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Unread 8th October 2010, 13:48   #1
k1mmie
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Default Youth fare prosecution advice please

On 27th August, my son aged 17 and some friends travelled to Brighton for a concert gig. They got on at Upminster and he paid on his Oyster to London Bridge and then a seperate ticket to Brighton. The concert over ran and they missed the last train home that night. Not wanting to be stuck in Brighton for nearly 6 hours with no where to stay, they were told by the bus driver that they could get a bus to one of the London airports then wait for the next train to run and go back on several trains. This meant he had to buy a bus fare back to London (which took all his money) and then use what he had left on his Oyster to get home. The trouble is he had to get to Laindon which is out of the Zones and his Oyster had covered him to West Ham. Eventually at abour 6:45 the next day he called me to pick him up after travelling nearly 6 hours to get home.

An inspector stopped and asked for his ticket for which he explained what had happened and that he had paid all the way to West Ham but ran out of money to get the last leg of the journey as he had to pay for the bus. My son showed him the ticket for the previous part of the journey to prove his story. He took his details and statement.

Today 8th October, I get a letter saying that" he was travelling between the two stations without paying the correct fare. That Non payment ofrail fares is an ofence which may be prosecuted in a Youh Court. In order that I may close the report from our inspector, I request that the fare of 6.40 and an administrative fee should now be paid.

Payment should be for 51.40 which represents a 45.00 administration fee and 6.40 for the outstandign fare".

I acknowledge that this statement is correct in that he did not have a fare for the last part of the journey. Could someone please advise me if they are obliged to supply a copy of their report? This seems excessive considering the fare. Do I have any rights to challenge this?

Any help please much appreciated.
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Unread 8th October 2010, 14:47   #2
tony_mac
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Of course you can challenge it and see that evidence - but that would probably involve going to court and pleading not guilty. Even if you are found not guilty it would still probably cost you more than the 'administration' fee, at least in terms of time and stress.

Until then, you could ask them nicely to waive or reduce the fee. If they are feeling generous, then they might, but I would be a little surprised.

It's an unfortunate set of circumstances, but however you dress it up, he tried to get away without paying, and I wouldn't expect masses of sympathy.
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Unread 8th October 2010, 14:54   #3
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I've never heard of this (extremely excessive) administration fee. What company is the letter from?
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Unread 8th October 2010, 14:58   #4
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I'd like to know whos ent the lette rout as well! I;d also like toc larify where the inspector was (ie on train or at a station) and confirm that your son had travelled, or was travelling, between West Ham and Laindon?
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Unread 8th October 2010, 17:10   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblackwatch View Post
What company is the letter from?
I am guessing that the letter is from C2C or their representative.
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Unread 8th October 2010, 17:16   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transportphoto View Post
I am guessing that the letter is from C2C or their representative.
Not helpful. Please wait for a response from the OP before speculating.
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Unread 8th October 2010, 17:18   #7
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It'll probably be the dreaded Revenue Support Services (is that the right name? something like that!) I have had the misfortune of reading some of their letters (fortunately not sent to me!), they are not nice people to say the least! They add on fees if you do not pay within (IIRC) 2 weeks of originally invoicing you, however the OP seems to suggest that the admin fee was already added, which is strange.

But then if the admin fee is 45, the fare is only 6.40 - why are they not charging a Penalty Fare?

This does sound strange indeed.
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Unread 8th October 2010, 17:51   #8
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I know its advice after the horse is bolted but there is only a gap of 4 hours in services to London from Brighton from 23.37 to 03.50.
If you cant wait for the milk train there is a national express coach from Brighton to Gatwick Airport South terminal at 01.00 and 03.00 the adult fare is 7.50 and you will not have any problem with turning up and paying at departure. gatwick Airport has a half hourly rail service to London through the night alternatively to London Bridge and Victoria.
If you are stranded in Brighton with no money speak to the ticket office at Brighton they have facilities to issue you with a ticket that you can pay for later or if you have missed the last train with a day return it is likely that they will just endorse your ticket to allow you to travel on the milk train.
It may not surprise you that teenager at brighton station with no money and usually a lot the worse for wear isnt a rare occurence.
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Unread 8th October 2010, 18:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yorkie View Post
They add on fees if you do not pay within (IIRC) 2 weeks of originally invoicing you, however the OP seems to suggest that the admin fee was already added, which is strange.
If you look at the date of the error, Aug 27, vs the receipt of the letter, Oct 8, I'm guessing our "revenue friends" have assumed that they sent out a letter that was ignored, so this letter has the bonus admin fee...
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Unread 8th October 2010, 20:38   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yorkie View Post
It'll probably be the dreaded Revenue Support Services (is that the right name? something like that!) I have had the misfortune of reading some of their letters (fortunately not sent to me!), they are not nice people to say the least! They add on fees if you do not pay within (IIRC) 2 weeks of originally invoicing you, however the OP seems to suggest that the admin fee was already added, which is strange.

But then if the admin fee is 45, the fare is only 6.40 - why are they not charging a Penalty Fare?

This does sound strange indeed.
I've had one of these, though it was so long ago I can't remember if it was from c2c or a 3rd party (it was on the c2c line though). Funnily enough I was fined 51.40 too - it worked out 50 fine and 1.40 for the ticket I should have bought. The letter said I should pay the fine or be taken to court.
I was in the wrong and didn't want the grief, so I paid it.
I must've been around 17 at the time too... coincidences, coincidences...
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Unread 8th October 2010, 20:55   #11
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Hi and thank you all for your input. Sorry for the delay. The letter is from C2C Rail Prosecution Department. My son was actually at the destination station and the ticket barrier was manned. He asked to be let out and explained his situation. The ticket guy said no and so he tried to contact me via his mobile phone as he was now trapped in the station and was not allowed to exit. Whilst trying to call me, He was then approached by a woman and a man with a notepad who asked to see his ticket and he explained once again what had happened. They then wrote down what he had explained and took his details.

I am just confused as to why I am being charged an administration fee and not a penalty fare. Is this the same thing? Is it normally this excessive for such a small shortfall on a fare?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul1609 View Post
I know its advice after the horse is bolted but there is only a gap of 4 hours in services to London from Brighton from 23.37 to 03.50.
If you cant wait for the milk train there is a national express coach from Brighton to Gatwick Airport South terminal at 01.00 and 03.00 the adult fare is 7.50 and you will not have any problem with turning up and paying at departure. gatwick Airport has a half hourly rail service to London through the night alternatively to London Bridge and Victoria.
If you are stranded in Brighton with no money speak to the ticket office at Brighton they have facilities to issue you with a ticket that you can pay for later or if you have missed the last train with a day return it is likely that they will just endorse your ticket to allow you to travel on the milk train.
It may not surprise you that teenager at brighton station with no money and usually a lot the worse for wear isnt a rare occurence.

HI. This sounds like the service and route he took to get back. Unfortunately the 7.50 swallowed up the last of his cash for the last leg of the journey. He did ask the driver if he could use his return to London Bridge on the bus, but was told he has to pay but they would allow him to use it on the trains to get back even though it was for the next morning.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0b View Post
If you look at the date of the error, Aug 27, vs the receipt of the letter, Oct 8, I'm guessing our "revenue friends" have assumed that they sent out a letter that was ignored, so this letter has the bonus admin fee...
I'm not so sure as this letter explains the whole story from scratch as though it is a first letter. There is no mention of a previous letter or any indication that anything had been sent to my address before.

It clearly states the fare and administrative fee.

Last edited by k1mmie; 8th October 2010 at 20:55. Reason: Double post prevention system
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Unread 8th October 2010, 20:57   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Not helpful. Please wait for a response from the OP before speculating.
But which other company runs trains from West Ham to Laindon? It is most likely c2c

Oh, it is, I missed the reply...

Last edited by charlesn132; 8th October 2010 at 20:58. Reason: didn't see reply
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Unread 8th October 2010, 21:06   #13
k1mmie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesn132 View Post
But which other company runs trains from West Ham to Laindon? It is most likely c2c

Oh, it is, I missed the reply...

lol
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Unread 8th October 2010, 21:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1mmie View Post
Hi and thank you all for your input. Sorry for the delay. The letter is from C2C Rail Prosecution Department. My son was actually at the destination station and the ticket barrier was manned. He asked to be let out and explained his situation. The ticket guy said no and so he tried to contact me via his mobile phone as he was now trapped in the station and was not allowed to exit. Whilst trying to call me, He was then approached by a woman and a man with a notepad who asked to see his ticket and he explained once again what had happened. They then wrote down what he had explained and took his details.

I am just confused as to why I am being charged an administration fee and not a penalty fare. Is this the same thing? Is it normally this excessive for such a small shortfall on a fare?
My advice would be to pay it and put it down to experience. My opinion is that c2c probably have enough evidence to prosecute under the railway byelaws which would see the young lad saddled with a criminal record! It appears, they're taking into account the circumstances and allowing you to pay the fare plus an admin fee (yes, the admin fee is a little steep). As a rough guide, if they took it to Court, you could expect to pay out somewhere in the region of 200-350 quid, plus the fare due. And I'm of the opinion that any Court case would be pretty open and shut too. Did the young lad travel without a valid ticket? Yes. Did he have the means to pay for a valid ticket? No. I appreciate this advice probably isn't what you wanted to hear, but it's the best I can offer you!
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Unread 8th October 2010, 22:10   #15
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Ferrett probably has the best advice, but it is unfortunate this is being charged at over 700% of the fare when it seems like the young lad was simply caught out by circumstance, rather than attempting to deliberately avoid paying a fare.

I wouldn't find him guilty of intentionally evading the fare if I was on a jury.
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