Appealed for ticket fine denied even thought wrong ££ amount charged

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by king100011, 20 May 2019.

  1. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    What I find most remarkable about the response to the second-level appeal is that it doesn't include a single reference to the regulations against which it was supposed to have been judged! It ought to have explained its reasoning by quoting specific parts of the regulations, instead of leaving you to guess the method it used.

    But third-level appeals are decided by a subset of the people listed here - https://www.appealservice.co.uk/IndependentAppealsPanel - and their biographies show careers dealing with legal matters and complaints resolution outside the railways - so we should hope that they will either accept the argument presented, or alternatively provide legally-robust reasoning for its rejection.
     
  2. jumble

    jumble Member

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    I sorry but personally could not disagree more
    The TOC have told a blatant porkie by claiming that they have acted in accordance with the rules
    The TOC have tremendous power by being able to prosecute people on a strict liability basis and need to be taken to task if they abuse this power which they are by telling lies and in my view liars do not deserve to be paid any extra.
    ( they have not lost out as the OP had paid for the journey but was not able to produce the ticket)
    I am pleased that there are people on the forum who clearly agree.
    It is amusing that you think it is OK for the TOC to make a mistake but if the OP makes a mistake he has to pay 3 times the cost of the journey.
    Where is the Morality in this?
     
    Last edited: 22 May 2019
  3. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Im sure you are pleased that others are finding a small fault here to enable the OP to get off paying the railway what it is owed.

    Nice edit - I think you will find that I didnt say it was OK for the TOC to make a mistake on the form at all - unless ive missed it since you edited to add this bit - however the rules of travelling without a ticket are quite clear are they not? Do you think that rules should not be there because someone has allegedly made a mistake? So lets get rid of them yes? This is basically what you are saying here so lets do that then.

    Free train rides for everyone!!
     
  4. kristiang85

    kristiang85 Member

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    Sorry if I'm stating the obvious here or its already been said (I couldn't see any mention of it) - why not retrieve the copy of your un-used return from your finance department and send it to them as proof of purchase, along with a copy of the transaction on your bank statement, apologetically explaining the circumstances?

    At this point they will probably say no, but that's what I would have done in your place rather than trying to get them on a technicality and potentially getting their backs up.
     
  5. 221129

    221129 Established Member

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    Because why appeal to goodwill when you have valid grounds to appeal?
     
  6. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Because the issuance of the Penalty Fare is not predicated on having paid, or not paid, the relevant fare. It is about producing a valid ticket. The OP was unable to do so at the time, and accordingly GA will have no interest whatsoever in seeing the ticket now.

    And as @221129 says, it is not a mere technicality for a Penalty Fare to be issued for the wrong amount. Train companies should make it very, very easy for their staff to get it right. If they don't, then they have no-one else to blame. Getting their backs up is, again, irrelevant, since they are now barred from prosecuting and therefore there is little which they can do even if the Penalty Fare goes entirely unpaid.
     
  7. 221129

    221129 Established Member

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    The Railway isn't owed anything, that is the point. It's extremely rare that I will defend someone who was in the wrong, but in this case, the PF is invalid, and the OP had actually paid their fare.
     
  8. jumble

    jumble Member

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    The rules should of course stay but point you are missing is that GA did not abide by the rules.

    Except the OP who paid for their journey and because of the failure of GA to abide by the rules invokes the rule that states that the OP does not owe anything more for that journey.

    I wonder if it has occurred to you that both parliament and the author of the rule allowing appeal intended it to be there to prevent TOCs from collecting PFs if they issue for the the wrong amount.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 22 May 2019
  9. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    It's the same kind of 'small fault' as the OP's mistake! The difference being that the OP did not deprive the TOC of any money through what they did, and were more than happy to provide their ticket after the fact - whilst the TOC were more than happy to make the OP pay their fare three times over.

    The rules are clear for passengers and TOCs. If both the passenger and the TOC break the rules I think it is perfectly fair for it to be written off with no further action from either side.

    I think that Penalty Fares are generally speaking not an effective scheme to deter fare evasion, because of a variety of issues, but whether or not they should exist at all is an entirely different question.

    It's only a free ride for as long as the TOC decides to settle the incident by means of a flawed Penalty Fare. They could equally as well simply have sold the OP another ticket and then the OP would have been unable to recover anything. That they didn't do that is entirely their choice and their mistake.
     
  10. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Other than taking the OP to the county court to recover the amount outstanding...
     
  11. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Which Revenue Protection departments are not in the business of conducting, but even if they were, it would be defendable on exactly the same grounds as the appeals here and now.
     
  12. king100011

    king100011 Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Its not about the fine now, its the principle. I use this route a few times a month and have never ever not purchased a ticket. I am not a serial offender. AS I have also stated an honest mistake was made which I quoted Jo Johnson above.

    The rules are rules, I admit I didnt have a valid ticket with me, yet I bought a ticket, no loss of income for the train company, yet they didnt act within the rules when issuing the fine.

    In this case they have over charged me then why should I pay? They broken their regulations. How many other times has this happened? Is is not considered fraud?

    On another note I have also emailed the Minister of Transport and my local MP.
     
  13. king100011

    king100011 Member

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    1st Appeal was on these grounds of honest mistake
    2nd Appeal was on the grounds of over charged for the fine
    Both denied.
     
  14. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    I thought you said your first appeal was successful?
     
  15. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    I am not surprised that your first appeal was rejected - having (on your person) no ticket at all is a byelaw offence, having the wrong sort of ticket for your journey is an "honest mistake".
    Your second appeal was IMO valid, as there was a mistake in the paperwork and TOCs are not allowed to make honest mistakes. I trust the independent appeal panel will allow it and you will have saved yourself £42.80.
     
    Last edited: 23 May 2019
  16. king100011

    king100011 Member

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    Nope both denied

    I had the 1st leg out, and the receipt on me and also whilst I was being issued I got a picture of the return leg sent to me.

    Also is there a definition of "honest mistake"?
     
    Last edited: 23 May 2019
  17. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    The context clearly suggests that getting an incorrect ticket might qualify - for example, buying an offpeak ticket and using it when it is barred. And in that circumstance a PF is not chargeable. However, the appeal panel might be more generous.

    BTW the words of a Minister do not form part of the regulations.
     
  18. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Some people on this forum persist in using it, but as you realise, it can cover anything (including deliberately dishonest behaviour subsequently regretted) and should be completely avoided.
    A term that does get official use is "honest passengers".

    The defunct SRA, which used to regulate PFs before that role was handed to the DfT (which since deleted most of the guidance), said:
    And here are some quotes from one of the Parliamentary debates for the original bill:

     
  19. king100011

    king100011 Member

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    Quick question

    Schedule 2 Appeal Procedure states

    6. Where an Appeal Panel receives an appeal under regulation 16 or 17, it must decide whether to allow or not allow the appeal before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the appeal is received.

    Does that mean they must decide within 21 days of receiving appeal?

    01/04/2019 Account was created on Appeal Service website
    01/04/2019 Appeal has been logged
    01/04/2019 Awaiting notice from transport provider
    01/04/2019 Your appeal is awaiting assessment. Due to high volumes of appeals, your response may be delayed, however your case is currently on hold, and a response will be issued as soon as possible.
    04/05/2019 Your appeal has been assessed and a response has been sent to your nominated email account, or by post where email was not possible
    06/05/2019 Penalty Fare was confirmed on our system
    06/05/2019 Further correspondence received
    07/05/2019 Your appeal is awaiting assessment. Due to high volumes of appeals, your response may be delayed, however your case is currently on hold, and a response will be issued as soon as possible.
    20/05/2019 Your appeal has been assessed and a response has been sent to your nominated email account, or by post where email was not possible.

    Thats more than 21 days
     
  20. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    That could be another failing of their system, then. If they don't respond within the time limit then that brings the matter to a close and their system should have automatically written it off.

     
  21. king100011

    king100011 Member

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    Also not picking issues with this process, 1st appeal letter states

    IMPORTANT: Please note that failure to pay or further appeal within this stated time may result in Greater Anglia
    taking further action to recover the outstanding debt.


    As per regulations 8(d)

    Next letter

    Payment, or further appeal, must be received within 14 days of the date of this letter. Full payment options including, what will happen if you do not pay, are detailed in this response.

    No payment options included, nothing about what will happen if I dont pay as per regulation

    12. Where an Appeal Panel notifies its decision not to allow an appeal under regulation 17 it must provide the appellant with a statement that—

    (a)the person has the right to appeal against the decision to the relevant Final Appeal Panel; and

    (b)the operator will be entitled to commence court proceedings to recover the penalty fare if the appellant does not—

    (i)appeal the decision to the relevant Final Appeal Panel within the 14 day period provided for by regulation 18(1)(a); or

    (ii)pay the penalty fare within that period

    So even if I decided to pay after 2nd appeal I have no idea to pay now.
     
  22. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    So you could point out all these things to them and help them to get it right in future for other people. (Consultancy fee?)
     
  23. king100011

    king100011 Member

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    I received a letter in between

    Date: 15 April 2019

    Dear
    Re: Penalty Fare Notice
    Thank you for your correspondence concerning the issue of the above referenced Penalty Fare.
    This case is currently on hold and is awaiting full assessment. We are currently experiencing a high level of
    appeals and apologise for the delay. We are committed to ensuring your appeal is fully investigated and, on
    occasion, this can take extra time to investigate.
    All communication received within AS is dealt with in order of date received, a full response will be issued as soon
    as possible. If you have not received a response within 3 weeks of the date of this letter please contact us at the
    address above, or through the website www.appealservice.co.uk.

    2 weeks into their 3 week time frame.
     
  24. king100011

    king100011 Member

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    But not in my final appeal letter? Separate letter of complaint?
     
  25. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    The process they work under says they send that letter if it's going to take too long, but crucially the regulations don't appear to allow them to do that. You've no incentive to help them fix their processes.
    Maybe still put in the 3rd appeal as already suggested, but perhaps with a cover note or a supplementary paragraph pointing out that even if this appeal is rejected, you don't believe you have any further liability because the last appeal timed out.
     
  26. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    If you wanted to discuss this, I agree that separating it from the appeal process itself is wise.
     
  27. king100011

    king100011 Member

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    My 3rd appeal. Please check if ok

    The Appeals Body has previously accepted that the Penalty Fare was issued for an incorrect amount, as it was not issued for the amount which Regulation 9(1) of The Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 2018 prescribes.


    This is to say that it is satisfied that a ground for appeal under Regulation 16(3)(a) applies - being that the Penalty Fare was not charged in accordance with the requirements of the Regulations.


    Accordingly, the Appeal Panel is required, by Regulation 18(4) of the Regulations, to allow this third stage appeal (and was also under an obligation to allow the second stage appeal). It is not within the remit of the Appeal Panel to vary the Penalty Fare after it has been issued; Regulation 18(4) is explicitly clear that:


    "If the relevant Final Appeal Panel, after considering an appeal under this regulation, concludes that any ground specified in regulation 16(3) applies, it must, subject to paragraph (7), allow the appeal."


    I await your appeal response confirming that my appeal has been upheld.


    Should my appeal be rejected for the 3rd time according to the The Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 2018, Schedule 2 Appeal Procedure 6 - Where an Appeal Panel receives an appeal under regulation 16 or 17, it must decide whether to allow or not allow the appeal before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the appeal is received. The appeal was received 01/04/2019 yet the response was received on the 04/05/2019, well outside the 21 days allowed. There is no regulation set for a letter in between these dates stating that you have “high level of appeals” or that my appeal “needs to be fully investigated”.


    With this in mind I don’t believe that I have further liability as my initial appeal went over the regulated time period.
     
  28. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Hmm, I think the issue here is that this is currently drafted as almost two appeals stuck into one. I also think it is important to be assertive in that you are sure you have no further liability; anything less is not exactly going to convince them. How about this:
    @furlong what do you reckon of this?
     
  29. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Yes - two procedural irregularities - and if an appeals panel is formed to consider this, that would be a further irregularity, as, upon reading this response, they should cease proceedings immediately and not ask you for any further money (and if you already paid, refund you in full) - unless they see a flaw in the arguments, constituting another appeals panel would be a waste of everyone's time as there is no decision to be made.
     
    Last edited: 23 May 2019
  30. farleigh

    farleigh Member

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    Good luck with this King100011
     

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