Complex Delay Repay query

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Bletchleyite, 2 Jun 2019.

  1. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I should note that this journey is still in progress, though I would not anticipate further delay so I might as well post it now!

    Original plan was thus:

    13:47 - Aberdeen 16:24 - Edinburgh (Waverley) TRAIN (London North Eastern Railway)
    16:51 - Edinburgh (Waverley) 19:59 - Crewe TRAIN (Virgin Trains)
    20:16 - Crewe 22:15 - Bletchley TRAIN (West Midlands Trains) No seats reserved.

    Ticket is an Off Peak Return Bletchley-Aberdeen at £149.80.

    However two things have messed it up.

    First of all, the 1651 VT from Edinburgh ran about 30 minutes late throughout. This meant missing the connection onto the LNR at Crewe. No problem, say I, I can take the 2049 from Crewe (which is where I am now) and connect onto the same train at MKC to arrive at Bletchley with no delay.

    But then LNR's present debacle stepped in, and that train is cancelled south of Rugby. This means I will arrive (barring further delay) at Bletchley precisely 30 minutes late. With the high fare involved the Delay Repay is not an insignificant sum.

    The complexity lies in that if the VT had not been late, I technically could have taken the 2024 VT from Crewe, which no doubt being a Liverpool service would not have been much fun with the footy thing today, but would actually have got me home 30 minutes earlier than planned.

    So who do I claim my 30-odd quid off? Is it VT because their train was delayed first - but would have had no effect on my arrival time even if it would have required a replan? Or is it LNR, because their cancellation has actually caused the delay?

    I am quite enthusiastic to ensure this one is paid as it is not a small sum and it is the railway's fault (and am particularly enthusiastic to whack LNR with it if possible because of the present debacle).

    I do have an itinerary for the above with reservations (except on the LNR as they don't do them).

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I would say VT and I'd base it against the earlier arrival time.
     
  4. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    The claim is against Virgin Trains, who caused the delay, and is against the original itinerary for your journey.
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Thanks for this, I suspected this would probably be the case.

    I've submitted it to VT for a 30-59 minute delay, let's see what they do. I had no intention of taking the train originating at Liverpool even if I'd been there on time for it, as it would have been grim (full of drunken football supporters) - I had intended to take the LNR as booked - so I think I'd be well out of order claiming as if I had intended to do that.
     
  6. tomwills98

    tomwills98 Member

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    How we view it is if journey leg A fails to connect with journey leg B regardless if leg B is on time or delayed, compensation responsibility falls to the operator of leg A. The exception is if Leg B is cancelled where the compensation baton gets passed to them, as even if leg A arrived on time it would have no effect to the delay of the passenger's journey.

    Just make sure Virgin look at the delay for the whole journey and not just their service to make sure you get the full amount.
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The latter is why I thought it would be LNR who would have to pay, as VT's delay actually made no difference to the overall delay - it took LNR's cancellation to do that.

    It's the same both ways - 30 minutes (well, 30 vs 40, but the compensation is the same). I'm not claiming for the hypothetical scenario that I could have used the 2024 from Liverpool as I had no intention whatsoever of using that train (that would be 1hr compensation, but would also be fraudulent). Though that said I may have used it had I arrived at Crewe on time and only then seen that the LNR was canned south of Rugby.

    Mind you, it's about the rules, not about who is morally liable. I'd hold LNR morally liable as without their cancellation I'd have got home on time, just by connecting with the same train at a different place. But I am admittedly presently rather biased against LNR for their actions relating to the new timetable. And I've come across similar situations before - an 8 minute delay to a VT meant missing a tight but "legal" conection resulting in a 3 hour delay arriving because TPE also cancelled the last train and put on a (very slow) bus, VT coughed up the lot.
     
  8. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    But the point is that Virgin ensured you would be late back regardless of what happened with LNR. Had Virgin been on time your claim would be against LNR. That's the way the cookie crumbles.
     
  9. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I would take the view that it is Virgin you claim from as that is who you were travelling with when things started to go wrong. The delay to their service caused to to miss both you intended 20.16 and also the 20.24 so you therefore had to travel on the next available train services.

    I think I am right in saying that when working out delay repay a TOC would usually look at how you could get to your destination as quickly as possible (taking into account the tickets held, which in your case is an Any Permitted walk up). That is why I said to base your claim on the earlier time of arrival.

    What was your actual arrival time at your final destination in the end?
     
  10. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Absolutely.

    The fastest itinerary possible would have been to take the 2024 VT from Crewe to Milton Keynes; the fewest changes itinerary is slower however this involved departing Crewe even earlier at 2016.

    So I think it's actually simpler than portrayed: the Virgin service into Crewe arrived later than either of the most sensible onward trains from Crewe, so the 'complication' of going for a slower train operated by a different company (West Midlands Trains in this case) is irrelevant.

    What would have been potentially complex is if the train had arrived into Crewe at around 2017, causing the 2016 to be missed and if @Bletchleyite had chosen not to board the 2024, and subsequent trains had been delayed. I could see such a scenario being very contentious, but that didn't happen, so we don't need to worry about that!

    It's a simple claim from Virgin and I wouldn't over-complicate it!
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    2255 ish (I think RTT said 2254 which I guess is the same data they'll be going off). Against my planned itinerary that's about 40 late so well into 30-59, so not contentious in that sense at all.

    FWIW even if Virgin want to play the silly and incorrect game of only going against how late their train was, it was I think 31 late so still in that band.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    In that case I doubt I'd have bothered claiming at all, as I would then have actively chosen not to arrive on time despite having that opportunity, unless it had been so busy I couldn't physically board.
     
  13. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    But if you had made the 20:24 connection at Crewe then you would have arrived at your destination at 21:45. So if you arrived at 22:55 then surely that is 70 minutes late and you should claim against Virgin for that amount of delay.

    Regardless of your intentions to catch the 20:16, the Virgin delay caused you to miss the 20:24 from Crewe which had you have been in time to make you would have arrived at your destination 70 minutes earlier.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    But is Delay Repay not based on the offset between the journey you intended to make (a booked itinerary including reservations is a pretty decent clue of this, though VT couldn't know I hadn't changed my mind and intended to take the earlier train) and the journey you actually were able to make?

    I had no intention whatsoever of taking the 2024, though I might have considered it if I had arrived at Crewe in time and had known about the LNR cancellation. I actually quite like a decent Desiro run down from Crewe in a priority seat, definitely preferable to a quite busy VT and standing around on MKC platform 1 bored for 10 minutes.
     
  15. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Looks like you know what you are doing. Good luck with your delay repay claim.
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I agree that if someone submitted a delay repay claim simply stating the time of departure, it'd be processed as a delay of 60+ minutes...
    ...but this is true, so it's the right thing to do to admit that a slower itinerary was planned and therefore a lower amount of compensation is due, for a delay of 30-59 minutes.
     
  17. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

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    I agree. Delay repay compensation is based on arrival at the destination being later than planned.

    This might seem to be a complex claim, but the complexity only arises only because, in the light of the actual delays and cancellations, the OP is able to consider a number of different itineraries they could have planned. If it's made against the planned itinerary stated in the OP, the claim is straight forward, as @yorkie suggests.

    Pretending you were intending to catch an earlier train or make an earlier connection, is of course one of the ways the delay repay process can be gamed to obtain a greater amount of compensation, or in some cases, make a claim for a delay which results in 100% compensation of the fare paid. Even when your actual arrival is earlier than planned. Where the ticket held is a flexible Anytime, Off-Peak or season, a TOC processing a claim, can in most cases only trust the claimant to be telling the truth about their planned arrival time and pay compensation accordingly.

    Fraudulently claiming delay repay depends on there being delays or cancellations on which to base a fictitious claim. Re-using a ticket or portion of ticket within the period of its validity depends on the ticket not being marked as used. In recent days on this forum I have seen both these things suggested by posters, where these opportunities present themselves. What is the difference, legally or morally, between someone who lies about their intentions to claim 100% compensation for a delay they haven't suffered or re-uses a ticket, versus someone intentionally travelling without paying their fare?

    Just to be clear, I don't suggest that in asking for thoughts on the matter, @Bletchleyite is being anything other than scrupulously honest about their intentions or claim for compensation.
     
  18. tomwills98

    tomwills98 Member

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    There's not much difference but I'd say the fraudulently claiming one is worse as most of the time, they'll pay the fare if caught.

    Catching the fraudulent claimer is relatively easy, the system logs the booking references, NLC code and ticket numbers and shouts if it spots the same one being used twice to get a human to look at the journeys made. Smart people take into account their delayed time of arrival before taking the train back to claim for a second journey, the uninitiated try to claim that they left a station on another delayed service before they arrived on the train from their first claim. If we catch them out enough times they get a knock on the door from the BTP and they take it from there.

    Most of it is based on trust that the customer isn't telling fibs but the vast majority of the time they're telling the truth.
     
  19. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

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    You have misunderstood the comparisons.

    If a person claims for delays to two separate journeys using the same ticket, I would hope the TOC concerned could easily spot it.

    I was thinking of a situation where a person gets to the station intending to catch a particular train, but finds they can catch an earlier service, which is running over 120 mins late. They actually arrive earlier than planned, but make a DR claim for 100% of the fare paid on the basis that they intended to catch the delayed train. Isn't this fraudulent? And if so, how does a TOC spot it?

    Also, if it is fraud, how is it different, morally or legally, from a case where someone is simply using the same unchecked ticket twice, to get a free journey?
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Yes, because Delay Repay is based on the time difference between what you intended to do and what you actually did.

    There might be a few ways of spotting this - if the ticket was marked with the time from a previous leg (or even more info as an e-ticket might) which would have made it impossible to catch the allegedly intended train, or if there was another train the person could have used between the scheduled and actual times of the original.

    You also get the complication of what to do if you take a slower alternative than the next available one for whatever reason, e.g. because the next available one is overcrowded or has a lot of changes. In this case I've always claimed based on what the best I could have done was, rather than any deliberate delay I incurred on myself to avoid things I didn't like e.g. lack of seats.

    Indeed, I did consider staying on the VT to Brum and connecting there (as I'd rather spend 40 minutes at New St than MKC), but that would have meant an even later arrival back and I was too tired to be bothered with that. Had I done that I'd still have made a 30-59 minute claim based on the fact that I'd deliberately incurred further delay for reasons of personal preference which itself is not a reason to claim extra.
     
  21. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

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    I don't think it's a complication. The TOC would assess the DR claim on the basis that having been delayed, the customer should use the service(s) on which their ticket is valid, which mitigate that delay as far as possible. Compensation won't be paid on the basis that the customer has chosen to delay themselves further than that. Even if that's what they've done.
     
  22. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The assumption will be that you intended to take the fastest valid trains.

    However if you forward a booking confirmation, or if you make a note to state you took slower trains, this would enable the company to apply a lower rate of compensation, as appropriate.

    I don't think that it could ever be considered be "fraudulent" to fail to state that your intention was to take slower services than your ticket permitted, because you prefer the seating on WMT services compared to those on Virgin Trains services, but it's probably the right thing to do, morally.

    I do agree that a customer should take all reasonable steps to mitigate against delays and that compensation generally shouldn't be payable on the basis the a customer has chosen to delay themselves further than necessary, except with very good reason (there may be exceptions; a pragmatic approach should be taken where appropriate).

    As for if a passenger finds that they are able to take an alternative service which avoids a delay occurring, then that would of course invalidate any claim. But that's not applicable/relevant to this thread.

    This one is actually a straightforward claim.

    It's been made a little more complex by the customer stating that they prefer to take the trains operated by another provider and therefore had a slower journey planned than would normally be expected and is therefore intending to forfeit half the Delay Repay entitlement that almost any other regular passenger travelling between these stations at the time stated would claim. The honesty may surprise them. Their system may not even be able to cope with it and the customer may end up receiving more than they wanted in compensation. But it's not that complex; it's nothing compared to some others we have seen lately! And adding loads of hypothetical scenarios into the mix doesn't change the fact it's a relatively straightforward claim. There's nothing further to discuss here really.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2019
  23. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Fair enough :)

    I will report back on what VT actually cough up. I expect they'll just pay the 30-59 minute compensation requested.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    As an update VT have taken a while but have paid this as a 30-59 minute delay as requested without question.
     

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