Why are Euston gateline staff so hostile?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by TT-ONR-NRN, 4 Dec 2019.

  1. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    That question is muddled, but I refer you to Condition 14 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel (or read our Fares Guide) for full details; if any part of it needs clarifying feel free to create a thread in Fare Advice & Policy. The point is that if tickets are valid under the NRCoT, they must be accepted. Not all staff understand the NRCoT; that's fine providing they accept the tickets. If you're unsure, you can't bring your employer into disrepute by breaching the contract.
    I am aware of multiple incidents; I have had many of these described to me and I have seen the tickets held were valid. It is an undeniable fact that the vast majority of the allegations that have been posted here are indisputably true.

    And also let's not forget this point:
    If I had been guilty of some of the poor behaviour exhibited at the Euston gateline, the excuse that 'most people I interacted with were satisfied' would not wash.
     
    Last edited: 9 Dec 2019
  2. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

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    Which often doesn't work! My correct ticket is regularly rejected at the New St gateline.
     
  3. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Almost no one but that doesn't explain why Euston has the reputation for rejecting valid tickets unlike so many more.
     
  4. Parham Wood

    Parham Wood Member

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    If you have a valid ticket which is rejected what is the legal position? Can you sue?
     
  5. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    It depends on what happens next. For example, if you have to purchase an additional fare (or excess fare), you are entitled to a refund; if you are delayed you could claim delay compensation. If there are material losses then you could arguably claim for that too. It's a clear contract breach and it may also be a consumer law breach if it's arguable that the checking of the ticket was not carried out with reasonable care and skill. But actually bringing the matter before the courts is not straightforward and unaffordable for most people.
     
  6. Parham Wood

    Parham Wood Member

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    Understood but if I would be looking for considerable compensation not just a refund or delay compensation. Offering just these is a sop and no way addresses the inconvenience, stress, additional time spent applying for these, disruption to ones day etc.. It is just easy for the TOC to get away with this if people claim and they are not really punished where it hurts.
     
  7. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    What is the general problem with split tickets that seems to "upset" the Euston gateline staff?

    ............... and any tips on which split to use as I suspect they probably baulk at the fact that anyone using these have saved quite a few bob?
     
  8. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    vtwc never liked them as a business a lot of splits they don't get money from (Eg travel cards ) however they are still obliged to carry people with those tickets
     
  9. MarlowDonkey

    MarlowDonkey Member

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    They got involved in a long dispute on travelcard/Oyster splits around ten years ago.

    http://www.virgintrains.org.uk/whysite.htm
     
  10. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Sorry Yorkie :) the point I was trying to make wasn't that if most people the staff interacted with were satisfied that was ok.

    It was that in all likelihood, anyone who may have had a ticket rejected, maybe rejected twice if they asked again on the same occasion, probably wouldn't go away feeling satisfied with their interaction with the staff they'd spoken with. By that I am not refering to valid tickets but those who may have an invalid ticket and advised against boarding. I shouldn't think anyone who planned on boarding a particular train who was turned away with an invalid ticket would be happy with the conversation with staff as it's a negative subject if someone has to be informed their ticket isn't valid (again, when it isn't valid, not when it is which obviously as you say is not right).

    Btw I am no revenue inspector I am just discussing as an observer same as many.
     
  11. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    For the avoidance of doubt, the examples posted in this thread have been with absolutely valid tickets.

    Just to reiterate that there have been a large number of legitimate passengers who have had valid tickets rejected; that is what promoted @TT-ONR-NRN to create this thread (he was in posession of an itinerary and reservations issued on Virgin's own website) and is what is causing concern to myself and many others.

    Other people have tried to deflect these legitimate concerns by referring to other scenarios which are not really relevant to our concerns. I find this concerning.
     
  12. GrimShady

    GrimShady On Moderation

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    Why not get rid and put proper inspectors on the trains?
     
  13. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    But the current system doesn't work, as evidenced by this and many other threads. I'm not suggesting some antiquated technology such as seen with magnetic strip readers, but having some form of itinerary central database, that can be used quickly to confirm validity of the more complex ticket combinations that may be used. So if the bog basic gateline readers can't confirm it, then a member of staff need only scan a QR/Aztec code which could then read the database and confirm that the tickets are valid based on the itinerary created when the passenger booked.

    In time such a database could even be used to redirect passengers in real time with a bit of forethought, but that is for another thread.

    Suspending someone on the basis of a single Tweet would not be advisable.
     
  14. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    I did not say the current gates work. But some currently scan square codes so the possibility to make better gates is there. And that is what should happen. Not stand by the gates some goons that reject valid tickets with threats and mess up passenger journeys and push people away from the railways.
     
  15. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    There is certainly lots of possibilities to improve the automatic gates, however where a complex itinerary exists it might not be possible to load this into a QR/Aztec code. That's where the central database would come into play, however although a gate scan could initiate a query to it, response times might mean that passengers wait too long for the gates to respond. From my experience as a commuter, passengers don't like waiting for more than a few seconds before trying another gate. So in these cases members of staff could assist to prevent any London commuters getting angry stuck behind someone waiting for a query to complete.

    Oh, and by the way, calling the staff "some goons" isn't likely to help engage them. It is fairly likely to say the least that they will at least be aware, and if they think that they are getting slagged off in that manner it's going to play a role. Again, these are humans, not machines. If people wish to be treated with more respect, the very least they could do is initiate that curtesy, even if they have had bad experiences with them.
     
  16. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    Apart from Euston Station being the London terminus for the WCML, can someone please remind me what redeeming features it possesses?
     
  17. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    I said it would be a bad approach. I did not call current staff that and it is very bad of you to say I did and I do not unsetsand what you get from confusing the discussio.

    Making the dateline even more threatening is an approach that First could take. Maybe it is a likely approach given Paddington dateline staff and their off-peak rejections which makes people pray for a playform 1 departure. I hope they do not.

    If I did call them that it would be very mild compared to what is said about them on facebook and twitter.
     
  18. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    I'm sorry, but your quote (as in my previous reply) was:

    If I have taken this quote out of context then I apologise, but on face value it does appear that you are describing the gateline staff as "some goons". Perhaps for my benefit, and perhaps that of others, you might like to clarify the point you were making so as to alleviate this confusion?
     
  19. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    There is a nice original red tube station outside the west exit ;)
     
  20. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    I think it is perfectly clear that I was talking about "what should happen" and not the current situation. You bolded the last phrase and completely ignored the oone before it!

    There should be upgraded automatic gates to reduce referrals to staff to a level where they have time to actually look up tickets they do not know, instead of the likely alternative rejecting more and more valid tickets as the station gets bisier, which may lead to more and more vocal passenger dissent, which may lead First to employ ever more intimidating staff - and that would be wrong, do you not agree?
     
  21. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    No I fully understand the point about better automatic gates, but the fact remains that right now the current ones are not ideal, and you've used a derogatory term to describe the current staff having to fill in for the gaps in the technology.

    I think it is best to leave it at this, other than to say how would you feel if you & your colleagues were being talked about in a similar manner on a public forum? Respect is a two way street, you know treat people the way you would like to be treated.
     
  22. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    No I have not. It seems you still ignore the phrase which set the goons in a possible future which should not happen. I cannot discuss things sensibly with someone who ignores bits of messages.
     
  23. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    That's not how it read to me quite frankly, it read in the present tense because you seemed to be describing the current situation, i.e. gatelines rejecting lots of valid tickets, and staff having to deal with them. But fair enough, explanation understood.
     
  24. sprunt

    sprunt Member

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    What a lot of people seem to be missing is that it's the rail industry, not passengers who have constructed a ticketing system that incentivises the use of obscure combinations of tickets, and as such it's the rail industry's job to ensure there are sufficient people/machines at the gatelines that can understand the validity of tickets, and not accuse people with valid tickets of fraud. Until they can do that, the benefit of any doubtful tickets must go to the passenger, and if the TOCs lose a few quid then hopefully that will act as an incentive to sort the situation out.
     
  25. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Hasn't that been knocked down for HS2?

    I actually don't mind Euston itself, though some changes could do with being made. It's warm in winter and cool in summer and has an impressive Great Hall. What's wrong with it is the "Euston scrum" method of operation which is only used at a few other major stations around the UK and needs to be packed in.
     
  26. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    Good post.
     
    Last edited: 10 Dec 2019
  27. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    If not yet, it will soon. Euston is still Cultural Vandalism Central :(

    It's cramped and annoying to navigate and feels crowded even when there are few people. When it is actually busy, it's terrifying.

    What's a "Euston scrum"?
     
  28. Mcr Warrior

    Mcr Warrior Member

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    "Euston scrum" = the melee that often happens at the ticket barrier at Euston station when several hundred intending passengers attempt to board a train / negotiate the ticket inspection when the departure platform has only been announced on the main concourse a matter of minutes before the train's scheduled departure time.
     
  29. ScottGallagher

    ScottGallagher Member

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    What puzzles me in all of this that if the attitude problem has been that endemic during the virgin trains tenure is that if the issue ever got as far as Richard Branson (not impossible) it wouldn't have been addressed long ago as potentially bad for the image of him and Virgin.
     
  30. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    And you may have happened across the main problem here, not the staff but the procedures that generates the scrum. Quite honestly faced with that many times a day, every working day, I'd challenge any member of the forum to keep out of grumpy mood (keeping in mind folk here get into scuffles over train seat colours and layouts ;))
     

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