Computer Says No

So I’m getting ready for Glasto, and the other day I booked Sal’s train ticket online, and then yesterday went over to the station to collect it from one of those machines. But the machine wasn’t having any of that, and I had to go to the ticket office instead.

“Oh yes, I can print that for you”, said the man at the desk. And he did. But as I was walking away, tickets in hand, I noticed something rather odd. Yes, there was the return ticket to Castle Cary that I was supposed to have, but what’s this? “Value Advance Single, Birmingham New Street to Glasgow Central?” I don’t remember booking that. I’m sure I would have remembered…

Back to the window:

“Sorry, there’s been some kind of mistake. This isn’t my ticket”
“It’s on your booking”
“No it’s not: this is my booking”, I said, waving the printed confirmation at him. “London to Castle Cary. Where does it say Birmingham to Glasgow?”
“But you must have booked it: it’s on your booking”, he said, pointing out that my booking reference was also on the rogue ticket.
“No I didn’t. I mean, I don’t care, I haven’t been charged for it: I’ll just throw it away.”
“Oh you can’t do that. You have been charged for it.”
“No I haven’t: I’ve already seen the charge on my credit card statement.”
“My receipt says you’ve been charged £17 for that.”
“But I didn’t book it!”
“You must have”, he insisted.

Well, so there you go: the computer says so, so I must have accidentally booked a single ticket from Birmingham to Glasgow, with a seat reservation. And then forgotten about it, removed any reference to it from the confirmation email and the online order status. And not been charged for it. I can see how that would have happened. If the man in the station has a computer that tells him that that’s what happened, then who am I to argue?

Perhaps it’s some kind of poorly promoted “Buy One Get One Free” offer? (Buy one train ticket to Glasto, get one free single to Glasgow?)

In the meantime, would anyone like a ticket to Glasgow? You’ll have to travel on the 09:03 on July the 18th, and you can’t come back again, but it’s free. Tempted?