"Your ticket has expired, sir"

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by sheff1, 13 Oct 2011.

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  1. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Today i was travelling from Southampton to Waterloo on the return half of an Off Peak Return, start date 11 Oct 2011. The ticket did not open the barrier so I asked the attendant to let me through. His response - "Your ticket has expired sir".

    I pointed out that the Valid Until date was 10 Nov 2011. "Your ticket has expired sir".

    I asked why he thought it had expired when the Valid Until date was over three weeks away. "You are only allowed to make one journey, so now it has expired".

    I told him, through gritted teeth, that I had made the outward journey on Tues and was now returning to London, i.e. one return journey. With this he took the ticket over to the booking office. Not sure what he said to them (he certainly mentioned expired) but they did something with their machine and told him the ticket was still valid.

    Finally, he handed the ticket back and opened the barrier whilst still going on about the ticket being expired after one journey.

    I do not know whether he did not understand the meaning of 'expired' or the concept of a return journey, or even both. What I do know is, that if I had arrived closer to the departure time of my train this person's incompetance might have caused me to miss it. This ticket was, of course, not resticted to a specific train, but my ticket home from London was.

    Is there any point in complaining to SWT about this (I did go to the Staion Supervisor's office in Southampton, but it was unmanned) or would I just get a standard fob-off response ?
     
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  3. island

    island Established Member

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    Standard fob-off response. I have one from a few months ago; if you like I can scan it and email it to you and save the cost of the stamp.
     
  4. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Bring it to their attention and if you receive the same fob off as island then escalate it!
     
  5. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    The guy was just a moron. Quelle surprise. It's not acceptable to have morons hindering innocent members of the public going about their legitimate business. Get onto SWT and get him sacked.
     
  6. First class

    First class Established Member

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    I don't think that is an appropriate attitude to take in this situation.

    What will getting him sacked achieve? SWT will only replace him (eventually) with someone with the same level of training.

    He has not prevented access to the train.
    The OP did not miss his train as a result.
    He consulted another member of staff for assistance.

    Been a lot worse stories posted on here!
     
  7. Max

    Max Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Indeed, surely it would be better to seek retraining of staff than their complete removal? It is apparent from previous examples that there are gaping holes in the training provided by Stagecoach to its employees. I agree that it is unacceptable that the employee would make such a basic error, but it may not be his fault. Perhaps one strike against him is his unapologetic attitude though, but everybody makes mistakes.
     
  8. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I second that ^^^^
     
  9. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Very constructive!
     
  10. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    It still surprises me that TOC's employ people who have ABSOLUTELY NO KNOWLEDGE of Fares & Ticketing (this guy being a good example) to fill Fares & Ticketing roles. I see that Virgin have started to put a few (basic) Fares & Ticketing questions on job applications for ticket office / train manager type vacancies, to filter out those who know nothing whatsoever!
     
  11. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    The whole point is that TOCs should train their staff properly! (although I suspect in this case, it may be more an attitude problem than a knowledge issue)

    I didn't have a great knowledge of fares or the workings of the railway until I started working for a TOC. But I did get the appropriate training....
     
  12. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    I'm not trying to be constructive. You wouldn't have somebody who couldn't drive as a bus driver, so why have someone who doesn't have any knowledge of even the most basic ticketing on the barrier? Retrain him by all means if you must, but if he still can't grasp it, get him out. It's a tough old world out there.
     
  13. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    But at least you show an interest. ;) Some people just can't be bothered!
     
  14. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    If SWT won't train station staff correctly on basic ticketing matters, they shouldn't be allowed ATGs. I'm sure they'd organise some decent training if the alternative was removing their beloved barriers!
     
  15. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    I think that is the difference. Someone who doesn't know/care how a return ticket works can't be let onto a barrier under any circumstances.
     
  16. trc666

    trc666 Member

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    I was on the gateline at Waterloo today until 14:30. Can you remember what platform it happened on and what time?
     
  17. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Believe the OP had the problem at the start of his journey in Southampton.
     
  18. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    It was at Southampton Central ;)
     
  19. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    I reckon this is an attitude problem. Without wishing to defend the member of staff involved, who was unpardonably rude, perhaps a better question to ask is why this person has this attitude?

    How does he feel about passengers?
    Does he like his job?
    Does he feel valued by the company?
    Is he secure in his job?

    Etc.

    There are more issues here than someone just being obstructive at the gate, I feel.
     
  20. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    You may well be right, but he's still unsuitable to be in this role.
     
  21. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Nice of you to completely judge him based on one internet topic.
     
  22. trc666

    trc666 Member

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    *facepalm*

    Ah, didn't quite read it properly :P

    Your best bet is to fire off an email to our Customer Relations team at customerrelations@swtrains.co.uk and make a complaint and if possible take a photo or scan of your ticket (if you still have it) and attach it to the email. Try and give them the staff member's name if you know it or a brief description of them if you don't know their name or if they were not wearing a name badge as this will help to identify the person involved.
     
  23. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I don't see how it is definitely an attitude problem from the description of what happeend in the OP. The member of staff did not recognise the ticket as being valid for a journey today. They wer enot rude (at least there has been no complaint of rudeness, just a strange lack of knowledge). They went to check at the ticket office and let the OP through the barrier.

    The only thing that counts against them is that they did not admit they made a mistake and apologise!

    How can SWT make sure they only employ people with a knwoledge of fares, tickets and routeing ALR? Givne the nature of the system, they would have a very small pool of applicants to choose from! No, sorry, I believe the fault here is a lack of training.

    I suspect that the person has been thrown into the roel with only the most limited of inductions. they have had to elarn 'on the job', possibly by observing someone else for a few hours.

    In the circumstances where there is little formal training, there can be a lot of wrong information picked up from colleagues and through the grapevine.It would not surprise meat all if the staff memebr genuinely though that there were only off peak day tickets between Waterloo and Southampton.
     
  24. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    To be fair, what happened was unacceptable. Whether this is a competence or an attitude issue is neither here nor there.

    I don't believe that SWT would employ someone who would honestly make such a basic error. Even after the ticket office verified the validity of the ticket, the staff member still tried to contend the ticket was not valid!

    Nobody's been named or shamed here. I do usually support staff where it's possible, but this is not acceptable.
     
  25. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    I wonder if 4SRKT has ever made a mistake...


    Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk
     
  26. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    By using a small questionnaire, like Virgin do. There seem to be a lot of applicants for many vacancies on the railways, so at least someone who applies for each job must know a thing or two about Fares & Ticketing. I'm not saying that everyone must know the Routeing Guide like the back of their hand!* :lol: But some basic knowledge is always useful...

    OR to know the amount of days that an Anytime Single ticket is valid for! :lol:
     
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2011
  27. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    This would possibly explain it if it wasn't for the fact that the 2 digit year also appears on the ticket, so I remain at a loss in relation to how they thought a ticket with a valid until date of 10-NOV-11 has 'expired'?
     
  28. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    We have heard of many instances wher ebarrier staff, on SWT and elsewhere have displaced a lamentable lack of basic knowledge of the ticket and routeing system.

    Either the TOC's are deliberately employing people who lack the intelligence to undertand even the most rudimentary points, or the training for such roles is hopelessly inadequate at many of the TOC's.

    I must admit I think the lkatte ris more likely than the former. Given the cost and difficulty in dismising unsuitable staff once they have begun employment, it is a bit foolish to employ people without chekcing they have the skills and wit for the role in the first place.
     
  29. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    I agree, but I would have thought that the validity of a straightforward return ticket is something covered off pretty early in any training course, and if this is the case then the guy is simply not capable of being trained or taking information. I appreciate that it may seem harsh but the railway is a service and members of the public, not all of whom are as familiar with ticketing as some posters on here, should never have to run the risk of being inconvenienced, embarrassed, or even mildly irritated, by incompentence.
     
  30. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Virgin again! :lol: I doubt it prevents anyone from a making a mistake though.
     
  31. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    When I make mistakes in my professional life I take the rap for it. Simple enough. If your job is to let people with valid tickets through a barrier, and you don't do this, you have failed at the most miserable level to do it properly. What other job is there that when you are not able to do it you are kept on (except head of a large bank perhaps)? In fact being on a barrier is a reasonably difficult job IMHO given the range and complexity of the tickets they must encounter, but this isn't a justification for being bad at doing it. Rather the reverse.
     
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