Problem with Railcards bought from The Train Line

When I recently renewed our Railcards for 3 years, I happened to use The Train Line (hoping to use a discount code, which didn't work).
Having then used the clunky process of linking them to our Thameslink keyGo Smartcards (which had worked perfectly well with the old Railcards), I found that our first journeys using the keyGo 'tap-in, tap-out' system (just like Oyster) were charged at the full fare - ie NO Railcard discounts!
When I raised this with Thameslink Customer Relations, they kindly credited the discount (at least on my journey) - BUT pointed out that Railcards bought from The Train Line use a non-industry standard number length, which means that they cannot (yet) be linked to the Smartcard!
Who knew, and why on earth would the industry permit such a deviation which invalidates an important use of the Railcard?
There was NO warning of this during the application process - nor during the linking process.
I have asked Thameslink to arrange for our cards to be replaced without charge - and am awaiting an answer!
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  • johnedwards3005johnedwards3005 Forumite
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    That's my next step - but I reckon that Thameslink should have sufficient weight to exercise pressure - if they are interested!
  • edited 12 May at 7:43AM
    onashoestringonashoestring Forumite
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    edited 12 May at 7:43AM
    Emmia said:

    Why anyone uses the Trainline is beyond me, given they slap on extra fees to tickets   and it's not that railcards can't be bought online as there is an official website for them which is pretty user friendly.

    https://www.railcard.co.uk/
    Maybe because up to 10% cashback is paid on certain cashback sites when you purchase through Trainline -I have done this myself in the past-  but seeing the problems that ensue - no amount of cash back would entice me to purchase through Trainline in future.
  • daveyjpdaveyjp Forumite
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    Trainline are on my list of companies best avoided.  Too many issues, plus the fees.

    Unfortunately they have a very slick marketing machine which sucks people in.
  • johnedwards3005johnedwards3005 Forumite
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    OK - this is embarrassing!
    A week later, another CRA at Thameslink has replied to my bafflement by withdrawing all that his colleague had said! It seems the The Train Line ONLY issue digital Railcards, so my plastic one can't have been. [I've now checked and I did indeed buy it from the central Railcard issuer (as you all advised!)].
    So all has been resolved (they say) by linking the cards again - fingers crossed.
  • dosh37dosh37 Forumite
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    I have a related issue with a trainline senior railcard...

    I used to have a 3 year printed senior railcard.
    It was easy to use - simply show the card when you buy a ticket at the station.
    The pandemic meant the card ended up not being used much (no refund or compensation available) but that's another story.

    The card expired earlier this month so I replaced it with a digital version bought from trainline (mainly because of a promotional discount advertised on MSE).

    I am finding the digital version takes far longer to use when buying a ticket.
    My eyesight is no longer that good so I have to find my glasses before I can use the trainline app.
    I contacted trainline to ask if I could obtain a printed version but it appears there is no provision for this.
    I don't think they allow you to make your own printed copy either.
    I could get a screen shot and save it as a photo on the phone to make it easier to locate rather than use the trainline app but I'm not sure if that would be accepted.

    So it looks like I will be holding up queues at the ticket office for the next 3 years while I fumble around trying to find my glasses and use the app. I guess that's progress.

  • JGB1955JGB1955 Forumite
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    dosh37 said:

    I am finding the digital version takes far longer to use when buying a ticket.

    I could get a screen shot and save it as a photo on the phone to make it easier to locate rather than use the trainline app but I'm not sure if that would be accepted.



    I avoid the Trainline because I object to paying an unnecessary booking fare.  Instead, my Senior Railcard is stored (easily) on the Railcard App.  Two taps, and the digital card is displayed.  Might it be worth seeing if you can load your card that way?
    #2 Saving for Christmas 2022 - £1 a day challenge £700/£730
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    #36 Saving for Christmas 2020 - £1 a day challenge.... £634/£366..
  • johnedwards3005johnedwards3005 Forumite
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    OK - this is embarrassing!
    A week later, another CRA at Thameslink has replied to my bafflement by withdrawing all that his colleague had said! It seems the The Train Line ONLY issue digital Railcards, so my plastic one can't have been. [I've now checked and I did indeed buy it from the central Railcard issuer (as you all advised!)].
    So all has been resolved (they say) by linking the cards again - fingers crossed.
    I can now confirm that all has been corrected - refunds given for previous discount failures and new journeys charged correctly. Well done Thameslink - at the second attempt! Also managed to link new railcards to Oyster - what an unnecessary and clunky process - why can't they make two databases talk to each other?
  • dosh37dosh37 Forumite
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    JGB1955 said:
    dosh37 said:

    I am finding the digital version takes far longer to use when buying a ticket.

    I could get a screen shot and save it as a photo on the phone to make it easier to locate rather than use the trainline app but I'm not sure if that would be accepted.



    I avoid the Trainline because I object to paying an unnecessary booking fare.  Instead, my Senior Railcard is stored (easily) on the Railcard App.  Two taps, and the digital card is displayed.  Might it be worth seeing if you can load your card that way?

    When you say your card in stored in the Railcard App, do you actually mean the Trainline App?
    Mine is stored on the Trainline App (and stored locally on the phone) but I still have to put glasses on to power up the phone, locate the Trainline app, navigate the menu to find the digital card image to show the cashier when I buy a ticket.
    I am talking about buying a ticket at the train station, not buying it through Trainline on the web, so there is no booking fee involved.


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