This is a very true story, not a dramatization. I'm not of the school that says not to pick up your tickets until the day of travel, and here was a good reason why. I was forced into doing this by having made my reservation for this points run trip a couple days ago. So... no discounts since it was past the threshold deadline for validity.
I arrived at the Trenton Transit Center station at about 5:20 AM, in advance of my first trip segment to start at 5:35 AM. As it has worked so many times before, I went to the one QT machine on the back end of the station closest to the parking garage (there are two more in front closer to where the live ticket agents are). In front of this machine I waved the bar code for my first trip, which was a 2-segment journey on Regional #151 TRE-PHL and Regional #111 PHL-WIL. I had a similar reervation for another 2 trains to get from WIL-PHL and PHL-TRE. So the machine read my bar code for 151/111, and vended me just one ticket. All I got was the #111 ticket for PHL-WIL. No ticket was vended for the #151 ticket, the one I would need in a few minutes for my first train. Panic set in. At 5:20 AM would anyone be there yet who could help me? I stuck my hand into the QT machine, not all the way in, but enough to see if a ticket had jammed. I came up with a totally blank stock ticket with absolutely no imprint on it at all regarding anyone's trip. I correctly figured that this would not be legal tender aboard the train since it didn't carry a name, an origin, a destination, or anything else.
I brought my 111 and empty tickets to the ticket windows on the other end of the building, to find one Amtrak clerk who had luckily opened up early. When I explained what happened, verified my name, and left her dumbfounded as to how this could have happened, she said she would have somebody check out the machine ASAP. Then in trying to reprint my tickets, it was coming up with a higher fare than I had paid. That wasn't going to fly, as I didn't break the machine. I convinced her that I had paid a total of $38 for the 2 tickets, and I expected the replacements to be the same. It's a good thing I hadn't had the 3 days lead time to get the AAA rate, since it would have been lost right here. Anyhow she found a way to printout my new tickets at the current fare. I made sure my AGR info was transposed onto the new tickets, and then I was on my way, with bare minutes to spare before the train was due.
My second purchase I did later from Philadelphia, for the 2 trip segments going back (#130 WIL-PHL and #172 PHL-TRE), and they printed very well in the QT machine.
Hopefully they found a fix for their blank check writer in Trenton. Obviously the blank ticket, which I would have loved to retain for "Show-And-Tell," had to be lifted from me as proof of the problem so they could investigate what happened.
Moral to the story: They can make mistakes, and so let the buyer beware. Check them carefully before you step away from the machine, just in case you may have to do a little digging of your own.