Season ticket renewal plus free days causes issues

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Oliver 123

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Hi

I renewed my season ticket 2 days ago it renews on the 31st of Dec. At the ticket office I got 10% discount for delays and also 3 free days which now means my yearly season ticket runs to the 3rd of January 2020.

This means that I will have to pay 2020 rail fares and not 2019 rail fares the next time I renew. This is obviously pretty scary as my rail fare already costs over £5k.

Has anyone been is the same position, any advice, this is a pretty sneaky tactic by gwr!

Thank you

Oliver
 
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Oliver 123

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You could just bin the free days and renew early.
Am I ok to do that? The email says
'As for the date, we are unable to change this so I do apologise but if it does not expire until next year then the replacement would need to be purchased for after that date.
'

If I renew early won't I loose any discount from train delays over the year?

Thank you very much.
 

Smethwickian

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Errr, Smethwick!
Am I ok to do that? The email says
'As for the date, we are unable to change this so I do apologise but if it does not expire until next year then the replacement would need to be purchased for after that date.
'

If I renew early won't I loose any discount from train delays over the year?

Thank you very much.
Can't think of any reason not to just use your photocard alone to buy a new ticket from scratch on the date of your choice rather than showing it with your existing ticket and asking for a renewal.
 

Bletchleyite

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Am I ok to do that? The email says
'As for the date, we are unable to change this so I do apologise but if it does not expire until next year then the replacement would need to be purchased for after that date.

I'm not aware of any restriction on a person holding more than one season ticket, even if it would be pointless i.e. two the same. You might have to get a new photocard at a push.

If I renew early won't I loose any discount from train delays over the year?

Yes, you probably would, as it would be a new issue rather than a renewal. Yes, this is quite an annoyance. You'd have to balance the gains from 3 free days vs. discount vs. 2020 prices.
 

Oliver 123

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I'm not aware of any restriction on a person holding more than one season ticket, even if it would be pointless i.e. two the same. You might have to get a new photocard at a push.



Yes, you probably would, as it would be a new issue rather than a renewal. Yes, this is quite an annoyance. You'd have to balance the gains from 3 free days vs. discount vs. 2020 prices.

Thanks that is really disheartening, I feel like they are purposely giving free days as they know so many people do this.

Is there any season ticket ombudsman I could complain to?

Thank you
 

bb21

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Can't think of any reason not to just use your photocard alone to buy a new ticket from scratch on the date of your choice rather than showing it with your existing ticket and asking for a renewal.
In which case as it is no longer a renewal you will not be entitled to any renewal discount on offer. The season ticket database will hold details of the expiry date of your current ticket.

As the current season ticket was already a 12-month one, I must say I am surprised you were given an extension rather than a refund for the void days, as season tickets should not be issued for a longer duration than 12 months. Were you given the option at the time of renewal whether to take it as a refund or an extension?

If not, I think you are entitled to complain and have the ticket amended to a 12-month one, plus refund for the three void days.

By "you" I obviously mean the OP.
 

janb

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With the increased use of electronic databases rather than paper records, there is a possible "computer says no" scenario with overlapping tickets.

We used to have somebody in the same situation each year, so we went the refund for void days route rather than adding them on. Void days always were a pain, remembering to apply them etc, so glad all the TOCs in our area use Delay Repay now.
 

cuccir

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Am I the only one who thinks - so? You'll have to pay the 2020 price eventually. I suppose if you're within 10 years of retirement it makes a difference but otherwise, I don't understand the obsession with beating the price rise.
 

island

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If you’re travelling on GWR, they are said to be adopting DelayRepay early in 2019 anyway so the renewal discount may become moot.

You should be entitled to a pro rata refund for void days rather than the ticket being issued for extra days though.
 

Greenback

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When I used the old APTIS machines, I don't think it was possible to issue a season for a duration longer than 12 months. I wish I could remember what we used to do when there were void days on an annual season. I think we used to deduct the daily rate in addition to any 5% or 10% discount.

Getting back on topic, it doesn't seem morally right to me that by compensating you for days when the service was severely disrupted, you are being forced into paying a higher price for your next season ticket.
 

CyrusWuff

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Bit late for the OP, but we've been explicitly told that we MUST do a refund rather than an extension in such cases, precisely to avoid the situation mentioned.
 

Haywain

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In which case as it is no longer a renewal you will not be entitled to any renewal discount on offer. The season ticket database will hold details of the expiry date of your current ticket.

As the current season ticket was already a 12-month one, I must say I am surprised you were given an extension rather than a refund for the void days, as season tickets should not be issued for a longer duration than 12 months. Were you given the option at the time of renewal whether to take it as a refund or an extension?

I think that retail systems will allow a season to be issued for more than 12 months only by the addition of lost/void days. As for renewal ahead of the expiry date, I am not sure that the buyer should be denied any renewal discount. In a scenario where someone has lost their season ticket with, say, 6 days left they cannot get a duplicate so the best option is to buy a new season. In such a scenario why should they be denied the opportunity to purchase a new season ticket slightly early and benefit from any discounts due? After all, it is the train company that gains in this situation because they have sold more days of travel than are actually required.
 

maniacmartin

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Just confirming that you can have multiple season tickets tied to the same photocard. I've done this a few times in the past
 

Haywain

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Just confirming that you can have multiple season tickets tied to the same photocard. I've done this a few times in the past
No issue with at all as some may have a rail season and a PlusBus season. There would be no expectation of having separate photocards.
 

kieron

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Am I the only one who thinks - so? You'll have to pay the 2020 price eventually. I suppose if you're within 10 years of retirement it makes a difference but otherwise, I don't understand the obsession with beating the price rise.
To take Heyford-London as an example, an annual season at 2019 prices costs £160 more than one at 2018 prices without a discount. That's more than the cost of a weekly season. It's also £160 you'll never get back.

While it may not be a huge amount of money for the average person who spends that much on rail travel, I can understand feeling aggrieved if a TOC asks you to pay more than you were expecting.
 

bb21

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I think that retail systems will allow a season to be issued for more than 12 months only by the addition of lost/void days. As for renewal ahead of the expiry date, I am not sure that the buyer should be denied any renewal discount. In a scenario where someone has lost their season ticket with, say, 6 days left they cannot get a duplicate so the best option is to buy a new season. In such a scenario why should they be denied the opportunity to purchase a new season ticket slightly early and benefit from any discounts due? After all, it is the train company that gains in this situation because they have sold more days of travel than are actually required.
That's what I can't really get my head around. Ours won't allow anything longer than 12 months to be issued, even with void days, and my understanding is that it has the side effect of preventing such unintentional loss of rights.

I remember reading an official document a while back that tickets should not be issued for any longer than 12 months, but I take it that they may have been interpreted and implemented differently.

I agree the customer should not have to lose out.
 

bb21

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In any case I would still be interested to know if the OP was given the option to take void days as refunds, as that is a quite fundamental right for season ticket holders and would constitute a retail irregularity if not asked.
 

Haywain

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That's what I can't really get my head around. Ours won't allow anything longer than 12 months to be issued, even with void days, and my understanding is that it has the side effect of preventing such unintentional loss of rights.
I think in Tribute there was an option to enter the number the number of void days which then adjusted the expiry date. I think a code was also required.
 

PeterC

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There shouldn't be as there's no rule against it.
The trouble with computer systems is that unintended rules can be written in by default. One of my roles in IT was quality checks on database designs and I regularly had to pick up designers on sloppy work that would hard code restrictions into a system.
 
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