Due to a very high influx of customer requests, it may take time for us to get back to you. Our team members are doing their best to keep working and we will get to you as soon as we can. Please be patient with us and do not send us multiple emails as this may slow things down and will send your request to the bottom of the queue. Thank you for your understanding.
What we've done so far
We're working hard in this difficult time to give each of our members the best possible outcome. We will keep you updated here with the latest on what we're doing to achieve this.
- No fee. While most train operators charge a £10 admin fee for cancellation, we know this is a difficult time and even though we don’t have the same resources train companies have and we are getting charged this fee, we choose not to pass it on to our customers
- Online request. You can now request a cancellation online via your dashboard. We’ve listened to your feedback and built a quick tool so you can start your cancellation as soon as you need.
- No need to send ticket back. We want everyone to stay safe in these difficult times so we worked with the rail industry to allow you to upload a photo of your destroyed ticket from your dashboard the rather than return it by post.
- Backdate further. We will backdate tickets up to 56 days to the last day of use (normally 28 days). We think it’s important for everyone to only pay while they used their ticket so even if you tell us a bit later on or the ticket issuer takes longer to process a refund, you are no worse off.
- Prioritising vulnerable customers. We know this is a stressful time especially if you lost your job or are in financial difficulty so we are prioritising helping vulnerable customers first.
Response from the Government
Our mission has always been to deliver value for commuters and this is why we have been urging the Government to extend season tickets to prevent undue loss to commuters as a result of forced cancellation. They have responded, saying “The Government has no plans to ask train operators to extend the validity of season tickets, as season ticket holders are already entitled to request a refund if they no longer need their ticket, in accordance with the National Rail Conditions of Travel.”
We are disappointed by this response but remain committed to helping commuters and will continue doing everything we can to assist our members in these difficult times.
Helping our key workers
We’re incredibly grateful for the service of our key workers and we want to do what we can to help you through this difficult time. We don’t think your commute is another thing you need to be worrying about right now, so we’ve taken 70% off the cost of travel in the first month.
That means the first 3 weeks travel on a Commuter Club ticket will be free and you'll save well over a month in total. For example, a Zone 1-4 commuter would only pay £60 for their first month’s travel and save £567/year versus using contactless.
You can sign up online and we’ll deliver your ticket right to your door. So if you're a key worker, click here and let us take the expense and the hassle out of your commute.
I have an annual ticket that I cannot use, what should I do?
We understand that during the current situation you may be feeling a lot of uncertainty, and we're focused on helping you however we can. We know that you may not be commuting right now, and we want to reassure you that with Commuter Club, you won't lose out with your ticket.
Firstly, the good news: your annual season ticket is the best value for money compared to buying weekly or monthly tickets. You will be getting 4 weeks of free travel compared to monthly tickets (and 9 weeks compared to weeklies). This means if you can't commute for a couple of weeks, you will still be saving money compared to buying monthly tickets.
But if you're concerned about applying for a refund later, please know that we can backdate your refund requests by up to 28 days.
We think there's more the rail industry can do to help, which is why we're working closely with them and reaching out to the Department for Transport with a range of ideas to protect you, including pausing or extending your season ticket for the duration of this crisis. Please bear with us over the coming days while we try to get a better deal for commuters.
What is the rail industry doing for season ticket holders?
There has been a lot of confusion in the media. The latest information available from the Rail Delivery Group states that there will be no changes to the way season ticket refunds are processed. What this means for annual ticket holders:
- Train Operating Companies (TOCs) will continue to charge an administration fee of up to £10 to process a refund
- TOCs will process annual ticket refunds based on standard rules in the National Rail Conditions of Travel. These rules provide refunds for the unused portion of your annual ticket, however this is a partial refund as it is calculated based on the next cheapest ticket available. See our worked example below for more information.
- There is no information provided on timelines for refund processing
What Commuter Club is doing to help
- We will not charge an admin fee for processing refunds
- We are working with our lenders to delay payment dates for customers choosing to keep their tickets who need financial support
- We developed a tool so you can quickly calculate your cancellation outcome via your Commuter Club dashboard
- We will back date your cancellation to the last date you used your ticket, up to a maximum of 28 days so you're not out of pocket
- We've written to the Department for Transport, the Rail Delivery Group, the Mayor of London and other groups urging them to go beyond the standard TOC rules to help protect commuters. We're urging them to extend all season tickets by a further two months and relax the unfair partial refund rules, which will leave commuters out of pocket exactly when they need support.
Should I apply for a refund for my ticket?
A Commuter Club ticket has built-in savings, the equivalent of 4 weeks of free travel. At the moment, holding onto your ticket will not cost you anything, and due to TOC rules, you may only receive a partial refund. If you later want to apply for a refund, we can backdate your ticket by up to 56 days, so you can hold onto your ticket for nearly 12 weeks without risking any losses.
If you would like to apply for a refund, please be aware that under the standard TOC rules, you would only receive a partial refund and, due to how the rail industry calculates this, it may be less than you would expect.
How do Train Companies calculate season ticket refunds?
When an annual season ticket is refunded, under TOC rules, the ticket use is prorated to the next cheapest ticket, which effectively cuts down on any refund, because the next ticket, the monthly, is more expensive.
For Commuter Club customers, we will use the refunds from the TOCs to pay down your loan and the daily interest accrued to date and calculate the balance on your account. Check out your Commuter Club dashboard for a bespoke quote.
What can I do now?
Join us in asking the Government to extend all season tickets by 2 months so you can keep your ticket during the lockdown and avoid losing out. You can use our letter as a template and reach out to MPs or share on social media.