Ticket Acceptance dispute with Avanti / West Midlands Trains (LNR)

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Wolfie

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Grateful for some advice on what, if any constraints, there are on ticket acceptance.

I am scheduled to travel from Euston to Wolverhampton return tomorrow on a LNWR ticket. Given the ongoing signalling issues at Cheddington both the LNWR and National Rail websites say that ticket acceptance is in place on Avanti (and certain other, but they aren't relevant) services. Does that mean that l can just get on a Avanti service or is that only the case if there is no LNWR service feasible? Many LNWR services currently seem to be either short-formed or cancelled, often at quite short notice.

Ta in advance for your assistance.
 
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Watershed

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Grateful for some advice on what, if any constraints, there are on ticket acceptance.

I am scheduled to travel from Euston to Wolverhampton return tomorrow on a LNWR ticket. Given the ongoing signalling issues at Cheddington both the LNWR and National Rail websites say that ticket acceptance is in place on Avanti services. Does that mean that l can just get on a Avanti service or is that only the case if there is no LNWR service feasible? Many LNWR services currently seem to be either short-formed or cancelled, often at quite short notice.

Ta in advance for your assistance.
LNR's website currently just says:
We have also arranged for your rail tickets to be valid on the transport routes below:

Avanti West Coast - London Euston - Watford Junction - Milton Keynes - Rugby - Coventry - Birmingham - Wolverhampton

There is no indication that there needs to be specific disruption to your service for this to apply. I would expect most services to be disrupted though, even if they initially depart on time, so I would feel free to catch the most convenient train that's running.
 

Wolfie

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LNR's website currently just says:


There is no indication that there needs to be specific disruption to your service for this to apply. I would expect most services to be disrupted though, even if they initially depart on time, so I would feel free to catch the most convenient train that's running.
TY. I know that Avanti also run through the affected area which concerned me. Hence l looked at Chiltern but there is engineering work on that line with services starting at Amersham and apparently stopping all stations to Birmingham. Murphy strikes again....


Sunday morning update - sure enough problems.

Absolutely disgraceful from Avanti at Euston. On my arrival both the LNWR and National Rail websites still showing ticket acceptance in place. Confirmed this was so at the ticket office but told to "check with the guard".

Walked most of the length of the 0950 train, with a guy on crutches who was in the same boat, to coach C where l'd been told the guard would be. Was concerned as announcements at Euston saying LNWR tickets not valid. Told by a staff member there that the guard was in the first class section. A phone call made and acceptance refused as "our system says no as some LNWR trains are running".

Not necessarily blaming the staff but so much for join up and discretion. Complaints will be going in to both LNWR and Avanti. That is why l despise many of the TOCs.

What the hell is a passenger supposed to do in that situation?

Edited to add: I checked and Avanti twitter still said "ticket acceptance is in place until further notice" and, hypocrisy knows no bounds, Avanti were still advertising ticket acceptance was in place for their affected passengers.Screenshot_20210523-095742.png

The points failure hasn't helped any but still (as of 1040) not even at Wembley on the delayed LNWR 1001 to Crewe. So much for the BS promulgated by RDG about what should happen in crises/incidents.
 
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Wolfie

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Quelle surprise
Indeed, l'd heard enough horror stories about Avanti (and Virgin before them) at Euston to be (apparently rightly) concerned yesterday. I will be going after both TOCs hard. They want to waste hours of my life? Time for some payback and after over thirty years working for central Government l know exactly how to operate the system for maximum effect.... Quite happy to get my MP involved too.
 
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Watershed

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Indeed, l'd heard enough horror stories about Avanti (and Virgin before them) at Euston to be (apparently rightly) concerned yesterday. I will be going after both TOCs hard. They want to waste hours of my life? Time for some payback and after over thirty years working for central Government l know exactly how to operate the system for maximum effect.... Quite happy to get my MP, one Jeremy Corbyn, involved too.
Obviously the customer service provided by the TM was appalling, but I'm unsure why you felt the need to speak to the ticket office, or the TM, when the LNR website states that ticket acceptance was in place?
 

yorkie

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This is typical behaviour by rouge train companies such as Avanti.

You could travel anyway, and you then have the choice of either paying if challenged (and demanding a refund from Avanti, enclosing evidence of the ticket acceptance and all fares purchased) or refusal to pay, though the latter could be risky if they request BTP assistance to remove you (the actions of BTP are difficult to predict)

Or you can stay put until you reach the destination and put in a complaint to relevant organisations.

I'd also be contacting Transport Focus and/or the Rail Ombudsman, though your case will only be investigated by the Ombudsman after you have given the relevant companies the opportunity to resolve the matter satisfactorily.

Let us know what happens!

Obviously the customer service provided by the TM was appalling, but I'm unsure why you felt the need to speak to the ticket office, or the TM, when the LNR website states that ticket acceptance was in place?
True; I'd have just boarded the train.

But customers should be entitled to consistent and accurate information from all staff at all times (yes I know in practice this doesn't always happen)

Another option is to Tweet them (though there is no guarantee of a good response)

Once I had information that was in my favour, I wouldn't ask anyone else. I would simply board the train armed with the relevant assurance and not seek any further assurance, as if you obtain conflicting information, this may not benefit your situation.

In theory you should not be discriminated against on the basis of operator:


During disruptive incidents passengers should not be discriminated against on the basis of operator and efforts should be made to deliver the same high standards to everyone. This includes passengers travelling on Railway Undertaking-specific tickets who have been re-routed onto another Railway Undertaking’s trains because of disruption

....but in practice, rouge operators such as Avanti do whatever they want, and there is very little any of us can do about it, sadly.
 
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Starmill

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I can understand the reluctance to get into a personal disagreement with a member of staff, however, I think if the website says that ticket acceptance is in place in a clear way, I would generally be more tempted to choose a train that is in accordance with that, perhaps taking a screenshot of the information I may need to rely on later, and then simply board and sit down.
 

Wolfie

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Obviously the customer service provided by the TM was appalling, but I'm unsure why you felt the need to speak to the ticket office, or the TM, when the LNR website states that ticket acceptance was in place?
I asked because all of the automated train announcements at Euston for Avanti services were stating "tickets marked LNWR only are not valid on this service". That was enough to start alarm bells ringing. Had l ignored that l assume that Avanti would rely on it to try and place me in the wrong.
 

Watershed

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I asked because all of the automated train announcements at Euston for Avanti services were stating "tickets marked LNWR only are not valid on this service".
I see, that is just a standard announcement though (I imagine there isn't a way of turning it off without turning the whole system off), which was eased by the ticket acceptance.

Hope you get a satisfactory outcome.
 

Wolfie

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I see, that is just a standard announcement though (I imagine there isn't a way of turning it off without turning the whole system off), which was eased by the ticket acceptance.

Hope you get a satisfactory outcome.
On, that makes sense. But they do have control over the Announcements section of the big info board at Euston and could surely have put something about ticket acceptance on that.

I guess that the other thing is that, as an ordinary passenger who hears so much about dodginess on the railways, l didn't want to give them a chance to screw me..... That's why l asked the question in the first place yesterday.

Just had my ticket checked on LNWR, a first any time recently. The guard was completely gobsmacked and confirmed that he'd had an email advising that Avanti and LNWR had mutual ticket acceptance in place.
 
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Starmill

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But they do have control over the Announcements section of the big info board at Euston and could surely have put something about ticket acceptance on that.
They most definitely can have that message changed or updated. They simply didn't. We do not know why that is, but it's not a technical limitation. I'll allow readers to draw their own conclusions.
 

robbeech

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Oh please wonderful passengers who have all left us and now favour the car because you tired it and realised it's cheaper quicker and in real world terms less likely to cause you hassle. Please Please PLEASE come back to us ! Pretty please with a cherry on top.

But at the same time, we will REALLY go out of our way to make your journey as difficult as possible.
 

87 027

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I also was on the delayed 1001 Euston - Crewe service this morning and the information at Euston was minimal. Departure boards for Avanti services were showing the standard “LNWR tickets are not valid” message.
 

Wolfie

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The other thing, and so much for social distancing, is that the 1001 was full enough to merit apologies from the guard, declassification of First class, and tweets about having reached social distancing limits. The Avanti 0950 was virtually empty. Shows how much they care.....

I also was on the delayed 1001 Euston - Crewe service this morning and the information at Euston was minimal. Departure boards for Avanti services were showing the standard “LNWR tickets are not valid” message.
Glad l wasn't the only one. Absolute disgrace.
 
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