Refused sale of ticket by SET

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island

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I suppose this is from the department of "all good things come to an end", but not having had any issues from Southeastern before, this morning at Kidbrooke station at around 0735 I went to the ticket window, and when the staff member came back with his cup of tea, I asked for an off-peak day return from Boundary Zone 3 to Northampton.

SET Clerk: Two problems there, one I need to see your ticket for zone 3 and two I can't sell off-peak tickets before 9:30.
Island: Here's my gold record card, and this ticket is valid from 0845 [which it is] and I can't get to Euston until then [which was true as the next train to London Bridge would arrive there at 0800 and the transfer time is 48 minutes].
Clerk: I don't know anything about that, as far as I'm concerned off-peak is after half past nine
Island: Can't you look it up on your system?
Clerk: And are you going to tell me how to do that then?

Fortunately I arrived in enough time to get the ticket at EUS.

Time to write into SET. Even taking into account the ticket was not valid yet, shouldn't the clerk have sold it anyway and marked it Restrictions Advised?
 
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GadgetMan

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Time to write into SET. Even taking into account the ticket was not valid yet, shouldn't the clerk have sold it anyway and marked it Restrictions Advised?

Yep, as long as the passenger has been advised, and the ticket has been marked (although not necessary, but good practice) as restrictions advised, then I don't see why it was not sold.
 

MarkyMarkD

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SET are not great on this issue.

They used to have a sign up at my local station saying "No off-peak tickets will be sold before 0930".

This is stupid for many reasons - it causes a queue of people waiting to buy tickets at exactly 0930 who will then likely miss the first one or two trains actually leaving after 0930; off-peak fares are subject to many different restrictions and some are valid all day long apart from the evening peak (for example the one I caught this morning at 0954 was a Super Offpeak ticket but is valid even on a train at 0500 from my local station because there is no restriction on the local leg at any time at all).

The barrier rejected my (valid) ticket, and the gateline staff also said it was not valid "until 1000 because it's super offpeak" and made me go to the ticket office to check.

D'oh!
 

TheJRB

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We got off peak tickets at Ashford International yesterday at about 08:45 and were advised that we would have to travel no earlier than the 09:43 departure towards London on HS1 and also that our tickets would not work the barriers. The gateline assistant let us through, all was well and we waited till off peak began!
 

causton

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We got off peak tickets at Ashford International yesterday at about 08:45 and were advised that we would have to travel no earlier than the 09:43 departure towards London on HS1 and also that our tickets would not work the barriers. The gateline assistant let us through, all was well and we waited till off peak began!
I got an off-peak ticket from Potters Bar with an origin of Hatfield - the guy said it was not valid at this time (it was about 3pm on a Friday!) and that he was not allowed to not sell it to me, but it is not valid from here and would not work the barriers at this station.

...The barriers were open... needless to say, nobody else bothered me on that journey!
 

RPM

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You should have been sold the ticket, and warned that it was not yet valid. Ideally the ticket should have been endorsed "restrictions advised". There is no grey area here, the ticket simply should have been sold without arguement.

Sadly many TOCs do not take ticket training as seriously as they should do and you get situations where even the local management are not properly up to speed on retailing regulations. This results in silly and non-compliant local rules being implemented. The front line staff don't really stand a chance of getting it right in these circumstances.

Have ATOC cut back on their "mystery customer" surveys I wonder? This is exactly the sort of nonsense they were supposed to pick up on. They actually used to be quite hot on this very issue when I was involved with the retail side a few years back.
 

RJ

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You should have been sold the ticket, and warned that it was not yet valid. Ideally the ticket should have been endorsed "restrictions advised". There is no grey area here, the ticket simply should have been sold without arguement.

Sadly many TOCs do not take ticket training as seriously as they should do and you get situations where even the local management are not properly up to speed on retailing regulations. This results in silly and non-compliant local rules being implemented. The front line staff don't really stand a chance of getting it right in these circumstancesl
It's not the TOC to blame - people in the ticket office grade need to take a bit of initiative and learn how to do their job properly. There's this mentality of only doing the barest minimum that the job requires and that any learning must be part of a official training course.

I've been there, done that and know exactly what it's like - a clerk can do whatever they like and their manager can't say anything if the clerk can prove that they did the correct thing.
 

RPM

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It's not the TOC to blame - people in the ticket office grade need to take a bit of initiative and learn how to do their job properly. There's this mentality of only doing the barest minimum that the job requires and that any learning must be part of a official training course.

I've been there, done that and know exactly what it's like - a clerk can do whatever they like and their manager can't say anything if the clerk can prove that they did the correct thing.
What you say may be right in many cases, but when a TOC starts to get a reputation for this sort of thing, and official looking notices appear at ticket offices it suggests that the misinformation is coming from a higher level than the front line staff.
 

Greenback

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Some staff do use their initiative and are interested enough to learn about more than they have been trained on. However, it can be difficult when confronted by colelagues and management who believe they are all correct and you are wrong...
 

RJ

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Some staff do use their initiative and are interested enough to learn about more than they have been trained on. However, it can be difficult when confronted by colelagues and management who believe they are all correct and you are wrong...
Yes, again been there, done that. When you're assertive and prove them wrong then you get more respect! Usually somebody high up in the chain regarding ticketing will know if what you say is right or wrong, or at least investigate it properly.

There's nothing wrong with telling management when you are absolutely sure of something, so long as you do it in the correct manner and are 100% sure :p.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
What you say may be right in many cases, but when a TOC starts to get a reputation for this sort of thing, and official looking notices appear at ticket offices it suggests that the misinformation is coming from a higher level than the front line staff.
A ticket office clerk doesn't need to be a genius to have a look on National Rail to see the "Buy anytime, travel off peak" media or look in The Manual or Retail Standards Guide. They also do not need to be terribly clever to read the restriction associated with a ticket. However many staff believe that off peak is a blanket concept as opposed to what it actually is - an association with each individual flow.

It's just sheer laziness and/or paranoid fear of being done.
 

Greenback

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Yes, again been there, done that. When you're assertive and prove them wrong then you get more respect! Usually somebody high up in the chain regarding ticketing will know if what you say is right or wrong, or at least investigate it properly.

There's nothing wrong with telling management when you are absolutely sure of something, so long as you do it in the correct manner and are 100% sure :p.
Agreed, but I found it very wearing when I was almost contantly in dispute with colleagues and some of those with 20+ years service did not take too kindly to a newcomer like me knowing far more about ticketing than they did through actually reading promotional material and the industry circulars.

It was even worse when some member sof management refused to acknowledge the evidence I presented to them!
 

barrykas

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Agreed, but I found it very wearing when I was almost contantly in dispute with colleagues and some of those with 20+ years service did not take too kindly to a newcomer like me knowing far more about ticketing than they did through actually reading promotional material and the industry circulars.
Nothing like being stabbed in the back (metaphorically speaking) by your so-called "colleagues" is there?
 

jon0844

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These lazy members of staff will sadly be the reason that the good ones will find themselves redeployed elsewhere, or sacked completely, as ticket offices will be closed down when everybody either learns to use a TVM or buys their ticket online/on their mobile etc.

Staff in any industry can get quite complacent, and show contempt towards customers, but they usually find that it results in a 'game over' moment sooner or later. Sometimes I wish it was a lot sooner, and didn't affect the good people also.
 

Greenback

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These lazy members of staff will sadly be the reason that the good ones will find themselves redeployed elsewhere, or sacked completely, as ticket offices will be closed down when everybody either learns to use a TVM or buys their ticket online/on their mobile etc.

Staff in any industry can get quite complacent, and show contempt towards customers, but they usually find that it results in a 'game over' moment sooner or later. Sometimes I wish it was a lot sooner, and didn't affect the good people also.
I think that long serving members of staff can find it all too easy to become complacent and not keep themselves up to date with developments in what is supposed to be their areas of competence. This is true of other industries I have worked in, in fairness, not just the railway ticket office!

The most common sort of problems I encountered are disappointingly familiar with what we see on here regularly - a refusal to sell tickets from other stations, a refusal to sell off peak tickets before a certain time, and a reluctance to issue a combination of tickets.
 

island

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On the other hand, today at Greenhithe I was dealt with fully correctly when I had boarded without a valid ticket after being instructed to do so by an authorised person, and doubling back, and was sold a discounted ticket (Two Together no less).
 
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