Season ticket refund

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by ajhard, 15 Mar 2020.

  1. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    9,493
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    Are there any Web Sites offering advice on how to calculate season ticket refunds or changeovers? This is so one can work it all out themselves before deciding what they might like to do next if anything. Sitting tight seems the best option now but I'd like to try calculating it all the same,

    How long would one need to be not travelling to make it worthwhile to change ones season ticket to a cheaper one and then change it back to a more expensive one afterwards? That is what I'm really interested in working out

    If you revert to a more expensive one, do they do it at the annual daily rate over 40 weeks or the day rate as if you held an odd period season ticket of between 1 month and 6 months?

    Clearly if one does this and then reverts back it is going to be at this years rate, so the time off would need to be long enough to make it worthwhile verse the increased price remaining on ones season ticket.

    I do appreciate one doesn't know how long they will be off and the closer one is to 40 weeks, the less the benefit. There again maybe the closer one is to the start of their season ticket year, the worse it is to change. However, a rough estimate of time would be interesting.

    Going for a cheaper season that doesn't cover me for travel to work might, of course, invalidate my travel to work loan I get.

    I have been using my annual season ticket for 5 months and 3 days, aka 155 days including today.
     
  2. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

    Messages:
    538
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2009
    Just been to a second Southern station and told that an Oyster Travelcard was a TfL responsibility for refund ('we just give them the money and don't see any of it ourselves'). How can something so simple to do (the retail staff have the systems to do it on their desktops) have got so complicated in real life...?
     
  3. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,334
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    I still believe that it is Southern's responsibility, but it might be worth making a call to the Oyster helpline for clarification.
     
  4. hkstudent

    hkstudent Member

    Messages:
    446
    Joined:
    11 Nov 2018
    Location:
    SE London
    Oyster Travelcard is not a National Rail product but a PTE product for which TOC may not have any power over that..
     
  5. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

    Messages:
    538
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2009
    As you might have imagined, Oyster helpline is impossible ever to get through to....
     
  6. MadCommuter

    MadCommuter Member

    Messages:
    492
    Joined:
    4 Oct 2010
    Also worth considering is the potential low increase in 2021 fares. Perhaps even a reduction, should RPI be negative in July.
     
  7. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,334
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    Travelcard seasons are subject to the National Rail Conditions of Travel. Oyster is simply the medium for carrying that ticket.
     
  8. Roy Badami

    Roy Badami Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    12 Oct 2014
    Is the refund calculation for a TfL-issued annual Travelcard (on Oyster) the same as the traditional NR season ticket refund calculation? So basically the difference between what I paid for the annual, and what I would have paid for an odd period - with the odd period caluclated on the usual NR basis? But... does TfL even issue odd period seasons?

    Just curious as I've refunded mine and am wondering how much to expect.
     
    Last edited: 19 Mar 2020
  9. hkstudent

    hkstudent Member

    Messages:
    446
    Joined:
    11 Nov 2018
    Location:
    SE London
    I am not sure whether the argument related to medium applies here, as no TOCs or RDG itself manage London Travelcard.
    TfL is the governing body (as a local authority) of London Travelcard, in both paper and oyster card form...
     
  10. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

    Messages:
    2,244
    Joined:
    20 May 2013
    Oyster complicates things a bit, as you have to be able to "Unload" the ticket from the card before you can process the refund.

    For a ticket purchased from a National Rail station, this has to be done at a Ticket Office run by the same TOC. This is easier said than done, as FasTIS (Cubic's NR Ticket Issuing System, which is the only one that can handle Oyster natively) has reached End of Life, so TOCs are dumping it in favour of newer systems.

    It's a grey area as to what happens if you've lost your original card and got a replacement issued by TfL, mind you!

    I can't remember the exact process off the top of my head, but the general gist is that the clerk needs to put the Oyster on the reader and go through the season ticket refund process as if they were going to do it on the spot, but when it comes to entering the amount to refund they enter it as £0.00 and that will Unload the ticket from the card and print out a paper ticket which can be used to process the refund in line with their TOC's normal refund procedure.

    At that point, the Oyster card is returned to the customer so they can use any remaining Pay As You Go balance (given that can only be refunded by TfL).
     
  11. Roy Badami

    Roy Badami Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    12 Oct 2014
    Given that TfL now process this all by phone, the current process for TfL-issued travelcards seems to be that the only option is to cancel the oyster card, simultaneously refunding the season ticket, any PAYG balance, and any deposit, and requiring the passenger to get a new oyster card if they wish to continue to use oyster on a PAYG basis. It's not the most passenger-friendly process but I'm OK with it. EDIT: I believe that before TfL closed all the ticket offices, "unloading" the season ticket from the oyster card was exactly the normal procedure. Of course, TfL ticket offices are no more. Not sure if this is still an option at a visitor centre?

    Thinking about the refund rule though, I think the NR rule was always the difference between what you paid, and the cheapest season ticket(s) that would have covered the period you used it. So whether odd period seasons exist, or whether it has to be done solely in terms of monthlies and weeklies, that makes a difference (in general - not so much in my personal case)
     
    Last edited: 19 Mar 2020
  12. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

    Messages:
    1,860
    Joined:
    12 Jan 2017
    That's incorrect. The Travelcard is a joint TfL & NR product. The NR end is managed by something called the London Schemes Council at the RDG.
     
  13. 717001

    717001 Member

    Messages:
    157
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2018
    These queries haven't been answered and I'm interested in how the refunds and changeovers are calculated too. Can anyone clarify the calculations please?
     
  14. Pugwash

    Pugwash Member

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    17 Nov 2011

    Firstly thanks to all who have contributed to this, it has saved me a small fortune.

    I transferred from a GA smartcard to a Paper Ticket, the GA system will not allow a "ticket" to be removed from the card, so they have issued me a paper ticket and additionally a new smartcard when for when / if I need to change my season ticket back.
     
  15. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,334
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    A season refund is the difference between the price you paid and the price you would have paid for the period for which you have used the season ticket. Example: an annual season costing £4000 is used for exactly one month, which would have cost £384 so the amount refunded is £3616 (subject to admin fee of £10 if applied).
    A changeover calculates the cost of the season back to a daily rate and sees the difference between the price paid and the new total price for the year being paid by or refunded to the customer as appropriate. I don't have a simple example to demonstrate this!
     
  16. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

    Messages:
    538
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2009
    Now 72 hours since I first contacted TfL about getting an Oyster Refund, but no response yet (probably not too surprising given the National Emergency)... but I'm still not very clear what the considered view of Forum members is: is it an SN or a TfL responsibility to refund the unused part of the Oyster Travelcard? I'd always assumed it was SN, who sold me the ticket (and who, via the RDG Scheme Council, also participate in the management of the Travelcard Scheme).
     
  17. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    9,493
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    So if you refunded a season ticket that was 5 months old, it would be 5x1 months rate season ticket, as opposed to 5x(annual season ticket ÷ 12)?

    How does one get hold of last year's fears from say October?
     
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2020
  18. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,334
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    Roughly speaking, yes. The (one) monthly ticket is charged at 3.84 times the price of the 7-day ticket, and the multiplication factors increase up to a maximum of 40 times for an annual season. I am not in a position to chack the exact number for 5 months, but then it changes for each additional day.
     
  19. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    9,493
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    Thanks for that.

    I was trying to find the season ticket calculation details the other day on here and for some reason, I couldn't, even though they exist, as I kind of knew they would, so helpful is this forum.

    https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...n-5-multi-journey-tickets.67598/#post-1154249
     
  20. sefton

    sefton Member

    Messages:
    560
    Joined:
    30 Oct 2017
    Had exactly the same issue when I decided to do a changeover on my season ticket last week.

    Since the member of staff had taken an hour and a half to get to that point after referring to many photocopied bits of paper and phoning many colleagues trying to work out what to do, I decided to take the incorrect refund and argue the toss with customer service afterwards.

    So I now have a Hatton to Lapworth ticket which is valid for 9 months but shows on it a price of £500 or so!

    I did wonder for a laugh then asking for a refund on the £500 Hatton to Lapworth ticket to see what I would get or whether their system would explode.
     
  21. mrmatt

    mrmatt Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    3 Oct 2012
    Location:
    Flitwick
    I have to take back what I previously said about changing a Key smartcard ticket - I took it to Flitwick station to do this and 1) the clerk didn't know what a changeover was, 2) said it can only be done online (it can't be done online at all), 3) said it wouldn't be done at the price in force at the time of the original season, 4) that it would take 28 days to process and 5) speak to customer services. So far, so abysmal.

    I then contacted Twitter and they weren't sure so referred me to the key team phone line, who when I called couldn't help as their system was down and advised me to email. I did so and the automated response states it may take up to 10 days to reply. Frankly this whole situation once again exposes the flaws in systems and training to manage these things.

    I might try to station again later to see if a more knowledgeable clerk is on duty.
     
  22. pwatsonuk

    pwatsonuk New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    21 Mar 2020
    Location:
    Hitchin
    Apologies if I'm hijacking the thread - I thought it best to post here rather than in a new one?

    I'm looking into swapping - I have 5 months left on a £4068 annual season ticket and GN show a refund of £1302. Pro-rata, I have about £1700 'left' on the current ticket and a cheap season ticket on another route (Ryde Esplanade <> Ryde Pier) works out as £136 so it looks like I'd be best to swap and should get a refund of £1550 or so?

    Can you swap to a season ticket with another TOC, or does the new ticket have to be with the same TOC? GN and Southern are part of the same group of course! Does it complicate things that my current ticket is on a smart card?

    Thanks for any help?
     
  23. E759

    E759 Member

    Messages:
    570
    Joined:
    7 Dec 2017
    Location:
    Sussex
    Back in 2017 I cashed in my last annual season ticket. I'd had over 25 consecutive annual tickets, the last few being on the Key. Three months later I was finally re-funded. The only advice I can offer is: Telephone the Key Help Line, never email and keep phoning regularly to ensure the request hasn't been lost. And of course never use the Key ever again.
     
  24. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

    Messages:
    2,001
    Joined:
    11 Dec 2014
    Location:
    Wallsend or somewhere on the ECML
    These are unprecedented time, you have to remember no TOC is set up to refund every valid season it has.
     
  25. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,334
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    Your calculations won't be too far off the mark. The changeover can be done at ANY station regardless of operator and can be changed to ANY other journey, again regardless of operator. Having said that, it should be a little smoother if you go to either the TOC that sold the season or the operator of the route of the new season (which for Ryde is South Western Railway).
     
  26. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,334
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    The Thameslink website suggests that they don't deal with The Key at ticket offices, so you'd be wasting your time going back to the station.
     
  27. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    9,493
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    Has anyone heard anything on the grapevine as to whether the government is going to step in at all? Any rumors. I can see lots of people including myself refunding season tickets or taking out cheaper ones in exchange.

    I did the maths and even for the occasional essential journeys in peak rate it won't equal the cost saving from my season ticket.
     
  28. Sconey

    Sconey New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    25 Jan 2019
    Where a changeover to a cheaper season ticket is refunded at the pro rata of the full 52 weeks, and an annual is refunded at pro rata of only the first 40 weeks, is it worth doing a changeover to a cheaper one and then getting that refunded?
     
  29. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

    Messages:
    2,244
    Joined:
    20 May 2013
    The short version is that refunding a changeover takes the fact that it's been changed into account as part of the calculation.

    Here's a worked example using current fares:

    Let's say you hold a Cambridge - London Zones 1-6 Travelcard valid from 2nd January 2020 to 1st January 2021 at a cost of £6684 (£167.10 a week).

    Changing that to Hatton - Lapworth (£172.00 for the Annual, £4.30 base weekly rate) with effect from 18th March would have netted you a refund of £5173.60.

    If you then request a refund from 23rd March, the first step is to recalculate the original changeover for the new expiry date, as the period of validity will be less, thus the notional daily rate for each ticket will be higher.

    The full working out follows, but essentially in this case, you'd end up owing the TOC £119.10(!)

    We're now looking at a season ticket validity of 2 months 22 days, which is a multiplier of 10.5. This gives a revised price for the original ticket of £1754.60 and for the new ticket of £45.20.

    The notional number of days for calculating the base rate drops from 365 to 82 (2 months at 30 days, plus 22 'odd' days), giving revised base rates of £21.40 (up from £18.31) and 55p (up from 47p).

    Our changeover is now valid for 6 days, giving us a credit on the original ticket of £128.40 and charge for the new ticket of £3.30, leaving a refund due of £125.10.

    Now we can calculate our refund:

    To work out the price actually paid we deduct the credit from the original changeover from the original purchase price of the Annual then add the charge for the replacement ticket. In this case, that's £6684.00 - £5309.90 + £136.30 = £1510.40.

    To work out what would have been paid had the season been bought to expire on the date submitted for refund, we basically do the same thing but with the prices for the revised changeover. So that's £1754.60 - £128.40 + £3.30 = £1629.50.

    We then subtract the amount that would have been paid from what was actually paid to determine the gross refun, giving us £1510.40 - £1629.50 = -£119.10.
     
  30. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    7,012
    Joined:
    27 Apr 2011
    For anyone considering a changeover the cheapest annual season with Gold Card benefits is Hatton - Lapworth costing £172 (last year was £164 which is relevant if the season ticket being changes was purchased last year). There are 'part time' annuals between Exeter St Davids and Exeter Central costing £152 (last year £126.50) but opinion is divided on whether these qualify for Gold Card status.

    As far as I know the cheapest annual season without Gold Card benefits is Dockyard to Devonport costing £128 (last year £106.50)
     

Share This Page