Stupid fares

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exile

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It's like Nazi Germany! Now there's an analogy for you! :D
Except that Hitler would never ban analogies :)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
They could just do what Ianrod Eireann do, and just ban it in the NRCoC.

I do think that smartcard ticketing will kill off split ticketing, though.
It would be difficult to ban it. If you buy a ticket from A to B, and a separate ticket from B to C, and you change trains at B - how can you stop this? The fact the ticket is stored on a card, or on a phone, makes no difference, it's still a "ticket".
 

jon0844

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I don't think you could ever stop people splitting tickets, but it's possible that it wouldn't be any cheaper as more intelligent charging could be introduced, based on the exact time of day you travel and even what train you travel on.. as well as progressive discounts and intelligent routing worked out at the end of the day etc.
 

MarlowDonkey

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I don't think you could ever stop people splitting tickets, but it's possible that it wouldn't be any cheaper as more intelligent charging could be introduced, based on the exact time of day you travel and even what train you travel on.. as well as progressive discounts and intelligent routing worked out at the end of the day etc.
Now there's a thought. If you had a ticketing device able to communicate wirelessly with the train, the train could tell the device what service you were on and where you started and stopped your journey. Having scanners on boarding works well enough on buses, but would always be cumbersome on trains with the greater number of doors and that they allow multiple entry and exit.

Not having split tickets would thwart the marketing departments of the likes of Virgin. They are currently offering an extremely cheap deal on their routes from London, but if you don't live on top of Kings Cross, you need another train or trains to get there. Whilst "normal" Advances offer "&connections" fares, these special ones don't.
 

Bletchleyite

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It would be difficult to ban it. If you buy a ticket from A to B, and a separate ticket from B to C, and you change trains at B - how can you stop this? The fact the ticket is stored on a card, or on a phone, makes no difference, it's still a "ticket".
As I've said, the answer if they wish to do this is French-style compostage. A ticket must be stamped (or otherwise validated) in a machine before use, and this must occur at a station from which it is valid to travel. Such machines would all be placed too far from the train to hop off, validate and hop back on without changing trains.

It would be easy to implement this with smartcard technology, but it would also be possible to do it with normal tickets. It would wipe out fraudulent re-use in a stroke, particularly if to BoJ one was required to stamp/validate/touch out at the station at which the break occurred as well.

Stopping splitting where the passenger changes trains would be a lot harder, of course, but that isn't going to be the majority of cases as people vastly prefer direct trains, and I would expect would be willing to pay for them.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I do think that smartcard ticketing will kill off split ticketing, though.
I do as well - but I think the way that will be done is compostage, i.e. a smartcard ticket will be completely invalid unless touched in at the starting station, which must be a station at which it is valid for travel and not the start of a multi-ticket journey. Of course for tickets banning BoJ, these won't work unless touched in and out at the specified start and end stations.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I don't think you could ever stop people splitting tickets, but it's possible that it wouldn't be any cheaper as more intelligent charging could be introduced, based on the exact time of day you travel and even what train you travel on.. as well as progressive discounts and intelligent routing worked out at the end of the day etc.
Then fares would become guesswork, I can't see people being happy with that. They sort-of are on Oyster/contactless, but they do follow a published and understandable scheme and there is a maximum.

I think it's more likely that through fares are dismantled in favour of advance reservation only for IC and local smartcards/contactless on the TfL type model for regional TOCs.
 
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Bletchleyite

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You'd still have standard rates, but could get discounts worked out later.
That's still not good enough. I'm not guessing whether I am going to pay £80 or £100. The amounts are too big.

TBH, I think the smartcard has passed in its usefulness. Media-agnostic E-ticketing for IC (barcode/NFC), and TfL style contactless for local journeys, are the way to go. If you can't obtain a contactless debit card from your bank, third parties already offer them as a stored-value card, and that will only increase. TOCs could even "sell" them as an agent.
 

Clip

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The responsibility for the 'screwed' system (as you accurately put it) has been shifted away from the TOCs who have screwed it up and on to passengers who are told to do the leg work of finding out which tickets are suitable, or onto staff who are issued guidelines for the sale of tickets with sanctions if those guidelines aren't adhered to. Some of the excuses offered in this thread for why those guidelines exist (e.g. we want to keep ticket office queues down) merely reinforce the perception that TOCs can't be bothered to tackle the root cause of the mess they have created themselves, instead issuing guidance to staff to work with the dysfunctional system (does the existence of these documented guidelines satisfy your desire for documented evidence?) and telling passengers do do some research.



You will note from both my clearly articulated posts in this thread that I express dissatisfaction that hard working, dedicated and professional staff are sanctioned for going the extra mile for their customers (I really do find this needless repetition for the benefit of a minority of posters rather tiresome). I do understand that staff have to sell tickets as per guidelines (though I don't necessarily agree with those guidelines, as is my right to disagree with them), but equallyy it is shocking to me that staff who want to go the extra mile by offering valid tickets which will save their customers a bit of money are potentially punished. It would seem to some in the railway industry the attributes of customer service, innovation, professionalism and dedication aren't welcomed from employees. To clarify, my comments are not aimed at staff selling tickets at all (they have to follow the rules like everyone else). Rather my dissatisfaction is aimed at the management of railway companies who rather than directly address a problem which they have created and find objectionable effectively pass the buck to their customers and staff.

This of course is my opinion. But if my harmless opinion offends you so much why don't you do something about it? You work for a TOC so have much more privileged access to those making pricing decisions that I do. Rather than getting in a flap on the internet over people's reaction to TOC's approaches to ticketing matters, why don't you be proactive and deal with the situation at source. Your employers seem as frustrated at the situation as you and I are, so I'm sure they'd welcome your insight. Or do your employers not permit staff to be innovative?

Well thankyou so much for your clearly articulated posts on this and numerous other threads - they really do make your posts stand out over and above the usual dross. But I notice you can provide any info I requested so thats also good too.

I agree that being disciplined for going 'that extra mile' is quite wrong however those higher up dont really like it in some TOCs and I just turn a blind eye to it as there are bigger things to worry about day to day really.

Ha if you really think me would be able to instigate such a change and also my TOC to do so against what generally every other TOC abides by then you seem to have no clue whatsoever, no matter how articulate you may want to come across. You seem to be forgetting ATOC and everyone else so by even thinking I could implement any change to the system is laughable.

Whilst i agree forums are there for discussion you seem to fall into the category of others on here who moan and whinge about the system but as yet have shown no gumption of action to try and force through the change yourselves - you know, like lobbying your MP or even, get this for innovation, using your articulation to actually set up something like petitions on the govt website and get these matters discussed in parliament to try and force change. Im restricted by the terms of my employment but you lot are free to do as you wish so why are you not bothering???

Ive mentioned before about the massive membership on here which could, if they truly cared about what they waffle on about, could really force these issues by getting a coherent group together and not the sort like 'Rail Action' which say loads once a year there disappear, but yet here we are many years and posts later and what have you all done?

Nothing. Speaks volumes that, articulate or not.
 

anme

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Given we must all know that one day there's going to be a HUGE shakeup of railway ticketing, I can only imagine some people are quite happy for Joe Public to be blissfully ignorant of ways to save money through split ticketing, and to make sure staff don't make too many people aware for fear of it speeding up the demise of the current ticketing system.

And the same people will then see that it's fine for them to partake... after all, it's perfectly legal (and that means for ALL rail passengers).
I would fully support a shake up of rail ticketing, but it will take a brave politician to do it as, assuming it is "revenue neutral", it will create both winners and losers. It's in the nature of things that the losers will be more unhappy than the winners, and some of the losers will live in marginal constituencies.

A move to a more distance-based system without so many anomalies would probably have to be done over several years, so that the losers' pain is less acute. It's also going to be impossible to avoid a lot of anomalies if we retain variable pricing such as advance, peak and off peak tickets.

By the way, the biggest losers of a shake up would be the members of this forum who know how to use anomalies of the current system to their maximum advantage. Be careful what you wish for...
 

bb21

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This is censorship. It's quite reasonable, in a thread on "stupid fares", to discuss how the rail industry might learn from others.
There is no censorship. All the views and analogies have been discussed to death and are freely available to view if one does a simple search.

Unfortunately plenty of threads have been derailed by silly shop/air fare/etc analogies in the past so I am not prepared for another one to go down the same path. Reasons why they don't work are also available in those threads.

If one wishes to discuss how the rail industry can learn from other ones, that is perfectly OK. There are lots of ways to do so without going into analogies.

They DO work to a degree though.
Very occasionally and always with lots of restrictions attached.

Happens very rarely on this forum. When such an example occurs, such as the one you posted above, I am of course happy to allow it, but that is rather the exception than the norm. The overwhelming majority of analogies I see on this forum are regurgitated crap, and most of the time, results in a stupid argument.

I bet that instruction this morning focused a few minds. Nothing is absolute in the art of moderation, and we will always allow sensible posts, but sometimes in the interest of effectiveness, only the simplest form of an instruction will do.
 

yorkie

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If the customer asks for a ticket from A to C then that is what they get...
except travelling on Scotrail for journeys such as Galashiels/Tweedbank to Kyle/Wick/East Kilbride; they are now forcing passengers to "split" as the through fare has been priced too cheaply since Monday. See this thread.
 

hairyhandedfool

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I think it might be worth noting at this point, that whilst TOCs are responsible for the disciplining of staff and the actual fares they set, the guideline, or instruction, to offer only through tickets actually comes from the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement (TSA), which is something the DfT insists TOCs keep to, and the TSA has been in place since Privatisation first came about. In fact I would think the advent of cheaper advance purchase tickets under BR would have made splits a possibility back then.

Also it might be worth considering that some people (even on this forum) consider that TOCs talking to each other about fares pricing would amount to price fixing, this limits how much can be done to limit splits, given the framework we have thanks to, yes you guessed it, the TSA.

Oh and, to end, some TOCs, Northern being one, continually look to remove these anomalies where they can, however some splits are caused by PTE area fares, which is a complex mess to solve.
 

gray1404

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Do split tickets have to be offered onboard if boarding at an unmanned station?

What about a TVM only station that does not allow you to specify tickets from a different starting station?
 

reb0118

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No, split tickets do not have to be offered on board (or at a BO for that matter) from a staffed or unstaffed station. However we can sell them if requested by the passenger.

That said if you personally know of a split and you think it appropriate you can let the passenger know too............
 

furlong

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the guideline, or instruction, to offer only through tickets actually comes from the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement (TSA), which is something the DfT insists TOCs keep to,
To clarfiy, I think that provides an obligation to offer through tickets where these are available, but it doesn't prevent split tickets also being offered if appropriate. The only obligation to offer split tickets occurs where there is no through ticket.
 

Tetchytyke

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Whilst i agree forums are there for discussion you seem to fall into the category of others on here who moan and whinge about the system but as yet have shown no gumption of action to try and force through the change yourselves - you know, like lobbying your MP or even, get this for innovation, using your articulation to actually set up something like petitions on the govt website and get these matters discussed in parliament to try and force change.
How do you know that we haven't? I know I was in conversation with my (Conservative) MP in Hemel Hempstead about the p!sspoor service from London Midland. The net effect? He was very sorry but, of course, the Government has no control over private companies, so he couldn't help. Nor could London TravelWatch when London Midland blatantly lied to me about a delayed train to reject a Delay Repay claim.

I've highlighted the bit about petitions. The legislation only states that there must be a vote about debating the petition; in several recent cases this has amounted to MPs voting not to debate it.

Ive mentioned before about the massive membership on here which could, if they truly cared about what they waffle on about, could really force these issues by getting a coherent group together
Campaign groups achieve jack in the privatised industry. The joy of fragmentation is that it's always someone else's fault: London Midland blame overcrowding on the Government (even though in the off peaks they have sidings full of empty carriages), the Government blame London Midland for the price-gouging on peak time tickets, and the TOCs and Network Rail are in a constant urinating contest as to who is responsible for a delay minute.

The only thing that achieves something is civil disobedience, as the people of Bath and Westbury showed with First Great Western. FGW ignored them for years until they started a fares strike. But the problem with fares strikes is that, thanks to the Government's legislation, the TOCs can properly go after anyone who tries it: Northern Rail's disgraceful behaviour towards the fares strike in Sheffield illustrated that point nicely.

The idea that us plebs can get the fat cat TOCs to behave is, quite frankly, laughable.
 

hairyhandedfool

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To clarfiy, I think that provides an obligation to offer through tickets where these are available, but it doesn't prevent split tickets also being offered if appropriate. The only obligation to offer split tickets occurs where there is no through ticket.
Provided it is not perceived to be purely for the benefit of one train company over another.
 

father_jack

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I don't do tickets, does that mean I work for free?
I have read some rubbish in this forum but that is by far the best I have read this year!
Oh Sarahj gets commission on the tickets she sells so is actually doing herself out of a few pennies by selling the cheaper combination of tickets.
Thank you (and whoever it was earlier) for your complements.

If TOC "X" has a headline SOS from A to B for £100 but the staff are promoting A to C and C to B for half that price the income in the farebox is only 50% of what's projected. Do you think that that TOC gives a pay rise every year irrespective of what's in the till ??? The bean counters do serve some purpose.

And you've hit the commission nail on the head there- you're getting paid to do the job you're already getting paid to do !!! So isn't it rather foolish to earn yourself less money all in the name of being a nice chap towards the passenger, or worse again to get one over on the TOC that gives you quite a good livliehood..............
 

CC 72100

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Do split tickets have to be offered onboard if boarding at an unmanned station?
No - they do not have to be offered anywhere, they can be requested by the customer.

Given that you're frequently in this part of the forum, I thought you'd have known that.. ;)

Edit: reb0118 has summed it up better than me.
 

yorkie

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father_jack - I can see where you're coming from, but look at it another way: If passengers are shocked at the cost of a fare, is there not a danger that they will vow never to use rail as a mode of transport for that journey again?

I'm severely put off by the cost of York-Doncaster, so I will aim for a lift wherever possible. I actually got a lift from work to Riccall, then a lift from Riccall to Adwick the other day, to avoid VTEC's £19 return fare. If the fare was £10, I would have travelled by rail (even £10 is double the fare as it was 15 years ago; this fare is £1 short of quadrupling in 15 years!). Charging ludicrous fares isn't a way to win repeat business. It only works for those who have absolutely no option but to travel by rail.

If a cheaper combination of tickets is available, I don't see a problem with staff offering it (yes I know they're not supposed to), but they should explain that, in future, they would have to specifically request the combination of fares to be sure to get that price. Then the danger of a passenger being unexpectedly asked to pay more in future is avoided.
 

Doctor Fegg

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father_jack - I can see where you're coming from, but look at it another way: If passengers are shocked at the cost of a fare, is there not a danger that they will vow never to use rail as a mode of transport for that journey again?
Amen to that. There are TOCs whose trains I now use very little because of the extortionate fares they set. Fortunately my local service isn't run by either of those (Arriva-owned...) TOCs. If it were, I suspect I'd largely give up on rail except in extremis.
 

father_jack

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father_jack - I can see where you're coming from, but look at it another way: If passengers are shocked at the cost of a fare, is there not a danger that they will vow never to use rail as a mode of transport for that journey again?

I'm severely put off by the cost of York-Doncaster, so I will aim for a lift wherever possible. I actually got a lift from work to Riccall, then a lift from Riccall to Adwick the other day, to avoid VTEC's £19 return fare. If the fare was £10, I would have travelled by rail (even £10 is double the fare as it was 15 years ago; this fare is £1 short of quadrupling in 15 years!). Charging ludicrous fares isn't a way to win repeat business. It only works for those who have absolutely no option but to travel by rail.

If a cheaper combination of tickets is available, I don't see a problem with staff offering it (yes I know they're not supposed to), but they should explain that, in future, they would have to specifically request the combination of fares to be sure to get that price. Then the danger of a passenger being unexpectedly asked to pay more in future is avoided.
Yorkie, you are quite correct and don't think for a second that the staff don't tell the TOC managers that pricing people away is wrong and is very difficult for the staff to justify to the punters but sometimes maybe that's the industry intention ? "Rose tinted spectacles" on and the fares will be sensible and honest but where would the ridership actually fit if more people were attracted......

And would the pay rise happen every year if fares were lower ? That was my point.......
 

exile

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Yorkie, you are quite correct and don't think for a second that the staff don't tell the TOC managers that pricing people away is wrong and is very difficult for the staff to justify to the punters but sometimes maybe that's the industry intention ? "Rose tinted spectacles" on and the fares will be sensible and honest but where would the ridership actually fit if more people were attracted......

And would the pay rise happen every year if fares were lower ? That was my point.......
What are the implications for ticket offices if passengers realise they won't be offered split tickets at a station but can research them themselves or use one of the split ticketing websites?
 

father_jack

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What are the implications for ticket offices if passengers realise they won't be offered split tickets at a station but can research them themselves or use one of the split ticketing websites?
And correct also "exile". But the industry hasn't (and isn't going to anytime soon) come up with firm solutions/guidelines/training/policies for the situation. Again is it all intentional.....???
 

cjmillsnun

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This is censorship. It's quite reasonable, in a thread on "stupid fares", to discuss how the rail industry might learn from others.
and as RailUK Forums are privately owned, they can decide what they want. You might call it censorship, but freedom of speech does not apply on privately owned discussion forums. That's why all discussion forums have rules.
 
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Tetchytyke

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If TOC "X" has a headline SOS from A to B for £100 but the staff are promoting A to C and C to B for half that price the income in the farebox is only 50% of what's projected. Do you think that that TOC gives a pay rise every year irrespective of what's in the till ??? The bean counters do serve some purpose.
If split ticketing dramatically reduces fare income then there may be implications for the profitability of the TOC. Reduced profit may have implications for the pay of staff.

Although for most franchises this is tenuous at best, given that many TOCs run on subsidy and there is "cap and collar" arrangements protecting most TOCs if revenue isn't as expected.

But that isn't what you said. You said "pay is based on the price of tickets", as though there is a direct correlation between the two.

So isn't it rather foolish to earn yourself less money all in the name of being a nice chap towards the passenger
I'm sure sarahj will somehow cope with the loss of 7p commission.

Besides which, it is only "foolish" if you see money as the only marker of a good job. Personally, I wouldn't want the commission from knowingly ripping somebody off.
 
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sarahj

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:-?:-?:-?:eek::eek::eek:

What did I start!!!!!

In 7 pages I've been told that I should have told the punter to get a bus, I should have told him to ask for this all the time, I'm going broke as I lost 7p.

All I was doing was pointing out that some fares are a bit stupid as the through fare for a short extension to Hove was a bit high.

On the subject of split tickets:
Last year I refused to sell a split ticket as: A: The punter did not know what split ticket she wanted and wanted me to go though almost every option. B She kept wanting to split her ticket at Wivelsfield, which I refused as the train did not stop there (fast from Hove to Haywards Heath). I explained if she wanted to buy a split ticket she needed to do some research before boarding, such as checking out split ticket websites and the tickets she wanted to buy followed the rules. As on train staff we do not have the time to look for odd splits. When asked, i will sell a split ticket to anyone if they know the ticket and it falls within the rules. As I remind passengers often that a certain ticket is NOT valid to London Bridge and remind them that using the ticket to London Bridge could result in fines, or worse if they keep doing it.
Just the other day I warned a punter that for him to use two seasons,a gold card and a monthly, one london to Gatwick and Gatwick to Somewhere else, that the train needed to stop at Gatwick, which this train did not and that if I see him again on that train I will charge him.:p (not sure what mind!!)
 
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