Season Ticket Changeover - proof of living/working in area

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by James12345AA, 26 May 2018.

  1. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Agreed. It does seem that it's a odd system that results in a changeover being greater than an outright refund.
     
  2. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    No such rule exists. I have completed such changeovers several times during my railway career.
     
  3. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    That's not very customer friendly for people who move house or change their place of work though.
     
  4. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I agree that it's less generous than the current terms, but the alternative view is why should someone who is going to continue using their season ticket (though on a different route) get more money back than someone who isn't going to continue to use their season ticket at all?
     
  5. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    There are a number of people who buy the cheap Gold Card just for the benefits. Back in the day Island line reckoned they had over 100 people who never actually travelled between the Ryde stations. On this basis surely a request to change to a different Gold Card ticket must be accepted as entirely reasonable.
     
  6. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Alternatively why not insist that refunds on season tickets are done at the pro-rata rate.....
     
  7. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Because that would lead to an overall reduction in the prices of season tickets and, therefore, revenue. Or a dramatic increase in the price of annual seasons. Revenue would have to balance one way or another.
     
  8. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    A change to a different Gold Card is reasonable but is not what's happening in this case.
     
  9. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The way I look at it is that they are two completely different types of customers.

    Someone buying a cheap annual season with Gold Card benefits is likely to actively want to utilise the Gold Card benefits, so is likely to be someone making at least reasonably regular off-peak journeys, therefore more likely to be revenue positive. These people are highly unlikely to have purchased the ticket merely as an insurance against the odd journeys they may make.

    Someone simply doing a changeover to the cheapest season ticket is obviously using it as a way to get around the proper refund process, therefore revenue negative. Someone in such cases opting for the marginally more expensive ticket within the Gold Card area may well be using it simply as a back-up option against the odd possible journeys they may make due to the negligible difference in price, so there is no guarantee the additional revenue they bring in would offset the price differential between the changeover and the refund.

    Obviously none of this is an absolute, and much is played on probability, but the former very obviously would be much more welcomed than the latter.

    TBH I am surprised this loophole has not yet been closed, but I am sure if abused too much, they will be, therefore people who genuinely had a change of circumstances and required a changeover may lose out.

    I'm not advocating anything btw, merely presenting my understanding and observations.
     
  10. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Established Member

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    People who have a genuine change of circumstance will not lose out if they provide evidence of a change. People like the OP who blatantly try to game the system will feel resistance. I'm not surprised the TOC has kicked back and will probably take it to the wire.
     
  11. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, either it is completely overhauled or more evidence is required as shown by this case. I can't think of any off the top of my head but I'm sure there will be cases where evidence may not be easy to obtain as there are so many different variables.

    Either way it causes additional inconvenience for those genuinely requiring a changeover should that happen.

    Not sure what would happen if they did take it all the way with this one. I am inclined to think that the customer would win with this one should that happen, but that may well be a hollow victory if this then resulted in a big fuss being made and the arrangement changed.
     
  12. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Not originally, but then someone suggested Lichfield as a way of WMT keeping some of the money and that is a gold card as well.
     
  13. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Agreed, but changing what you want the new ticket to be will just serve to confirm their suspicion that this is being done to get a better refund.
     
  14. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    The TOC might not like it, but the rules allow it. There is no requirement to produce any proof of residence or working int he area when buying a season ticket.

    The TOC should process it without delay.
     
  15. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    There are, however, rules that require companies to take adequate steps to detect financial crime. Not that I'm saying this is the case here but, in the general case, buying an expensive season ticket then doing a changeover to a completely different season ticket in order to maximise the refund is one way that money could be laundered.
     
  16. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Let's not get diverted by allegations of fraud. That has nothing to do with it.

    The problem is WMT making up its own rules which, sadly, is typical of the rail industry.
     
  17. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    As per my post: "Not that I'm saying this is the case here but, in the general case..." There was no allegation made.
     
  18. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    And of course there is a big review into ticketing that has recently begun...
     
  19. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Maybe because it's an incentive to keep using rail? I wonder whether it could be restricted to tickets where either the origin or destination is the same - I know people do move house and job at the same time, I've done it (but not needing a season ticket), but at a guess it's less common.
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    My view which I maybe should feed in to that is that Annuals have had their day, really. I'd replace them with monthly direct debit contracts, with a minimum 12 month contract for the discounted price (still available without a contract at the present monthly price) and a termination/change fee giving similar terms to the present annuals.

    I suspect they just didn't think of it.
     
  21. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    The refund rules for annual seasons are a joke anyway. No reason why they can't just pro-rata the refund over the entire term, rather than this stupid calculation based on what you could have used. It wouldn't even make that much difference financially. The real financial benefit for TOCs is getting the money in early and in bulk.

    This is just yet another example of the railway industry making rules up to suit themselves. If a passenger broke their side of a contract Abellio wouldn't be so eager to ignore the terms. Good to see Abellio's crookedness didn't end with Jeff Hoogesteger.
     
  22. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    So then you buy an annual, use it for 5 weeks (less a weekend, naturally) and get 47/52 of the annual price back - and pocket the difference, as my local superstore used to put it. OK, it's not much more than 10% and extra work on both sides, but that begins to add up.
     
  23. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    On my old London season ticket the saving there would be about £35 for that example. A month's interest on £5000 covers most of that, not to mention the admin fee!
     
  24. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    If it wouldn't make that much difference we wouldn't be having this conversation. And it's hardly unfair that someone who uses a season ticket for 4 months, rather than 12, pays the rate for a season ticket lasting 4 months.
     
  25. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Established Member

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    Do tell me where I can get 8% interest on my savings. I'm struggling to get more than 1% at the moment.
     
  26. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    ZOPA IFISA gets me about 0.8% a month, the stock market about 2% a month;).
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2018

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