticket exists. Or if return is guaranteed within a month of a known date then the same can be done on a normal off-peak return depending on price.
 

calc7

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Would the OP be better off excessing to an off-shore ticket and forfeiting the outward portion?
For a start, we don't know if the OP is travelling on a route where an Off-Shore Return exists.

Secondly, even then it may not be the best value (see my post on EC Super Off-Peak Online S).

Thirdly, wouldn't this be a wrong-direction excess? As they'd need the return portion to be the direction the Advance ticket currently held is.
 

GadgetMan

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Thirdly, wouldn't this be a wrong-direction excess? As they'd need the return portion to be the direction the Advance ticket currently held is.
Wrong direction excess from Advance tickets are allowed. Your other points are valid though. (Read a while back. Will recheck to make sure.)

Edited to make post more relevant;


Q16 – A customer holds a Standard Advance Single from station A to station B and one for the return from B to A. They missed the outward train from station A, so their outward portion is now invalid. As these tickets can be upgraded to any other walk-up ticket, can we upgrade the (still valid) B to A Advance Single ticket to a Super Off-Peak return from A to B?

A: Yes - maximum flexibility before the booked train departs.

In this case, it is permissible to upgrade the return journey to become the return leg of an Off-Peak ticket. That way the customer at least gets some credit for the return journey. Only one lot of £10 fee needs to be paid. If it was done in advance of the outward journey, the passenger would have to pay two lots of £10 fees but would also be getting credit for both legs of the journey.
Whether the telesales people would want to see proof of the non-existent outward (advance single) or not I do not know.
 
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calc7

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Wrong direction excess from Advance tickets are allowed. Your other points are valid though.
That's interesting to know. :)
Obviously not useful in all circumstances but good if it means you can get extra value out of having to trade-up your ticket.
 

wintonian

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For a start, we don't know if the OP is travelling on a route where an Off-Shore Return exists.

Secondly, even then it may not be the best value (see my post on EC Super Off-Peak Online S).

Thirdly, wouldn't this be a wrong-direction excess? As they'd need the return portion to be the direction the Advance ticket currently held is.
No but it may be worth looking at combining an off shore return with a walk-up/ cheap advance and then assessing the value.

As the OP's travel arrangements are so dependent on the weather I'm not sure that advance fares (unless cheap enough to throw away) are really going to be the most appropriate ticket choice here.
 

OwlMan

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The OP may be better off excessing to an off-shore ticket and forfeiting the outward portion, if such a ticket exists. Or if return is guaranteed within a month of a known date then the same can be done on a normal off-peak return depending on price.
I doubt it, Off-shore returns are usually priced the same as off-peak returns; so are most likely to be more expensive than a single.
 

GadgetMan

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I doubt it, Off-shore returns are usually priced the same as off-peak returns; so are most likely to be more expensive than a single.
In some cases it would make sense.

For instance

Advance - £42
off peak single - £48.00
off peak return - £49.50


As the OP does not know when he will be traveling, he has been advised to change the ticket to a walk up single some time in the future for the difference + £10, then change it back when date is known for another £10 admin fee.

This would cost in my (made up) example;

an extra £26. (£6 difference + 2 x £10 admin fee)

However if it was changed to a wrong way excess to the walk up return (RTN portion open for a month) then it would only cost an extra £17.50
 
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