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Eurotunnel Day Return and Single fare Query


stan

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I`m looking into prices for a one way trip home from France to the UK and see that the day/overnight fares are significantly cheaper than a single. Looking at their T&Cs, they state that Eurotunnel can seek payment of the difference in the event that a customer buys such a cheap Day Return instead of a single and does`nt use the return portion.

Given the fact that a ticket can be purchased up front, possibly weeks and months in advance, how can Eurotunnel seek payment of any difference in fare after the outward journey?

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Not saying that they cant but I am saying they dont, done it many times and they never have.

Most people are put off by having to phone up for the tickets where they read the threatening conditions to you in a stern voice together with the warning of what will become you if you dont take the return journey, tell you the call is recorded and ask you to agree to and confirm that you understand the conditions, that puts of most of the Chancers [;-)], but they still didnt implement these probably unenforceable and perhaps illegal conditions

I was going to profit again from the usual November promotion but whilst it looks the same as before its no longer €15 for the return trip (which I use as a single) but €15 each way so actually €30, twice as expensive as before.

One cheap offer at the moment for an up to 4 day return is with DFDS seaways, only €49 return and I think even cheaper from the UK, just had friends return on one today. The 5 day return is a lot more.

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[quote user="Chancer"]

Not saying that they cant but I am saying they dont, done it many times and they never have.

[/quote]

I did`nt think they could. I just can`t see how they can re-debit your card once a transaction has been authorised and paid to them. - send the bailiffs to your door?

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[quote user="stan"] I did`nt think they could. I just can`t see how they can re-debit your card once a transaction has been authorised and paid to them. - send the bailiffs to your door?
[/quote]

You may find that under their terms and conditions, that you give them the right to recharge you should they catch you breaking their T&C's. If their T&C's are anything like most transport companies, you would lose the will to live before you can read and understand all of the rules.[:D]

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When we were French househunting back in 2003 we did this countless times. I also had an Eurotunnel employee code, obtained from a poster on a motorcycle forum, and by using a combination of this code and the "unused return leg" trick we got crossings for 12€ return with the car. Since you can't use the return ticket on your first crossing you need to book 2 return trips, one from the UK website and the other from the French site, and just use the first crossing from each one.  We did this through most of 2003 and never had the unused portions charged to our credit card.

I realise that time has passed, and maybe procedures have been tightened, but I wonder if they're so short of work that they have time to be bothered with this? Whilst the employee code was withrawn at the end of that year I'd be tempted to try this again and see what happens; just make sure it wouldn't cost too much if it backfires. 

 

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Interesting to learn and I am sure that all the "employees" using their codes did exactly the same for longer stays.

Whilst I am a Chancer I wasnt confident enough to push it by buying 2 day return tickets in case they refused me on the return leg which of course would be the outgoing leg of the second day trip, but actually whats the worst that they could do, refund my fare [B]

Years ago when I travelled Dieppe/Newhaven as a foot passenger and protested about the price they told me (entre nous) to  save money and buy a day return ticket to use one leg.

What I would give for an employee code!

And in case that isnt clear enough I would pay money for one and make sure that I always behaved with it, I know someone, an ex eurotunnel employee whose colleaugues turned a blind eye to the use of their code, he made the mistake of writing to complain about a delay, whilst it was a justifiable complaint and was constructive criticism it was not recieved well and the outcome was predictable.

Editted. When I have used a €15 day trip at this time of year there were less than 10 cars on the train so I think they welcome the additional revenue. They lose nothing by you not using the return leg and contrary to what many have expressed about my (mis)use of these promotional tickets I am not denying anyone a place on the crossing or putting up the prices for everyone else, they get additional revenue at 99.9% gross margin, I cost them a paper windscreen hanger.

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[quote user="NickP"][quote user="stan"] I did`nt think they could. I just can`t see how they can re-debit your card once a transaction has been authorised and paid to them. - send the bailiffs to your door?

[/quote]

You may find that under their terms and conditions, that you give them the right to recharge you should they catch you breaking their T&C's. If their T&C's are anything like most transport companies, you would lose the will to live before you can read and understand all of the rules.[:D]

[/quote]

Yes NickP, the T&Cs say exactly that. I just don`t see how they can recharge the debit card after payment has been made for a day return, and the return trip had passed without one being a passenger.

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Quote:  I just don`t see how they can recharge the debit card after payment has been made for a day return, and the return trip had passed without one being a passenger.

 

It is easy.  They electronically have your name, your credit card number, the expiry date and the security code (3 digit).  With those they could in theory do what they want and if the T&Cs allow them to charge you they have all the information that they need to do so.

 

Gone are the days when they would have had to go trough tens of thousands of paper swipe impressions.

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Chancer, that's a fair point about the under-used trains! Every time we've crossed by Eurotunnel, back in 2003 and quite a few times since then, the train has been nowhere near full, in fact I'd say probably one-third full. I remember on one trip about 2 years ago being the last car to board and driving almost the full length inside the train before stopping to park. Maybe if they reduced their prices, even just a little, they would get more passengers! Alas the cross-Channel routes are pretty well stitched up now that "Speed One" has departed. 
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[quote user="andyh4"]

Quote:  I just don`t see how they can recharge the debit card after payment has been made for a day return, and the return trip had passed without one being a passenger.

 

It is easy.  They electronically have your name, your credit card number, the expiry date and the security code (3 digit).  With those they could in theory do what they want and if the T&Cs allow them to charge you they have all the information that they need to do so.

 

Gone are the days when they would have had to go trough tens of thousands of paper swipe impressions.

[/quote]

I always thought the 3 digit code was encrypted when it was received by a company, hence they cannot use it, even electronically, which is why companies ask for the security code again if they have your card details and wish to sell you something/redebit your card..maybe I`m wrong.

Also, most companies have to use Verisign for Mastercard or Verified by Visa when goods/services are purchased online, and that requires a specific authorisation code for any purchase, which cannot be used later for an additional debit, although I`m not sure if Eurotunnel use these verification procedures for their online tranasaction.

I was just interested to find out if anyone else has been debited later for the difference between a single fare and a day return where they had not used the return part.

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There is quite a lot on the internet about Day Returns and Sinlge fares, but nothing really definitive regarding Eurotunnel charging later for the diffference, most of the posts and articles dissolve into arguments about contract law ! Throwing some fuel on the fire now, can I ask, is it possible to pay cash at the terminal on arrival, or are the price of these "turn up" tickets sky high to deter chancers like myself who only want to get back home at a non rip off price !

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[quote user="stan"]I always thought the 3 digit code was encrypted when it was received by a company, hence they cannot use it, even electronically, which is why companies ask for the security code again if they have your card details and wish to sell you something/redebit your card..maybe I`m wrong.
Also, most companies have to use Verisign for Mastercard or Verified by Visa when goods/services are purchased online, and that requires a specific authorisation code for any purchase, which cannot be used later for an additional debit, although I`m not sure if Eurotunnel use these verification procedures for their online tranasaction.
I was just interested to find out if anyone else has been debited later for the difference between a single fare and a day return where they had not used the return part.
[/quote]

 

If you input the 3 digit code online, then they have it. They also have verification from Verisign/Verified that the card is considered as OK and I would make a healthy bet that based only on that they are permitted to make further withdrawals on your account.  The certainly have all the information they need.   Ina sense, no different from the hotel that finds after you have checked out that you stripped the minibar and did not tell them.

 

Regarding whether anyone has been charged for using only one half of a return deal, then certainly some years ago, the ferry companies were do so, also some airlines have been runoured to have done the same thing; but I have never heard of Eurotunnel doing so - and Chancer's experience suggests that even f they did they do not do it now.

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Only my gut feeling but I reckon that either they cannot physically do it or legally would be on a sticky wicket, i think just the threat alone bolstered by the endless well intentioned but IMH experience plain wrong advice on the internet achieves what they want by scaring 99% of people into either paying far more for the same service or driving them to the competition who operate similar cartel pricing and scare tactics. If they ever do back charge me I would claim a Visa chargeback saying it was unauthorised, it wouldnt cost me anything.

The tunnel has the great advantage of tiny variable costs compared to the ferry, it costs them far less to run a half full or empty train than it does a boat, plus they can ramp up and down the service at will consolidating crossings or running more trains, the delay with the tunnel is barely noticeable and can always be blamed on would be immigrants on the track, when the boats do the same and I have suffered this its a wait of several hours. It seems crazy that they dont adopt a pricing structure that runs the trains to capacity but one has to assume that a company of that size knows what they are doing, they use a demand pricing model like the airlines and I guess thay make their money during the summer when they can by and large charge what they want and get away with it, yet............. yet, you can still buy a day return for €44 even at the height of the season.

Someone asked when I last did this, just before February I think as then I bought a carnet of 10 tickets as a hedge against the prices shooting up with the demise of Seafrance, not a good decision in hindsight as I have already let a friend use a couple and I have 3 remaining to use before Feb or I will lose them.

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[quote user="Chancer"]

Only my gut feeling but I reckon that either they cannot physically do it or legally would be on a sticky wicket, i think just the threat alone bolstered by the endless well intentioned but IMH experience plain wrong advice on the internet achieves what they want by scaring 99% of people into either paying far more for the same service or driving them to the competition who operate similar cartel pricing and scare tactics. If they ever do back charge me I would claim a Visa chargeback saying it was unauthorised, it wouldnt cost me anything.

The tunnel has the great advantage of tiny variable costs compared to the ferry, it costs them far less to run a half full or empty train than it does a boat, plus they can ramp up and down the service at will consolidating crossings or running more trains, the delay with the tunnel is barely noticeable and can always be blamed on would be immigrants on the track, when the boats do the same and I have suffered this its a wait of several hours. It seems crazy that they dont adopt a pricing structure that runs the trains to capacity but one has to assume that a company of that size knows what they are doing, they use a demand pricing model like the airlines and I guess thay make their money during the summer when they can by and large charge what they want and get away with it, yet............. yet, you can still buy a day return for €44 even at the height of the season.

Someone asked when I last did this, just before February I think as then I bought a carnet of 10 tickets as a hedge against the prices shooting up with the demise of Seafrance, not a good decision in hindsight as I have already let a friend use a couple and I have 3 remaining to use before Feb or I will lose them.

[/quote]

Can you give one of the tickets in your carnet to anyone to use, or do they have to be used by the cardholder, or person they were issued to only? I could do you a deal for one [:D]

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[quote user="stan"][quote user="Chancer"]

Only my gut feeling but I reckon that either they cannot physically do it or legally would be on a sticky wicket, i think just the threat alone bolstered by the endless well intentioned but IMH experience plain wrong advice on the internet achieves what they want by scaring 99% of people into either paying far more for the same service or driving them to the competition who operate similar cartel pricing and scare tactics. If they ever do back charge me I would claim a Visa chargeback saying it was unauthorised, it wouldnt cost me anything.

The tunnel has the great advantage of tiny variable costs compared to the ferry, it costs them far less to run a half full or empty train than it does a boat, plus they can ramp up and down the service at will consolidating crossings or running more trains, the delay with the tunnel is barely noticeable and can always be blamed on would be immigrants on the track, when the boats do the same and I have suffered this its a wait of several hours. It seems crazy that they dont adopt a pricing structure that runs the trains to capacity but one has to assume that a company of that size knows what they are doing, they use a demand pricing model like the airlines and I guess thay make their money during the summer when they can by and large charge what they want and get away with it, yet............. yet, you can still buy a day return for €44 even at the height of the season.

Someone asked when I last did this, just before February I think as then I bought a carnet of 10 tickets as a hedge against the prices shooting up with the demise of Seafrance, not a good decision in hindsight as I have already let a friend use a couple and I have 3 remaining to use before Feb or I will lose them.

[/quote]

Can you give one of the tickets in your carnet to anyone to use, or do they have to be used by the cardholder, or person they were issued to only? I could do you a deal for one [:D]

[/quote]

Cancel that query Chancer, I see that Eurotunnel have all the tricks tied up ![:(] - why I am I not surprised.[8-)]

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It can be done but either you would have to be holding my debit card or brazen it out with the booking reference, they rarely if ever check who is actually travelling.

With the new frequent traveller tickets you can nominate a friend or family member as joint account holder which makes things much easier, not sure what they will do about the need for the card used for the booking.

What is particularly awkward is that I have an odd number (3) of tickets remaining after off-loading two, this came about because one journey I returned with 300+ litres of damp proof fluid in old rusty drums covered in "highly inflammable" notices, I did carefully arrange them so none were visible but there was no hiding the sheer volume.

It would have been a definite no-no with Eurotunnel and I would have deserved to have been banned for life had I ticked the box saying that I wasnt carrying anything inflammable so I chose a dead of night ferry crossing.

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[quote user="Chancer"]With the new frequent traveller tickets you can nominate a friend or family member as joint account holder which makes things much easier, not sure what they will do about the need for the card used for the booking.[/quote]

What happens is that if, when you open the account and nominate the person, you also supply the card number of a credit/debit card that THEY hold (in addition to the card that you use to buy the tickets), then this card will be used to identify them at check-in (and they don't need your card). Otherwise they have to go to the terminal to identify themselves, apparently

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Earlier, Sid made mention of using an Employee Discount Code to achieve a discounted fare.

I'd advise anyone who uses these codes to be prepared for a shock upon arrival at either terminal. A friend of mine turned up at Folkestone and couldn't get past the barrier, despite having his ticket.

His ticket had been cancelled, and after some intense questioning on how he acquired the code, was offered the opportunity to pay the full cost of the crossing - which after checking later he found to have been surcharged!

An expensive lesson in trying to buck the system.

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To be fair, I wasn't encouraging this, just explaining what I had done several years ago (2003/4 in fact). The system was tightened up then, so I'd expect it to be even more secure by now.

If a code were to be used there is no way that they would know it was fraudulent unless suddenly dozens of people were to start using it for lots of different cars, which is obviously what happened in the case I quoted - a code disclosed on a forum.

 

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Yes Sid, I appreciate you weren't encouraging such action.

The purpose of my post was simply to make people aware these codes are or have been available, since 2003/4. As you have said, the system was tightened up and no doubt as these scams arise, they turn the screws harder to seal the leak.

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