CrossCountry ticket machine errors
Quite a few readers have told me that when buying an off-peak (OP) return from a ticket machine (TVM) for a journey where CrossCountry (XC) sets the fare, the screen says a break of the outward journey is not permitted.
XC OP Returns all have ticket code 2V, which says, for Mon-Fri: “Not valid for trains scheduled to depart after 0429 and before 0930 outward or return”, and then specifically goes on to add: “Overnight Break of Journey: restarting journey from an intermediate station on day two, the above restrictions apply.”
In other words, if you set out Monday and stop overnight somewhere en route, when you recommence your journey on Tuesday it must not be before 0930. It would make no sense to add this detail if a break of journey were not allowed in the first place!
One reader had made this point to XC’s Customer Relations department, but, sadly, as is so common nowadays, people in this role know little about fares and replied insisting the TVMs were right and break of outward journey isn’t allowed.
After being alerted I took this up with a contact at XC, who told me that, because XC operates no stations itself, it has no TVMs, and has a limited relationship with the suppliers to ensure information is correct across the board. It seems that, depending on the specification of the TVM, they use data from different sources to present information. My contact asked for the fares data-feed to be checked to ensure all walk-on ticket types used by XC are set appropriately, with break of journey enabled for both the outward and return portions, thereby removing the erroneous information.
He has since been assured this has now been done and it should now be the case that all TVMs should say the 2V restriction allows a break of journey in either direction. If readers do find any TVM where this is not the case, please let me know so I can pass this to XC for investigation.
It’s worrying that, once again, we see Customer Services getting something completely wrong – and of course most travellers don’t have access to anyone further up the chain.
I suffered in a similar fashion recently. A few weeks ago, the 42nd edition of my National Rail ‘Franchise’ map was published to reflect the replacement of Arriva Trains Wales by Transport for Wales (plus other minor tweaks). As usual it may be downloaded from the rail section of my website ( www.barrydoe.co.uk) and printed, if required, any size, without permission, courtesy of its sponsors.
In the key, I always show an operator with its precise owning-group details, but because the operator had not then been launched, I couldn’t find if the owners were Keolis Amey, KeolisAmey, Keolis Amey Operations or any other combination. I did a search and found an email address for the Keolis Amey Communications department and posed the question to them, saying I needed the detail within a few days.
I had an automated receipt within the hour, but nothing more. I tried again. Ditto. So I gave up and went with Keolis Amey Operations Ltd, which appears to be correct. I can only assume its Communications department didn’t know or care. They certainly don’t communicate! We can but hope its input into Transport for Wales is more efficient.