Why don't most self service machines sell extension tickets?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Samuel88, 25 Oct 2017.

  1. Samuel88

    Samuel88 On Moderation

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    20 Jan 2017
    I was at City Thameslink earlier and wanted an extension from the zone 6 boundary to Harpenden, but the ticket office was closed and I was told that the ticket machines couldn't issue extensions. I've only ever come across one machine in Kings Cross that can issue extension tickets and I've started to think, is this deliberate? To make sure you buy a more expensive ticket?
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. roversfan2001

    roversfan2001 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    Joined:
    19 Feb 2016
    Location:
    Lancashire
    That's a very cynical way of thinking. Boundary Zone tickets are only meant to be issued when the passenger already has a Travelcard, so similar to Priv-rate tickets, they are only sold at ticket offices as they can ask to see your Travelcard. As you have noted however, some machines do sell Boundary Zone tickets now.
     
  4. Samuel88

    Samuel88 On Moderation

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    20 Jan 2017
    I can understand if they want to check if I had a valid freedom pass, but why doesn't the same logic apply to railcards?
     
  5. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,080
    Joined:
    24 Dec 2009
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Because it isn't logic at all - more like an excuse. Purchasing a railcard discounted ticket when you do not hold a railcard is the same as purchasing a Boundary Zone ticket when you do not hold a ticket valid to the boundary.

    If London Overground TVMs can sell Boundary Zone tickets (which posters on here say they can) then there is no valid reason why other TVMs within the zones cannot.
     
  6. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

    Messages:
    11,678
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2008
    Location:
    Milton Keynes
    I agree entirely.
     
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

    Messages:
    6,062
    Joined:
    27 Apr 2011
    If the ticket you want to buy cannot be purchased at your departure station then you may purchase on board or at your destination.
     
  8. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    23,903
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    The new S&B machines will do extensions once there's a new software update. It is definitely coming but there do seem to be loads of other issues to fix first.

    It isn't to force people to buy more expensive tickets. Indeed, if you can't get an extension before travel then you're entitled to get said extension on your journey or at the destination.
     
  9. Dhassell

    Dhassell Member

    Messages:
    955
    Joined:
    22 Mar 2015
    Southern Ticket Machines at London Victoria at least sell boundary zone 6 tickets
     
  10. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

    Messages:
    2,179
    Joined:
    29 May 2011
    The current ones do. Once they are replaced by the S&B machines, even there it won't be possible to buy boundary zone tickets.
     
  11. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

    Messages:
    1,615
    Joined:
    12 Jan 2017
    Good intel Jon!

    Though there's the issue of theory and practice there! I think I'd make the effort to seek out the guard (or OBS), if available, if making a longer journey if I hadn't obtained the relevant Boundary Zone ticket before starting.
     
  12. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

    Messages:
    6,062
    Joined:
    27 Apr 2011
    No point in seeking out the guard or OBS on a train from City Thameslink as they're all DOO.
     
  13. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,080
    Joined:
    24 Dec 2009
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Certain EMT staff do not agree and will give the passenger grief.
     
  14. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

    Messages:
    1,615
    Joined:
    12 Jan 2017
    Indeed. My "if available" clause was intended to cover that.
     
  15. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,217
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    It isn't if you see first hand how people's minds work. The railways expect people to undertake simple journeys - out and back to the same station, all in one go by the route the powers that be want them to take. The only training provided to the public on anything more complicated is buried deep in NRE and the Conditions of Travel and even they are open to interpretation. Obfuscation leads many people to draw their own conclusions. Some will ask a member of staff and a tiny number might go out of their way to research themselves.

    As I often work at stations at the edge of the Travelcard Zones, I regularly get people who have travelled from London and gotten off the train specifically to buy an extension ticket before continuing their journey. At London Terminals you get people with a Travelcard buying a new ticket for their journey, not realising they could just buy an extension ticket. Visibility of BZ6 tickets in TVMs favourites would help to promote them.
     
  16. RJ

    RJ Established Member

    Messages:
    7,217
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Rail replacement bus cab
    There might be a perception of risk of a Penalty Fare, many people would sooner just buy a new ticket than have to stand their ground against revenue.
     
  17. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    23,903
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    The only penalty fare I ever got was because I could not get an extension before travel. I won the appeal.
     
  18. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

    Messages:
    464
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2009
    Buying extension tickets from machines provides me with hours and hours of harmless amusement. At present, as the previous poster said, all the helpful Southern machines that were the easiest to do this with are being upgraded with 'computer says no' machines, ie S&Bs. SWT modified their machines earlier this year to allow Boundary Zone x as the origin but when one tries to buy one either the machine software collapses altogether (seriously!) or it simply comes back with 'no fares found'. Many of the ex-FCC machines were OK, but are now being 'upgraded' with the S&Bs. However, I have discovered that the VTEC machines at KGX have recently been reset to allow Boundary fares and I even managed to buy one from them last week. The FGW machines at Paddington, amazingly do offer this option (this TOC is hardly the byword for making things easier on ticketing) but the CH machines at MYB do not and the queues at the ticket office are often very bad. I suppose I would like to think there is some rhyme or reason for this situation, eg. discouraging fare evasion. But I think, rather, it is simply a question of the cost of the TVM software and TOCs willingness to try and be helpful (Southern management).
    More seriously, I wish someone would take up a 'collective action' with DfT about this situation and Penalty Fares. The introduction of Penalty Fares was always predicated on having a suitable range of tickets to buy from machines or a ticket office. But the reality is this is not happening. Although many stations in the London area do have ticket offices, it is clear that (presumably because they make such few issues) they are not always open when they should be and are, effectively, unstaffed (just go an survey some of those in the outer zones to see this). Perhaps I can just pay at the other end in such situations. More often when this happens I just don't make the journey and do something else instead. TOCs should be required either to have operable TVMs that sell Boundary tickets or reintroduce Permit to Travel machines (still out there in a few places). The current PF regime (ie you are PFed because we can't sell you the right ticket) is simply not working well enough.
     
  19. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    3,552
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    Categorically, you did not buy a Boundary Zone fare from a VTEC TVM. They are incapable of selling them. You might have bought a ticket from a boundary station, but that is not the same thing and may not always be the same price.
     
  20. Cricketer8for9

    Cricketer8for9 Member

    Messages:
    119
    Joined:
    11 Jan 2015
    Has anyone formally complained, for example to Southern, that the previous functionality that allowed a ticket to be bought from another station has been removed? As the holder of a paper only season ticket I’d like the ability to buy a ticket from the end of my season ticket validity, eg Clapham Junction to another station, eg Woking rather than having to hope my local ticket office is open (it is often now shut though officially still open virtually all day).

    Also important where a TfL contactless or Oyster journey is immediately followed by another TOC’s journey outiside the London zones eg Motspur Park to Hertford East vis Highbury and Islington or Finsbury Park. Not having to allow time to buy a ticket at Finsbury Park would save time.
     
  21. talldave

    talldave Established Member

    Messages:
    1,432
    Joined:
    24 Jan 2013
    Complaining to Southern about anything is an utter waster of time, particularly when you're going to use complex phrases like "Boundary Zone" which none of the people reading the email will understand. You're almost guaranteed one of their random, but sadly irrelevant, excuses such as "you may be using a foreign credit card.." or some such similar rubbish.

    All that happens is that your blood pressure increases and your will to live decreases rapidly the more exchanges you have with their customer services staff. Nothing will actually change as a result of your complaint.
     
  22. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

    Messages:
    464
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2009
    I stand corrected, Haywain. You are quite right: it was indeed a remote issue ticket not a boundary zone fare, I had misremembered. But the TSGN machines that used to be able to sell these have been 'upgraded' so VTEC, amazingly, is the only TOC at KGX/STP that makes it easy to buy boundary zone fares (if you know the frontier station identity).
     
  23. Iggy12a

    Iggy12a Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    31 May 2017
    There has recently been an upgrade to S&B TVMs used by Southern. They now have the option to purchase tickets from other stations and extension tickets from Boundary Zone x.
     
  24. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    12,850
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    Back to the future! :lol:

    Good to hear that Southern has seen sense to put back in those functions
     

Share This Page