Trying to buy a ticket - how hard can it be?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by vidal, 10 Jul 2019.

  1. vidal

    vidal Member

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    I'm in danger of sounding like a serial complainer - that's not my intention, but tonight I'm rather seething.

    My elderly mother and another pensioner are planning on travelling tomorrow (11/07) from URM to LIV - needing to be in Liverpool just after 09:00 - the 07:58 service is ideal. I've tried to buy tickets from the TVM but that will only sell tickets from 08:00. I then had the (not so) bright idea of using the Northern App. I purchased the tickets and immediately discovered I had ended up with two m-tickets. As I'm not travelling they were useless so a swift phone call got them cancelled less a £10 admin fee.

    The Northern website appears to be broken - I've selected the journey but can't proceed. see image. northern.jpg
    I've tried to buy tickets from National Rail for pickup from a TVM (via TPE) - Urmston isn't in the list of pickups so that's no good. Then back on the phones and try to order tickets - they are available, they can be sent to the TVM, but it will be at least two hours before they are ready.

    Aaagh.

    So as it is I will take a day off, and drive them into Liverpool.

    James.
     
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  3. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

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    On the northern website don’t you just need to select a return train? Then you will be able to move to the next step
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Is there any reason why you need to buy the tickets in advance? I'd just turn up on the day.
     
  5. vidal

    vidal Member

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    I had, anytime return.

    Option to print or back only.

    Tried it with singles also, same problem.

    James
     
  6. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Tickets are normally available in under 2 hours, especially if you use a webtis site (TPE, SWR, Hull Trains, GWR).
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    As far as I know it's only Trainline-based sites that have a 2 hour collection issue. Other sites allow tickets to be collected instantly.

    I don't understand what "Option to print or back only" means but you can just pay on the day.
     
  8. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

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    Although I hate to say it you can get these as eTickets from the Trainline website. You can then print these at home (assuming you have a printer) and give the printouts to your mother and friend. Problem solved.
     
  9. vidal

    vidal Member

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    I was hoping to make it easy for them, tickets in hand, no queuing at the TVM, just get on the train with no drama.

    James
     
  10. vidal

    vidal Member

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    I may go and try that, thank you for that. Need to get some beer down my neck first.

    Buying tickets should be easy?

    James
     
  11. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

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    Sure. I’ll be online for a bit more if you have questions.
     
  12. Adam Williams

    Adam Williams Member

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    The UX on the Trainline journey planning sites is poor when it comes to return journeys.

    As humans, we expect to see a button on the right hand side in order to proceed to payment. Instead we see this:

    upload_2019-7-11_12-31-3.png
    The figure above shows the journey summary sidebar element on a Trainline-powered journey planning website. Visible are details about the ticket under the heading of "Journey summary", as well as the text "Select return option"

    We don't read every word of text when using a website, we scan them looking for relevant user interface elements to achieve what we came to the site to do. In this case, there are no affordances in the sidebar to suggest what actions are possible to do once the journey times have been fully selected. There's just an error which blends into the rest of the sidebar and is easily missed.

    Perhaps the easiest way to solve this would be using a dimmed/disabled button and a tooltip:

    upload_2019-7-11_12-55-33.png

    It's obvious how to proceed once the journey is fully configured because the button's location is clear. It's clear that the button can't currently be used, and if you try to click it there's a tooltip.
     
  13. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Nearly came a cropper today at Glasgow collecting tickets , no Scotrail TVMs were allowing collection of tickets and there was a massive line at the two TVMs in the ticket office . Remembered there was one at P1 , bingo , put in my card then removed card , nothing ! Train was boarding , was gonna chance it with booking ref .

    I asked member of staff it and low and behold it worked when the guy was present !Lucky
     

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