St Albans rail travellers set for refund

PUBLISHED: 12:01 27 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 06 May 2010

Passenger Linda Bateman is one of many travellers set for a fare refund

Passenger Linda Bateman is one of many travellers set for a fare refund

ST Albans rail passengers stung with higher fares because of problems with reprogramming ticket machines are to be refunded. The First Capital Connect Super Saver promotion launched on June 20 offering a 20 per cent discount on the standard day return f

ST Albans rail passengers stung with higher fares because of problems with reprogramming ticket machines are to be refunded.

The First Capital Connect "Super Saver" promotion launched on June 20 offering a 20 per cent discount on the standard day return for weekend travellers was not available throughout this period at station ticket machines - only from the ticket office.

The problems were uncovered by St Albans Parliamentary hopeful Sandy Walkington, who said: "Passengers have every right to assume they pay the same whether they buy at the kiosk or at a machine. With 10 ticket machines at St Albans City Station, of course people will use them to save time.

"I was alerted to this through a friend. He discovered that he and a companion had paid two different prices at the same time for the same weekend journey on the same train."

Sandy challenged FCC about the anomaly and was told it was because the ticket machines are re-coded and it is too complicated to do this for special promotional fares.

He said: "The least they could have done was to put up a notice alerting passengers to buy super savers at the booking office.

Mr Walkington is pleased to have received confirmation from Jim Morgan, managing director of FCC, that anyone who can show they purchased a weekend day return from a self-service ticket machine over the summer and failed to benefit from the Super Saver discount of up to 25 percent, will now be compensated with the difference in fare.

Mr Morgan said: "The original Press Release issued in June did indeed say that the tickets would be available from self service ticket machines as both suppliers had advised us that they could achieve that. We were very unhappy that they let us down. People writing to our Customer Relations team with evidence that they have been unable to purchase a Super Off-Peak ticket are being given the difference in fare and we will continue to do that."

Mr Walkington said it was ironic that ticket machines which are so good at posting fare rises should have such difficulty being recorded in the other direction.

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