Waterloo - Mortimer - Paddington

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by RJ, 10 Jun 2019 at 22:54.

  1. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    I did the above journey a couple of times over the last week and will likely do it a few times on unknown dates over the next few weeks. The fastest way for me to do the journey is via Basingstoke on the way out and via Reading on the way back.

    There is no Any Permitted ticket - there's a choice of Via Basingtoke or Via Reading. Via Reading is cheaper.

    On both occasions, Waterloo ticket office were adamant I needed to pay for two singles and that getting an Off Peak Day Return via Reading with the outward changed to via Basingstoke was not an option. What they insisted on selling costs almost double of what it should cost if you go by what the Conditions of Travel say.

    Consequently I didn't pay the right fare on either occasion. Buying the ticket online isn't an option because you can't get an excess online.

    Ideally, I'd like to;
    a.) Buy a ticket at the start of the journey
    b.) Pay the correct fare without being overcharged
    c.) Travel with piece of mind from the start and not have to worry about explaining things or buying more tickets later

    What's the best way of achieving this?
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2019 at 23:13
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  3. JB_B

    JB_B Member

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    I think that the any permitted London-Basingstoke off-peak day return at £26.20 would cover the journey you wish to make.

    Were staff at Waterloo able to explain why they couldn't issue an excess on the Mortimer ticket?
     
  4. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    This is more expensive than a ticket to Mortimer plus the excess. Why should @RJ have to spend more than he needs to just because a ticket office is unable to sell the correct ticket.
     
  5. JB_B

    JB_B Member

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    RJ shouldn't have to - I agree. I'm not suggesting this is the best option but it's a lot better than 2 x singles and the small additional amount (~2.50) might be worth paying for a hassle free journey until it's sorted. As I said, I'd be interested in Waterloo's explanation of why they won't excess.
     
  6. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Considering my experiences, it seems unlikely that the railway industry will permit this at all, if I am totally honest.
    There may be more luck with purchasing the cheaper ticket and then purchasing the excess from the guard on the train to Basingstoke, at the ticket office at Basingstoke, or from the guard on the train to Mortimer. This would come close, but wouldn't meet your point c. And it wouldn't help if they all refused to sell you an excess, or if you're not allowed through the ticket gates at London Waterloo.
     
  7. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Report the incident, in straightforward terms, to the company's MD pointing out what looks like breaches of both consumer law and the franchise agreement and ask for an investigation and assurance it will not happen again to anyone. If you don't get a satisfactory response then escalate (by forwarding the correspondence) to the ORR (consumer law) and/or DfT (franchise breach), reminding them of their duties to investigate. Separately, you might also supply any evidence to https://boundaryfares.com/ as further background information, in case they are considering widening the claim to include failure to advertise and sell other types of excesses.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2019 at 01:25
  8. embers25

    embers25 Established Member

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    No excuse for Waterloo's incompetence but better option is probably Brixton-Mortimer which is valid both ways but does cost a couple of quid more which you shouldn't have to pay, but I'm sure you already know thta and quite rightly don't want to pay extra.
     
  9. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    All, thank you kindly for your advice. Having considered it all, I've come to the conclusion that I need to recalibrate what gives me piece of mind.

    I certainly won't get that from deliberately being overcharged or paying extra, so I won't go for those options. What I will do is buy the Via Reading ticket from Waterloo and each time I travel, ask Waterloo ticket office to excess the outbound to via Basingstoke. If they refuse to sell it, I'll follow the National Rail Conditions of Travel guidance which promises t has a specific provision for being excessed up if you travel by the wrong route. That, I will get piece of mind from and obtain the excess when the opportunity presents itself.

    The Via Reading ticket works the barriers at Waterloo as there are trains to Reading from there.

    As for buying a Via Basingstoke ticket and travelling via Reading, I did that the first time. At Waterloo, the ticket office clerk told me to get Basingstoke to sort out any excesses. I then got the 21:20 train, the ticket office at Basingstoke was long shut and whoever was on the train to Mortimer wasn't doing tickets. On the return, at Reading, the barrier staff sent me to the Excess Fares booth to obtain a Via Reading excess.

    I typed London to Mortimer into National Rail Enquires and if you select the outbound to go via Basingstoke, it will give a Day Return fare, but does not allow you to select any of the given journeys via Reading for the return. The suggestion is that you can't use the more expensive Via Basingstoke ticket to go via Reading and this would be corroborated by the staff at Reading.

    I'm writing a script to interrogate the fares data and once that is done, will see if there are any other tickets that allow the journey for the same, or less without needing to get an excess. There usually are. This should then make it easier for those who aren't able to sell the appropriate fare if it isn't just a point to point ticket.

    I've previously had very good service at Waterloo ticket office and once wrote in to compliment a member of staff there - unfortunately they weren't around the last couple of times. Caveat emptor.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2019 at 19:57

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