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Overhead costs of joint-journey-discounts for foreign guests of Netherlands residents

  • 2 december 2014
  • 25 reacties
  • 768 Bekeken

Hi NS,

Earlier this year, the option to purchase discount single-use tickets from the NS ticket machines has been blocked. Since the discount was blocked, it is now necessary for my guests from outside the Netherlands to purchase an anonymous OV-chipcard for €7.50, and also necessary for my guest to supply minimum funding on the card to travel. Depending on the journey, this funding may be higher than the actual cost necessary for the journey, resulting in unused credit on the anonymous OV chipcard that cannot be recovered.

As you can see, blocking the discount option for single-use tickets has resulted in cost overheads for using joint-journey-discount that were not necessary prior to the change earlier in the year.

I would like to ask what NS is doing to address these cost-overhead problems caused by the changes earlier this year. Alternatively, I would like to ask for the timeframe in which this cost-overhead problem is expected to be addressed.

Thanks,
Bren
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Beste antwoord door Thijs NS 2 december 2014, 15:19

At this moment there are no plans to change the working of this 'samenreiskorting'. However, unused credit on your ticket could be recovered, see ovchipkaart.nl. I understand that you are not happy with this transition to an OV-chipkaart only system. Of course, I will register your comments on this issue, so we can take them into account when we evaluate the working of the OV-chipkaart.
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I had the same problem two weeks ago. You need to spend 10 wasteful euros in order to load a discount (€7,50 to buy a chipcard, €2,50 to retrieve the unused balance at the counter).

Single use discount tickets should be dispensed. That way I could also buy 1st class tickets with discount, which I am entitled to (year subscription) but can't buy.
Thanks for your answer niek.

I didn't know it was possible to recover the balance from the card (even if it does involve a fee to do so). I've been trying to use NS email support to get some answers on these problems, but NS's official customer service policy just seems to be to ignore customers and not answer questions, and they also didn't even bother to inform me about this possibility.

I would still like someone from NS to address the original question.

EDIT: I was just reading the website at the link in your signature. Good to know that I'm not the only one becoming frustrated with terrible customer service and stupid changes at NS.
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To reduce overhead the person offering joint-journey-discount could also lend an anonymous chipcard to his guests.
I do not own any anonymous chipcards to offer to my guests. Purchasing anonymous chipcards cards that I otherwise have no use for would be a cost overhead for me, therefore this is not an acceptable answer.
At this moment there are no plans to change the working of this 'samenreiskorting'. However, unused credit on your ticket could be recovered, see ovchipkaart.nl. I understand that you are not happy with this transition to an OV-chipkaart only system. Of course, I will register your comments on this issue, so we can take them into account when we evaluate the working of the OV-chipkaart.
Thijs, the OV chipcard is not the problem. The problem is the blocking of the discount option on single-use tickets for use with joint-journey-discount. Can you explain why this block has been made?

I noticed that if I select a destination outside the Netherlands (e.g. Germany), then it is still possible to select the discount option for joint-journey-discount. If the option can be selected for German destinations, then I see no reason why it should be blocked for destinations within the Netherlands, other than to force customers into paying more cost overheads? I do not understand the logic or reason that NS use in deciding to block this option.

Can you please explain this?
We have chosen to block that option, because we want to stimulate travelling with an OV-chipcard.
And the people who only need to use it once or twice? Isn't the 1 euro surcharge enough incentive to buy a multiple use card, when the traveler intends to travel more than once or twice?

Or the people who the NS doesn't want to provide with a subscription that works on an OV-chipcard? People who are not allowed by the NS to travel by balance (saldo)?
Stimulating a product by blocking its (less impopular) alternatives usually just proves that the stimulated product is inferior both in price and quality.
Laura, what good does stimulating use of the OV chipcard do for customers? As far as I can tell, it just means that my guests have to suffer the inconvenience of purchasing an OV chipcard and the cost overheads associated with that. Could you please explain why NS would decide to do this and what the benefits are to customers?

I would also like to know when these problem are going to be addressed? The problem has already been acknowledged by NS, so the least you can do is give us the time frame within which NS will move forward on addressing this problem.
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I do not own any anonymous chipcards to offer to my guests. Purchasing anonymous chipcards cards that I otherwise have no use for would be a cost overhead for me, therefore this is not an acceptable answer.

You'll need to buy a maximum of 3 chipcards every 5 years, instead of one chipcard for each guest that wil be discarded after a few days. You just ask your first three guests €2,50 on top of the credit they used while traveling with you.
Gert-Jan G, how does €2.50 per guest cover the cost of a €7.50 chipcard plus €2.50 to refund the unused credit?

In order to do what you're suggesting, I'd need to ask my first three guests for €10 each, at which point they would (rightfully) be questioning whether it's even worth it. And then we're right back where this discussion started.
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I expect you to have three or more guests during the five year validity period of an OV-chipcard. At the end of the 5 year period (or earlier if you don't mind that the card will be destroyed) you can get the remaining credit back at the cost of one stamp (currently 64 cents) instead of 2,50.
At this moment there are no plans to change the working of this 'samenreiskorting'. However, unused credit on your ticket could be recovered, see ovchipkaart.nl. I understand that you are not happy with this transition to an OV-chipkaart only system. Of course, I will register your comments on this issue, so we can take them into account when we evaluate the working of the OV-chipkaart.

Do you know an other country where people only use this system ?

Any country ? Or even a city ?

So who is crazy, you or the rest of the world ?
Edit
Gert-Jan G, the cost is then still €7.50 to purchase the card, plus €0.64 for the stamp. The total cost is then €8.14, which is still considerably higher than the €2.50 that you said in your previous message.
Stimulating a product by blocking its (less impopular) alternatives usually just proves that the stimulated product is inferior both in price and quality.

Exactly, in every other country they stimulate the chipcard by making them cheaper in use.

Here they make them more expensive :?
Gert-Jan G, the cost is then still €7.50 to purchase the card, plus €0.64 for the stamp. The total cost is then €8.14, which is still considerably higher than the €2.50 that you said in your previous message.

The 2,50 is to retrieve the rest of the money back before the end of the cardvalidity, if you wait 5 years you don't have to pay this 2,50

You do however have to pay 7,50 + the stamp, which in 5 years will be well over 1 euro.

In every other country you will also get the 7,50 back,

But maybe NS is the genius and the rest of the world is crazy....
We have chosen to block that option, because we want to stimulate travelling with an OV-chipcard.

So why do you allow people to travel with a eenmalige chipkaart then ?

Thats the same principal.
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[quote=macca728]Gert-Jan G, the cost is then still €7.50 to purchase the card, plus €0.64 for the stamp. The total cost is then €8.14, which is still considerably higher than the €2.50 that you said in your previous message.

I said that you should ask the first three guests a contribution for the chipcard. 3x2,50 = 7,50
Gert-Jan G, I misunderstood what you meant. When you said "first three guests", I assumed you meant one guest per chipcard. Now I see that you mean the first three guests for *each* of the three chipcards, which would be nine guests total.

This doesn't work for me because there's no I can know in advance that I'll have enough guests who need to use the train to cover my cost of purchasing the cards.
Do you ask your guests to pay for something like that ?

NS should offer a chipcard for free valid for a month or something like that for tourists.

They can make money with that because they will still travel with NS.

Of course it doesn't solve the problem with samenreiskorting which is now far too complicated and too much time consuming, what should be the reason that tickets with discounts should be make available.
macca728, if my guest needs to travel, then yes I expect them to pay the necessary cost of their travel, just as I would pay the necessary cost of my own travel when I visit their countries.
Of course but you will be the owner of the chipcard, so why ask other people money for your chipcard ?

And what will you charge, 7,50 or less, because you dont know how much people will use it.
But I don't NEED the chipcard; the ONLY reason I have to "own" it is for my guests, therefore I should not need to pay for the card myself.

The alternative is that my guests purchase their own chipcard or simply forego the discount with the single-use tickets.

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