26 thoughts on “The OEP is Dead – R.I.P.”

  1. Mike,

    sorry but I don’t know where else to post this question….

    I have an annual travelcard for zones 1-2. When travelling to zone 6 on the tube, I have £1.40 deducted. However, when travelling to zone 4 on the train, I pay £1.90.

    Is this correct? Would you happen to have a price list for travelling outside your zones for the tube and the trains, please?

    • Hi Jeff,

      The fares guide page might have been better, but don’t worry. £1.40 is the off-peak fare for zones 3-6 on TfL services while £1.90 is the peak fare for zones 3-4 on National Rail. You must have been travelling at different times. However, take your Oyster card to any Underground station and ask them to add the Railcard Discount to it. You are entitled to that with an Annual Travelcard. That will give you 1/3 off all off-peak rail fares and the off-peak price caps. Your £1.40 would then have been 95p.

      There’s a link on the fares guide page to the series of pages on the TfL site which lists all the fares.

      Hope that helps.

  2. Thanks, Mike! You’re absolutely right: The £1.90 train journey was peak (I had no idea that there’s an evening peak within London!). I can find the £1.90 in that massive TfL fares table.

    The £1.40 was an off-peak tube journey to Heathrow. However, £1.40 does not feature in the fares table at all! Instead, the table suggests a fare of £2.00.

    Can I really get the Railcard discount? The TfL website says that I’m required to have an actual Railcard.

    • The £1.40 is for a tube off-peak journey in zones 3-6 while £2.00 is the same fare but using National Rail. You need to look on different pages.

      You should have got a record card with your annual travelcard on Oyster. This is needed to get discounts on paper tickets. However, your card will show that there is an annual travelcard on the Oyster so they should set the discount anyway. In fact it should have been added at the time you bought it, but not all ticket staff realise that.

  3. There’s no mention of this on the TfL website. The NR website, however, supports your statement.

    So I may actually already have this loaded on my Oyster. I guess I’ll see next time I travel outside my zones (off-peak) on NR.

    Strange that single journeys cost more on NR than on the tube when an annual travelcard covers both equally!

    As always, thanks for your help, Mike!

    • You haven’t got it already or you would only have been charged 95p for the £1.40 journey.

  4. But the £1.40 was an underground journey. The 1/3 discount only applies to off-peak rail journeys, right?

    • Not since January this year. It now applies to all off-peak rail journeys, LU, NR and DLR.

  5. I just tried getting the discount added. In the first tube station I tried, the lady didn’t have a clue and told me to get some form from an NR station.

    The lady in the second station didn’t know much either and kept going on about the Goldcard. Then she claimed the discount only applies to NR journeys. Anyway, I was more persitent and she apparently loaded some change on to my Oyster. As usual, TfL employees turn out to be completely useless.

    However, the main question should be why the discount isn’t automatically applied to all annual Oyster cards!?!

    • I agree, the discount should be automatically loaded with annual travelcards. I think that the reason it isn’t is down to various complications. Firstly you can order a travelcard in advance but you can’t load a discount in advance. Secondly, when the Oyster system was first designed they didn’t include Gold Cards among the valid NR railcards. This may have been down to poor speccing, perhaps misunderstanding the difference between a Network Card and a Gold Card.

      As for the staff, I think your statement is a bit of a sweeping generalisation. I know several TfL staff members who are far from useless, in fact they often go the extra mile to ensure that the customer gets what they really need. Some of the training leaves a lot to be desired, but that isn’t entirely the fault of the front-line staff.

  6. I’m glad you’ve encountered more expertise.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t. I’ve been given dreadful and plain wrong advice by TfL and NR staff on many occasions. I have also complained about one member of staff at my local NR ticket office as he refused to accept a foreign (non chip & PIN) card my guest was trying use.

    That’s why I’m really grateful for your help, Mike! I wouldn’t have known about those lovely OEPs or the Railcard discount otherwise.

    • OK Jeff, no problem. You ought to consider complaining to TfL about the issues you encountered adding the discount recently. There clearly are some stations where the training just hasn’t got through.

  7. Mike,

    I’ve tried three tube stations and one NR station without any luck now. Would you mind explaining the precise procedure for getting the Railcard discount (due to annual Travelcard) added to my Oyster, please? LU staff are claiming this is impossible. Does one of your contacts know what button they have to press on their system, please?

    • Hi Jeff,

      Take a look at the Railcard Discounts page and print out the instructions on there. They should be sufficient for any tube station to do it. If you still have problems then I know London Bridge staff know what to do as that is where I have visited with my Mum’s senior railcard.

      Please also ensure that you feedback to TfL with details of your issues.

  8. Hey Mike,

    I just tried at an LU station. The guy there thought this can only be done at a combined LU/NR station such as Liverpool Street. I convinced him to try nevertheless. After following the first few steps of your guide, he was prompted for my Oyster password. Now this password dates back many years when I first got my card and is not the one I use to manage my Oyster online. I don’t seem to remember this ancient password.

    Firstly, can the NR discount be loaded at ANY LU station? Secondly, if the Oyster password is really required, how do I go about resetting it, please?

    • Hmmmm. I don’t remember needing a password when I did my Mum’s card, but I could have done. You set it at registration and it is either a memorable date, place or name, from memory. There must be a way of changing it. The helpdesk would probably be the place to try. They usually need this password to be able to talk to you.

  9. OK, and what’s your take on the subject of whether it’s any LU station, please? The guy from earlier insisted that he wouldn’t be able to do it anyway because there’s no NR at his station.

    • Hi Jeff,

      It can be done at any LU station. It has nothing to do with whether there are NR trains or not. Also, according to the Oyster website the security question is either “mother’s maiden name”, memorable date or memorable place.

  10. Alright – got my ancient password and returned to the same guy from this morning.

    There’s a 50% chance I now have the NR discount. He showed me what he was doing on-screen and it vaguely resembled your guide. We definitely selected “NR Discount” and I told him the expiry date of my annual travelcard.

    However, the mini statement merely showed a journey history but the chap said he wouldn’t expect to see anything else on it. Time wil tell…..

    • I’d say you were sorted. It shouldn’t have been a mini statement though, that’s just like the journey history you see at an Underground ticket machine. The printout I got from London Bridge was about a foot long and listed absolutely everything you could possibly want to know about the card.

  11. The mini statement will not show the discount as was advise by the LU staff when I had mine done in January. The only time you’ll know the discount has been added successfully is when you use it as part of your payg journey.

    • … or if you are given a full printout which lists (in order):

      • Capability details
      • Card Issue details (where you bought it, deposit etc)
      • Personal details (includes discounts, photocard number)
      • Ticket details (travelcards and bus-passes)
      • Summary details (type of card, pre-pay balance)
      • Add Pre-pay details (last three top-ups)
      • Oyster Usage Statement (last eight journeys)
  12. I’ll let you know when I make a relevant trip…

    Getting back to the subject of OEPs: I’m amazed that I still have the option of setting one when I charge my Oyster at the machine.

  13. (I’m a different Jeff to the one whose commented before)

    The first time I travelled after OEPs were dead I wanted to check on a machine (not that I didn’t trust this site) and when I attempted to add the OEP, it said they were no longer needed and couldn’t be added. I suspect they haven’t updated the software on the machines the completely remove the option.


    • Thanks Jeff,

      I don’t suppose there’s much incentive to spend too much time removing the feature.

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