Will any companies post tickets using standard mail?

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Old Yard Dog

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I recently bought some advance tickets from Little Sutton to Euston online from thetrainline.com about 10 days ahead of my journey. To my surprise, the only delivery options were (a) Royal mail special delivery, costing £7.50 and requiring me to be in at home the next day, or (b) pick up my ticket from a designated station - the nearest ones being Chester or Liverpool.

Both options were most inconvenient. I would have to pay £7.50 or make an extra journey to Chester or Liverpool; no Merseyrail stations offer ticket pick up facilities. Or I could pay an extra local fare and pick up the tickets en route.

Does anybody know of a company which sells train tickets online and is willing to post them by ordinary mail? And if so, how far in advance do you need to book? I believe Virgin have similar delivery policies to the trainline.com.
 
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mikeg

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Most companies will offer first class post, but only if you book far enough in advance. The reason for this is that non-special delivery services are not guaranteed time-wise and that delays in the postal service do happen from time to time. I think ten days is a bit too close for the TOCs even though I've never really known first class post be delayed that long.*

Virgin have exactly the same policy as the sheep line because they use them as their booking engine. In fact I wouldn't bother with thetrainline as the same fares are always available elsewhere without the added booking fees.

EDIT: I know that takethetrain.co.uk, one of the few independent ticket booking websites not to charge a booking fee will send tickets first class post for £1, providing you have left five working days. Also I believe that any booking office, including a Merseyrail one which doesn't allow remote collection of tickets can still sell you an advance there and then, if there is a staffed station nearby this may be a good option. Again, prices should be the same as the trainline minus the booking fee.

*At least not my post. I worked in York Mail Centre in the Christmas season 2010 when we had all that snow and I did find that some mail was delayed by a fortnight or more... though these were exceptional circumstances and the special delivery time guarantee had also been revoked for the duration of the weather.
 
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Hadders

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Never use the trainline as their fares are never cheaper (despite their advertising claims) and they charge a booking fee plus a credit card fee.

Simply use a train operating company website and you'll avoid these fees.
 

SpacePhoenix

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I wonder why they don't offer Royal Mail Tracked, which would give them tracking at every stage with the option of requiring a signature
 

Bletchleyite

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I wonder why they don't offer Royal Mail Tracked, which would give them tracking at every stage with the option of requiring a signature

I similarly wish they would offer non-signed Tracked. Waiting in for a signature can be awkward.

I like the service offered by (I think) Hays DX Secure, in which they don't ask for a signature, but the courier takes a photograph of the door through which they post the item. That way it is known (like those security guard tracking fob things) that they actually went there. Doesn't stop them then pocketing it, but neither does a signature - couriers routinely fake them.
 

IanD

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I similarly wish they would offer non-signed Tracked. Waiting in for a signature can be awkward.

I like the service offered by (I think) Hays DX Secure, in which they don't ask for a signature, but the courier takes a photograph of the door through which they post the item. That way it is known (like those security guard tracking fob things) that they actually went there. Doesn't stop them then pocketing it, but neither does a signature - couriers routinely fake them.

Doesn't stop them posting it through a different door with the same number. Happens to me all the time, keep getting a photo of a blue door when mine is white. Fortunately, I know which blue door it is so can walk round and retrieve my mail. Except when the people who live there have gone on holiday - this happened with my daughter's passport and they'd gone to Australia for a month.

For me it's always TOD from Wolverton as I pass it on my way to/from work. And never TheTrainLIne. Nor London Midland either since they've brought in their new,improved booking site.
 
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