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Author Topic: Zero excess  (Read 396 times)
grahame
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« on: February 12, 2019, 12:11:46 am »

From the Least Used Stations Blog (always a good read)

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There has to be a way to officially issue a zero-fare excess. I've spoken to people who know far more about the ticketing system than I do, and they have said that methods for zero-excess fares exist, but they are very time consuming in terms of administration. Some train operating companies specifically have a policy not to issue them in the first place.

I have noted a reluctance to issue zero cost excesses (and a comment "that can't be right" from the ticket issuer when it comes up zero) ... think I heard that each issue requires a written report.

Are TOCs actually allowed to have a policy of not issuing them?   Isn't their presence a whole part of the National fare structure that they are bound to follow as part of their franchise / direct award agreement?
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Trowres
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 10:18:05 pm »

I cannot answer your question, but I can provide an example of where  a zero-excess change of routeing would be advantageous to the passenger.

Trowbridge-Poole Returns cost the same in two routeing variants: Via Salisbury and Via Dorchester West. However if one tries to request this as a round-trip the National Rail site provides a higher Not London fare.

Would anyone care to suggest how the change-of-route transaction should be accomplished?

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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2019, 02:47:02 pm »

Many years ago, I was on a full-and-standing Cross Country train. In the buffet car, naturally, as it was more pleasant to stand and drink beer leaning against a counter than to stand beerless in an aisle. Got talking to the guard, who was bemoaning not being able to meet his ticket sales targets, due to not being able to get through the train. So I asked him if a zero excess counted toward his target. Apparently, it did; so I got him to excess my ticket from Birmingham Stns to Bordesley. Maybe it's silly jokes like that that are partly to blame for reluctance these days.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2019, 03:14:14 pm »

Many years ago, I was on a full-and-standing Cross Country train. In the buffet car, naturally, as it was more pleasant to stand and drink beer leaning against a counter than to stand beerless in an aisle. Got talking to the guard, who was bemoaning not being able to meet his ticket sales targets, due to not being able to get through the train. So I asked him if a zero excess counted toward his target. Apparently, it did; so I got him to excess my ticket from Birmingham Stns to Bordesley. Maybe it's silly jokes like that that are partly to blame for reluctance these days.

Welcome to the forum, James ... shows the danger of setting up sales target systems!
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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2019, 06:13:01 pm »

Welcome to the forum, James ... shows the danger of setting up sales target systems!
Thank you, Graham! I've certainly enjoyed lurking for some time. So here's to de lurking!
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plymothian
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2019, 08:05:46 pm »

Many years ago, I was on a full-and-standing Cross Country train. In the buffet car, naturally, as it was more pleasant to stand and drink beer leaning against a counter than to stand beerless in an aisle. Got talking to the guard, who was bemoaning not being able to meet his ticket sales targets, due to not being able to get through the train. So I asked him if a zero excess counted toward his target. Apparently, it did; so I got him to excess my ticket from Birmingham Stns to Bordesley. Maybe it's silly jokes like that that are partly to blame for reluctance these days.

Welcome to the forum, James ... shows the danger of setting up sales target systems!

Although it may count towards sales targets, it counts AGAINST the company if the zero excess causes another TOC to be involved as the original fare may have to be redistributed among more TOCs, thus losing money on the original sale.  This also counts against commission and may also cause the person who has sold the ticket a stern talking to.
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2019, 09:38:03 am »

Although it may count towards sales targets, it counts AGAINST the company if the zero excess causes another TOC to be involved as the original fare may have to be redistributed among more TOCs, thus losing money on the original sale.  This also counts against commission and may also cause the person who has sold the ticket a stern talking to.

I think we have just discovered the underlying cause, with a fractured system and raw commercial pressures that can negatively impact the customer. This needs the intervention of an independent ombudsman to sort this problem out and force the TOCs to work within the whole system - not just those parts that work to their financial advantage.
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