Season Ticket Changeover - proof of living/working in area

Haywain

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Not sure if you will need any proof even. Surely at least someone knows what they are talking about and knows that a encode will print REPLACEMENT and a duplicate will print DUPLICATE in the small letters - so yours is definitely not a duplicate!
And how do they determine from that which is correct - the ticket stock selected or the option chosen on the screen? Is it a duplicate incorrectly issued as a replacement or a replacement incorrectly issued on duplicate stock?
Hopefully, with two replacements (the original and the first replacement), the ticket office will have at least one, if not both, on record!
In all likelihood it is only the second one that is relevant.
 
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James12345AA

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http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/National Rail Conditions of Travel.pdf

It would appear that the most up-to-date NRCOT (March 2018) do not make reference to a change of home or work:

41. Changing one Season Ticket for another

41.1. You may change your Season Ticket for another covering a different journey or class of travel provided that the original Season Ticket was valid for one month or more, and has at least seven days’ validity remaining. In this case, you will only be required to pay the difference in price between your original Season Ticket and the new one, based on the number of days of validity remaining on your original Season Ticket.

41.2. If your new Season Ticket is for a cheaper journey or class of travel, you will be entitled to a refund on the original Season Ticket, based on the number of days of validity remaining on your original Season Ticket at the time that you ask for your Season Ticket to be changed.

41.3. The validity of your new Season Ticket must start on the day after the original Season Ticket is handed in, and must expire on the same date as that of the original Season Ticket. You will not have to pay an administrative charge.
Hopefully this will help.
 

causton

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And how do they determine from that which is correct - the ticket stock selected or the option chosen on the screen? Is it a duplicate incorrectly issued as a replacement or a replacement incorrectly issued on duplicate stock?
The ticket stock used is not audited.

At least for my TOC, all tickets that are out of the ordinary are audited. This includes every single zero-fare, fare override, encode exchange, duplicate, etc... If someone issued an encode and it was meant to be a duplicate (or vice versa), in the next two or three days we would have contacted the customer back to swap the ticket over for the correct one as it is a big no-no to mix them up, it would have been flagged up a long time ago if the wrong option was selected on the computer! So what is actually printed by the ticket printer would be the correct one.
 

Dai Corner

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http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/National Rail Conditions of Travel.pdf

It would appear that the most up-to-date NRCOT (March 2018) do not make reference to a change of home or work:

41. Changing one Season Ticket for another

41.1. You may change your Season Ticket for another covering a different journey or class of travel provided that the original Season Ticket was valid for one month or more, and has at least seven days’ validity remaining. In this case, you will only be required to pay the difference in price between your original Season Ticket and the new one, based on the number of days of validity remaining on your original Season Ticket.

41.2. If your new Season Ticket is for a cheaper journey or class of travel, you will be entitled to a refund on the original Season Ticket, based on the number of days of validity remaining on your original Season Ticket at the time that you ask for your Season Ticket to be changed.

41.3. The validity of your new Season Ticket must start on the day after the original Season Ticket is handed in, and must expire on the same date as that of the original Season Ticket. You will not have to pay an administrative charge.
Hopefully this will help.
Section 40.5 (quoted in a previous post) does make reference to a change of home or work, though that is in the section related to surrendering (duplicate) season tickets for a refund rather than changeovers to a cheaper ticket. Possibly that is why the TOC staff (erroneously) feel they need to obtain proof.

A changeover to a really cheap season where that is more advantageous for the customer than a surrender/ refund appears to be within the rules.
 

James12345AA

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Update - the TOC noticed that the season ticket was printed on the wrong stock but they do not question that it is a replacement (primarily because of the printed black writing). They are maintaining that they have the right to ask for proof and that a customer only applies for a changeover at the TOC’s discretion
 

Muzer

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Update - the TOC noticed that the season ticket was printed on the wrong stock but they do not question that it is a replacement (primarily because of the printed black writing). They are maintaining that they have the right to ask for proof and that a customer only applies for a changeover at the TOC’s discretion
If it were me, I would quote them the relevant part of the Conditions of Travel, then ask them where it says it's discretionary. If that doesn't work, escalate to Transport Focus, I suppose.
 

Haywain

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The ticket stock used is not audited.

At least for my TOC, all tickets that are out of the ordinary are audited. This includes every single zero-fare, fare override, encode exchange, duplicate, etc... If someone issued an encode and it was meant to be a duplicate (or vice versa), in the next two or three days we would have contacted the customer back to swap the ticket over for the correct one as it is a big no-no to mix them up, it would have been flagged up a long time ago if the wrong option was selected on the computer! So what is actually printed by the ticket printer would be the correct one.
I think you are being rather presumptive about the levels of auditing that go on at TOCs other than the one that employs you. But in any event, as you say, the ticket stock used is not audited and so the selection of the wrong ticket stock could not be easily picked up.
 

JMH125

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I agree with Muzer. The National Rail site says the following in respect of the NRCoT:

Whilst these National Rail Conditions of Travel set out your rights and any restrictions of those rights, the Train Companies may give you more extensive rights than those set out here. However they may not give you less, unless a specific condition allows for this...
I think that is a fair, accurate and simplistic reflection of what the NRCoT say.

The condition (41) is not permissive to the extent that the TOC has discretion over whether a changeover will be processed or not. The changeover is only conditional upon the original length of the season ticket and the number of days validiy reminaing upon the application for a changeover.

If it is accepted that condition 40 applies to a changeover, that condition gives the TOC a degree of discretion only where there is a duplicate season ticket involved. If they have accepted there is no duplicate ticket involved, they MUST process the changeover and refund any balance due.

I believe you have said the new season ticket is with a different TOC to the original. Which TOC is it that you've made the application for a changeover with? If it is the new TOC that is being difficult, perhaps you could try getting getting the changeover processed at the original station of issue and see if that causes less of a fuss.
 
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swt_passenger

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I believe you have said the new season ticket is with a different TOC to the original. Which TOC is it that you've made the application for a changeover with? If it is the new TOC that is being difficult, perhaps you could try getting getting the changeover processed at the original station of issue and see if that causes less of a fuss.
This was clarified earlier, it is a route “operated by” a different TOC, see post #56.
 

furlong

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Which TOC, which ticket, which routes?

Might there be some (possibly illegal) underlying anti-competitive behaviour here?
 

Haywain

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There is no guarantee that Transport Focus will take your side in this, unfortunately. An alternative approach may be to request the return of the season ticket and then take it to another TOC to carry out the changeover. It is not necessary for the TOC processing the changeover transaction to have issued the original ticket or to have any interest in the journey for which the new ticket is issued.
 

furlong

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Also how long is the season ticket (annual?) and roughly how much time remains on it? And then what is the price differential e.g. does the change lead to a large percentage refund?
 

James12345AA

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My current season ticket is a West Midlands Trains annual gold card including London zones 1-6. It has roughly four months left.

The ticket I wish to change to is a GWR annual season ticket from Devonport to Devonport Dockyard.

Perhaps I should try the changeover with GWR now then...
 

furlong

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So to paraphrase, you no longer need the season ticket you have, so want to do a changeover to a cheap one to maximise your refund and the TOC is attempting to stop you from doing this?
 

furlong

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Yes, while the amount you'll get back is a little less, you'd retain the Gold Card benefits and perhaps you'd still make use of the 1/3 discount?
 

Bletchleyite

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Why would they be less likely to object to the Lichfield ticket?
Because they would keep *some* of the revenue rather than none?

If the refund would be greater than that under refund rights, though, I expect they still will object. As while you are in the right by the letter of the rules, I would say you aren't in the spirit of them.

Not that that means you shouldn't get your contractual right of course.
 
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furlong

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But Haywain probably has the most pragmatic answer - use a ticket office run by a different TOC.
I think the consensus on here is you're entitled to do this and the TOC should not be resisting, but sometimes asserting contractual rights can take a lot of time and effort - continuing the escalation route you've got Transport Focus, DfT, ORR, your MP, the small claims court etc.
 

furlong

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...and also the media. I doubt the TOC would be happy about widescale media coverage educating everyone about their entitlement to this sort of refund...
 

Bletchleyite

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...and also the media. I doubt the TOC would be happy about widescale media coverage educating everyone about their entitlement to this sort of refund...
Realistically this needs a change in the rules to say "any refund for a changeover is capped at the sum that would be refunded if the ticket was returned for a refund rather than a changeover".

If it gets publicity, that's what I'm certain will end up happening.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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I don't see why James12345AA should waste their time with Transport Focus. They will no doubt take months to achieve absolutely nothing, since they are not an Ombudsman but a mere mediation service. If escalation still hasn't bought anything out of the TOC, I don't see what Transport Focus will.

A Letter Before Action, and/or a S75 claim against the credit card provider if any of the season ticket was paid by credit card, and/or a County Court Claim if the former two fail, seem much more likely to get OP the pro-rata refund to which he/she is contractually entitled.

Is the season ticket in WMT's custody, so they can't claim that it's being used and so can't be refunded for the period whilst the dispute is ongoing? This would be my primary concern at the moment.
 

maniacmartin

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I don't think its encoded in the NRCoT, but I seem to recall that you cannot excess between tickets that include London Travelcards and those that don't. It is possible that another hidden rule exists regarding changeovers to and from season tickets that include and don't include London Travelcards. Whether that would be enforceable or not I won't comment on.

Other than that, there is no requirement to live or work on the line covered by the season ticket.
 

horizonflame

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I agree a letter before action would be a good idea outlining escalation to the small claims court.

The court can decide if a breach of contract has occurred i.e refusing your changeover by asking for information not mandatory in the contract (NRCOT). You won’t get a season out of it but you can claim for the changeover refund you were due, the cost of buying the correct season ticket and the cost of any replacement tickets you have bought since the changeover date.
 

Dai Corner

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I wonder how much TfL would refund to WMT in respect of the Travelcard benefits, and whether this would leave WMT out of pocket after paying GWR for the new season and the OP his refund? (Assuming that's how it works).

If they would be making a loss on the transaction I can see why they don't want to do it.
 

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