Booked Advance ticket on train and now the times have changed

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
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joncombejoncombe Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
I have booked an Advance Purchase ticket back in January for travel on 8th April. I have already paid for and collected the tickets. However I happened to go on the Northern Rail website and found there is a strike on and the last train I was due to travel on is cancelled. There is a replacement bus but it arrives 1 hour and 45 minutes later.

I was not even informed of the change to the times of my already booked journey! My journey is on 3 different train comapnies (South West Trains, Virgin Trains and Northern) and includes a transfer in central London on the tube between Waterloo and Euston.

Northern are advising people not to travel and have stated on their website (https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/industrial-action) that if you hold an Advance ticket valid to or from a Northern station on 8th April it will be accepted by main train companies for travel on the 7th April instead.

However South West Trains is not on the list, though Virgin Trains and Northern are. It seems therefore my only choice is a refund (but I've booked a hotel, which cannot be refunded) or put up with the changed times (which are no good).

The ticket was bought on the VIrgin Trains website and Northern say they are prepared to change them for me to the 7th April instead but that I need to contact Virgin Trains to do it because they issued the ticket. They have told me due to the strike there is no charge and if Virgin Trains charge me the £10 fee to change the ticket they will refund it as a "goodwill gesture". However Virgin Trains won't do it. They tell me I have to pay a £10 fee and the difference in fare (£60). I poined to the Northern rail website and they told me they can't do anything as "our system does not allow" it and I have to contact Northern. The first time I asked to speak to a manager I was told someone would ring me back in 2 hour. Surprise, they didn't. I rang back again and was refused being told the managers have the same system and the system does not allow it, so there is no point. Northern send me to Virgin again.

Can anyone suggest how I can get the two companies to talk to each other?

Replies

  • agrinnallagrinnall
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    Others with a better knowledge of the railway ticketing systems may have more useful suggestions, but mine is that you might want to speak to what used to be Passenger Focus but I have now discovered has been renamed Transport Focus.

    https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/
  • joncombejoncombe Forumite
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    Transport Focus won't help until you've raised a complaint with the relevant train operator(s). Given it takes them about 4 - 6 weeks to reply in my experience I can't see this is going to help before the 8th April. However I do appreciate the suggestion!
  • edited 3 April 2017 at 11:04PM
    gazapcgazapc Forumite
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    edited 3 April 2017 at 11:04PM
    Depending on the distance could you buy a ticket from your point of departure to London and then switch to your existing ticket?

    Also consider contacting South West trains customer services, I find twitter can be useful for this sort of thing.
  • wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
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    Joncombe, I was going to suggest you post your query here:

    but I see you have already done that.
  • joncombejoncombe Forumite
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    wealdroam wrote: »
    Joncombe, I was going to suggest you post your query here:

    but I see you have already done that.

    Yes someone else (possibly you?) gave me the link to that site previously. South West Trains have told me via Twitter they will accept my ticket, so I hope they do since I'm not looking forward to having to explain to staff that a ticket for a different date is in fact valid!

    Virgin Trains are still insisting that they won't change the ticket (and even that South West Trains are not accepting it either).
  • wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
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    joncombe wrote: »
    Yes someone else (possibly you?) gave me the link to that site previously. South West Trains have told me via Twitter they will accept my ticket, so I hope they do since I'm not looking forward to having to explain to staff that a ticket for a different date is in fact valid!

    Virgin Trains are still insisting that they won't change the ticket (and even that South West Trains are not accepting it either).

    Might be a good idea to take a print of that Twitter conversation with you.
  • joncombejoncombe Forumite
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    Well in the end it was Virgin Trains that gave me grief. Got to Euston ok but the staff on the ticket barrier insisted my ticket was not valid. I showed them the message on the Northern rail site but they said they wont accept it because they had not been told about it by "control". Had to go to the ticket office where they initially told me the same before double checking and confirming that I was right and my ticket was valid. But by then the train had left and it was the last one of the night. So they ended up arranging a taxi, at their expense, for the last 50 miles. All because the staff on the ticket barriers wanted an argument
  • wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
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    That's ok. You're welcome.
  • gazapcgazapc Forumite
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    Bad about being delayed but atleast they got you there in the end!
  • wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
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    joncombe wrote: »
    Well in the end it was Virgin Trains that gave me grief. Got to Euston ok but the staff on the ticket barrier insisted my ticket was not valid. I showed them the message on the Northern rail site but they said they wont accept it because they had not been told about it by "control". Had to go to the ticket office where they initially told me the same before double checking and confirming that I was right and my ticket was valid. But by then the train had left and it was the last one of the night. So they ended up arranging a taxi, at their expense, for the last 50 miles. All because the staff on the ticket barriers wanted an argument
    Can you not claim for the delay as well?
    Not only did they make you travel on a train an hour later than planned, the taxi ride must've taken longer than a train ride would.

    Base you delay claim on the time you would've arrived at your destination compared with your actual time of arrival.
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