Season Ticket Changeover - proof of living/working in area

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Haywain

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It is possible that another hidden rule exists regarding changeovers to and from season tickets that include and don't include London Travelcards.
No such rule exists. I have completed such changeovers several times during my railway career.
 

Hadders

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

najaB

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

MikeWh

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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.
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.
 

Haywain

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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.
 

Haywain

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

bb21

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

Puffing Devil

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

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.
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.
 

bb21

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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.
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.
 

MikeWh

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

Haywain

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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.
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.
 

Hadders

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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.
 

najaB

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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.
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.
 

Hadders

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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.
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.
 

Joe Paxton

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

30907

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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?
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.
 

Bletchleyite

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

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

Tetchytyke

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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.
 

30907

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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.
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.
 

Tetchytyke

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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,
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!
 

Haywain

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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.
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.
 

Dai Corner

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

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