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To think it's your responsibility to check you have the right ticket?

(57 Posts)
YoureAllABunchOfBastards Thu 16-May-13 19:16:23

Just listened to a bloke get shirty with the train guard - he had an advance ticket for a different train, not valid on this service, so he had to pay full price.

It isn't the guard's fault - it says quite clearly that the ticket is only valid on a particular train. And no point complaining about cost - trains are pricey, that's why people buy advance tickets!

Every time I have travelled by train recently I have heard the same bloody argument!

Mrsdavidcaruso Fri 17-May-13 09:41:05

Tau - you were lucky and I am afraid according to my BIL who has been a TM for 5 years it does happen a lot. You may travel a lot but have you made at least 4 journeys a day for the last 5 years and spoken to every passenger on that train like my BIL - he sees a lot more than passengers
and believe me its a common scam so TMs like my BIL cannot give the benefit of the doubt- it's their job on the line if they do.

I am glad you were able to help one of the genuine passengers and I am glad you got your money back, BUT unless they prosecute the train companies never get THEIR money back and genuine passengers lose out when they are in trouble.

As I said dont blame the TMs for not believing people, put the blame
on the people who try every trick in the book to get out of paying fares, even genuine passengers might try it on if they see other people getting away with fare dodging - so examples have to be set.

Even I got on the wrong train once I was going to my Nans funeral, I did explain even searched for the TM when I realised what I had done so he knew I wasn't trying it on but was asked to pay extra - it was a mistake but it was MY mistake not the train company so why should they lose a proper fare?

Xiaoxiong Fri 17-May-13 09:47:41

MrsK that's exactly the situation we have here but with SWT and FGW both going between the same stations. It's absolute bullshit.

The thing I have a problem with is when there is no guard and the ticket office is closed, as it usually is outside of peak times when there is a queue a mile long - you use the self service machines and it has:
open return
day return
off-peak day return
super off-peak day return

And when you click anything but "open return" it just says "RESTRICTIONS APPLY" with no detail of what those restrictions are! No signage on the machine, no posters in the station, no one to ask.

Of course once I travelled on the train daily for years, I gradually learned the byzantine restrictions - but it's hard to avoid the suspicion that they don't explain what the different tickets mean at point of sale because they want to herd everyone into buying an open return just to make sure they can travel, which is nearly 4 times as expensive as the super off-peak day return.

bakingaddict Fri 17-May-13 10:19:32

I don't think all train guards and TM's are totally without pity. I remember my DH getting drunk and missing the last London Virgin train to Liverpool. They told him to take the Manchester Train and organised for one of the guards who lived in Liverpool to drive him over and this guard pretty much dropped him to the doorstep. Such a nice thing to do when they could have shrugged their shoulders and laughed at him for being a drunken arsehole.

memphis83 Fri 17-May-13 10:28:20

I missed an advance train partly because I was chatting and also because the tannoy was crackling. I had to pay an extra £127, totally my mistake so I had to suck it up.
My friend works at the local train statio and gets verbal abuse daily and has been shoved about a couple of times too due to people missing their trains.

ajandjjmum Fri 17-May-13 12:49:29

I'll give you another example of inflexibility in a Virgin TM. DS was volunteering in the Olympics last year, and was travelling from the Midlands down to London for a shift. Mostly he stayed over, but this time it wasn't possible.

Being a lovely Mum, I'd bought the ticket online for him, and gave him a lift to the station, where he picked up the ticket from the machine. When we got to the train, he couldn't find the tickets he'd just collected anywhere - being a total plonker had obviously not put them away and had dropped them.

The train was leaving, so I went to find the TM to explain the situation, while DS retraced his steps. I explained what had happened, showed him the receipt and number that we had used to collect the tickets (on what was a midweek, lunchtime train, so quiet), and he wouldn't let him travel without purchasing a new ticket.

He sent me over the the Virgin ticket office, and they told me that the only person who could let him travel was the TM, so he must have known he was wasting more of my time.

Yes - it was our mistake, but it was a genuine mistake that could easily have been checked, but the guy had absolutely no desire to try and help his customer.

I remained polite.

Mrsdavidcaruso Fri 17-May-13 15:34:57

You call it inflexibility you may have had a receipt and number and yes the guy could have checked that you paid for the tickets BUT there was no proof that having collected the tickets that you did not pass them to someone else and then try and claim that you lost them - again this happens a lot - do you think that they should just take your word?.

Of course on a quiet train he might have found the person who had the original ones (either being found by someone or passed by someone) But depending on what you had to show him there could be a doubt as to wether it was you who found a receipt and tried to use that to 'prove' you purchased a ticket - again thats something that people do.

You then expect the TM to get into a he said she said argument and that is not their job to do that.

ajandjjmum Fri 17-May-13 16:32:58

It was a very quiet train - he could have checked but chose not to.

Furthermore, my name was on the receipt and credit card information, so he could have checked that out with me.

I think it must be a very de-humanising job to be honest, as clearly you end up not believing a word anyone says to you.

No argument necessary, just a 'want to help' attitude rather than a 'can't be bothered to try and help', but clearly that's asking too much.

Having paid twice, DS did get to London in time to do his volunteering, so he didn't let anyone down.

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