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Train station staff refused to sell me a ticket


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This happened some time ago, but it has happened twice before at another station. On the other occassion it involves a person who appears to be 'not quite right', let's say, and I was buying a ticket in advance, but on this occassion management were also guilty of making the same mistake, and it was imperative I had a ticket as I was about to travel.

 

I was working in Leavesden and getting their by taking a train or trains to Watford Junction. A return ticket from my station (East Croydon) cost about £15 pound in the morning but a 2-6 Zone Daily Travel Card (I was not working there every day) with a boundary return came to around £11 and allowed to me to travel elsewhere. It cost me more money to get to Leavesden so I needed to save what I could. I could not travel via Euston but this was not really a problem as the direct train did not enter London Travel Zone 1.

 

A friend offered me a lift to work which worked out much cheaper. On one day I was given a lift, I finished earlier so I had to make my own way home. I went to the Watford Junction Train Station. I found out that a ticket to East Croydon was still going to cost about £8. I wondeed if I could still save money by buying a ticket to the boundary zone and a 2-6 travel card. I knew that it was unlikely that I would be able to buy a London Travel Card at this station but the direct train to East Croydon was some time off and I knew it would be likely there would be a train heading to Euston I could catch before the East Croydon train came in. In fact i used to catch such a train to get off at Harrow and Wealdsdone where I could buy some food from a nearby shop and wait for the East Croydon train. I wanted to save as much as possible so I went up to the counter and asked for a single ticket "to the nearest station inside the London Travel Zones on that is on the route to East Croydon". Having a travel card meant I would be able to use it to travel when I went out that night. Now the correct answer to this question was Harrow and Wealdstone where all trains stopped. I knew that if the Croydon train stopped there other trains would also stop there. Instead of telling me this and issuing me with the ticket I wanted to buy, the man behind the counter decided to ask me a question. I thought he was asking to offer me some help. I said "Well I am actually on my way to East Croydon". This is when things began to get strange.

 

He then told me how much a single ticket to East Croydon was and asked for payment. I politely told him that I only wanted a ticket to the nearest station inside the London Travel Zones and explained that I was going to get a travel card from there because it was cheaper to do so and I needed one for later. Then he suddenly said "no you're not". I said "What" rather bemusedly. I the said "look what is the nearest station inside the zones on the way to East Croydon" and he would not answer. At that, I said "Look, I'll have a single ticket to Harrow and Wealdstone". He then told me he would not sell me thje ticket because I am going to East Croydon. I said "Yes but I am only going to use that ticket to get to Harrow and Wealdstone, I am going to Croydon on a travel card". He then said "No you're not, your going to stay on the train and go to Croydon". There were several people in the queue who would have heard him make this accusation. I was furious at this accusation and asked "How dare you accuse me of being about to commit a crime?" and asked to see the manager. He then went away and I could see him speaking to a awoman and telling her "he is trying to get a ticket to Harrow and Wealdstone to get to East Croydon".

 

When she came over I politely asked for a ticket to Harrow and Wealdstone. Instead of selling me the ticket she asked me where did I want to go. Knowing what she had been told, I told her that I was eventually going to go to East Croydon but I only needed to get a ticket to Harrow and Wealdstone as I was going to get a travel card from there. Then she made the same accusation as the man had made telling me I was going to stay on the same train. I told her adamantly "NO I'm not!" and repeated my intentions. She then said something like "What, your going to get off and then get a ticket and get back on the same train. I explanied that I would be waiting there for the Croydon train (which was only once an hour by the way) and that I would be catching a train that would not even be going to Croydon so I would have to get off. I then told her that if she did not belive me and was so convinced that that was what I was going to do, she should have someone make sure I got off the train. She still refused to sell me the ticket. I explained to her that if I ask to buy a ticket from a station to go to a destination she must sell me that ticket. I also explained that she had no right to accuse me of being a would be thief when she had no real evidence whatsoever to believe this, only wild speculation. She told me that she thought there was no way that i would get off a train to Croydon. I repeated that I would not be getting a train that was heading to Euston first and then getting the Croydon train. She then lied and (without looking at any timetable or clock) claimed that as there was no Euston train departing before the Croydon train. If this had been true then I would not have got home in time so I would have saved less than two pounds as I would not have had time to left to go out. I said that I found it hard to believe as there were five Euston trains and hour and I did not feel that I had been there long enough to allow a minimum of two Euston trains go by but she repeated the lie. As I knew I could refute if I went to the timetable I thought she must be telling the truth so I bought the East Croydon ticket. I then looked at the timetable and saw, as I had suspected, another Euston train was due to depart in about five minutes, at least five minutes before my East Croydon train was about to depart. I knew that the Harrow and Wealdstone station was very quiet at that time and that i could easily get a ticket in five minutes. I went back to the counter angrily and called out "you liar" and demanded her to exchange the ticket. She showed no surprise to learn that there was still a Euston train and told me I could not simply exchange the ticket and that I would have to fill out a detailed refund application and use more money to buy a ticket. I did not have any more cash and this process would have taken too much time so I had no choice but to be robbed by the station staff after having been slandered.

 

I sent an email complaint and was asked to put it in writing but I my printer had broken down. I did not know if it was worth the bother to write it all out by hand and I was too busy working to do it at the time. I suppose I had calmed down by then and was not sure if I would get anywhere.

 

What I would like to know is, if this happened again, what I could do to the company and how much I could gain (apart from personal satisfaction)?

 

I wondered if anyone has had any similar experiences and what they got out of it.

 

I also thought posting this here might be of interest to other people who have used the railway. The other times this happened was with a man at West Croydon whose logic for not selling me such tickets was peverse to say the least. He also worked for Southern. Having bought many such tickets (early morning travel cards and early morning boundary returns) from East Croydon, I once tried to buy the same tickets from West Croydon. The man told me I could not buy early morning boundary return tickets. I politely explained that I had managed to do so at East Croydon many many times. He still arrogantly made his claim. Rather than argue with him I asked how much a return ticket from Harrow and Wealdstone to Watford Junction was to travel in the morning. He gave the answer. As it was only 20 pence more than the boundary return ticket had been I thought I would not argue with him and buy that instead. Now he knew that I was going to carry out the same route to travel to work(by travel acrd then a return ticket). I can only assume that he did not like the fact that I had found a way around his false claim and achieve what I wanted to do. Now I had been very polite because I had decided to give him the benefit of the doubt that he just did not know the prices of the boundary returns inn the morning. The guy at East Croydon had to look them up in a book so this was a reasonable possbility. When I asked for a return ticket from Harrow and Wealdstone to Watford Junction the next morning he replied "I told you that you could not do that" (this was the first time I had asked him for a ticket to and from specific stations). I explained that he had not and pointed out the difference. I told him that he was now trying to tell me that I could not buy a ticket from his station travelling from another station. He admitted he was. "But that's a lie", I told him. "What, you're really telling me that I can not buy a ticket travelling from a different station?". He said "Yes". Now this was complete nonsense. I told him that he knew he was lying but he did not say a word. I then asked to buy the ordinary 2-6 travel-card for the next morning. He trhgen said "I have told you you can not do that". This had got too absurd that I had to walk away. I got around it by walking to East Croydon and buying the ticket there instead of catching the tram I would have caught to get there.

 

I did write to make an official complaint with suggestions and asked for an assurance that it would not happen again and that the person was trained proporly. Southern wrote back and told me that the complaint had been dealt with and that the person had been corrected. I wennt to buy a ticket there again and he made the same refusal. I made arrangements to see the manager of the station the next day and he informed me that no such complaint had been made. Obviously one of their management had lied to me. I do not know which one had though.

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You don't even have to get off the train if you juggle tickets like this, so long as the train actually stops at the station your ticket has on it. (ie you can't use a through train)

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I think you DO have to get off the train to juggle tickets.

 

I read about a similar case a few years ago where commuters found that because the journey they took passed through the 9.30am peak/off-peak transition, they could pre-buy both a peak ticket to the first station the train stopped at after 9.30am and an off-peak ticket for the remainder of the journey.

 

A spokesman for whichever rail network it was said that this was legit but technically the passenger must disembark at this crossover station as the first ticket only covered them till there. They said even if it was just a quick step off fully onto the platform and then step back up onto the train again, this would then make both tickets valid.

 

 

NB - if you have an annual LU Travelcard you only have to buy for the journey outside the zone your Travelcard runs to. You just have to show them your card when you buy your ticket for them to give you the discount.

 

OP - I think just use this bad experience as a lesson in understanding what you need to say to them in order to get the cheaper tikets. (and don't mention your final destination. :-) )

"Be reasonable, demand the impossible"

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Actually 2Grumpy is right.

 

A spokesman for whichever rail network it was said that this was legit but technically the passenger must disembark at this crossover station as the first ticket only covered them till there. They said even if it was just a quick step off fully onto the platform and then step back up onto the train again, this would then make both tickets valid.

 

Who was that spokesman? Will Hay in Oh Mr Porter?:)

 

Here is the proof:-

 

From the current National Rail Conditions of Carriage

 

19. Using a combination of tickets

You may use two or more tickets for one journey as long as together they cover

the entire journey and one of the following applies:

(a) they are both Zonal Tickets (unless special conditions prohibit their use);

(b) the train you are in calls at the station where you change from one ticket to

another; or

© one of the tickets is a Season Ticket (which for this purpose does not include Season

Tickets or travel passes issued on behalf of a passenger transport executive or

local authority) or a leisure travel pass, and the other ticket(s) is/are not.

 

Here's another story of an idiot working at a tickt counter.

 

My aunt from Canada visited my mum in Doncaster. She unfortunately broke her leg which mant she could not fly home the day she planned. She ended up having to book a flight from a London airport. To get to London, she would have to travel by train. She turned up at the ticket office in doncaster on the day she planned to go to London. When she found out how high a single unbooked ticket was, she was surprised at its cost. Out of curiosuty, she asked how much it would cost if someone came to have a day trip to London. She then noticed special offer that was on relating to day return tickets to London. She noticed it happened to be much cheaper than a single ticket so she askd for a day return ticket. Here's where the madeness came in, he told her that he could not sell her the ticket because he knew she was not coming back! The people in the queue heard this and shamed him into selling her the ticket.

 

The point in my incidents was that, in the end, I asked for a tickets that were for sale which they refused to sell me. In Watford, I ended up just asking for a ticket to the next station but they still refused to sell it to me. You can not refuse to sell a ticket to someone because you merely believe that the person wanting to buy that ticket might not get off at the ticket's destination station.

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I suppose the advice is to use the self service machine and make these muppets redundant

 

It is perfectly acceptable to buy a ticket from any station regardless of whether you are starting your journey from that station

 

I have had this problem at Birmingham International when asking for a Silverlink One Day Travelcard , the twit refused to sell the ticket claiming only Virgin tickets were available , I bought the ticket from the self service machine instead with no problem - but I had compensation vouchers I intended to use

 

I raised the matter with the platform staff and to my surprise they phoned the ticket office manager and that confirmed that I was correct and the ticket office staff were incorrect , I didn't have time to go back to the ticket office as the train was approaching

 

I used the same ticket office the next day to get rid of the vouchers and I would have dealt with the same employee , however a woman pushed in and asked "quick question .......where can I catch a coach? .............to the coast?" no doubt she received better service than me , after all I am only a paying customer with my credit card ready and know what ticket I want without any chit chat

 

What a weird woman turning up at an airport train station and asking about coaches to the coast , I doubt if she had enough money and didn't seem to bothered about which coast she would be visiting

 

I travel on Silverlink rather than Virgin because it avoids the loud mouth low class brummies and break my journey at Leighton Buzzard or Wolverton to visit the Tesco hot chicken counter and buy beer but was not aware of any shop in Wealdstone selling food that would justify getting off there

 

You say that you were "robbed by Southern Railways staff" at Watford Junction but I understand that this station is staffed by Silverlink National Rail Enquiries - Station Facilities for Watford Junction

 

What about the barrier staff at Watford Junction ? they may have been more knowledgeable about ticket validity

 

 

Do the boundary tickets have to be looked up in a book rather than just entering the details in to the machine ?

 

I buy a cheap day return Bristol Temple Meads - Cheltenham Spa and Cheltenham Spa - Birmingham its cheaper than a Bristol - Birmingham saver but the Bristol ticket staff claim not to have the fares manual covering Cheltenham that was years ago (APTIS machine) and I assume the ticket machines today have the fares listed and only need the first few letters of the station entered even so I have found some staff at ticket offices outside London do not know how to issue One Day Travelcards , it helps if I have a previous ticket to show and even then they have problems issuing the ticket if I have used a railcard because it seems they need to know the full fare lol - so I had to get a leaflet from the rack with the full fares

 

Traveling from Nottingham to Norwich it can be useful to buy Nottingham - Peterborough and Peterborough - Ely cheap day returns and an Anglia Plus ticket except Nottingham station don't know what an Anglia Plus ticket is although the conductor knows how to issue it (direct train Nottingham -Norwich too)

 

Which station did you complain to Southern about ? Watford Junction , East Croydon or West Croydon ?

 

I have found Southern and Silverlink customer services to be better than companies based in the Midlands and up North , but Silverlink seems to have been relocated to Norwich and they are a bunch of yokels who don't even know what stations Silverlink covers one of them thought Great Malvern was on Silverlink

Yorkshire born and Yorkshire bred, thick in the arm and thick in the head

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Actually 2Grumpy is right.

 

 

 

Here's another story of an idiot working at a tickt counter.

 

My aunt from Canada visited my mum in Doncaster. She unfortunately broke her leg which mant she could not fly home the day she planned. She ended up having to book a flight from a London airport. To get to London, she would have to travel by train. She turned up at the ticket office in doncaster on the day she planned to go to London. When she found out how high a single unbooked ticket was, she was surprised at its cost. Out of curiosuty, she asked how much it would cost if someone came to have a day trip to London. She then noticed special offer that was on relating to day return tickets to London. She noticed it happened to be much cheaper than a single ticket so she askd for a day return ticket. Here's where the madeness came in, he told her that he could not sell her the ticket because he knew she was not coming back! The people in the queue heard this and shamed him into selling her the ticket.

 

The point in my incidents was that, in the end, I asked for a tickets that were for sale which they refused to sell me. In Watford, I ended up just asking for a ticket to the next station but they still refused to sell it to me. You can not refuse to sell a ticket to someone because you merely believe that the person wanting to buy that ticket might not get off at the ticket's destination station.

 

should have split the ticket at Peterborough

Yorkshire born and Yorkshire bred, thick in the arm and thick in the head

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You say that you were "robbed by Southern Railways staff" at Watford Junction but I understand that this station is staffed by Silverlink National Rail Enquiries - Station Facilities for Watford Junction

 

This was at lest a couple of years ago. If Silverlink were running it then it must have been their staff. I emailed the correct company at the time. I'll modify my post.

 

What about the barrier staff at Watford Junction ? they may have been more knowledgeable about ticket validity

 

That would probably be true but that was not the issue. They knew they had tickets to harrow and Wealdston, they just did not want to sell one to me. That was the only ticket I wanted from them. I was stopped from buying the ticket not because it would not be valid for the journey but because they had wrongly convinved themsleves that I was going to commit a crime.

 

Do the boundary tickets have to be looked up in a book rather than just entering the details in to the machine ?

 

At the time they did, so I could understand that not all staff would not be aware of this procedure. I opted to buy a traqvel card and a return ticket between two stations instead. He knew he could sell me these but, it would seem out of spite, he refused to sell them to me.

 

Which station did you complain to Southern about ? Watford Junction , East Croydon or West Croydon ?

 

West Croydon

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Your Quote ZZZZZZZZZ " I travel on Silverlink rather than Virgin because it avoids the loud mouth low class brummies and break my journey at Leighton Buzzard or Wolverton to visit the Tesco hot chicken counter and buy beer but was not aware of any shop in Wealdstone selling food that would justify getting off there "

 

How can you slag Birmingham people off without even good cause, and whom gives you the right to call brummies low class and loud mouthed, i'm sure many a brummie would welcome you into there home if you was cold or give you a glass of water if you were thirsty even asssit you if you had fallen, yet you opt to call them low class and loud mouthed, needless to say you set NO good example to yourself by writing such comments and i would endeavour to add you call brummies low class yet you shop in a cheap supermarket, now whos setting the low class standards, choke on your battery raised chicken and drown in your tesco beer.

 

From a Fellow Yorkshireman also.

!2 years Tesco distribution supervisor

7 years Sainsburys Transport Manager

 

4 Years housing officer ( Lettings )

Partner... 23 Years social services depts

 

All advice is given through own opition, also by seeking/searching info on behalf of poster, and own personnel dealings.

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Why do you assume that the poster is implying that all inhabitants of Birmingham are low-class and loud-mouthed shywazz? The meaning of the sentence does not imply that the OP thinks every Brummie is low-class and loud-mouthed but simply that by travelling on a different service he can avoid those Brummies that are (in the OPs opinion).

Lloyds TSB, Total Charges £900, Claim Filed for £1379 - Settled

 

Sainsbury's Bank Credit Card, Total Charges £90 - Settled.

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well whats the top 3 google result for "brummies" ?

 

brummies - Google Search=

 

and biggest mouths

brummies biggest mouth - Google Search=

 

 

of course not all inhabitants of Birmingham are low class (white working class) and loud mouthed , unfortunately independent research does show that they are the "rudest people in Britain" and have the "biggest mouths in Britain"

 

I find that I encounter more people who cant talk without shouting and have no manners in the West Midlands than elsewhere in the country

I can travel from Euston to Coventry in peace , then the load mouthed people board the train , twice they have puked over the floor near where I was sitting

 

When the local news asked brummies about the research , one replied that he thought London was ruder , then he said Tamworth was rude too

My interpretation of that was that he had not been to London , but had been to Tamworth and thought it was rude of the locals not to give him money when begging for change , and rude that the bus driver wouldn't accept his out of date West Midlands Daysaver ticket and the rest of the "rude" Tamworth locals probably just couldn't understand his accent

 

Yes the brummies are right and everyone else is wrong

Yorkshire born and Yorkshire bred, thick in the arm and thick in the head

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