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Senior Railcard rip off

I haven't used my Senior Rail Card for over a year now mainly because of the risk of Coronavirus and government lockdown.
I asked for a refund or an extension for the unused card, this is the reply from Railcard

There must be thousands of Railcards which have been paid for and not used
I hope Martin and his team can highlight this rip off

Hi Phil

Thanks for taking the time to write to us, I understand that you recently contacted us to ask whether there would be any extensions or refunds to your Senior Railcard due being unable to use it during the COVID pandemic.

We’d like to thank you for your patience, as we know you have been waiting for an update.

After careful consideration, the government has confirmed to us that Railcards will remain non-refundable and will not be extended.

This is because, due to the pandemic fewer people have been travelling by train. 

Which is why the government has been offering additional financial backing to the rail industry so that services keep running to support the economy.

Refunding or extending Railcards for over 5.1m customers would come at a significant cost?to the taxpayer, at a?time when the focus must be on maintaining rail services to support the country’s recovery from the pandemic.

Please be rest assured that this decision hasn’t been taken lightly, and we’re truly sorry that this may not be the outcome you had been hoping for.

Thanks again for contacting us. I wish you the best of health and hope this clarifies your query.

Kind regards

Misbah Shaikh

The Railcard Help Team



  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,491 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    In other words, they recognise that taking action would be right but it would cost them too much.

  • cattie
    cattie Posts: 8,841 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Not a great deal of difference to those who paid for annual gym membership & haven't been able to use because of Covid & no refunds/extensions given. The railcard is only £30, whereas some pay joining fees of hundreds £'s for gym & other leisure type memberships that remain closed.

    Personally, I'd happily forfeit the £30 if it meant enabling rail services to continue to run & I'm sure we're all aware that the financial cost of the pandemic to our government will have to try to be recouped in some way in the future.

    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
  • luvchocolate
    luvchocolate Posts: 3,281 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Home Insurance Hacker!
    I purchased a 3 year senior railcard £70 in August 2020 
    I haven't traveled as much as usual but from last week I'm now in profit so to speak. 
    The opposite of a rip off I feel 
  • spenderdave
    My 3 year railcard, bought September 2018, had excellent use up to last March and limited use during the summer. I hope to be able to use it again a fair amount before it expires if the government allows unrestricted use of the trains. Since I have already saved about four times what I paid I still feel I have good value. But those who bought a one year one earlier last year have certainly had a bad deal and a part refund would have been justified for them. Their reply does seem very bland.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    You'v been able to use it as often as you needed to. Essential travel only, not leisure travel. What's the problem?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • tealady
    tealady Posts: 3,775 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Mortgage-free Glee!
    Hardly a RIP off.
    Cost of a 1 year card is less than 60p per WEEK!!!

    Find out who you are and do that on purpose (thanks to Owain Wyn Jones quoting Dolly Parton)
  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 3,447 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Name Dropper
    I renewed my (network south east) railcard last September - I've already saved more than the £30 cost with just a few trips (although still fewer than I'd normally make)... 
  • Shelldean
    Shelldean Posts: 2,398 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Am in the same boat as OP. Tho our card is two together and not senior.
    As we only use the card for leisure trips and for the majority of holding this card, we've been told essential trips only. We're essentially £27down as we never got to use it.
    We asked about at least a partial refund and got the same answer as OP.  Due to the fact of we'd use it even once we could've saved more than the card was worth.  

    My problem is that I renewed it as the last one ran out, rather than wait till it was needed. 
    What I will do in future is wait until we're ready for a journey THEN purchase the railcard. Kinda my fault for just renewing straight away.
  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Posts: 6,551 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Good grief if all you’ve lost over the pandemic is 30 quid for a railcard, you should be thanking your lucky stars.
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