VTWC being naughty again

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Bletchleyite, 1 Aug 2018.

  1. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Took these pictures at Crewe yesterday showing VT being a bit naughty. The items of note are:

    "If for any reason you are not on the train specified on your ticket when it departs, your ticket will no longer be valid"

    Er, no; that should read "If, other than a delayed connecting train, you are not..."

    The second one states that you must sit in the seat on your ticket on an Advance - this isn't naughty as such but this is the first time I have ever seen VT suggest that they might enforce it.
     

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  3. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Wording is unambiguous in this respect - if you are not in your allocated seat "you will be required to pay the full single fare"!
     
  4. [.n]

    [.n] Member

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    Cue lots of arguments along the lines of "I couldn't sit in my seat as someone else was in it and wouldn't move" or " I booked a window seat not an aisle seat" etc
     
  5. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    If it's a quiet service then I can't see the problem, with not sitting in your reserved seat.
    I don't see how that can be enforced as there is nothing in the NRCoT about this
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's in the ticket type conditions, isn't it?
     
  7. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Er, yes it is:

    This is less of a concern on VTWC than others given that you can use the seat selector if booking on their site[1], but still.

    [1] Coach A seat 45 is *mine*, hands off :)
     
  9. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    So it is :oops:
    I use TOCs without the seat selector, as a so I never use my allocated seat, I use the unreserved carriage which is almost always half empty, and I've never had any trouble.
     
  10. boxy321

    boxy321 Member

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    We travelled down from Edinburgh last week in 1st next to 2 nine year old girls who couldn't sit for more than 5 seconds. Their family sat at the other end of the coach to get some peace, and we hoped they would have standard only tickets (they were foreign and this happens a lot). Alas no, so somewhere south of Preston I moved us to the almost empty coach K for the rest of the journey. TM didn't give a damn.
     
  11. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    Actually reading through both posters its clear its aimed at trying to educate the public to how they work and what the terms and conditions are - that in itself is not naughty as on the whole people do not understand how they work and the T & C's.

    I can imagine VTWC are getting a lot of grief over people wanting to refund them, go one different trains to which there booked on, sitting in unreserved seats on busy trains etc etc

    Customer "But I am buying in advance"
    Booking Clerk "the advance purchase tickets on the train you want to travel on in 2 days time are all sold out, I can only sell the walk on fare"
    Customer "But your guaranteed discount by buying ahead its says so on the internet"
    Booking Clerk "sorry sir but...
    Customer "I'm buying on the internet" and storms off....

    2 days later the Customer is back

    Customer "I'm here to collect the tickets i reserved on the internet"
    Booking Clerk "do you have your collection reference number sir"
    Customer "what? I'm Mr Smith and Trainline have reserved my tickets to collect here"
    several painful minutes later the Customer walks away with an Anytime ticket and seat reservations for off peak trains and is heard to say "i saved money by going on Trainline"
     
  12. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Ah yes, the knowitall ;)

    I’ve seen one woman on a rush hour Virgin down to London holding an Advance pennies less than the cost of the Anytime single (booked on Trainline, of course).

    I agree with the other posters that I’ve never, ever had the exact seat requirement enforced. Can’t imagine their TMs wanting the hassle.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It IS naughty to say "if for any reason you are not on the reserved train you need to buy a new ticket" as that is patently false. If the reason you are not on the reserved train is a delayed preceding train, whether unreserved or on an entirely separate ticket, you need not buy a new ticket.

    It's grossly incompetent, and if deliberate bordering on fraud.
     
  14. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Agreed. It only needs a short qualifying sentence to explain your right to take the next train in the event you're delayed.
     
  15. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    As you know I think the bloody things should be abolished anyway - what your mentioning is just another complication of their use and between two different posters they haven't found space to mention it and no doubt there's something else not covered, time to get the 3rd poster up eh? Not as simple as they claim!
     
  16. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    clearly a case for another poster on the platform explaining that flexible tickets could be cheaper!
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    To be fair, if you know which train you're going to get and there's nothing likely to mess with that, you might as well save a couple of quid or even 50p. It's where Advances mean the journey is *more expensive* that this gets silly. Northern's app doesn't weed this out, FWIW.
     
  18. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    The ATW NWT TO MAN ones are the worst Ive seen, for a return journey only 2 of the 8 tiers are cheaper than buying an Off Peak Return and theirs no Anytime! I digress though.
     
  19. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    That is probably the case most of the time in most situations. I suppose the intention of the poster (though not said in the best way) is that they 'reserve the right' to enforce. For example, it's a stupidly crowded train and the ticket holder happens to be sitting in the wrong place, effectively using two seats. Yes, I know that the unclaimed reserved seat can be used by anyone, but that adds a level of complexity and many passengers see it as 'reserved' anyway.
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    This, of course, is a disadvantage of moving to electronic reservations. I know you were never technically meant to, but I used to remove my reservation label if I moved seats, provided there was only mine on it.
     
  21. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Unless ofcouse your electronic seat reservation gizmo notices that the seat is empty and displays the seat as available.
     
  22. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Do you sell many Advances?
     
  23. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    ...when its owner has gone to the loo.

    You could I suppose give guards a handheld device to release seats.
     
  24. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Has anyone brought this to their attention or are we all just sat here moaning about it without actually trying to do anything about it? ;)
     
  25. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I have brought things like this to VTWC's attention before (such as the incorrect advice on their website that if you wish to change route you should refund and rebook, costing £10, instead of an excess) and they just sit there with their fingers in their ears going "la la la".
     
  26. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    More than the national average but no where near the volume some posters I've seen expect them to be. We have commuter and business traffic here but not near national averages.

    I don't like them because people simply don't understand how they work and secondly they encourage the misconception that by buying in advance you get a discount and you get people coming in expecting discount on short journeys expecting discount on flexible tickets etc. they make ticket buying time consuming and for every person who thinks they get a bargain there's probably others who think it's farcical and are put off traveling by rail.
     
  27. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Yet I don't see what's *not* simple about Advances - you buy one at the displayed price, you use the specified trains (unless the railway stuffs it up), if you don't you lose it. Exactly the same as a flight (on one ticket) or coach travel.

    Surely it's Off Peaks, Permitted Routes etc that are complexity?

    True fare simplification would abolish all walk-up fares to be replaced with everything being train specific. I don't want that, nor do you, but it is genuinely the simplest option.
     
    Last edited: 1 Aug 2018
  28. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    On the flip side their prices make intercity travel more attractive.
    If I had to pay the walk up prices for trips between home and uni etc, I definately wouldn't travel by train (I'd reluctantly take the coach instead)
     
  29. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    You know and accept how it works Joe Public doesn't.
     
  30. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    I think we need to give them a better name. "Advance" is ridiculous and confusing. "Inflexible" would be my preference, but I guess it's not something the marketers would like. Journey planners also need to more clearly delineate the types of fare (walk-up or advance), as well as making clear the most important difference (that advances are tied to a specific train, and walk-up tickets are not).
     
  31. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    TBH, there's probably something in SNCF calling things Bob, Ron and Jim (or other names that have nothing to do with what they are). People can cope with a nondescript brand.

    Realistically I'd bring back the brand APEX. People knew what that meant and it couldn't be confused with an Anytime bought in advance. ("Anytime" is probably the only one of the new brands that actually makes sense).

    If you had APEX, SemiFlex (Day) and Flex (Day), people would know what they meant.
     

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