Which? report says train tickets are too complicated.

Train tickets are so complicated for passengers that only a small amount of train users fully understand what they are buying, according to a new report.

The Which? research found that people who buy train tickets are not as clued-up as they thought when it comes to purchasing online.

Some of the stats include;
  • over 50% said they were confident they knew their tickets’ terms and conditions when buying online
  • just 1% managed to identify all the correct attributes of the main ticket type
  • 51% of passengers were unaware that an off-peak ticket only allows travel on trains outside busy times
  • 75% did not know they had to make an outbound journey within five days of buying an anytime return
  • 61% did not know that advance tickets were non-refundable
  • 48% were unaware they had to travel on a specific train, after buying their ticket for travel
To back up the facts, train watchdog Passenger Focus also found that while people were confident when buying online, their confidence was misplaced and they often ended up not getting the best value for money.

A case of hiding the small print, TOCs being less than honest with the truth or a general lack of knowledge about the industry from the consumer? I would say primarily the latter.

TOCs need to go back to basics with their communication and explain everything they do - remembering it is not up to the consumer to know, but the operator to explain.