All train tickets to be refundable as Government temporarily takes over rail operators - MSE News

edited 23 March 2020 at 11:45AM in Public Transport & Cycling
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MSE_Chris_DMSE_Chris_D MSE Staff
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MSE Staff
edited 23 March 2020 at 11:45AM in Public Transport & Cycling
Train operators are transferring all revenue and cost risks to the Government due to the coronavirus pandemic – and anyone holding an advance train ticket will be able to get a refund free of charge...
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All train tickets to be refundable as Government temporarily takes over rail operators

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  • ThriftspendThriftspend Forumite
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    We were due to travel next Saturday 28.3.20 with Avanti & Eurostar. We booked both through Avanti trainline.  Do you have to claim before the travel date? And who do I claim from?
  • quartilequartile Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker First Post
    Unfortunately there's been little detail about the rail season ticket refund. If you have less than around 2 months left on an annual season ticket you get zero refund under the current rules. Six months left - much left than 50% refund. I hope the government changes these rules or allows us to pause our tickets as for tickets costing in the thousands this is much more costly than a waiving a £10 admin fee.
  • daveyjpdaveyjp Forumite
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    We were due to travel next Saturday 28.3.20 with Avanti & Eurostar. We booked both through Avanti trainline.  Do you have to claim before the travel date? And who do I claim from?
    You claim from the company you purchased the tickets from.  No need to do it before date of travel.
  • Gentoo365Gentoo365 Forumite
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    The process for season tickets isn't clear on the websites. First Great Western website seems to result in clicking though to the  general page for 'Advance' tickets. There is no information on how to change the ticket (e.g. to just for local journeys) and some pages say you have to visit the station. Some say you have to send a form to a Freeport address, some say there is an online form.
    The online form says that if you have a smartcard ticket you click 'no' on the box below, but that box asks 'is it a season ticket'
    It asks for payment card details but does not say what this is for? What if you cannot have the refund go to the same card
    They need to create a FAQ that doesn't just result in a loop of links.
    I bet they are busy with people ringing up asking the same questions
  • Gentoo365Gentoo365 Forumite
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    msauk said:
    https://avantiwestcoast.service-now.com/help_and_contact?id=knowledge_article&sys_kb_id=c07955ec1bb34c54eece55be6e4bcb36
    Avanti West Coast Webpage for refund advice, including for advance ticket purchases.
    "If you’re a season ticket holder, you can claim a refund for its unused time from your point of purchase. If that’s one of our stations, please head back there for your refund."
    If this is true for other operators tickets then it looks like a load of needless journeys into London to get a refund. Not ideal.

  • SiM99SiM99 Forumite
    35 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I asked Transport for Wales about getting my tickets refunded before the government stepped in. I was told I had to take them to back to where I originally purchased them. That would have required travelling and buying a return ticket so I asked about taking them to another station and was told I could get it at a local station with a ticket office.

    Quick & easy, but I later noticed the admin fees that had been applied - one each for the train ticket and the plusbus.
    After noticing the MSE twitter post that advised admin fees should no longer apply, I contacted TfW again to ask if I could get that refunded too. I received the following response:
    "admin fees for season tickets have not been lifted - there was an error in a central industry wide press relaease this morning"

    I've assumed they're right and left it there, but then noticed that the MSE newsletter also mentions the removal of admin fees on season tickets... I don't know if that wsa taken straight from the "central indiustry wide press release" that TfW mentioned, so wanted to ask if it's been confirmed since?
  • edited 25 March 2020 at 10:50AM
    Gentoo365Gentoo365 Forumite
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    edited 25 March 2020 at 10:50AM
    First Great Western also say that there is a £10 admin fee. But maybe they haven't updated their website.

    https://www.gwr.com/help-and-support/refunds-and-compensation/season-ticket-refunds

    In many cases it is better to just change a season ticket to a smaller local journey, and change it back if things get back to normal.
    I have also found that you need to have a 'booking reference number' to apply for a refund on a smartcard season ticket.  This isn't on my receipt, nor on 'my account' when logged in so not sure how to obtain this. 

    I don't see what the point of this press release was as nothing has actually changed. You could always cancel a season ticket and ask for a refund and the calculation method and process is just as confusing and vague as it always has been.

    EDIT - I could not see any option available to change the ticket so just submitted the refund form. It looks like the FGW no longer needs a booking ref, or maybe It only needs it for advance, dunno. Either way they say they will process in 28 days. 
    I will wait to see if they refund to the credit card and if they charge a fee.
  • sej27sej27 Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    I'm going to start a petition for public transport commuters to be able to "pause" their season tickets as an alternative to refunding them. I believe that this is a sensible alternative than issuing poor rate-of-return refunds, especially when those commuters are doing the right thing and the uncertainty in timescales of things getting back to normal. Logistically, it should be possible to ascertain when the tickets were last used, and to tag the "lockdown" duration onto the end of the ticket. I think that compromise is possible in that any "coronavirus extension" should not be eligible for refund to ensure that no games are played to try and artificially extend the remaining duration and then claim a higher refund. This gives commuters the equal service that they would have expected in normal times, and certainty to the train operators that they are not open to exploitation. I would even go as far to float the idea that a contribution is made by the commuter to cover admin costs of this exercise.
    I need 5 email addresses to start it, if you don't mind being in the first 5, please reply with your email address. 
    Comments also welcome.
  • Due to go to Edinburgh on this Saturday. Applied for a refund, via its email link. Website froze. I then tried again, form sent, then it asked me to print it off and send it via the post. The link to the hidden refund form didn’t work. But I did get an email, to print off the form via the link, it didn’t work.   They don’t want to pay out. 
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