Poor advice costly for rail passengers - Money - News - Moneyfacts

News

Moneyfacts.co.uk News brings you the latest financial & economic news & reviews of the best products in the UK by our team of money experts.

Poor advice costly for rail passengers

Poor advice costly for rail passengers

Category: Money

Updated: 20/08/2009
First Published: 20/08/2009

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Poor advice from rail staff is causing some passengers to pay well over the odds for train fares, an investigation has found.

Which? asked staff at ticket offices and National Rail Enquiries call centres the most cost effective way to pay for specific journeys. However, two thirds of station clerks and four in ten call centre employees failed to quote the cheapest fare available for that journey.

In total, 200 questions were asked, with the correct answer given just 93 times.

When faced with a choice of train company, staff quoted the more expensive fare 27 out of 50 times, with four in five ticket offices ignoring the cheapest option. On some occasions, the fare quoted was more than double the cheapest on offer.

When asked for the cheapest option when making a particular journey more than once a week, two thirds of staff advised the price of two returns, even though rover or season tickets were more cost effective.

Staff also tended not to mention that delaying a departure time could mean cheaper tickets because of off peak prices, even in cases where taking a train just minutes later would have meant substantial savings.

"If you just want to know the cheapest way to get from A to B, you'd expect staff at the station ticket office or on the end of the national rail enquiries helpline to be able to tell you," said Martyn Hocking, editor of Which?

"It's not acceptable that passengers could be paying well over the odds because of poor advice. Rail firms must ensure that staff are properly trained and that fare information is clear."

There is some brighter news for passengers, as almost half of rail fares will fall by 0.4 per cent next year. Regulated rail fares are based on July's Retail Price figure -1.4 per cent - plus one per cent.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

Related Articles

Have your financial habits changed?

2016 was certainly a turbulent year, and it's had a notable impact on household finances. Indeed, research shows that recent events have influenced the way over half of UK respondents manage their finances, with many becoming more cautious.

Kids got £180 in pocket money in 2016

New research has revealed that kids aged 4-14 received an average of £180.44 in pocket money over the last year, which was topped up by an additional £47 on average received in cash over the Christmas period.

How much could it cost to get fit in 2017?

We’re almost a week into 2017, and hopefully, many of those New Year’s Resolutions are still going strong. Figures suggest that the most popular resolution is to achieve a healthier lifestyle, but just how much could that ambition set you back?
 
Close