Ticket machine offering anytime day return at weekend

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by johntea, 6 Apr 2015.

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  1. johntea

    johntea Member

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    Me and a friend went from Sheffield to Derby yesterday evening (Sunday) and bought our tickets from one of the East Midland TVMs at Sheffield station.

    Anyway fast forward to today (Bank Holiday Monday) and we get to the barriers at Derby station. I get through OK but my friend gets stopped, if turns out he has managed to purchase a Sheffield to Derby anytime day return rather than an open return.

    I find this odd as £20.90 was what he paid which I mentally had in my head as what I had selected before applying my railcard discount so when we got back to Sheffield we actually went back to the same machines and went through the same steps.

    As it turned out the anytime day return was the option directly above the open off peak return at £20.70 so I could suddenly see exactly where the confusion occurred!

    I've advised he gets in touch with EMT regarding the matter as regardless of human error, surely the machine shouldn't be offering to sell anytime day returns on a Sunday when all day is off peak regardless?

    I thought he was just being stupid at first but I saw exactly what he meant going back to the machine!
     
  2. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I'm sure that EMT's answer will be that it's the customer's responsibility to choose the ticket they require. :|
     
  3. High Dyke

    High Dyke Established Member

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    Best of luck getting a sensible response from EMT. I had to suffer the anger of a few EMT passengers during the Lincoln Christmas market when their 'normal' 2-car train arrived as a 5-car unit and blocked the level crossing at the station preventing them from crossing and being able to catch the train. When i convinced them to use the help point to complain direct to the TOC and not me the response they got back was " you should've arrived earlier for the train."
     
  4. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Personally, I would leave this and not bother writing to the TOC. In essence, if you do, you are admitting to traveling (or indeed your friend) without a valid ticket. The problem is because your friend got a Anytime Day Return ticket, it would have expired on the Sunday and thus had no validity on the Monday - so it would not even have been possible to excess fare it, even zero rated. The sum of money involved here is merely 20p so I would not worry.

    It was very good of the barrier staff at Derby to let you through and were lucky that: -
    1. the guard on board or gate staff at Sheffield (if indeed it is a gated station) didn't insist he brought a new ticket.
    2. If you happened to use EM (as opposed to XC) on the return leg, your friend was not given a penalty fare either on board or when you got off the train.

    Just leave this one and charge it to experience. :)
     
    Last edited: 6 Apr 2015
  5. johntea

    johntea Member

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    They didn't let him through the barrier - he ended up having to buy a single from Derby to Rotherham (As we were heading there and it was the same price as Sheffield at that point!). Sorry I didn't clarify that!
     
  6. AngusH

    AngusH Member

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    If no unpaid travel occurred then I urge your friend to complain.

    Best case you might get some compensation. :)

    If the complaint is rejected by the operator, please follow the escalation process to Passenger Focus, if you can.


    I'm somewhat concerned that ticket machines are being heavily promoted while little effort is being put into ensuring that they work properly and provide a good service.
    (The recent thread on tickets getting stuck for example)

    Asking the passenger when they wish to return
    (single,return today,return within month) before presenting the fares might make things less complicated and reduce this type of error.
     
  7. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Well, wouldn't a ticket clerk at a booking office have been trained not to sell that ticket at that time?

    Perhaps, as well as fixing the machines, ask them to investigate how many similar tickets were mis-sold by the machines and suggest that they should arrange automatic refunds where cards were used, and in the case of cash, to place a notice on the machines apologising and explaining how to obtain a refund?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Or just go straight to the Office of Rail Regulation citing the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and the new Code of Practice (page 16).
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2015
  8. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    That being the case, if he was forced to buy a new ticket, I would send all the tickets in to EM and explain the situation and request a refund of the second one. You may stand more of a chance if you explain about the problems using the machine and say that you would be happy to accept Rail Travel Vouchers. The TOC may then do it as a goodwill gesture rather then a formal refund. Please make sure you let us know how you get on. :)
     
  9. 185

    185 Established Member

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    Agree that is what their robotic response probably will be, however retailing the correct price fare is paramount for a passenger's journey, and I reckon offering for sale a totally irrelevent ticket for the day in question does breach that. If other TOCs can blank out Off Peak tickets prior to 0925ish, then it's only fair that fares that should not be seen should not be on show.

    Devil's advocate... that said, I can see from the TOCs perspective, the Anytime fare should also be purchaseable for people buying "Tickets for tomorrow".

    The complaint here is poorly, shoddily programmed TVMs, which easily retail a ticket passengers don't want. Watched passengers struggling with them many times.
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2015
  10. Agent_c

    Agent_c Member

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    Surely then that can be solved with a prompt:

    Is your ticket for Today, or tomorrow (If you wish to book further in advance please see the booking office).

    TVM then runs a check on the date and doesn't offer anytime tickets on the weekend.

    Could even maybe add an extra prompt for weekdays "Will any of your travel be between these times?" and promote the off peak ticket if the answer is no.
     
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