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National rail ignorant staff and bad service
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# 1
Cpu2007
Old 05-12-2012, 7:34 PM
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Default National rail ignorant staff and bad service

Hi everyone

I have a complain about the bad service of national rail; I know that probably there's nothing I can do about this issue but I thought to give it a try as there might be someone experienced on here who can give me an advice.

As some of you might be aware, there's a job centre railway card that entitles me for a discounted ticket, now the problem is that is has been almost a month and everytime I go an buy the ticket, the staff there doesn't know anytihng about it and takes a lot of time to sell me a ticket (10-20 mins) which is very frustrating as I've got late for work sometime, I've missed a few trains.

I can understand that at the beginning they might have no idea but it's been a few months since this railcard came out so I think it is fair to say that they should know about it.

In addition to this, not only the staff that sell tickets but also the insectors near the barrier (the ones that check your ticket before you get on the train) sometime stop me and say they don't know what kind of ticket is this, even though the railway card is shown next to the ticket.

I tried to be patient but after what happend today I decided to put a claim against them for the distress they've caused in term of delays, bad service in addition to the fact, irrelevant to the claim, that their trains are always late, never a place to sit and sometime also overcroded.

I was wondering if there's anything I can do about this.

Thank you
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# 2
melbell
Old 05-12-2012, 7:53 PM
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Why should you get discounted rail travel from the job centre if you have a job?
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# 3
Cpu2007
Old 05-12-2012, 8:01 PM
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I don't understand what this has to do with the question I've asked advice about?

but I'll answer your anyway. it's a work experience job and the job centre is sending me, in order to save travel costs, they've made me this rail travel card.
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# 4
WickedWolfie
Old 05-12-2012, 8:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpu2007 View Post
Hi everyone

I have a complain about the bad service of national rail; I know that probably there's nothing I can do about this issue but I thought to give it a try as there might be someone experienced on here who can give me an advice.

As some of you might be aware, there's a job centre railway card that entitles me for a discounted ticket, now the problem is that is has been almost a month and everytime I go an buy the ticket, the staff there doesn't know anytihng about it and takes a lot of time to sell me a ticket (10-20 mins) which is very frustrating as I've got late for work sometime, I've missed a few trains.

I can understand that at the beginning they might have no idea but it's been a few months since this railcard came out so I think it is fair to say that they should know about it.

In addition to this, not only the staff that sell tickets but also the insectors near the barrier (the ones that check your ticket before you get on the train) sometime stop me and say they don't know what kind of ticket is this, even though the railway card is shown next to the ticket.

I tried to be patient but after what happend today I decided to put a claim against them for the distress they've caused in term of delays, bad service in addition to the fact, irrelevant to the claim, that their trains are always late, never a place to sit and sometime also overcroded.

I was wondering if there's anything I can do about this.

Thank you
For your information, with the exception of a few major stations (mainly the London terminals plus places such as Birminghan New Street) National Rail does not operate any stations. Stations are operated by the Train Operation Company serving the station (where more than one does it is normally the one with the most services).

It appears that some Job Centres are also unaware of this card (see the link below for a page from a rail forum). I have posted the link because it contains a page from a rail industry manual detailing how tickets using this rail card should be processed and I thought that might be useful to you.

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=56881

I do, however, have one question. This railcard can be issued to those who meet the eligibility criteria primarily to assist in them finding a job. I am curious therefore about your comment that failings at stations have led to you being "late for work". While I do know that the card can run for up to three months after an individual finds employment, would you be completely surprised that some staff may be confused that someone "going to work" is using a card primarily aimed at the unemployed?

With respect to your last paragraph, you have zero comeback for late trains (unless delay-repay is engaged - normally over an hour delay), crowding or inability to get a seat. See that National Railway Conditions of Carriage which define the agreement between yourself and the TOCs.

I hope this is helpful, particular post 5 of the link.
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# 5
Cpu2007
Old 05-12-2012, 8:16 PM
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Thank you for the link you've posted. I'm aware of that topic, which I checked a while back and if I'm not wrong, something about the railway card was discussed on this forum too.

I understand that probably there's zero comeback regarding crowding and inability to get a seat and this is why I've classified that part of my statement as irrelevant; I only said it because of my frustration towards the money that are paid and yet the service is horrible.

Regarding my job status, as I mentioned in the post to the previous user (I believe you were replying to me and you probably missed it ), I got a job as work experience.

However I think it's none of their business knowing about my job status and while I'm showing them the tickets or buying them, I don't see how they can know whether I have a job or not. Regardless of all this, as you clearly mentioned, this and other railway cards are valid until the expiry date on them so whether I'm actually working or not shouldn't affect the validity of the railcard.
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# 6
Owain Moneysaver
Old 05-12-2012, 8:18 PM
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It's very unlikely that the travel centre or the barrier examiners are National Rail (or Network Rail) staff. You need to identify which train operating company they work for, and complain there. Even in Network Rail managed stations, a TOC will usually have the contract to run the travel centre.

If you are in London you could print off the relevant page from TfL website. If in the Southern Railway area, this. Your Jobcentre Advisor should also have given you a copy of the ATOC Fact Sheet for the railcard when you received it.
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Last edited by Owain Moneysaver; 05-12-2012 at 9:04 PM. Reason: National | Network rail confusion
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# 7
Cpu2007
Old 05-12-2012, 8:26 PM
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It's in manchester where I travel to, today I had an argument with the examiner at the barrier who stopped me saying that this is not a return ticket; I was in rush as the train was getting full and I wanted to get a seat. The ticket was a return as it clearly states return on the bottom right of it, I've shown the ticket which shows from to manchester and not manchester to and because of this the examiner stopped me and asked me to wait there even though I had both parts with me.

The railway card discount I take with me has a page with it, all the condition at the back of it, which they read and then they sell me the ticket; the problem is that they take a lot of time, sometime more then 15 minutes and because of this I have missed my train a few times and also the job where I go to; hopefully I'll be getting the job as paid in a week and I don't want to give a bad impression by getting late because staff at the railway station can't do their job.
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# 8
Tigsteroonie
Old 05-12-2012, 8:33 PM
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Which Manchester station? Network Rail (note - not National Rail) manage Piccadilly but not Victoria, Deansgate or Oxford Road. As someone else said, you need to address your complaint to the right company.

With regards to being stopped because you showed your ticket 'to' Manchester in the afternoon when you wanted to travel 'from' Manchester, I'm afraid you did show the wrong ticket so they were right to question it. Whilst the ticket said 'return' there was no guarantee that this was your own ticket, you could have found somebody else's discarded 'to' ticket from that morning and tried to pass it off as your own.
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# 9
luckwudaveit
Old 05-12-2012, 8:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedWolfie View Post
For your information, with the exception of a few major stations (mainly the London terminals plus places such as Birminghan New Street) National Rail does not operate any stations. Stations are operated by the Train Operation Company serving the station (where more than one does it is normally the one with the most services).
To be pedantic, it is Network Rail that operate the larger mainline stations
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# 10
Cpu2007
Old 05-12-2012, 8:46 PM
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I apologise about the confusion with the names yes it's network rail

Can a moderator please change the title to network rail or completaly remove the name of the company as I don't want my mistake to be used as downrate to the wrong company.

However, on what grounds can I make a complain to the company and how will they solve the issues if you think there are grounds for me to make a complain. I can also get recordings of staff taking ages to make a ticket as a proof but not sure what and what will not help/
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# 11
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Old 05-12-2012, 8:53 PM
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Up to you whether you want to complain. How they will solve the issue? I would suggest that you ask them to brief their staff better about the various different types of railcard, including the one you use.
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# 12
Cpu2007
Old 05-12-2012, 10:38 PM
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I doubt this will make any difference; considering their bad service, before they get briefed about rail cards my card will be already expired lol
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# 13
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpu2007 View Post
I apologise about the confusion with the names yes it's network rail

Can a moderator please change the title to network rail or completaly remove the name of the company as I don't want my mistake to be used as downrate to the wrong company.

However, on what grounds can I make a complain to the company and how will they solve the issues if you think there are grounds for me to make a complain. I can also get recordings of staff taking ages to make a ticket as a proof but not sure what and what will not help/

The problem is is that the card you are using is not in wide circulation so even if staff have been briefed about it as they normally dont sell a ticket using such a railcard they will forget about it - thats human nature.

But its only been the last year or so that the card has had its name changed from NEnew deal to whatever it is now. Though I dont understand how it can take them so long to find it as it is under the Railcards tab on the TIS so 15 minutes to find it is quite odd.
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# 14
Cpu2007
Old 06-12-2012, 9:18 AM
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As much as I can agree on the fact that's human nature I don't think this can be applied on this situation
If we as customers are required to be responsible of our belongings, buying the ticket to travel in the train,show each examiners who ask for it throughout the journey,i think expecting them to do their job is the least I should expect, considering that now I also show them the previous ticket that has the code which I believe is what they search for
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# 15
Livingthedream
Old 06-12-2012, 4:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Bridges hair View Post
The problem is is that the card you are using is not in wide circulation so even if staff have been briefed about it as they normally dont sell a ticket using such a railcard they will forget about it - thats human nature.
Jeff, TBH that sounds like an excuse, it's not the OP problem, he has a valid railcard with a means to pay, it's part of the revenue staff's job to keep current.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpu2007 View Post
sometime more then 15 minutes and because of this I have missed my train a few times and also the job where I go to; hopefully I'll be getting the job as paid in a week and I don't want to give a bad impression by getting late because staff at the railway station can't do their job.
Maybe a solution, but buy the tickets online at Northern rail, they have a drop down option for the 'Job Centre +' railcard, then use the option to collect your ticket from the Northern ticket machines at Manchester Pic before you travel.
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# 16
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Livingthedream View Post
Jeff, TBH that sounds like an excuse, it's not the OP problem, he has a valid railcard with a means to pay, it's part of the revenue staff's job to keep current.
Youre right they should. But its human nature when you are in a job like this where you are selling the same tickets over and over again and something quite out of the ordinary comes up that you dont remember what it is. Yes they should keep up to date with everything and training should be regular, but these are people who are just doing their jobs and they will forget things from time to time - we all do.

I remember once when I wanted to go from Oxford circus to Aylesbury and the clerk sold me a 1-6 TC and told me it was valid only I knew it wasnt so got him to search for the ticket I wanted.

Stop thinking these people are like machines and give them a bit of a break at least.
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# 17
Axial
Old 09-12-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpu2007 View Post
As some of you might be aware, there's a job centre railway card that entitles me for a discounted ticket, now the problem is that is has been almost a month and everytime I go an buy the ticket, the staff there doesn't know anytihng about it and takes a lot of time to sell me a ticket (10-20 mins) which is very frustrating as I've got late for work sometime, I've missed a few trains.
Tell them to use Discount Code JCP. But dont talk to them as if you know their job better than them.
There's a whole lot more to being a railway ticket clerk than just selling tickets and its quite difficult to remeber on the spot the exact details of everything.

Below are the offical restrictions etc on that JCP card.

Quote:
Discounts available

Ticket types
Standard accommodation only

Anytime: SDS, SDR, SOS, SOR, GPR
Off-Peak: BVS, BVR, CDS, CDR, OPS, OPR, SSS, SSR, SVS, SVR
Other: WKR
50% Discount
ADT, ODT (Outboundary Travelcards) - For travel starting outside London Zones 1-9
50%

POP, PAP for travel in London Fare Zones 1-6 only Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card discount must be loaded onto on Oyster card
50%


7DS, 7TS and monthly or longer period Season Tickets not exceeding the expiry date of the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card
50%

Also available for through bookings to London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, on the London bus network, including sections outside Greater London where buses display the London buses logo (not on certain special bus services and excursions) and on London Tramlink.


Minimum fares


Card holder


All ticket types
None
Time restrictions

No time restriction.
Holders of Off-Peak ticket types SVS/SVR which are discounted using a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card can travel on Virgin Train services at any time, provided that all travel is on Virgin Trains services only. This easement does not apply for journeys wholly between Milton Keynes Central/Northampton and London Euston in either direction.
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# 18
Cpu2007
Old 14-01-2013, 10:59 AM
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I might have given the wrong impression but I don't think their machines or anything like this. I know their doing their job, I know their not machines.

My problem is regarding the amount of time they take to fulful such tasks, I mentioned the JCP code but it was still the same. Fortunately, I didn't have the same problem recently as the people who dealt with my tickets seemed to be smarter and used the search features of their system to do issue the ticket. Now, what I was used to do is buy 1-2 weeks returns tickets in advance so that I don't have to deal with them everyday.

As much as I understand that mistakes are part of the human nature (I make them too), I don't like the fact that in this society there's always a one way interaction where we, as citizens, are bound to follow their rules but the same doesn't apply to them when it comes providing services, being fair to their customers etc. I know this is a small issue but add similar small issues that you have to deal with all the time and I'm sure everyone will get really frustrated.
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