Charged £20 due to travelling without enough funds on my Oyster

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debbosno92

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Please could someone tell me if i would have a successful appeal.
Written letter to First Connect as below.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I started my journey with my Daughter from Highbury and Islington Station 30/05/12 @ 15:49 noticed my Oyster balance at the barriers which was £5.67, Boarded train to Finsbury Park Station exited Station then boarded W3 Bus to Crouch End Middle Lane, Where my Daughter had a dentist appointment.
Return journey home, Boarded W3 Bus @ 17:26 to Finsbury Park Station where they do not have barriers just touch in readers, touched in with my Oyster, heard beep proceeded to platform to get train to Highbury and Islington, exited train to leave station, Ticket inspectors were there, I produced my Oyster thinking I had sufficient fare on my Oyster whilst travelling with my Daughter. They stated I did not have valid fare on my Oyster, I was then fined £20.
Please note on penalty fine it states NO TICKET which was not the case, insufficient fare was on the card which I was not aware of.

My statement is as above and the reason I am appealing this is I believed I had sufficient fare on my Oyster.
I have never been fined in my life as I am an honest law abiding citizen, My Daughter was embarrassed as was I.
 
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Simon11

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You mentioned that you used the touch in pads at finsbury. There are in fact barriers on the fcc platforms once you reach to the top of the stairs on the platform. You might have missed them as they could have been open.

I also believe that the touch in pads would tell you how much you have on your oyster and gone red upon reading this.
 

aformeruser

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You haven't mentioned whether you were using the Oyster card in question or your daughter was using it, or what day of the week it was. Evening peak time fares may have applied on a weekday but not on a Saturday.
 

debbosno92

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I entered Finsbury park station from Wells Terrace where there ar e no barriers touched in heard beep in bit of a rush was using my own Oyster, this was Wednesday just gone
 

wintonian

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I'll leave it to more knowledgeable people to advise but a couple of observations if I may,

1, it is a penalty fare not a fine, these can only be imposed by a court.

2, I don't think any one will be able to tell you if your appeal will be successful or not, but they may be able advise on how to increase your chances of success.

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk 2
 

debbosno92

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Also had £1.21 remaining on card so have been informed it should have gone to minus figure too.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'll leave it to more knowledgeable people to advise but a couple of observations if I may,

1, it is a penalty fare not a fine, these can only be imposed by a court.

2, I don't think any one will be able to tell you if your appeal will be successful or not, but they may be able advise on how to increase your chances of success.

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk 2

Thank you
 

RJ

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Please could someone tell me if i would have a successful appeal.
Written letter to First Connect as below.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I started my journey with my Daughter from Highbury and Islington Station 30/05/12 @ 15:49 noticed my Oyster balance at the barriers which was £5.67, Boarded train to Finsbury Park Station exited Station then boarded W3 Bus to Crouch End Middle Lane, Where my Daughter had a dentist appointment.
Return journey home, Boarded W3 Bus @ 17:26 to Finsbury Park Station where they do not have barriers just touch in readers, touched in with my Oyster, heard beep proceeded to platform to get train to Highbury and Islington, exited train to leave station, Ticket inspectors were there, I produced my Oyster thinking I had sufficient fare on my Oyster whilst travelling with my Daughter. They stated I did not have valid fare on my Oyster, I was then fined £20.
Please note on penalty fine it states NO TICKET which was not the case, insufficient fare was on the card which I was not aware of.

My statement is as above and the reason I am appealing this is I believed I had sufficient fare on my Oyster.
I have never been fined in my life as I am an honest law abiding citizen, My Daughter was embarrassed as was I.

Hi,

With Oyster, in 99% of cases it's open and shut. By the sounds of it, your Oyster Card had insufficient credit on it, so they were right to issue the Penalty Fare.

Being quite experienced with both issuing Penalty Fares to passengers and appealing such notices having been issued with one, I'd say you have close to zero chance of a successful appeal. However, if you have the time to spare then there's not much to lose by trying.

The Oyster Card will only go into minus figures if you had enough to undertake the cheapest possible journey from the station, i.e to the next stop. £1.40 is the cheapest Oyster PAYG fare from Finsbury Park, so if you had less than that, the card would not have validated without telling you to seek assistance.

Hope this helps.
 

yorkie

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Is your card registered online? Any chance of logging in and taking a screenshot of your journey history?
I have never been fined in my life as I am an honest law abiding citizen, My Daughter was embarrassed as was I.
You've still not been fined. If the inspectors suggested you have they were were incorrect.

You have been charged a Penalty Fare, which is a fare charged for an innocent mistake, such as believing you were touched in to the system when, unfortunately you had not been touched in.

If they had reason to believe you were acting in a way that was not law abiding, they could have taken a statement from you for consideration by the Prosecutions Department to issue legal proceedings against you and if found guilty then - and only then - could a fine be imposed. As this didn't happen, no-one is suggesting you're not law abiding.
 

RJ

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Thank you for your response looks like i have to wipe my mouth with it.

Sorry about that. We all make mistakes, sometimes the company chooses to be unsympathetic but that's their perogative.

If you feel aggrieved over a £20 Penalty Fare, some Train Operating Companies are completely ruthless with respect to Oyster Card irregularities. See here, where a passenger was prosecuted twice and received a criminal record + hefty fines for not taking due care using Oyster over the course of one day in that part of the world!
 

monty9120

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surely 3 trips on a fiver. would be pushing the limit a little.i have had my oyster go into minus before when its read my card wrong and i have been charged more
 

yorkie

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surely 3 trips on a fiver. would be pushing the limit a little.i have had my oyster go into minus before when its read my card wrong and i have been charged more
True, it would be pushing it.
1 x tube off peak single £1.40
2 x bus single (@ £1.30 each) £2.60
1 x tube peak single £1.50
Total = £5.50


Can I recommend auto topup? I have this (on one of my cards; I have two) even though I don't live in London. It will eliminate the risk of running out of funds and all the potential problems that could entail.
 
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MikeWh

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I'd echo the auto top up suggestion, well worth it's weight in gold. You get an email the day after it's claimed funds so you can go and check journey history if you think it's gone down too quick.

Just to correct those fares though:

Off-peak single: £1.40
Bus (2x£1.35): £2.70
Peak single: £1.50

Which by my reckoning means you should have had enough, unless I'm missing something obvious. If you can get a screen print of your journey history, or go to a tube station and ask the ticket office to print out the last 8 journeys, we can look at it further.
 

swt_passenger

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Did the OP touch out at Finsbury Park before getting on the first bus - because he doesn't explicitly mention it?

If he didn't, he'd have incurred a max cash fare for that leg of the journey?

Is 'train' definitely a train, or was it underground - this makes a difference as to whether you see barriers or not at FP...
 
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debbosno92

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yes touched in and out at every point
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
bee informed it cost £3 return Highbury to Finsbury Park
plus x 2 bus fares @ £1.35 = £5.70 and does not state balance on history just top ups and usuage
 

oversteer

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Where has the £3 return figure come from?

£5.67
-£1.40 Highgate to Finsbury
-£1.35 bus
-£1.35 bus
= £1.57 before starting your journey back from Finsbury Park to Highgate .. so for a journey of £1.50 you should have been fine.

The Oyster system deducts the max fare then refunds the difference when you complete your journey - do the TFL handheld validators report the PAYG balance at that mid-point which in your case would have been negative?

"When a customer touches in at the start of a Tube/DLR/London
Overground/National Rail journey, a charge of up to £7.80 is
deducted from their pay as you go credit. When they touch out at
the end of their journey the charge will be adjusted so that they
only pay the advertised Oyster single fare"

"When using bus, Tube, tram, DLR or London Overground
services, it is the customer’s responsibility to:
• have sufficient credit on their Oyster card to cover the
cost of their journey "

Which, as far as I can see, you did, so there should be no penalty fare.

See if you can get a copy of your journey history, either online or from a station.
 

MikeWh

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yes touched in and out at every point
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
bee informed it cost £3 return Highbury to Finsbury Park
plus x 2 bus fares @ £1.35 = £5.70 and does not state balance on history just top ups and usuage

£3 would be two peak journeys, but if you started before 1600 then the first journey was off-peak. The useage is what we want to see because it will explain where anything has gone wrong. If the last 8 journeys on the card do not cover it then call the helpdesk and ask for a statement to be emailed to you. Better still, if you already have an online account attached to the card then take a look at the journey history viewing detailed touches.
 

yorkie

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Can you press the 'Print Screen' button on your keyboard when you get to the right page, open an image editor, crop the image to just the relevant area, save it as a standard JPEG image file, and upload that as an attachment? (see this example)
 

island

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And how do you get a balance on your Oyster card that isn't a multiple of 5p?
 

IanD

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I have a number of Oyster cards that were issued as freebies (ie no deposit required) about 6 years ago and they all had an opening balance of 1p.

Also, don't the machines where you can top up with coins accept 2ps?
 

Mojo

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And how do you get a balance on your Oyster card that isn't a multiple of 5p?

I have a number of Oyster cards that were issued as freebies (ie no deposit required) about 6 years ago and they all had an opening balance of 1p.
This is how I have an odd balance ending in 1p on my Oyster card - it was given out free from the TfL website.
Also, don't the machines where you can top up with coins accept 2ps?
No. The minimum used to be 5p on London Underground machines, but is now 10p. I am not sure about topping up from ticket offices or from machines operated by the Tocs.
 

Urban Gateline

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No. The minimum used to be 5p on London Underground machines, but is now 10p. I am not sure about topping up from ticket offices or from machines operated by the Tocs.

I can confirm that SWT TVM's take 5p as the minimum, I believe most other TOC's machines do the same, especially FGW and SE who have the same style machines as us!
 

bb21

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If anyone wants to have an odd number of pence left on their Oyster balance, just top it up with an RTV that has an odd amount.
 

big_dirt

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I'd presume that a newsagent or other Oyster ticket stop agent can top up with an odd amount. I can't see why anyone would want to though. Maybe if you are buying an odd amount of other goods and ask the newsagent to put the change on to your Oyster.
 
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