Cancelling your ticket
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 process season ticket cancellation refunds as quickly as possible 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.
To find out what we've been doing to help our members, read our update here.
Update on cancellations
If you have requested a cancellation, we want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to process it as soon as possible. If you have tried to reach us by phone or email, please accept our apology, we do not have the capacity to offer phone support and respond to every email. We have already processed 96% of over 18,000 email enquiries and will process your case as fast as we can.
You can read about the steps we’ve taken to improve our cancellation process here and in the next section. We have now processed 98% of cancellation requests. Furthermore, 70% of these have been processed within seven days, compared with 44% for the industry. We’re also lobbying the Government to speed up the rail industry cancellation process.
We remain committed to our mission of helping commuters and thank you for your patience in these difficult times.
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. If you stopped travelling after the government announcement of March 16th, we may be able to backdate tickets up to 56 days to the last day of use if you applied for a refund prior to 7 Sep 2020. Please note that under National Rail guidance, we are no longer able to process backdated refunds unless you can provide evidence that illness prevented you from travelling (Condition 40.4 of the National Rail Conditions of Travel). Please email your evidence to [email protected] and our team will share this with the rail operator to see if backdating is possible.
- 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.
What happens when you cancel
We help regular commuters save money by financing annual season tickets. Customers have signed credit agreements and direct debit mandates with our lending partners who collect monthly repayments. Customers can cancel at any time and cancellations are processed within the agreed 30-day terms (from the date the ticket is returned or invalidated). To cancel a credit agreement, a customer can pay down the full outstanding loan amount, or return their ticket and wait for the rail industry to provide a refund on the unused portion of their ticket, which Commuter Club will immediately use to pay down the outstanding loan.
You will only ever pay for the period during which you had your ticket and the amount of interest due is calculated based on the monthly cost of your ticket. The outcome of your cancellation depends on how long you have had your ticket for, and what payments you have made up to the date of cancellation.
If you cancel during the 12 months that your ticket is valid for, any discounts or 'free travel' you received during that period will be reclaimed on cancellation. Where there is an outstanding balance to pay, we will collect it from you at the point of cancellation or deduct it from any refund due to you. As part of our commitment to being totally fair and transparent, we will share our calculations with you when we discuss what you need to pay.
I uploaded my ticket, how long will it take to process?
Cancellations take 30 days to be processed from the date we receive your ticket. This allows us to take all the steps needed to cancel your ticket and your loan, and then for our finance team to work out if your account is in credit or debit.
If it hasn't been 30 days yet, then please bear with us - we are working on it and will be in touch as soon as possible.
What if I experience a delay?
In many cases we depend on the rail industry to process the refunds and some of our partners are experiencing delays as train companies are expected to process 400,000 refund requests due to COVID-19 of which over 6,000 are Commuter Club customer requests.
As with other subscription services (e.g. mobile phone contracts), if a payment is taken during the cancellation processing time, this is credited in the final account balance and customers receive a refund. Because Commuter Club is a pay monthly product, the average refund owed to customers is £151 in contrast with an average of £1,500 for season ticket holders who purchased directly from their rail operator.
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 (which we have chosen not to pass on to our customers).
- 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.
- There is no information provided on timelines for refund processing.
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. As such, Annual Season Tickets have no refund value after approximately 10 months. For more information on how cancellations are calculated please refer to the National Rail Conditions of Carriage which can be found here.
For Commuter Club customers, we will use the refund from the TOC to pay down your loan and the daily interest accrued to date to calculate the balance on your account. Check out your Commuter Club dashboard for a bespoke quote.
What will happen if I just cancel my direct debit?
If you cancel your direct debit this will disrupt the normal cancellation process, leading to delays. Furthermore, you may incur additional fees by doing so and will be in breach of your loan agreement, which may have a negative impact on your credit file.
The quickest and easiest way for you to cancel your ticket is to submit a cancellation request via your dashboard. We will then be able to collect all the necessary information and process your cancellation correctly. Please be aware that until we receive the refund on the unused portion of your ticket from National Rail, which can take 30 days, your loan agreement remains active and cannot be paused.
Lobbying the Government
Since the beginning of the lockdown we have been lobbying for commuter rights. We are thrilled to see the Chair of the Transport Select Committee, Huw Merriman MP, take up this cause with a call to:
- Allow season ticket holders to receive full pro-rata refunds for the time remaining on their tickets
- Allow season ticket holders to ‘pause’ their ticket while the government’s advice to work from home applies and resume them at a later date
- Waive the administration fee
We will continue to share updates, especially for customers coming to the end of their tickets. 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.”