Monday 23rd July 2012
LOKI cannot match an assembly of Avengers. Bane loses to Batman. We can sleep comfortably in our beds, knowing that evil has again been defeated.
Meanwhile, however, in a single-handed attempt to rescue the planet for our grandchildren, a Cirencester pensioner is losing his battle to save £2.80. He is struggling desperately to find a way – any way – of overcoming the guile of his adversary, ATOC*.
On his 60th birthday, he solved the riddle of the ATOC maze and was granted a super power: the Senior Railcard.
For this, he had to prove his age, identity and home address: not easy for somebody whose planet-saving schemes include not having a driving licence or passport – and paper-free bills. The ATOC guard had to be mesmerized by a device called a Birth Certificate and, for photo ID, a web-page, laser printed. Da-dah!
He’s just received a 10% off online renewal code – no doubt sent as a reminder, ATOC knowing that his Senior Railcard expires next month.
Online, however, ATOC again demands a reference number from his driving licence or passport. When he telephones to ask why, he is told they need proof of his age.
“But I already have a Senior Railcard. Doesn’t that prove I’m old enough?”
Apparently not. Maybe ATOC thinks senior citizens are getting younger, although the terms and conditions covering the Senior Railcard make no mention of the possibility of the 20.12 departure arriving at its destination by 1973.
Strange things must be happening in that tunnel between Kemble and Swindon.
If so, will he not eventually qualify for a Young Person’s Railcard? Do they have any similar discounts available for other time travellers (and their wives)?
He will, therefore, lose the discount because he uses trains instead of cars and won’t fly. Odd that ATOC rewards only its competitors.
The pensioner’s email to RailcardHelp@atoc.org. is answered immediately:
‘…it was rejected by the recipient domain… no such recipient…’.
Cunning devils, the Association of Train Operating Companies*.