• Our new ticketing site is now live! Using either this or the original site (both powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

Return ticket had OUT when it should have been RTN

Status
Not open for further replies.

billio

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2012
Messages
516
A strange thing happened at Leeds this morning. I purchased a cheap day return to Manchester. The tickets were printed such that the outward Leeds - Manchester part was a RETURN part and the Manchester - Leeds return part an OUTWARD part.

In theory you can't use a return part before you have used an outward part ?.

Is this just the case of someone pressing the wrong button or what ?.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
16,476
Location
0036
Sounds like you were sold a Manchester to Leeds return by mistake –*most likely the booking clerk pressing the wrong button, assuming you used a booking office.

The outbound part of a two-part return is strictly speaking invalid unless accompanied by the unused return part of the same ticket. The amount of times that gets checked in practice is minuscule.
 

billio

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2012
Messages
516
Word for word, now there's a request :).

I am 100% sure I asked for a cheap day return to Manchester using a senior railcard.
 

hairyhandedfool

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2008
Messages
8,837
Word for word, now there's a request :).

I am 100% sure I asked for a cheap day return to Manchester using a senior railcard.

Okay, it was probably just a error then.

Since moving the the Northwest I have noted a lot of people asking for tickets "from" a place when they actually mean "to" a place, it's not always easy to distinguish that from a person asking for a ticket "from" a place because that's what they actually want.

You'd expect the clerk to query it if someone went to the window at Leeds and asked for a return from Manchester?

You might expect that, but some staff will just issue what they are asked for, without question, if they deem the request specific enough. Some members of the forum would welcome that approach (even if it leads to the wrong tickets being issued more often than not).
 

gray1404

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2014
Messages
6,750
Location
Merseyside
I would agree that a ticket office should issue exactly what is requested of them. A good booking office will do just that.
 

Sprinter153

Member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
439
Location
In the TGS
Since moving the the Northwest I have noted a lot of people asking for tickets "from" a place when they actually mean "to" a place, it's not always easy to distinguish that from a person asking for a ticket "from" a place because that's what they actually want.

We get that darn sarf too. Frequently people will ask for a "return to Finstock" when Finstock is the station that they're travelling from. Then when you ask them, yes but where to, the indignant reply is usually "Finstock!"*

*other lightly used stations are available
 

bb21

Emeritus Moderator
Joined
4 Feb 2010
Messages
24,151
I would agree that a ticket office should issue exactly what is requested of them. A good booking office will do just that.

A good booking office ascertains the customer's journey requirements and issues the most appropriate ticket(s), not blindly issuing what is asked (including where the customer insists on specific products and confirms he knew what he were doing, and endorsing the tickets "restriction advised" where appropriate).

Following requests blindly is irresponsible and very poor customer service.
 

hairyhandedfool

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2008
Messages
8,837
I would agree that a ticket office should issue exactly what is requested of them. A good booking office will do just that.

The other day I was asked for "an any time return", which, if I'd done as you said, would have cost the passenger £19.80. However, I had the audacity to enquire further and discovered that what they actually wanted was "an Off-Peak Day return" which cost them £12.40. Perhaps I need to rethink this strategy and charge more than is necessary in future, I clearly don't work in a good booking office.
 

sheff1

Established Member
Joined
24 Dec 2009
Messages
5,518
Location
Sheffield
A good booking office ascertains the customer's journey requirements and issues the most appropriate ticket(s), not blindly issuing what is asked (including where the customer insists on specific products and confirms he knew what he were doing, and endorsing the tickets "restriction advised" where appropriate).

Following requests blindly is irresponsible and very poor customer service.

The problem there is that not all booking offices are "good".

I will not bore people again with the long list of occasions where Sheffield booking office have neither ascertained my journey requirements nor simply met my request. Safe to say, though, that with anything remotely out of the ordinary their preferred response was that they "cannot" (by which they meant 'will not') issue the ticket(s) requested and they certainly had no desire to hear any explanation as to why I wanted the tickets.

Fortunately, I am now able to buy 99% of the tickets I need online or from a TVM or at another booking office so am unable to confirm whether the old attitudes still persist.
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
31,383
Location
Scotland
I would agree that a ticket office should issue exactly what is requested of them. A good booking office will do just that.
Respectfully, I disagree. A good booking office will take the Rolling Stones approach - you don't always get what you want, you get what you need.
 

bb21

Emeritus Moderator
Joined
4 Feb 2010
Messages
24,151
The problem there is that not all booking offices are "good".

I will not bore people again with the long list of occasions where Sheffield booking office have neither ascertained my journey requirements nor simply met my request. Safe to say, though, that with anything remotely out of the ordinary their preferred response was that they "cannot" (by which they meant 'will not') issue the ticket(s) requested and they certainly had no desire to hear any explanation as to why I wanted the tickets.

Fortunately, I am now able to buy 99% of the tickets I need online or from a TVM or at another booking office so am unable to confirm whether the old attitudes still persist.

Poor practice does not detract from the principle.
 

TC60054

Member
Joined
3 Mar 2016
Messages
587
Location
South Sheffield
The problem there is that not all booking offices are "good".

I will not bore people again with the long list of occasions where Sheffield booking office have neither ascertained my journey requirements nor simply met my request. Safe to say, though, that with anything remotely out of the ordinary their preferred response was that they "cannot" (by which they meant 'will not') issue the ticket(s) requested and they certainly had no desire to hear any explanation as to why I wanted the tickets.

I've noticed that Sheffield booking office seem to take that response with more than just out of the ordinary requests - I've asked for a return to Wolverhampton to be met with a "why are you making that journey?" remark, and times where I've asked for certain day rangers - needless to say the amount of times I've been called a liar and a fraud whilst I was 15 by asking for child rate tickets, even with proof of age.

Sometimes a good booking office will just do what the customer asks, even though in certain cases as mentioned above it helps to enquire further - especially to those who aren't aware of the ticketing system.
 

PaxVobiscum

Established Member
Joined
4 Feb 2012
Messages
2,400
Location
Glasgow
A bit off topic but full marks to the booking office at Stirling yesterday for understanding and complying with my slightly unusual request on one hearing yesterday:

"I would like two single tickets - one a Senior and one a 16-25 Railcard - from Bridge of Allan to Stirling as we will be walking to Bridge of Allan since it's such a nice day. I'm aware it's before 10:00 am but we won't be using them until late afternoon."

(No chance of finding the guard and getting the tickets issued in the 4 minutes between these stations).

I briefly considered investigating whether the TVM at Stirling could issue tickets from another destination. Just out of interest, would it have been possible?
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
31,383
Location
Scotland
I briefly considered investigating whether the TVM at Stirling could issue tickets from another destination. Just out of interest, would it have been possible?
I don't know about Stirling specifically, but I'm yet to find a Scotrail TVM that can.
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
16,476
Location
0036
"I would like two single tickets - one a Senior and one a 16-25 Railcard - from Bridge of Allan to Stirling as we will be walking to Bridge of Allan since it's such a nice day. I'm aware it's before 10:00 am but we won't be using them until late afternoon."
You could have dropped the 10:00am bit.
 

gray1404

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2014
Messages
6,750
Location
Merseyside
And what about those of us to know EXACTLY what we want? And would never ask for anything that wasn't allowed or was not available (except for perhaps an Advance might have disappeared in the time since checking online and asking at the booking office window.)

I know that for some passengers it might help if they are questioned. I personally though always know exactly what ticket I require (he that for travel then, or in the future, or from another station, or a ranger or something else.....) and any additional questioning - moreover if the person selling it (Merseyrail being my local station hink wink) doesn't understand the ticketing system as much as I do - just delay my transaction or causes hassle for me having to have a pointless conversation.

To put it another way, can a full service booking office refuse to sell somthing they are asked for it is available/possible.
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
31,383
Location
Scotland
To put it another way, can a full service booking office refuse to sell somthing they are asked for it is available/possible.
I can't see how they could. They can advise if they don't believe it to be the best option, but at the end of the day if the customer asks for a valid ticket then they should sell it.
 

hairyhandedfool

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2008
Messages
8,837
And what about those of us to know EXACTLY what we want? And would never ask for anything that wasn't allowed or was not available (except for perhaps an Advance might have disappeared in the time since checking online and asking at the booking office window.)....

If it is apparent that the purchaser knows exactly what they want, and it is valid and available, then a clerk need not ask any questions. If I ask questions of a passenger, it's not because I doubt anyone's knowledge, it's because I want the passenger to get the right ticket first time round.

....I know that for some passengers it might help if they are questioned. I personally though always know exactly what ticket I require (he that for travel then, or in the future, or from another station, or a ranger or something else.....) and any additional questioning - moreover if the person selling it (Merseyrail being my local station hink wink) doesn't understand the ticketing system as much as I do - just delay my transaction or causes hassle for me having to have a pointless conversation....

As with any industry, some people aren't as good as they should be, that's life I'm afraid, but for the rest of us please look at it from our perspective. How are you different from anyone else? What would tell us that you know what you are talking about?

....To put it another way, can a full service booking office refuse to sell somthing they are asked for it is available/possible.

There are situations were a sale should be refused, so the answer to your question is, yes they can refuse, but I would add that, provided the ticket you want is both valid and available, there is usually no reason to do so.
 

bb21

Emeritus Moderator
Joined
4 Feb 2010
Messages
24,151
And what about those of us to know EXACTLY what we want? And would never ask for anything that wasn't allowed or was not available (except for perhaps an Advance might have disappeared in the time since checking online and asking at the booking office window.)

If it is apparent they know what they want and seemingly sensible, then no reason to probe further, but it is a judgement call.

Should the customer insist on something suspicious and refuse to engage, as I explained earlier, sell the product and "Restriction Advised" should be sufficient. As mentioned earlier, there may be some situations where refusal may be appropriate, but not many.

You then have all the situations in between that are varying shades of grey.

I know that for some passengers it might help if they are questioned. I personally though always know exactly what ticket I require (he that for travel then, or in the future, or from another station, or a ranger or something else.....) and any additional questioning - moreover if the person selling it (Merseyrail being my local station hink wink) doesn't understand the ticketing system as much as I do - just delay my transaction or causes hassle for me having to have a pointless conversation.

Not everyone is perfect.

To put it another way, can a full service booking office refuse to sell somthing they are asked for it is available/possible.

Can they? Of course they can, and there is nothing you can do in those situations there and then. Walk away, take it up with the company.

Should they? Probably not in most cases.
 

Merseysider

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
22 Jan 2014
Messages
5,436
Location
Birmingham
gray1404 said:
hairyhandedfool said:
There are situations were a sale should be refused, so the answer to your question is, yes they can refuse...
Can I ask under what circumstances they can do this? Thanks!
  • Pax asks for suspected short fare, or obvious 'donuting' (eg a Manchester - Deansgate ticket along with a Haymarket - Edinburgh ticket) where a ticket or explanation cannot be produced showing that the rest of the journey is covered.
  • Pax asks for Advance fares/railcards at 08:00 when there's a sign stating that they're only available for issue after 10:00
  • Pax asks for a child ticket, clarifies that they're the one to be using it, but is known to be over 15 and has no proof of age.
  • Pax is abusive (regardless of ticket requested)
  • Pax asks for a ticket which doesn't exist
  • Pax is attempting to pass off fake banknotes as genuine, or is suspected to be using fake or stolen cards, or has a history of abusing company cheques in exchange for very high value tickets ;)
  • Pax wishes to travel to Denton on a Tuesday
  • Pax wishes to purchase a First Class ticket for a route which has absolutely zero First Class provision
  • Pax displays an out-of-date Railcard and insists upon the discount

You get the idea.
 
Last edited:

gray1404

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2014
Messages
6,750
Location
Merseyside
Got it. So it is very limited indeed really. Interesting that some booking offices refuse to sell Advances or Railcards at certain times. Personally, I would prefer that wasn't the case but still.

Thanks Jake! :)
 

Merseysider

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
22 Jan 2014
Messages
5,436
Location
Birmingham
Got it. So it is very limited indeed really. Interesting that some booking offices refuse to sell Advances or Railcards at certain times. Personally, I would prefer that wasn't the case but still.

Thanks Jake! :)
The rule is there so Aunt bloody Mabel can't go requesting tickets to Canterbury and back next Tuesday, or Wednesday if it's cheaper, can you look again via Birmingham... while the rest of us in the rapidly growing queue just want a return to town.
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
16,476
Location
0036
Got it. So it is very limited indeed really. Interesting that some booking offices refuse to sell Advances or Railcards at certain times. Personally, I would prefer that wasn't the case but still.

Thanks Jake! :)

Yes, some booking offices have exemptions on what they will sell at some times. An example is most Southeastern stations need not sell advance fares before 10:00.
 

mailbyrail

Member
Joined
23 Dec 2010
Messages
356
Good on aunty Mabel.
If she wants to make the most of the system offered by the absurd fare system then go for it girl!
It's the rail companies' fault for making life difficult.
Unable to purchase ticket from my local unstaffed station with no machine and only Sheffield ticket office available en route - go by car
Break of journey overnight with threat of invalid tickets - my self preservation is worth more
Me, I've given up the will to live such an exciting life and go by car unless it's simply A to B with a ticket I've double checked is valid before I leave home.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top