What happens if you buy a ticket online for next day travel but the TVM is broken

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by bavvo, 11 May 2015.

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  1. bavvo

    bavvo Member

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    I need to travel to Henley - London tomorrow, and was going to buy a ticket online, then pick it up from the TVM at the station on the way home tonight. However I was delayed and never got round to the online purchase, deciding instead to just buy it direct from the TVM instead. However, when I got to the machine this evening it was out of order.

    So my questions are these.

    If I had purchased online as planned, and could not collect from the designated TVM tonight, and it was still out of order tomorrow, what would happen? Specifically -

    Can the guard on the train (there usually is one in the morning), or the ticket office issue the ticket bought online?

    If not, and I had to buy a fresh ticket, would I have been able to get a full refund on the ticket I had bought online?

    As it stands, I will be queuing up for a ticket tomorrow anyway, so just asking out of curiosity.
     
  2. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I would suggest asking FGW for their policy.

    The Guard would not be able to issue the ticket. A ticket office (with connection to the TOD system) would be able to.

    If you were forced to buy a fresh ticket then you would be entitled to a refund. If the price was the same, then a refund on the unused and uncollected ticket would be most straightforward. If the price on the day was higher (not applicable in your case) I'd be insisting on a refund of the replacement ticket.
     
  3. bavvo

    bavvo Member

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    Seems straightforward, thanks.
     
  4. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    yes, it would be a refund on the most expensive ticket of the 2. Can be very problematic if you've brought an ultra cheap Advance ticket then forced to buy an Advance fare. Ticket offices can also access the TOD system but that is subject to the ticket office being open at the time.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Can ticket offices also do reprints in the event that all your tickets do not come out, and you make them aware of it at the time?
     
  5. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    I had this problem last year at Guildford, even the ticket office couldn't help as the network was down.

    I had to buy a new ticket at Guildford, collect my original booked tickets at King's Cross (I had some other tickets in the same booking) then take both tickets back to Guildford where the extra ticket I bought was refunded minus a £10 fee.

    The clerk was very apologetic and said I should have just been allowed to travel without a ticket to Waterloo. She also wrote a note for me to send with the receipts to customer services for the £10 to be refunded.

    If it happens again I'll now know to ask a clerk to call the helpline and not be fobbed off - it was a bit of a pain getting this sorted.
     
  6. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    I had this, spoke with the guard at the station (Dore) as I got on, explained the situation, got off at Oxford Road, waited in the ticket office queue, collected my tickets for both directions and walked through the gate.

    I also had a situation where I'd bought an advance ticket, left the outgoing part in the machine, didn't realise until I was asked for my ticket, the guard was insistent that I bought a ticket despite me showing him the receipt for both tickets, he insisted further asking if I was refusing to buy a ticket - in retrospect, felt like entrapment, I stood my ground insisting that I wasn't refusing as I had bought one - I then showed him the TPE app through which I'd purchased through and he stood down - at Oxford Road, I proceeded directly to the gate ticket sales staff, explained my situation and was allowed to proceed without any hassle at all - frustrating to say the least :-/

    Moral - always be straight, never tell any porkies !
     
  7. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Of course, the guard was actually correct - a receipt isn't a ticket. You benefited from discretion but it could easily have ended up with you posting in Disputes & Prosecutions about the Byelaws summons you had just got in the post.
     
  8. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That is disappointing to hear. The official industry guidelines in the event of TVM failure is that passengers with prebooked tickets should be allowed to travel on their booking confirmations. There should have been no need to purchase a new ticket.

    This was exactly what happened to me when the EMT system was down one morning a few weeks back. I was told to travel with just my confirmation, and guards were briefed to take the passenger's word for it, even if they had no means to bring up their confirmation.

    As najaB said, the guard was actually correct. It was your mistake to leave your tickets behind so you were correctly asked to purchase a valid ticket.

    Guards no (with the exception of some Hull Trains guards AIUI), ticket offices possibly.

    There should have been no need to purchase any new tickets, but if you did, I would say try and get an endorsement from the ticket office and you should be entitled to a full refund of those newly-purchased tickets.

    Depends on the nature of the "failure" and how it was logged in the system. Normally the ticket office cannot reprint any booking if it is shown as having been successfully issued.
     
  9. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    I'm surprised about that. If there is a TOD network fault then this is normally communicated and passengers allowed to travel on booking confirmations alone until the system is back up and tickets can then be collected. If an individual TVM is down in practice passengers will normally be allowed to travel and then collect their tickets at the first available opportunity.
     
  10. Tim R-T-C

    Tim R-T-C Established Member

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    I got really lucky a while back, booked tickets Steeton to Nottingham (with a few splits, so wanted to book online), but the NR TVM at Steeton just wouldn't accept the code (in fact I have never seen it able to print pre-purchased tickets). Fortunately the conductor let me travel to Leeds (I guess knowing that the station was barriered so I couldn't get out anywhere. The NR TVM inside the station there similarly wouldn't work.

    Fortunately one of the barriers was open so I went through this and got my ticket at an EC machine in the entrance hall.

    Could easily have been stopped and got into problems, now if buying in advance I always collect at Keighley a few days before, which is also manned.

    Hopefully we will move to ticketless systems pretty soon, or print-at-home for more than just one-company trips - it seemed so daft travelling around Europe on printed and PNR tickets for a week, only to have to move back to cardboard tickets when back in England.
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  11. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    I don't actually doubt that, I actually challenged the guard about where the ticket would be if not in the machine dispensing tray, it was an advance, for a set time, with my name on it, there were about 20 people on the train... He claimed I could have passed it to someone else to use, which I asked, has anyone else used the ticket on this train ? A ticket that was non-transferable... This kinda stuff annoys passengers, regardless of the "bylaws" in that I'm guilty before being proven guilty and then actively encouraged to entrap myself with repeated "are you refusing to buy a ticket" questions.
     
  12. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you did indeed pass the ticket onto someone else, why would the person own up? Or you would probably have told the person to keep a low profile if, playing devil's advocate, you did indeed pass the ticket on in the first place.

    If seat reservations were enforced rigidly then I could understand your arguments, but they weren't. Frustrating for a passenger? Probably, but why direct the blame at someone who was just doing his job, and did not believe your story for a good reason?
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Names on (orange, non-season) tickets are of no consequence. A ticket is not transferrable, but that just means it must be used by the person for whom it was bought. If I buy a ticket for you via most of the online TISs, it will have my name on it, but you can quite legitimately use it, and no ID check will take place.

    Print-at-home and the likes are often different, of course. And if we do want to move to a situation of "a record in the database has value" rather than "a physical ticket has value" we will need to start having names on tickets like airline tickets do. But that has all sorts of disadvantages. Forgotten your ID? That'll be a new ticket, mate.

    And most TOCs don't enforce a requirement to use your reserved seat, so the ticket may have been used on that train and he'd never have known (assuming the reservation was also left there).
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  14. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    The error was clearly mine in not checking that I had all three tickets, that's fair enough, however a fundamental element of law is that the burden of proof is upon the person accusing - what I find annoying is the act of accusing me of passing the ticket to someone else without evidence of such an action, then the use of an entrapment technique which was clearly designed to encourage me to reply "no I'm not buying a ticket", which I'm afraid is bad form. The assumption was clearly on fare dodging rather than a genuine mistake where the ticket left in the machine would be lost by the time I returned thus I could never reclaim the additional costs. The approach by the Northern staff at Oxford Road, in complete contrast, clearly sympathetic rather than confrontational.
     
  15. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Your posts don't give the impression that you appreciate that, had they had wanted to pursue a Byelaws prosecution, he had all the proof he needed. It doesn't matter what happened to your ticket. It could've been stolen by a Martian, it still would've been an open, shut, pay the fine case.
     
  16. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    I'm sure it was a pretty open and shut case for him, that doesn't stop me from continuing to think that the system is flawed ;)
     
  17. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If we are gonna go into that then I think there is sufficient material to write a doctorial thesis with.
     
  18. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Whilst BB21 is correct, as he invariably is, I think he is missing Haydn1979's point, which is that if someone were using that advance, they would be one of the other 19 passengers on that train.

    This logic is zero use in a byelaw prosecution, of course
     
  19. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    I'll pass on that one ! Haha
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    Exactly - and thank you ever so much for making me 8 years younger ! My hair has returned to dark brown and my back no longer aches ! ;)
     
  20. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    My apologies. You will have to explain this a little more to me as I am getting a bit lost.

    Do you mean that the guard would have been able to identify the other person by carrying out a full ticket check and taking appropriate actions forthwith, thereby meaning no revenue lost?
     
  21. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    "And most TOCs don't enforce a requirement to use your reserved seat, so the ticket may have been used on that train and he'd never have known (assuming the reservation was also left there)."

    Do any of the TOCs actually enforce seat reservations (I guess they could only do it on advance tickets)
     
  22. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I've avoided taking the challenge of the word 'entrapment' twice, and the convoluted logic of disproving a speculative 'explantion' of where a ticket whose existence is uncertain might be three times. But this thread is becoming interestingly significant, now that it introduces the concept that a Prosecutor should carry the burden of disproving any number of unsubstantiated and speculative theories which, even if successful, do nothing to affect the guilt of the accused.
    This is new territory!

    I think that is a part of what Haydn1971 was trying to achieve. But surely the only three questions which matter are:
    Was Haydn1971 in possession of a valid ticket for travel and able to produce it on demand?
    When invited to buy a ticket in order to regularise the omission, was Haydn1971 eager to agree to this resolution?
    Having declined that opportunity to regularise that ommision, did Haydn1971 then propose accepting the responsibility of confirming the existence of the ticket-which-was-not-present which is necessary for travel to the Railway Company by questionning the other passengers who he had suggested might be in posession of the missing ticket?

    If the answer to all three is in the negative, then I struggle to understand what possible outcome there can be other than a) thanks from Haydn1971 for the help of such a sympathetic and helpful Inspector, and b) acknowledgement that in a business or service, then failing to comply with the basic and simple conditions such as presenting a ticket on demand is a breach of Conditions which should be remedied at the soonest opportunity (and not become the subject of speculative debate).

    There is nothing 'flawed' about a system which imposes a simple condition, and even less so when it provided mechanisms to rectify errors in the form of buying a ticket to replace the lost one. It doesn't get much simpler.
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  23. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    It's been reported on the forum that XC attempt to do it on some services.
     
  24. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    When I went back the next week the clerk told me the system had been completely down that afternoon. My guess is that I might have been the first to go the ticket window and so they didn't know what to do and presumed it wasn't their problem. My booking could be loaded up, but it couldn't be printed.
     
  25. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    The one time it's happened to me it was the whole north-east Scotland network that had gone down. The TVMs and ticket office were both affected and I couldn't collect my sleeper tickets when I went in the afternoon, nor when I went back to the station to catch the train. The guard initially didn't want to accept printed confirmations as he claimed that credit cards aren't charged until the tickets are printed. Eventually he relented and I was able to collect my tickets at Crewe in the morning.
     
  26. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    There is very little in this world that is absolute. In the guards head I had no ticket, in my mind, I had bought and collected the ticket, where the third of the three "tickets" (including the collection receipt) had gone was unclear at the moment of being asked to present my ticket. Upon realising that I hadn't got all three tickets, I then entered into a discussion that was quite clearly bias towards the assumption of doubt.

    Whilst I recognise that many of the above posts are simply quoting the "absolute" word of the bylaw, for a person who is involved in area of civil engineering that doesn't rely a high degree of certainty (operational safety) the concept of an absolute doesn't fit with how my mind is wired to work, but is perhaps more suited to someone who works in the industry of enforcing such rules. I often have these debates with people involved in enforcing the law through my work environment - Traffic Police, Parking Control, Planning, Safety Camera Partnerships - where absolutes for enforcement are often made less clear by vagaries of the instruments of text that define them, physical influences, environmental influences and mostly, the human factor.
     
  27. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Okay, but what was in your hand?
     
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