Ticket "excess" query

Hi, 

I'm not sure if anyone will be able to shed any light on this one for me but I'm just slightly incredulous that it can, in fact, be correct!

I'm currently on a train returning from Birmingham to Exeter. I bought a ticket which cost £90+ for which the return element was off peak, and a split ticket, so initially to Bristol. I blithely went to catch the train this morning only to discover that off peak, which I'd believed to be after 9am, was actually 9.30 and was told I needed to go to the ticket office and pay the excess as my train was at 9.12. 

Okay, my bad, so I went to do just that, however the chap in the ticket office told me that paying the excess would be so much that buying a new ticket would be my cheapest option. Said ticket, from Birmingham to Bristol cost £64.20.

I wasn't really in a position to query this as a) I really needed to catch that train and b) I was a bit tearful as the reason I was travelling in the first place was due to a family bereavement, but seriously, £64.20 for a journey for which I already had a ticket that'd have been valid 18 minutes later? Can this possibly be correct?! 
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