Southeastern employee apologises for their crappy ticket barriers

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by talldave, 20 May 2015.

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  1. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    As my ticket was once again rejected by Southeastern's HS1 ticket barriers at St Pancras yesterday morning, I decided to enquire why....

    "Is my ticket valid?"

    "Yes!"

    "So why do your ticket barriers reject it?"

    "I apologise for the crappy ticket barriers..... we have so many tickets to upload, we're busy uploading..."

    I don't believe that final statement - I suspect they just don't give a ****.

    I continued on my journey and the Underground barriers accepted my ticket without any problem at all.

    On my return journey (actually another single, going the other way), the St Pancras barriers rejected it, as did the barriers at Stratford International where I broke my journey. The suggestion at Stratford was that the starting station wasn't a Southeastern station so that was probably why the barriers were rejecting it. Finally, back at Gravesend, I had the satisfaction of seeing the ticket open its first barrier of the day!

    A tedious experience to say the least, although slightly compensated for by my technique of buying a ticket to somewhere I'm not going saving me money.

    So, if anyone from Southeastern is reading - sort your crappy barriers out, because it even winds up your own staff.
     
  2. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    I needed a laugh so thank you Sir! I assume both STP and Stratford barriers have both been there for a while so it cant just be teathing problems with new equipment? Still seams a poor show though
     
  3. Seaeagle

    Seaeagle Member

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    I have similar issues at both St Pancras and Stratford. Arriving at both stations, the barriers accept my ticket no problem, but neither will accept my ticket on the return journey.
     
  4. collism

    collism Member

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    I'm pretty sure the Southeastern St Pancras barriers only let through tickets with the PLUS HIGH SPEED routing, everytime I have been travelling through London with the ANY PERMITTED routing, the ticket never goes through the barrier and has to be manually checked.
     
  5. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    Has he had the sack yet for being honest ? I sincerely hope not.
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2015
  6. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    I thought he was lying. After all I suspect they just don't give a ****. I have no idea about how barriers work or if there is any truth that tickets need to be uploaded into a database so that the barrier software can recognize and validate the tickets. But it certainly sounded plausible and honest to me.

    Are the barriers owned by SE and is it their software that runs the barriers ? Who is responsible for the ticket database ?
     
  7. thebigcheese

    thebigcheese Member

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    They do certainly seem over protective on that gateline. I can't remember the last time one of my tickets went through without a hitch - and most of my tickets are routed '+AP'
     
  8. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    It has previously been posted in this forum (apparently by someone who works in the relevant field) that the default situation on installation is that a gateline only understands its own location, and no breaks of journey are programmed at all. Any other station availability has to be manually added, there is no automated process to do this.
     
  9. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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    Refreshing change, some simple honesty.
     
  10. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Obviously "a man at the barriers" is an official spokesman for Southeastern :roll:
     
  11. Ediswan

    Ediswan Member

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    Stevenage barriers do (or at least did) reject all advances on departure (as I was informed by staff) and some of the local off-peak tickets which are valid during the evening peak on arrival. The staff are well aware of the behaviour of their barriers. Once you know you are going to rejected by the machine, go directly to the human.

    Side note: The evening peak restrictions on local trains look complicated. Thameslink have reworded and made them easier to follow than FCC did. I believe they could be simplified to "Off peak tickets are not valid for journeys from zone B to zone D". http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/tickets-and-fares/off-peak/ Every other pair of zones appears to be covered by one of the exceptions.
     
  12. Tracky

    Tracky Member

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    I understand barriers have a limited capacity for storing ticket information. I'm assuming they are not "online" and so each one has a solid state memory in effect. The gates at Chester seem to reject TPE advances up to Leeds and Newcastle and treat all off peak tickets as before 9am even the ones valid from 8.30.
     
  13. WillPS

    WillPS Established Member

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    Good work on giving a frontline member of staff with no power to change the situation a hard time. Bravo.

    I'm off now to have a go at whichever assistant is unlucky enough to serve me at Sainsbury's local about a team of people they have likely never met and never will who've decided to halve the amount of Nectar points I get for shopping there. Wish me luck!
     
  14. FlippyFF

    FlippyFF Member

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    So, could it be that the barriers read the ticket and detected that it hadn't been through a barrier at the station you didn't start your journey from but had bought the ticket to start from?
     
  15. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    If the "man at the barriers" is on Southeastern's payroll, is wearing a Southeastern uniform and carrying out duties on Southeastern's behalf then yes, for all intents and purposes, he is an official representative and spokesman of the company. How could it be interpreted otherwise?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Unless I'm missing something (which is quite likely) there is nothing in the OP which appears to me as having a go at a frontline member of staff... rather it's just a report of a conversation and in particular that a member of Southeastern's own staff though their barriers were crappy. If anything it seems to highlight the member of staff's frankness and honesty.
     
  16. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Not on the outward journey, but the barriers were open at Gravesend so I didn't have to put the ticket through. As suggested by another poster, St Pancras barriers are presumably set to reject any ticket not routed PLUS HIGH SPEED. This would be acceptable if those were the only valid tickets, but they're not. Anyway, I don't believe ticket barriers reject tickets based on which barriers they've been through. And if train companies didn't sell tickets to further afield destinations for less than closer destinations I wouldn't be buying them.
     
  17. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    Ticket barriers may reject tickets based on which barriers they've been through, but not on the basis of which barriers they have not been through. A ticket may be rejected due to a 'passback' rule or because it has been encoded as previously having gone through a barrier, suggesting the ticket has already been used.
     
  18. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Indeed, I wasn't having a go, and was impressed by the honest reply. If staff higher up the chain expressed similar views we might see changes that would make the lives of passengers easier.
     
  19. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Really ? Then why say this.

     
  20. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Because the guy I was talking to obviously has no control over the uploading of ticket validities into the barrier. That's done (or not done) by someone else, in the non customer facing "don't give a ****" department.

    Why my scepticism? Well, Southeastern is part of the same group as Southern, so I guess it's ultimately run by more of the same incompetent people I've suffered for the last few years as a Southern customer.

    Full credit to this Southeastern barrier guy though, he seemed as frustrated as his customers and wasn't ashamed to show it.
     
  21. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The barrier person could have been honest and sincere, while the company itself doesn't care. Front line employees probably find the barriers just as frustrating to work with as someone who's ticket is rejected.

    I'm sure I once had a through ticket marked with the appropriate 'Valid via HS1' wording, that was still rejected. The man at the barrier was very nice, but I got the distinct impression he was a bit fed up with having perfectly valid tickets churned back out necessitating him to open the gates manually for so many people
     
  22. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I'm not so sure this is the case; I've had East Coast & Connections and +Any Permitted tickets accepted by the gateline to the Southeastern platforms at St Pancras
     
  23. Cletus

    Cletus Established Member

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    Yes, I used a Dover Priory - Coventry (+vtwc @connections) ticket that worked the barriers ok today. Although in the past this hasn't always been the case.
    Also had an advance ticket to Devon earlier this week that worked the barriers ok.

    Also I find "any permitted" tickets also work when going to Potters Bar for instance, but not "south" to East Croydon for instance.
     
  24. Deety

    Deety Member

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    While slightly deviating from the topic, I thought I had better post something sometime... Hello everyone!

    I have an annual AP season from Brighton to London Terminals, and at the East Croydon bridge exit my ticket lets me out, but not back in.

    I can understand at Lewes where the ticket won't work the barriers at all despite being valid, but having one customer interaction point with different outcomes seems a bit odd. And the one gateline staff member has enough to do without me waving a ticket at him...:lol:
     
  25. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I've had two people at St Pancras apologise for the machines rejecting valid tickets, maybe one of them was the same person here? This was over a year ago mind. The funny thing is that I was also told the gate software would be updated even then!

    So I'd agree that gateline staff want things fixed and SET as a whole doesn't give a stuff. I'm sure nobody wants to be manually letting people through with valid tickets who are going to be tutting and moaning, and been in some cases potentially missing a train if they're cutting it fine and now have to wait for staff to become available after dealing with others.
     
  26. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    It does seem unnecessarily frustrating for ticket barriers to cause a backlog of "valid" customers. When I broke my journey at Stratford, the single member of gateline staff was helping another customer with a timetable/platform number issue and I had to loiter by the barriers for a minute or two until that issue was resolved. It doesn't make for a very high speed experience.

    At the risk of taking my own thread off topic, the High Speed experience has got slower since the 17th May - the morning train I sometimes catch is now a minute slower - what's that all about?

    So, a minute added to the journey, a minute or two waiting to get through the barriers, and suddenly the High Speed experience has a 15% increase in journey time.
     
  27. FlippyFF

    FlippyFF Member

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    I've noticed the journey between St Pancras and Ashford taking a minute or two longer for no obvious reason - temporary speed restriction perhaps? A bit frustrating when you've only got a minute to make your bus connection.
     
  28. 185143

    185143 Established Member

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    I tried to use the High Speed from Stratford International to St. Pancras today using a travel card, which I now know isn't valid, but as its my first TC bash (!) I didn't know previously. I had an outboundary travelcard and my friend had a Euston-Zones 1-6 one. My travelcard opened the gates yet my friends didn't.

    My travelcard definitely wasn't valid, as I instantly queried whether mine was valid, given what happened to my friend.

    Any guesses as to where the travelcard was from and which route? Its so ludicrous its unbelievable!!

    Just to clarify, I did not travel and was let back through the barriers when the gateline attendant saw my ticket and managed to pop his eyes back into his head:D

    If I had arrived at St. Pancras, what would have happened if it hadn't worked the barriers there?
     
    Last edited: 25 May 2015
  29. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    When I had a Z1-6 travelcard season, and wanted to try out a 395 to Ashford and back, I got a BZ6 to Ashford ticket and paid the HS1 supplement.

    I can't remember how I got through the gateline, but I got on the train and everything was fine until the TM said it was invalid as you can't use Travelcards (even with a supplement) and charged me an excess. The excess wasn't that much, mind.

    To me it's mad that you can have a station (or two) outside the zonal system and a line where Travelcards aren't accepted at all.
     
  30. 185143

    185143 Established Member

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    my travelcard was a Crewe to London Z1-6, Route: LM ONLY!!
     
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