This isn’t about Jacko, it’s about train tickets

What were you doing the night MJ died?  Well I was on a two hour delayed train up to York, silently fuming.

Ticket off office tyrants- a monopoly of greed

Ticket office tyrants- a monopoly of greed

So going back 24 hours.  I realise I have mislaid one ticket of a set of London-York train tickets I had purchased.  So I phone the train company and they tell me its too late to get a replacement ticket out to me for that journey, so I come up with a new plan.  

The new plan,  I go to the station two hours before my 9pm train, on which I have a seat reserved. I carry with me: aprintouts of my internet train ticket purchase for the journey, my whole internet train ticket purchase history, my seat reservation card, my credit card and my receipt for the batch of tickets I had bought which included the missing one.  

The response I get when I say to the staff at Kings Cross ticket office, “So you can see I’ve bought this ticket and that I couldn’t possible have used it on another journey so could you reprint it for me is: “No, we don’t do that”. That’s it.

I press the member of staff : “Can you please explain to me why not, when you have evidence of the purchase by me and this ticket could not have possible been used previously as it is specifically for the train at 9pm today?”

He doesn’t care.  Not only doesn’t he care, but he doesn’t hide the fact, not even prefacing what he says with “I’m sorry…” instead he gets aggressive with me…”I’m not going to reprint your ticket just because it has been mislaid!”

I call over the manager to make my case and I’m told the ticket office’s cockameyme philosophy:

“Your ticket is a product.  If you bought a microwave and lost it you wouldn’t go back to store with your receipt, ID and credit card you bought it with and ask for a replacement”

This is twoddle for two reasons:

a) A train ticket has a value only by extention, unlike a microwave. The actual cost of the card required to print another ticket on is under one pence

b) A microwave is of value to the purchaser at any point, a train ticket for a reserved seat on a 9pm train become valueless if the person who bought that ticket is prevented from making use of it by officious train staff

How could Kings Cross ticket office possibly alienate a regular customer more?  Well, I’ll tell you. Instead of asking me to pay £33 to replace of the lost ticket I had purchased, they charged me £85 as a ticket purchased on the day costs more.

I find staff on London Underground generally quite rude, representing the antithesis of a public service, but the money grabbing attitude of the overground services really takes the biscuit.

When I  was on the train they never did check my ticket!


One thought on “This isn’t about Jacko, it’s about train tickets

  1. Couldn’t agree more Jono. At a time when we’re supposed to be doing all we can for the environment, the train companies are making it harder and harder to use that form of transport. It’s actually cheaper to hire a car and buy petrol to go to most places than it is to buy a walk-up train ticket.

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