The annoyance of 'FCC only' & Britain's train ticketing

I travelled down to Brighton today for a day of Drupal goodness at the Brighton Area Drupal Camp (#BADCampUK). Living close to London Bridge station, it's a relatively short journey and cheap as well - as long as you know to press that obscure 'FCC only' on the self-service ticket machines.

If you know what you're doing, you can get a day return for £10. If you don't, they'll happily offer you a ticket for almost £25.

For those of you who don't know - and frankly, why should you - FCC is short for First Capital Connect, the name of the train operating company that runs the line from Bedford to Brighton. The other company that offers a service to Brighton is Southern, who don't even offer a direct service to Brighton from London Bridge (as far as I can see from

If you turn up to a station for a day trip to somewhere, should you really need to understand the complexities of the British railway system just to enable you to buy the best value ticket for your journey? Should you be expected to know what 'FCC only' means so that you know to select that?

My view is that you should you be able to say 'I want to go to Brighton for a day, give me the best price ticket from this station'. You would expect that service from the staff at the ticket counter, so why do they not offer you the same level of service at the machine that's meant to make everyone's life easier?

Presumably there are plenty more examples like this across the British rail network, I just decided to pick on this one because it winds me up each time I travel to Brighton.