TOCs charging fees for paper tickets purchased online

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Belperpete, 4 Dec 2018.

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  1. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    The rules are simple, you have to produce a ticket if asked. If you haven' printed it then you can't produce it!

    And I think you will find that when you agree to buy a Print at Home ticket it tells you that you have to print it out. Check the Terms & Conditions that you agree to.
     
  2. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Whilst I agree with you that there are issues surrounding the collection of tickets, whenever you buy a ticket for TVM collection, you will be asked to specify the station where you propose to collect it (and you will, in almost all cases, only be offered stations that actually have working collection facilities, together with the opening times of the station).

    I think that makes amply clear that you do not yet have the ticket (even if you have paid for it) until such time as you collect it.

    There are certainly some sites that do this better than others - for example TrainSplit is crystal clear about the fact that you must collect your tickets before departure and the possible issues surrounding this (e.g. that the ticket machine might be locked in a ticket office hall that isn't open at the departure time of the itinerary). But I don't think there is too much of an issue with communicating this term.

    I do agree that the issues faced by passengers who are unable to collect their tickets through no fault of their own (e.g. turning up to the station only to find the machine somehow can't print out the ticket, e.g. due to an NRS failure) - are much more problematic and unforeseeable. It is in a circumstance such as that, where I would tend to agree that it is more acceptable (even if not strictly speaking permitted) to board without a ticket.
     
  3. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    You need to select an option to get the ticket at time of purchase. If you select a station with no collection facility you will be advised of this. So you will need to make other arrangements.

    Companies offering print at home are:-
    Cross Country Trains: all routes.

    East Coast Trains: all routes.

    East Midlands Trains: selected routes as follows:

    • Nottingham to Sheffield, Luton Airport Parkway, St Pancras International, Liverpool Stations, Manchester Stations, Peterborough and Norwich (and return)
    First Great Western: select routes as follows:

    • Reading to Swindon, Bath Spa, Exeter St Davids, Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads and Plymouth (and return)
    Grand Central Trains: all routes.

    Greater Anglia: all routes.

    Hull Trains: all routes.

    Virgin Trains: all routes.

    Book those, and all is well. If your ticket could be used (even if your plan is not to) on any operator/route not covered you can’t buy one.

    The rules may simply say you must buy before you board. I’m not an expert, but I certainly wouldn’t want to try and argue a case where I bought, was told it wasn’t the ticket and I needed the ticket before travel, but still travelled as I had purchased. As I say, I’m not an expert, but that sounds like a flawed argument to me. When you book, it is explicitly told to you that you must collect the tickets before travel.
     
  4. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    I've just checked on the TfW website, and if you try to buy Print at Home tickets then you are told in the T & C's that you MUST print the tickets BEFORE you get the train.
     
  5. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Sorry early morning .
     
  6. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    That list must be at least four years old.
     
  7. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    Feel free to update it!
     
  8. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    Thanks for that. Even if out of date, it is a starting point.

    When you say, for example, "Cross-Country: all routes" do you mean all Cross-Country routes? Or would I be able to buy a print-at-home ticket for Matlock to London if I went on the Cross-Country web-site?
     
  9. alistairlees

    alistairlees Member

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    Deafdoggie means flows owned (set) by CrossCountry, and (in many cases) also wholly on CrossCountry when you travel. Going to a different retailer should not make a difference (though it can at the moment, as new barcode flows using eTickets and m-tickets are being added all the time).

    So no, you would not be able to buy a self-print ticket for Matlock to London just because you are using the CrossCountry website.
     
  10. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    Thanks to alistairlees for the clarification. So, to get a print-at-home ticket, I would first need to realise that I making one of the very restricted journey types for which print-at-home tickets are available, work out which TOC I would be using for that journey, and then set up an account with that TOC. I can see why the print-at-home ticket option is not well advertised! OK I suppose if you live in an area that is only served by one TOC, and rarely stray out of that TOC's area.

    But what if you are not offered that option? The TfW web-site, for example, encourages you to buy your ticket before boarding. It also specifically states that the requirement to have obtained your ticket before boarding only applies if your point of origin has ticket-buying facilities. So, as far as I can see, if your point of origin does not have ticket-buying facilities, you are perfectly entitled to buy your ticket on line, and to join the train without having obtained (i.e. collected) the ticket.

    I have just bought a ticket on-line, and as FortheLoveof says, you are only able to select collection stations that have TVMs, but it did allow me to select a collection station that is not my origin, and I was only asked to confirm that I realised that it is not my origin station. At no stage was i told that I must collect the ticket before boarding the train. The email confirmation that I have just received states that I must collect my tickets, but again it does NOT say that I have to collect them before boarding the train. Again, the requirement to have obtained your ticket before boarding does not apply at stations that don't have ticket-buying facilities. So, as I see it, I would be doing nothing wrong if travelling from say Barmouth to Euston, in buying my ticket on-line, and selecting say Birmingham NS as my collection point. As long as I collect my tickets at some point during the journey, surely I would have met all the conditions? What would I be doing wrong?

    This would be no different than if I were travelling from say Belper to London, selected Belper as my collection point, but when I turned up at Belper station I found the TVM wasn't working. I would be perfectly entitled to get on the train without a ticket (as at that point in time the station had no operational ticket-buying facility), and collect my ticket at Derby.
     
    Last edited: 8 Dec 2018 at 20:48
  11. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    The TfW site is quite explicit, as I said; if you buy a Print at Home ticket then it MUST be printed BEFORE you travel on the train.
    There are no if's or but's about that.
    Those are the rules.
    If you don't do it then you do NOT have a ticket.

    There are plenty of threads on here from people who have ignored these rules and been hit, correctly, with Penalty fares (where applicable) or with other charges. I suggest that you read those threads and the Railway By-Laws.
     
  12. alistairlees

    alistairlees Member

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    No, you are making it all more complex than it is.
    You should be able to go on to any retailer website and, if self-print is available for the journey you are making, then you should be offered it. That's it. Like with any other ticket fulfilment type.

    As it happens, self-print is being replaced by eTickets. eTickets include BOTH the option to print a PDF and the option to download a ticket to your phone (they both have the same barcode). And eTickets are being rolled out very widely indeed - everywhere apart from across London (TfL issues), in Scotland (don't ask), on Merseyrail and on Southeastern, c2c and Southern. Everywhere else they will be available, including for multi-operator journeys. And that's on walk up tickets as well as Advance tickets.

    With the massive rollout of barcode tickets generally at the moment, you probably won't get consistent results from one TOC (or independent retailer) to the next as to which journeys can be fulfilled to self-print / eTicket / m-ticket. But that will all even out over the next few months.
     
  13. alistairlees

    alistairlees Member

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    Travelling without a valid ticket. I think this has been explained several times now.

    To be absolutely clear, you must collect your ticket before you travel. This is irrespective of whether the station has a TVM or not. If, however, you turn up to a station and you can't collect because of a reason outside your control (for example the TVM is not working), and there is no booking office to collect from, then you may board the train and you will be fine - the guard will help sort you out (either by issuing the ticket themselves, where they are able to do so; or by directing you to collect your tickets at the first available opportunity).
     
  14. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Whilst the booking site might not explicitly state that you must collect your tickets before travel, I think it ought to be pretty clear that this is the case - in other words, even if it is not explicitly stated, it may well be held to be an implied term (as paying for the ticket, and having it in your possession prior to travelling, has been the working pricinciple of railway ticketing for many decades, if not centuries).

    Of course, if there are no ticketing facilities available at your boarding station, you cannot be required to try and obtain an e-ticket or similar - however, whilst some guards may assist you in printing off your tickets onboard the train, others may insist on selling you new tickets (leaving it up to you to reclaim the difference in cost).
     
  15. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    Anybody who joins at a station without ticket-buying facilities is allowed to travel until such time as they can obtain a ticket. The only requirement is to obtain a ticket at the earliest opportunity. I can find nowhere that says this does not apply to someone who has already bought their ticket, and any such restriction would be patently ridiculous. TfW explicitly say that they are encouraging people to buy their ticket before boarding, not trying to make it more difficult!

    It may have been explained several times, but so far nobody has been able to point me at anything that says this is official policy, rather than just personal opinion. It certainly does not say this anywhere on the TfW web-site that I can see, and as I explained previously, nowhere during the ticket-purchasing process was I told this. All the rules about having to obtain a ticket before boarding that I can find have an exclusion if your point of origin does not have ticket-buying facilities.

    I would be quite happy for the guard to provide me with a ticket. However, I would not be prepared to pay for it - I have already paid the fare due. If the guard demands money to which he is not entitled, I am fairly sure this counts as extortion.
     
  16. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    To be clear, if as happened today, I want to buy a ticket that cannot be bought from the guard, and so when I go on-line to buy that ticket the only collection option I am offered is to collect from station, and the only stations I am then offered to collect it from are not my point of origin, and if at no stage during the booking process am I told that I am doing anything wrong by selecting those options, and at no stage during the process am I told that I have to collect the ticket before boarding, I think the TOC would have a hard job prosecuting. Particularly as I patently had no intention of evading the fare.
     
  17. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    How about stating EXACTLY what ticket you want to buy, including the stations involved?
    How do you know it can't be bought in that way?

    I would suggest that until you give us the full details of this ticket no-one is going to be able to answer your question.
    See above.

    It is noticeable that all the TfW stations I have been on lately have signs that state you MUST have a ticket before you travel, and there are announcements stating the same.
     
  18. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I think this thread is going around in circles now and you simply refuse to accept that if one wishes to buy a ticket online and they select to collect their ticket from a station, this must be done before starting their journey. This applies if one is starting their journey at any station and they have purchased it online, regardless of what ticket facilities are there or not. There is no entitlement for a customer to start their journey using their booking confirmation or collection and collect the ticket enroute or any entitlement to collect the ticket from the guard if the station they are starting out from doesn't have any collection facilities.
     
  19. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    They wouldn't be able to prosecute, but they would have the right to charge you for a new fare and to refuse to let you collect your ticket onboard the train.

    Look - I am all for maximising the rights you are granted under contracts, but this one is a losing battle. You have heard it from many different people that you must make every reasonable attempt to collect your ticket prior to travel if you choose that method of collection. It may not state it explicitly during the purchase process for some TOCs' websites, but I doubt you are going to get very far in this regard, as it ought to be pretty clear that you must collect your ticket prior to travel. It is a basic and long-standing principle of the railways in this country, which is relaxed only where obtaining a ticket is not possible prior to travel.

    If, now, you had selected ticket pickup at a specific station, and then the one and only machine at that station failed, you would be permitted to pickup your ticket later in your journey, as it would not be your fault (it would represent a breach of contract). But the same principle does not apply if you are not promised that you can pick up your ticket at your departure station. That would be on you.
     
  20. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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    I'm pretty sure you are always told to collect before travel unless there are extenuating circumstances e.g. a broken machine. It says it when booking and in your conformation email that the booking reference and/or email does not suffice as proof of travel.

    You can argue all day long but the fact of the matter is if you hoarded a train in receipt of just a confirmation email, you would be charged a single up the point where you can collect or choose to collect your tickets. Its the same principle of if you lose your ticket you cant expect a sales receipt to suffice saying you paid £xx:xx amount...

    Note the example booking made by myself below:

    Screenshot_20181209-113054_Inbox.jpg
     
  21. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I totally agree, however Belperpete has a point insofar as some booking sites do not explicitly state this before payment (and the contract cannot be changed after payment to add that term). However, as I have said, IMO it is not necessary to explicitly state the term (though no doubt it would be very helpful to do so for less experienced rail travellers), as it is an implied term.
     
  22. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    It is certainly stated by TfW, on their website, on posters at stations and in announcements.
     
  23. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    If someone goes on TfW's website and books a ticket, where would it be stated that this is necessary? It doesn't, until you get the booking confirmation, have paid, and can't undo the transaction (without the bogus admin fee, or not at all in the case of an Advance). Equally, it's no good telling people to buy a ticket at the station once they've already paid for their ticket but can't collect it.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    On all the Trainline derived sites it features when you pick where you will collect which is before you pay. That is why it makes you select where you will collect - to make sure that station has those facilities.
     
  25. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    If you want to try a case in court showing the confirmation email saying “This is not your ticket, You need to collect your ticket before travel” and say you didn’t know you needed the ticket before travelling, you’re welcome to try it. But I don’t hold out much hope of success.
     
  26. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    Sorry, but it tells you that BEFORE you choose how to pick up/collect or they get posted to you and BEFORE you make the final agreement to pay.
    I have done it twice this week.
     
  27. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I'm not saying it's a good position to be in, and I would certainly think that the train companies would argue that it is an implied term that the ticket must be collected prior to travel, however, at current this requirement is not directly spelled out before payment on TrainLine based sites (e.g. TfW). A foreigner might well legitimately claim not to have understood this prior to payment.

    What the booking confirmation says cannot change your contractual rights or obligations - as you have already paid, and the contractual terms have already been set and agreed. The train companies don't let you go 'take backsies' and change contractual terms after you've agreed and paid - neither can they.

    Really, this is a silly and entirely avoidable state of affairs. It would be really easy for them to add a phrase into the collection station stage that says something like "Note: you must collect your ticket prior to travel. You will only be able to collect your ticket at one of the following stations. If you are starting your journey at a station not in this list, you must make alternative arrangements to pick up your tickets prior to travel". The matter would be cut and dry then.
     
  28. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Would you be able to provide a screenshot? I have gone through the booking process with Trainline based sites many times, and I have never seen this explicitly spelled out. That is the issue.
     
  29. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    Two of us have now told you it is there.
    Next time I purchase some tickets I'll try to remember/
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    From VTWC:

    upload_2018-12-9_21-28-10.png

    then

    upload_2018-12-9_21-33-6.png

    (Interesting that it no longer implies you can't use a different station).

    It looks pretty clear to me, there is nothing in there that implies that you can collect from anywhere other than a station on the list, and plenty that makes it clear that you do need to.
     
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