Why can't season tickets be picked up from ticket vending machines?

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infobleep

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Hi there

I was thinking of buying my latest season ticket online but it cannot be picked up from a ticket vending machine. Does any one know why? What fraud could be committeed by allowing it to be picked up from one? Wouldn't this fraud also be possible on day or monthly return tickets?
 
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wintonian

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For 1 if someone had your card they could link their photo card number to the season ticket or you could put in your wife's/ brothers/ son in laws history teachers photo card number and claim you lost it.

That's just of the top of my head so there may be reasons why they aren't possible fraud methods, that I'm not thinking about.

I wouldn't trust anything like a gold card with a TVM anyway, not when the last time only half a ticket came out I was told to buy another one.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Hi there

I was thinking of buying my latest season ticket online but it cannot be picked up from a ticket vending machine. Does any one know why? What fraud could be committeed by allowing it to be picked up from one? Wouldn't this fraud also be possible on day or monthly return tickets?

Season tickets of one month or longer need to be recorded on a database in case of loss or refund, TVMs are not connected to a season ticket database and the season ticket cannot be recorded without the ticket number. It's not necessarily a case of fraud.
 

island

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I think some TOCs' TVMs now are connected to the database, but only issue monthlies as they wouldn't have the stock for anything longer.
 

benk1342

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Season tickets of one month or longer need to be recorded on a database in case of loss or refund, TVMs are not connected to a season ticket database and the season ticket cannot be recorded without the ticket number. It's not necessarily a case of fraud.

I don't think he's saying he wants to buy it at the TVM. He's saying he wants to buy it online (as you already can, so presumably the website is connected to the database) and pick it up at a TVM rather than having it posted. Whether the TVM is connected to the database is therefore no more relevant than whether the mail slot in your door is connected to the database.
 

hairyhandedfool

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When a monthly or longer season ticket is issued the ticket number needs to be recorded. Each machine issues tickets in sequential number order and each machine will logically be at a different number most, if not all of the time because the number of people using the machines will very rarely be equal. The ticket number can only be known when the ticket is actually issued.

The database refered to is the season ticket database, not the ticket and reservation database. Each TOC has a different season ticket database which other TOCs cannot access. In some cases the online/telesales database is not even shared with the ticket office database of the same Train Company.

The only seasons I am aware you can buy at a TVM is a weekly ticket, these do not need to be recorded. I have never seen a TVM issue a monthly or longer season ticket.
 

infobleep

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Thank you for your replies. I was actually just wishing to buy a 7 day season ticket. The ticket office is not allowed to sell this until 12pm the day before of use or 12pm the Friday before the Monday of use. This office being South West Trains at Guildford. Only monthly or longer can be sold up to 7 days in advance I was told.

However one is allowed to buy it online in advance of those stupid deadlines. One might say it's to stop people travelling in advance but given the post will turn up in advance, that seems silly.

So I thought, why not buy it online for a change and pick it up at the TVM but that's not allowed and there isn't any reason given as to why it's not offered. To be fair in that case I was using Southern's Web Site but I couldn't even pick it up from their ticket machines, if I wished to.

I wasn't aware about their being a separate season ticket database but I was aware that train companies don't currently share the online sales with their station offices. I guess that might be due to historical technology in use at the offices and that may only change if they can afford to upgrade the technology. Given the econmic climate, could they afford to do such a thing?

A central seaon ticket database would be a good idea. During the course of one week I currently pass through stations with 5 different companies ticket offices and on an average day it's always 4. Tickets are valid for multiple companies, so it would make sense to share the data. I might understand if they were restricted to just the trains of the company who sold the ticket.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Thank you for your replies. I was actually just wishing to buy a 7 day season ticket. The ticket office is not allowed to sell this until 12pm the day before of use or 12pm the Friday before the Monday of use. This office being South West Trains at Guildford. Only monthly or longer can be sold up to 7 days in advance I was told....

That is correct. There can be no gap between monthly or longer season tickets when buying in advance either.

....So I thought, why not buy it online for a change and pick it up at the TVM but that's not allowed and there isn't any reason given as to why it's not offered. To be fair in that case I was using Southern's Web Site but I couldn't even pick it up from their ticket machines, if I wished to....

You should be able to buy a weekly from a TVM on the start date (otherwise it's a backward step from the older Quickfare machines), not sure really why you would want to buy in advance and have to go to a machine to pick it up anyway.

....I wasn't aware about their being a separate season ticket database but I was aware that train companies don't currently share the online sales with their station offices. I guess that might be due to historical technology in use at the offices and that may only change if they can afford to upgrade the technology. Given the econmic climate, could they afford to do such a thing?

A central seaon ticket database would be a good idea. During the course of one week I currently pass through stations with 5 different companies ticket offices and on an average day it's always 4. Tickets are valid for multiple companies, so it would make sense to share the data. I might understand if they were restricted to just the trains of the company who sold the ticket.

When Thameslink went from a local database, on a remote server, to a central (Thameslink only) database, they decided (against the advice of Shere) to dump the data in the new Shere Smart database, rather than manually enter each one. The result was the loss of the vast majority of ticket data. It was a year before the data was fully up to date. So I wouldn't trust the TOCs to organise a central database. Equally, any third party season ticket retailer would have to have access to the database.
 

island

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craigwilson

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http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/tickets-and-fares/ticket-types/season-tickets/ says you can buy monthlies at a TVM. As I understand it you have to key in your photocard number and postcode.

...and you need to have bought one from the ticket office previously in order for that to work, so that your photocard number and postcard are in the database.

Additionally, if you buy an extended season (i.e. 1 month 1 week) from the ticket office, then it breaks the ability to issue monthlies from the TVM. I've not tried to buy a monthly again from the TVM since I last brought a regular monthly season from the ticket office, so I don't know if it works again.
 

island

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...and you need to have bought one from the ticket office previously in order for that to work, so that your photocard number and postcard are in the database.

Additionally, if you buy an extended season (i.e. 1 month 1 week) from the ticket office, then it breaks the ability to issue monthlies from the TVM. I've not tried to buy a monthly again from the TVM since I last brought a regular monthly season from the ticket office, so I don't know if it works again.

Fair enough. I do live in Southeastern land but use an annual so have no experience of any of the above.
 
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