Refunding a refund

Harold Hill

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24 Oct 2019
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Last Sunday, I bought a ticket on the train on Trainline, as there was no ticket office or machine at my boarding station, and the only option offered was to collect the ticket at my destination station. So, arriving there, a bit hungover from the previous day's wedding (not mine), I asked staff if it was necessary to actually bother to collect my ticket and was told, no its ok and so I waked through the opened gate. I now realise that was probably wrong of me because yesterday I got an no-reply email from Trainline declaring that my fare has been refunded.
I don't really feel comfortable leaving it at that. Wondered if anyone might have any suggestions? TYIA

ps sorry if this kind of thing has it's own thread already
 
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Bletchleyite

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Naughty naughty :)

For future reference the ticket must be collected before travel, so staff were wrong (if helpful) to tell you that. That even applies if your start station doesn't have a facility, unlike purchasing on the day.

There is no official mechanism to repay it, short of buying the same ticket and binning it. However perhaps a charitable donation of the same sum would put your mind at rest, as was suggested for overpaid Delay Repay a short while back.
 

Harold Hill

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Fair comment but I had no idea that the ticket I bought could not be sent to my phone while I was on the train, as I say, the only option offered was to collect at my destination, which I found quite odd
 

Watershed

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If there are no purchasing facilities at your origin, you don't have to use an app to buy your ticket.

If you choose to do so you must buy your ticket, and have it in your possession, before boarding. Gateline staff at your destination could have forced you to pay for a brand new ticket; a collection reference is not a valid ticket and there is no entitlement to collect your ticket at your destination.

E-tickets aren't available for all journeys. So in future I'd simply buy onboard or at your destination if you make a journey in these circumstances again.
 

najaB

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I now realise that was probably wrong of me because yesterday I got an no-reply email from Trainline declaring that my fare has been refunded.
If anything it's the Trainline who are in the wrong for refunding a ticket when you didn't request it. As I see it, you've done nothing wrong.
For future reference the ticket must be collected before travel, so staff were wrong (if helpful) to tell you that.
From my reading of the OP, there were no ticket vending facilities at the starting station, so they paid for travel using the app. Therefore the staff weren't in the wrong - the OP had paid for travel, they just hadn't collected the ticket at the destination station.
 

Bletchleyite

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From my reading of the OP, there were no ticket vending facilities at the starting station, so they paid for travel using the app. Therefore the staff weren't in the wrong - the OP had paid for travel, they just hadn't collected the ticket at the destination station.

Counterintuitively this is not actually allowed - if you are buying online you have to collect before the journey starts (even if there is no facility at the origin station), but if there are no opportunities to buy at your origin you can pay on board.

We really need to get e-ticketing sorted for all lines to avoid this rather silly issue that actually makes people less likely to pay.
 
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If anything it's the Trainline who are in the wrong for refunding a ticket when you didn't request it. As I see it, you've done nothing wrong.
I agree that the OP did nothing wrong, just got the wrong advice. Perhaps it's not obvious that an unused fare would be refunded, but I can't see how a retailer could be criticised for it. If they didn't refund it, we'd soon hear about it in this forum.
Therefore the staff weren't in the wrong - the OP had paid for travel, they just hadn't collected the ticket at the destination station.
Unfortunately they were, but in practice really only because they didn't expect the ticket to be refunded.
We really need to get e-ticketing sorted for all lines to avoid this rather silly issue that actually makes people less likely to pay.
Absolutely. I think the TOCs will have their arms twisted, particularly now Southeastern, but London will remain the problem. Perhaps equipping the stations valid for cross-London transfer would be an acceptable compromise. And even then, not all gates need to be equipped, which might help keep the passenger flow up at other gates.
 

Paul Kelly

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And even then, not all gates need to be equipped, which might help keep the passenger flow up at other gates.
Already now I've noticed that at some Underground stations (Chancery Lane comes to mind) some of the ticket gates can have their magnetic stripe readers out of order for quite some considerable period and there seems to be no rush to fix them, but I think if the smartcard readers were out of order they'd be fixed a bit more quickly! So there kind of is a principle being set already where not all gates accept all ticket media.
 

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