Split sales on trains

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Mike@Raileasy, 5 Jun 2015.

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  1. Mike@Raileasy

    Mike@Raileasy Verified Rep

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    We picked this up on Twitter today:

    Stuart Curran ‏@stuartcurran
    Guards on Southern trains no longer allowed to sell split tickets. Can still be purchased online though. A difference of £15 in price.

    @stuartcurran Did the staff actually tell you that they weren't allowed to sell them?

    @raileasy Yes - the guard on the train did.

    Assuming the chap was asking for specific splits, do the same rules apply on trains as at ticket offices?
     
  2. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    It would depend on where the passenger boarded. If there were facilities to purchase the splits before boarding, then that was when they should have been bought. Also, it would depend on if they were valid for that service.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2015
  3. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If there are not ticket purchasing facilities at the station where a passenger commences their journey, then the same rules as those at a ticket office will apply. In effect, the train is a mobile ticket office in those situations.
     
  4. Mike@Raileasy

    Mike@Raileasy Verified Rep

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  5. Turbostar

    Turbostar Established Member

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    There was a program, Dispatches, on Channel 4 @ 20.00 on Monday just gone, & it was all about why train fares are so expensive etc. And they had an item about split ticketing, someone went undercover etc., & was told they're not allowed to sell split tickets else they get in trouble with the Rail Regulator, which we all know is total bull****, & they confirmed this when they conatcted ORR. You need to watch Dispatches to see the full story of what they do to stop you saving money on fares, but just shows you if you've got the knowledge, they don't like it as they're losing out on money.
     
  6. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    There is already a thread about what a load of bollix that program was...
     
  7. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Could it be that the passenger had already passed the first station he was splitting at before asking for the split tickets? Or bought a ticket to the first split station from a TVM at the station but then passed that station before approaching the guard?

    There was quite a long discussion about this in another thread a couple of months ago which boiled down to the right to use split tickets and the right to buy split tickets being two different things with varying circumstances in which they apply.
     
  8. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I agree with others that if there is no opportunity to buy the tickets at the origin, then the passenger is still absolutely entitled to the full range of tickets, and that of course does include a combination of tickets.

    If there is no opportunity on the train (for example if the Guard doesn't come round, or there is no Guard or ticket examiner on the train, or their machine is broken or whatever) then the full range, including combinations, can be bought at the destination (or, potentially, an interchange station if applicable and if this will not delay the journey).

    There is no way that passengers should be penalised for not having an opportunity to buy before boarding.

    We cannot comment on a specific case without knowing the precise circumstances, so the above is a general response to the issue rather than a specific comment about an incident for which we don't know the details.
     
  9. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    The Train Operating Companies (TOCs) have to agree to the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement (TSA) as part of their franchise agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT). Prior to February 2001, the TSA was approved by the Rail Regulator, and after them it was the turn of the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA). Of course, the SRA hasn't existed since 2006, but it's workload was split between..... the DfT and the ORR.

    Now, the TSA doesn't specifically say they can't sell splits, but, depending on your exact interpretation, it does say that TOCs must, to the best of their ability, "offer to sell" the cheapest available through fare that is valid for the journey being made, unless the passenger asks for something specific.

    If the TSA is a bit too much heavy reading, ATOC provides the Retail Standards Guide, which is their own interpretation of the retail elements of the TSA and guidelines on how they would like TOC staff to behave in relation to them. Noted in the guide is...

    "When a customer requests a journey for which a through fare is available, the Retailer should always offer / sell that through fare to the customer. The Retailer should not suggest that the customer buys a combination of fares."

    The ORR might not be directly responsible for setting this requirement, but they are responsible for checking that the TOCs keep to it.
     
  10. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I would agree with Yorkie that if there is no opportunity to buy the tickets at the origin, then the passenger is still absolutely entitled to the full range of tickets, and that of course does include a combination of tickets.

    Even if ATOC say: "The Retailer should not suggest that the customer buys a combination of fares." if the customer asks for a combination then they should certainly be selling it. There is a CLEAR difference between the retailer SUGGESTING it and the CUSTOMER ASKING for it.

    Let us not have a situation whereby these 2 different things are being confused. It is NOT the case that retailers are not allowed to sell a combination. Again, if the customer asks for it, it should be sold.
     
  11. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    There's a big difference between "offering" and "selling" though.

    In essence and to massively simplify, the TSA says that if a customer asks to get from A to B, they should be sold the through fare and not a split; on the other hand if the customer asks for a specific combination of tickets they should be sold that and not the through fare.
     
  12. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    exactly!!! :)
     
  13. sarahj

    sarahj Established Member

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    Well as someone who sells tickets on Southern trains, this is all news to me. The only time I have ever refused to sell one is where i know the customer is going to abuse it. Eg From a station somewhere in the south downs to a station with a military history, plus a ticket from a large junction to a terminal. The split is the large junction. However the punter would not be on a train going to this large junction and had no intention of going even past it, but would instead be diverging off this route and heading for another terminal station. Thus the ticket would not be valid from the diverging station to the terminal station.
    (I hope that makes sense for those who know). I did in the end sell the ticket on the condition that the punter stuck to the rules for the split and warned I would be watching for them. As it turned out to be moot as the line was closed and we terminated at the diverging station anyway. (30 mins late I might add)
    But otherwise, if its within the rules stated, and asked for before the split, and not as I check tickets after the split station, a split ticket, if asked for, will be sold on the train.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2015
  14. cookie365

    cookie365 Member

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    So you suspected he wanted to be falling down by an oriental path, but fibbed that he was going to cheering on the bacon?
     
  15. sarahj

    sarahj Established Member

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    The punter themselves admitted it was their original intention to travel to second terminal and as the second ticket was valid from the junction to a variety of terminals, they had managed to leave the second terminal without issue. After discussion, they knew the ticket was not valid from the diverging station to the second terminal and would change their plans, or I'd be watching. ;)
     
  16. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think I know what you are talking about. ;)

    In fact, that second ticket used to be valid via that diverging point, due to a quirk of the booking engines. It no longer is though.
     
  17. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    There is a thread with differing views about the programme. No 'bollix' consensus.
     
  18. Mike@Raileasy

    Mike@Raileasy Verified Rep

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    Haha sounds like a treasure hunt.

    Thanks for the feedback.
     
  19. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    The thing is SarahJ you clearly like trains because you bother to come on here and you sound like a really decent person, who would be more then happy to help a customer. This would include having no issues with doing an excess, splitting a ticket (even if you had to fill out a long form) or whatever. Sadly, and I'm sure you see this in work, not all the guards and booking office staff ae as polite and helpful and actually enjoy helping passengers.

    The Brighton trains that are guarded, which ones are these?
     
  20. sarahj

    sarahj Established Member

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    Well, it depends if you ask nicely. The other day a woman boarded the train, in the coach I was working and went and sat in first class. Her excuse: she wanted to charge her phone. Now if she had asked me, I might have let her, or there are other options. But to march straight to first class and plonk herself down amongst the other punters who had first class tickets, thats a niet niet and I asked her to leave. Though of course she is probably moaning to anyone that listens about the rude conductor.:roll:

    As for the second question. Any that are 12 car, plus the gatex's in the peak to and from Gatwick/Brighton. Some might have a passing conductor who might go through and check tickets. (this is Southern only. TL have RPI's only*). You will find more conductors on them on a sat and sun. If I'd been in today (I'm now on my hols :) ) I had one Vic and back to do.

    * you'd be surprised how many southern conductors are on TL services between Brighton and Haywards Heath passing. I've sold the odd one or two tickets to some who have asked. But have informed them that I would not be selling a FCC/TL only ticket.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jun 2015
  21. clagmonster

    clagmonster Established Member

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    Is there a regulation saying that anything with 11 or 12 on must have a guard, but applying to Southern only? Presumably when you are one happy family that will be done away with.

    There are a couple of early morning I have found guards on, 01:05 of Vic and the return (the one that is all stations from Croydon in). Is it essentially everything that was booked VEP/CIG immediately prior to the 377s?
     
  22. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    That's a common excuse on HST's. Despite every seat in Standard Class having a plug socket beside it as well...
     
  23. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    But it's a better quality of power in first class, rather than that standard class power.
     
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