Season ticket changeover admin charge?

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PavlosA

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Hi all

I deal with employee season tickets for my company. Unfortunately for me, rather than give the employees the money, we order the tickets on a corporate account. This leaves me with some of the admin. Anyway, I've dealt with a number of changeovers over the last few years, some of which ending with a refund due to us through changing to a cheaper journey. With out previous provider, an admin charge was never placed on a changeover, regardless of if it resulted in extra cost or a refund.

We have recently changed providers, and the new providers insist an admin charge is always applied when the changeover results in a refund. My research:

National Rail Enquiries 'Season Ticket Conditions':

Changeovers
If you move house, change your place of work or wish to change the class of travel, you may apply to exchange any Season Ticket with a month or more remaining, for one with the same expiry date for your new journey or class. This is called a changeover.
A changeover may be applied for at any rail ticket office (preferably one relevant to the new journey), a few days in advance of the date of the change. Any additional charge or refund will be based on the ticket prices when the original Season Ticket was bought, pro rata to the periods before and after the changeover.
No administration charge is made. Any ticket that has already been exchanged in this way may be accepted for further exchanges if necessary.

------

There is a mention on this same page of refunds having an admin charge, but it is specifically talking about returning a ticket you no longer wish to use. The only other mention of admin charges is against duplicate tickets and photocards, and 2nd 'left at home' refunds. To me, although there is a table stating admin charges (and saying 'Refunds - not more than £10), there is a pretty clear distinction between changeovers and refunds.

I can't find anything in the NRCOC that relates directly to changeovers, because it only mentions changing one ticket for another - ie refunding your current ticket and starting a new season ticket for a full year (refund and rebook or something?) - and it states there is no admin charge for this situation.

Any help much appreciated.

Pav
 
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PavlosA

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I think we may need to know who the new provider is, it certainly sounds as if they are using the 'admin fee' as commission.
Trainline

We have an SLA with them, so I could understand if it was in there, but it's not. The people who calculate the changeover probably wouldn't have access to this info anyway, and it appears they are giving me a standard response:

"For change-overs there is no administration charge if there is an amount payable, but, if a refund is due a £10.00 charge is applied."
 

hairyhandedfool

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Changeovers should not have an admin fee regardless of money being owed or not, however, if they have a contract with your company they may have stipulated certain things like admin fees or charges being applicable in the T&Cs.
 

PavlosA

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Changeovers should not have an admin fee regardless of money being owed or not, however, if they have a contract with your company they may have stipulated certain things like admin fees or charges being applicable in the T&Cs.
Thanks very much. As I say, our SLA does not include anything about changeover fees. It stipulates the fees payable, and it mirrors the conditions I mentioned. Duplicate £10, photocard £5, 2nd left at home £10 and that's it.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'm now being quoted from the National Fares Manual, but I'm sure the info still relates to surrendered tickets. Does anyone have anywhere they can point me to with a little more confirmation that the NR website?

Ta
 

hairyhandedfool

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I can have a look at what The Manual (formerly the FRPP, formerly the NFM) says exactly when I get to work tomorrow, maybe someone else will be able to post it before then.
 

barrykas

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From "The Manual":

Dealing with applications

Any ticket that has already been issued in exchange for another may be accepted subsequently for further exchange, without any limit on the number of times;

No administration fee is payable;

A Season Ticket Changeover form (RSP 25805/30) and a Season Ticket Refund Application form (RSP 25805) or Train Company equivalent are completed.
 

John @ home

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The section posted by barrykas above is from The Manual -> Season Tickets -> Change-Over Season Tickets and Travelcards. That Chapter has 13 Sections:
  • When Change-over Season Tickets/Travelcards may be issued
  • Dealing with applications
  • Overview of Change-over Season Ticket/Travelcard
  • Calculating the 'Base Rate'
  • Additional Rules when Passenger's Charter discount applies
  • Additional Rules when 'Lost Days' apply from a previous ticket
  • Additional Rules when 'Lost days' are owed to the Customer
  • When the customer pays an additional amount for a Changeover ticket
  • When a Refund Payment is made
  • Example - Season Ticket Change-over including Passenger’s Charter Discount
  • Example - Season Ticket Change-over including ‘Lost Days’
  • Calculation of Change-over and ticket Issue for ‘Duplicate’ Season Tickets
  • Refunds on Change-over Season Tickets
barrykas has quoted Dealing with applications in full.

thetrainline appear to be misinterpreting The Manual -> Refunds -> Season Tickets (including Travelcard Seasons). That Chapter has 8 Sections:
  • Accepting refund applications
  • Completing the Season Ticket refund application
  • Refunds on First Class Season Tickets when no First Class accommodation is available
  • Refunds after periods of sickness
  • Refunds on Duplicate Season Tickets, monthly or longer
  • Refunds on Change-over Season Tickets, monthly or longer
  • Season Ticket refund administration fee
  • Refunds on Rail Rovers, car parking and accompanied articles & animals
Season Ticket refund administration fee in full is:
Season Ticket refund administration fee

Applicable in circumstances where an administration fee is charged

Arriva Trains Wales, c2c, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Coast, East Midlands Trains, First Capital Connect, First Great Western, First Hull Trains, First TransPennine Express, Grand Central, Greater Anglia, London Midland, London Overground, Merseyrail, ScotRail, Southeastern, Southern, South West Trains, Virgin Trains: £10·00

All other TOCs charge £5·00.
If you need the text of any other Section(s), just ask.
 
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PavlosA

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Thank you both - that's perfect information, and just as I suspected. I'm waiting to hear from our account manager and if I encounter resistance I'll point them in that direction. Is the manual available to the layman?
 

barrykas

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Out of interest, what does this section say?
It tells you how much of a pain in the backside calculating the refund due on a change-over season is, and involves about a dozen calculations for a "simple" refund where there's only been one change-over done.

Cheers,

Barry
 

John @ home

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Refunds on Change-over Season Tickets, monthly or longer

Out of interest, what does this section say?
This is a worked example of how to refund a Season Ticket which has previously been subject to the Change-over process.

I think this may be where thetrainline's confusion arises. In the calculation, the changeover does not attract an admin fee, but a later refund does.

The Manual -> Refunds -> Season Tickets (including Travelcard Seasons) -> Refunds on Change-over Season Tickets said:
You may accept "Change-over" Season Tickets for refund. For information on Change-over procedures, see When Change-over Season Tickets/Travelcards may be issued.

Calculating the refund on a Season Ticket Change-over

To calculate the refund the general principles shown in the following steps should be followed:
  1. Use the information on the customer’s Season Ticket Records to ascertain the total amount paid for all tickets by the customer.
  2. Calculate the price of a Season Ticket for the original journey for the period of actual use (i.e. from the start date of the original ticket to the date of surrender of the changed-over ticket)
  3. Recalculate the price that would have been paid or refunded for a change-over ticket for the period from the date of the change-over to the date of the surrender of the change-over ticket.
There is a slightly different procedure depending on whether the customer paid an additional amount for the change-over or received a refund. The following worked examples include the two scenarios.

Calculating a refund on a changed-over season ticket when an additional amount was paid at the time of changing-over – a working example.

On the 2/01/07 a customer buys an annual season ticket from Maidstone Stations to London, he then changes the ticket over on the 4/04/07 for one from Hastings to London. This ticket is then subsequently put in for a refund on the 22/06/07.

Step one
Calculate the TOTAL amount actually paid by the customer.
Maidstone to London: 2/01/07 – 1/01/08 £2,668.00 (A)
Hastings to London: 4/04/07 – 1/01/08 £406.77 (D)

On the refund application this will be shown as:
Maidstone to London: 2/01/07 – 3/04/07 £672.37 (B)
Hastings to London: 4/04/07 – 1/01/08 £2,402.40 (C)

Total paid by customer (A+D) £3,074.77

Calculations based on:
(A) Old Ticket annual cost: - £66.70 (Weekly rate as at 2/1/7) x 40 (Annual OPF) = £2,668.00
(AR) Credit on old ticket: - £2,668.00(A) / 365 (days per year) = £7.31 (Daily rate) x 273 (Days left to run) = £1,995.63
(B) Ticket cost 2/01/07 – 1/01/08: - £2,668.00(A) - £1,995.63(AR) = £672.37
(C) New Ticket cost: - £80.30 (Weekly rate as at 2/1/7) x 40 (Annual OPF) = £3,212.00 (Annual cost) / 365 (days per year) = £8.80 (Daily rate) x 273 (Days left to run) = £2,402.40
(D) Additional amount paid on change-over ticket: - £2,402.40(C) - £1,995.63(AR) = £406.77
Note: (AR) – This is an Accountancy Refund on a change-over on the original Maidstone ticket.

Step two
Calculate the cost of both tickets for the revised period.
Maidstone to London: 2/01/07 – 22/06/07 £1,460.10 (E)
Hastings to London: 4/04/07 – 22/06/07 £1,757.80 (F)

Calculations based on:
(E) £66.70 (Weekly rate as at 2/1/7) x 21.89 (5M 21D OPF) = £1,460.10 (Revised Original cost)
(F) £80.30 (Weekly rate as at 2/1/7) x 21.89 (5M 21D OPF) = £1,757.80 (Revised Change-over cost)

The cost of actual journeys from the original start date to the time the ticket is surrendered is calculated. The same criteria must be used for calculating the base rate for both tickets.

Step three
Calculate the tickets the customer would have purchased had he known the correct period of travel based on revised costs.
Maidstone to London: 04/04/07 – 22/06/07 Credit Due £683.20 (G)
Maidstone to London: 2/01/07 – 3/04/07 Revised Cost £776.90 (H)
Hastings to London: 4/04/07 – 22/06/07 Revised Cost £822.40 (I)

Calculations based on:
(G) £1,460.10(E) / 171 (Number of Base Rate Days) = £8.54 (Revised Daily Rate) x 80 (Revised days left to run) = £683.20 (Revised Accountancy refund / Credit on old ticket)
(H) £1,460.10 (E) - £683.20 (G) = £776.90 (Cost of Required original ticket)
(I) £1,757.80(F) / 171 (Number of Base Rate Days) = £10.28 (Revised Daily Rate) x 80 (Revised days left to run) = £822.40 (Revised new ticket cost)
NB: Base Rate Days for 5months 21 days = 5 x 30 = 150 + 21 = 171

Step four
Break down of refund application

Tickets purchased (Section 2)
Maidstone to London: 2/01/07 – 3/04/07 £672.37 (B)
Hastings to London: 4/04/07 – 1/01/08 £2,402.40 (C)
Total paid by customer: £3,074.77

Tickets required (Section 3)
Maidstone to London: 2/01/07 – 3/04/07 £776.90 (H)
Hastings to London: 4/04/07 – 22/06/07 £822.40 (I)
Total due for journeys made: £1,599.30

Gross refund amount: £1,475.47
Admin Fee: Varies between TOCs
Net refund amount: £1,475.47 less your TOC’s admin fee

Calculating a refund on a changed-over season ticket when an amount was refunded at the time of changing-over – a working example.


(snipped)
 

PavlosA

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Thanks again all.

My account manager's response is that they normally charge £10 on changeover refunds, but since they have ommitted to enter it into our contract (in error) they will waive the fee on all changeovers.

I'm inclined to keep on at them, but feel like I shouldn't be telling them they are wrong when I'm not in the business...
 

hairyhandedfool

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If you have any influence on who your company buys tickets from, now might be a time to exercise it :lol: I wouldn't even recommend thetrainline to my ex! (not that she needs convincing that it is cheaper than anyone else).

I think you can safely bet they will try to implement a change of terms as soon as they can to introduce that bit (and try to claim it is a railway charge that they have to pass on to their customers).
 

PavlosA

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This is what I'm expecting so I wonder if I should force my point a bit.

Unfortunately we only changed to them recently. We've been through utterly appaling service from NXEA, followed by even worse at RBT (formerly NBTS - Southeastern).

It seems they can all supply tickets perfectly, but anything beyond that is a struggle...
 

Clip

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Id strongly suggest that you tell your company to start issuing company cheques to the staff so they can purchase them themselves at a station and shold any changeovers happen they have the headache of getting it sorted
 

PavlosA

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Tried and tested in the good old days, but unfortunately no longer allowed. Will probably never happen again for various internal reasons...
 

SickyNicky

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Could you not get a rail warrant account?
We've just stopped using these because people were buying more expensive tickets than we wanted (anytime rather than off-peak, expensive routes, not using suitable splits). By buying specific tickets for staff we reckon we save at least a third on the travel bill.
 

island

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We've just stopped using these because people were buying more expensive tickets than we wanted (anytime rather than off-peak, expensive routes, not using suitable splits). By buying specific tickets for staff we reckon we save at least a third on the travel bill.
You can get season ticket warrant books for season tickets. And you can also write out the desired ticket on a warrant before giving it to the employee.
 

SickyNicky

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You can get season ticket warrant books for season tickets. And you can also write out the desired ticket on a warrant before giving it to the employee.
You can. But each warrant incurs a cost on top of the ticket cost and has to be exchanged for a ticket at the station - which they don't like doing if you have a series of split tickets on warrants (typically 4 different tickets for a peak split to London via Newport, for example) and several people travelling around the same time.

Incidentally, if you want a corporate scheme, RedSpottedHanky doesn't charge fees and still gives you points. They will also put a ticket machine on your premises if you spend enough.
 

island

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You can. But each warrant incurs a cost on top of the ticket cost and has to be exchanged for a ticket at the station - which they don't like doing if you have a series of split tickets on warrants (typically 4 different tickets for a peak split to London via Newport, for example) and several people travelling around the same time.

Incidentally, if you want a corporate scheme, RedSpottedHanky doesn't charge fees and still gives you points. They will also put a ticket machine on your premises if you spend enough.
All true. My employer requires staff to use thetrainline (*cough, spit*) but the latest travel policy puts a coach and four through the requirement by adding "unless a cheaper alternative is available", and there's always a cheaper alternative :)
 

hairyhandedfool

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http://www.atocrailwarrants.org/the-season-ticket-rail-warrant-account

Pros

You have no worries about getting replacements as the person who got the ticket can sort it out (although you may need to write out warrants for some changeovers).
You get four to six weeks to pay up and you can compare the tickets issued on the warrant with the carbon copy of the warrant in the book.
Refunds go to the warrant account, not the person applying for the refund.

Cons

It costs money.
 
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SickyNicky

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All true. My employer requires staff to use thetrainline (*cough, spit*) but the latest travel policy puts a coach and four through the requirement by adding "unless a cheaper alternative is available", and there's always a cheaper alternative :)
I am fortunate enough to be in the position of the one now setting corporate travel policy here, and I find most staff don't care about the cost or route or splits or anything else as long as they have a printout of the timetable, the tickets and (if relevant) the time restrictions for those tickets.

I really can't understand this corporate fascination with thetrainline - I suppose it's got to be down to their aggressive (and I would argue misleading) advertising.
 
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