I often travel by intercity train in the UK on Advance tickets, which I usually book through the TOC's own website. The TOC has my electronic-mail address, but I never give it my mobile number.
I want to know whether the TOC having my mobile number (as opposed to just my electronic-mail address), would effect the outcome of the following scenario:
- I had booked an Advance ticket;
- the booked train were retimed at short notice;
- as a direct result of the retiming, I did not get the booked train; and
- either I ask the ticket office or train guard to allow me to travel on the next train instead
- or I board the next train without getting explicit permission (because I believe I am entitled to do so)
- or I board the next train without getting explicit permission (because the ticket office is closed or has a very long queue, and the next train is about to depart).
My qualm with giving a mobile number is that, if I arrive at the departure station and discover that my booked train had departed earlier than originally scheduled, the ticket office or train guard would refuse to allow me to travel on another train because "We sent an SMS to your registered mobile number telling you that the train had been retimed".
As I understand it, NRCOT entitles me to a full refund if a train is retimed. But it is unclear what happens if I still want to travel, but on a different train (e.g.: hourly services retimed to be 20 minutes earlier, but I prefer to get the departure 40 minutes later than the original time instead). In practice, I realise ticket restrictions are often lifted, but I want to know whether I can rely on this in principle, and whether the TOC's capacity to notify me of a train retiming makes any difference. My mobile telephone is often switched off, especially when I am travelling for leisure, and I do not want the obligation to check for notifications (on the other hand, I would like the opportunity to receive notifications if they are without prejudice to any rights I would have had absent said notifications).