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Renewal of Railpass (Merseyrail)

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Polarbear

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This afternoon, I went to James St station in Liverpool to try to buy a weekly Railpass. This is Merseyrail/Merseytravel's product.

I only buy Railpasses occasionally & have not been able to purchase these from the machine at my local station, Bache, as there are no instructions on the ticket machine on how to do so!

Unfortunately, the ticket office at James St couldn't sell me a weekly ticket in advance, due apparently to me not being a regular user? I was also told that one option would be to "chance it" in the morning & buy the ticket tomorrow at James St!

Apart from the obvious implication of that last suggestion in a penalty fare area, I know that Railpass tickets CAN be purchased in advance, as Chester station obliged last time!

If anyone happens to know how to extract a weekly Railpass from a ticket machine, I'd be grateful. However, is this a matter of staff training (lack of) or do Arriva & Merseyrail use different ticket issuing machines?
 
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gray1404

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This is basically Merseyrail making it up as they go along with staff who cannot be bothered to look something up, so they resort to making up pie in the sky excuses as they have got away with it for so long. Can't issue you a ticket because you do not buy it often enough, total BS. I'd phone Merseyrail customer relations and complain.
 

Bletchleyite

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http://www.merseyrail.org/media/278376/MT Season Ticket.2015.pdf

You can renew a weekly or monthly ticket up to three days before it runs out. You can
renew an annual ticket up to seven days before it runs out. Term Time Tickets are
available a few weeks before the term starts but are not valid until the start of term.
Railpass tickets can only be issued after 12 noon on the day before the start date or
after 12 noon on the Friday if it expires on a Monday, or on a Tuesday if the Monday
is a Bank Holiday.


So complain. Merseyrail staff once again justifying why they should be replaced with TVMs :)

On the other hand, ticket office staff should not, under any circumstances, be advising people to board without a ticket in a Penalty Fares area where there is a ticket office/TVM, so a complaint about that may be worthwhile for the benefit of others.
 
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tony_mac

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I think that the Railpass doesn't have a start date - so renewing is fine, it's buying a new one that is a problem.
Presumably, if you are a fairly regular customer then they will trust you not to take advantage and use it before it is valid.
 

Polarbear

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Thanks folks. I thought that may be the case as I've had this problem before & was assured by Merseyrail that they would sort things out.

One complaint letter coming up, with a threat of taking it further due to the poor advice given & seeming inaction by management.
 

tony_mac

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A railpass isn't actually a national rail product (despite only being valid on NR services)
I don't know if it would be easy to get the single ticket cost refunded.
 

Bletchleyite

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That depends on whether it was a renewal or not...If it's not a renewal, the member of staff was correct to refuse the sale.

No they were not; read the Merseytravel leaflet excerpt I posted. Renewals are allowed three days in advance, first-time issues are allowed the day before validity from 1200. The OP said he tried to buy it the day before in the afternoon.

The following is paraphrased from the NRE Season Ticket page:

They are not National Rail products, they are PTE ones, and as such their issue follows Merseytravel's rules as stated upthread, not ATOC's.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
A railpass isn't actually a national rail product (despite only being valid on NR services)
I don't know if it would be easy to get the single ticket cost refunded.

I suspect impossible, hence the concession in issue before valid being greater than a National Rail season ticket.
 
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dquebec

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Just buy the ticket from the self service machine (if there is one?)

I wouldn't exactly imagine it's difficult.

Whatever the destination prints on the ticket normally, just type into the machine.

That BRFares website shows quite a few "MRAIL" areas/zones, so I'd type MRAIL into the machine and see what comes up.
 

Clip

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http://www.merseyrail.org/media/278376/MT Season Ticket.2015.pdf

You can renew a weekly or monthly ticket up to three days before it runs out. You can
renew an annual ticket up to seven days before it runs out. Term Time Tickets are
available a few weeks before the term starts but are not valid until the start of term.
Railpass tickets can only be issued after 12 noon on the day before the start date or
after 12 noon on the Friday if it expires on a Monday, or on a Tuesday if the Monday
is a Bank Holiday.


So complain. Merseyrail staff once again justifying why they should be replaced with TVMs :)

.

That is of course if he wanted it to start tomorrow and got there after 12 today ;)
 

tony_mac

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No they were not; read the Merseytravel leaflet excerpt I posted. Renewals are allowed three days in advance, first-time issues are allowed the day before validity from 1200.

I'm not sure that's what the leaflet says - the section you quoted from has the title 'To renew your Trio, Solo or Railpass ticket'

It could mean that renewals for other Merseytravel products are allowed three days in advance, and Railpass renewals are more restrictive.
 

Bletchleyite

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It could mean that, though I don't think it does. Can anyone else clarify for certain, noting that a quote regarding ATOC products does not clarify as they are not ATOC products?
 

Polarbear

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Just to update, I managed to purchase said weekly ticket from Chester station with no problem at all. When I mentioned the earlier difficulties, the clerk suggested that the person I saw earlier didn't know how to do it.

I suspect the machine defaults to the current date & requires some form of over-ride to get it to issue the weekly pass in advance.

As regards buying it from the TVM, there are no instructions on how to do this on the machine or on their website. I know it can be done, I've done it in the past with instructions (that used to be there). With respect, I'm fairly adept at using TVM's but when I last tried to obtain a weekly pass from the TVM, I spent a fruitless 20 minutes trying to do so without success. As there is only one TVM at Bache, this didn't go down well with other customers.

The point I'm trying to get across is that I want to buy a ticket, but we have a TOC that seems to want to make the process obstructive if you don't happen to live near to one of their staffed stations. I can't see many other retailers making life difficult for a potential customer to spend £30.80!
 

tony_mac

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It does seem like they weren't supposed to issue it. Perhaps the ticket office staff in Chester don't know the rules as well as they do at James St.

http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/Documents/MT%20Tickets%20Adult.2015.pdf

• Railpass tickets with a break in continuity.*
For the weekly Railpass, if the start date is a Monday (or Tuesday after a Bank Holiday) the season ticket may be issued from 6 am on the
previous Sunday.
If the start date is another day, the ticket can be issued the same day.

For Railpass tickets with one month or more seasons, if the start date is a Saturday, Sunday or Monday the ticket may be issued from noon the previous Friday. If the start day is another day, the ticket may be issued after noon on the previous day.
 

razor89

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No they were not; read the Merseytravel leaflet excerpt I posted. Renewals are allowed three days in advance, first-time issues are allowed the day before validity from 1200. The OP said he tried to buy it the day before in the afternoon.

You've linked to an out of date leaflet. Here's the current one: http://www.merseyrail.org/media/426815/mt-tickets-adult-2016.pdf

"Railpass tickets with a break in
continuity.*
For the weekly Railpass, if the start date is a
Monday (or Tuesday after a Bank Holiday) the
season ticket may be issued from 6 am on the
previous Sunday. If the start date is another
day, the ticket can be issued the same day."

They are not National Rail products, they are PTE ones, and as such their issue follows Merseytravel's rules as stated upthread, not ATOC's.

I'm not sure Merseytravel have any "rules" regarding railpass, and if they do I can tell you they are identical to ATOC "rules" regarding season tickets, including time restrictions on new issues and renewals.

Basically the staff at James Street were right, and the staff at Chester were wrong, they shouldn't have issued it. Clearly they are either aware of a workaround or their TIS doesn't place any restrictions on when season tickets can be issued.

Personally I wouldn't have had a problem with what the staff at Chester did if they had simply told the OP that technically it wasn't allowed. Instead they now believe they are entitled to more than what they are, and the staff at James Street are made to look bad.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
This is basically Merseyrail making it up as they go along with staff who cannot be bothered to look something up, so they resort to making up pie in the sky excuses as they have got away with it for so long. Can't issue you a ticket because you do not buy it often enough, total BS. I'd phone Merseyrail customer relations and complain.

So complain. Merseyrail staff once again justifying why they should be replaced with TVMs :)

Also these reactions are pathetic. Do some proper research before jumping to conclusions.
 

Bletchleyite

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It does seem like they weren't supposed to issue it. Perhaps the ticket office staff in Chester don't know the rules as well as they do at James St.

http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/Documents/MT%20Tickets%20Adult.2015.pdf

Thanks for that. So it seems Chester were wrong. Quite passenger-unfriendly for those at the unstaffed stations.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Also these reactions are pathetic. Do some proper research before jumping to conclusions.

I did spend some time researching - so this says that Merseytravel should make their policy easier to find, as it is a simple and no doubt common question. They should also take care to ensure their website does not contain out-of-date material.
 
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Polarbear

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Just buy the ticket from the self service machine (if there is one?)

I wouldn't exactly imagine it's difficult.

Whatever the destination prints on the ticket normally, just type into the machine.

That BRFares website shows quite a few "MRAIL" areas/zones, so I'd type MRAIL into the machine and see what comes up.

Tried this today - no luck as the machine only brought up a menu of "area" day passes (none of which were valid from Bache).

Thanks to all for the observations & comments. As a customer (albeit one with some knowledge of ticketing), I don't find Merseyrails' approach particularly customer friendly, especially when the TOC can't even be bothered to ensure the information linked from it's website is factually correct and up to date. It does appear that this is not the fault of the staff, but management and I will be making this clear when I write to them about my experiences.
 
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Polarbear

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Just an update on this.

I wrote to Merseyrail to point out that the link on their site was incorrect & highlight the issue I'd had obtaining a weekly Railpass. Their website has since been updated to include the link to the current guide.

Whilst they confirmed that a weekly Railpass could not be issued in advance, where there had been a break in the continuity of use, their response did not explain why this was the case. This was despite a fairly detailed letter from me which (I assumed) would have elicited a reason for this change in policy. I've since written to Merseyrail to ask for an explanation for the change in the T&C's.

Also, thanks to those who have suggested that inputting "MRAIL" into the TVM's at unstaffed stations would bring up the appropriate fare. Merseyrail have also suggested this. I've since checked out all of the TVM's at the unstaffed Merseyrail stations & none of them will accept anything beyond the initial"M"

This of course means that I cannot renew my Railpass by using the TVM's, unless Merseyrail update their TVM's (which in their letter, they admitted weren't up to the job).

I will update when Merseyrail provide me with a response.
 
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