Confiscation of Season Tickets (posts from Disputes Thread)

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furlong

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Mod Note: Split from this thread.

Seems to me the best thing for a TOC to do is confiscate the ticket.

Fortunately for the OP, these matters are governed by contracts and laws and not emotions. Did the OP themselves breach the terms of the contract or not? Either way, what provisions cover the situation? Would the company itself be in breach of the contract if it confiscated the ticket and refused to issue a duplicate? etc. etc.

If the husband used it without permission, then it would be reported as stolen before the ticket is given back. Another fair punishment, as the husband is now charged with theft.

A charge of theft (dishonest intention of permanently depriving) seems highly unlikely in a clearly admitted context of "borrowing".
 
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Fortunately for the OP, these matters are governed by contracts and laws and not emotions. Did the OP themselves breach the terms of the contract or not? Either way, what provisions cover the situation? Would the company itself be in breach of the contract if it confiscated the ticket and refused to issue a duplicate? etc. etc.

Do you know and understand the laws of railway ticketing or just putting an opinion across?

I notice you havent replied to Dave's excellent summation about the incident at hand so you seem to be another to trying to cloudy a situation with what you think rather than know.
 

furlong

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Do you know and understand the laws of railway ticketing or just putting an opinion across?

I notice you havent replied to Dave's excellent summation about the incident at hand so you seem to be another to trying to cloudy a situation with what you think rather than know.

There's nothing cloudy about this! Those comments were made to counter the "Broken rules, ticket taken, thank you very much" view that a company can act arbitrarily by pointing out that every action it takes has to be grounded in the contract and the law and suggesting some of the questions that would likely be considered before the suggested arbitrary action could actually be taken.
 

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There's nothing cloudy about this! Those comments were made to counter the "Broken rules, ticket taken, thank you very much" view that a company can act arbitrarily by pointing out that every action it takes has to be grounded in the contract and the law and suggesting some of the questions that would likely be considered before the suggested arbitrary action could actually be taken.

And from what I can see in the one post you quoted that the contract of the railways was broken in as much as the OP had their ticket taken and used by another.

So there was, your own words 'broken rules, ticket taken, thank you very much' and these, as I am sure you will agree, are very much laid out in the T&Cs of when a passenger purchase their ticket.

Are you going to dispute that? Again?
 

furlong

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And from what I can see in the one post you quoted that the contract of the railways was broken in as much as the OP had their ticket taken and used by another.

The contract under discussion is between the OP and the rail companies and the ticket provides evidence of the existence of that contract. "Another" is not a party to that contract so how can their (unauthorised) actions unilaterally change the actual contract? Of course, there can still be reasonable grounds for investigating the circumstances in more depth, and that investigation might or might not then lead on to evidence of offences involving the OP or an actual breach of the contract.
 

edwin_m

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The OP could provide evidence of working in London, therefore needing the season ticket on most workdays which makes it difficult for the husband to use it as well. Plus evidence that the husband works somewhere for which the season ticket isn't useable. Would this help with the question of how much the season ticket might have been used fraudulently?
 

najaB

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The OP could provide evidence of working in London, therefore needing the season ticket on most workdays which makes it difficult for the husband to use it as well. Plus evidence that the husband works somewhere for which the season ticket isn't useable. Would this help with the question of how much the season ticket might have been used fraudulently?
Yes, it would be useful to have this information ready for when gWr are next in contact.
 

Oswyntail

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Could someone explain why the OP has to prove anything. Her narrative is consistent and plausible; her husband has corroborated it. Of course, if the TOC could prove (presumably by use of CCTV) that they were lying that would be different. Or is this one more example of how the rules allow the TOCs to do whatever they like?
 

najaB

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Could someone explain why the OP has to prove anything. Her narrative is consistent and plausible; her husband has corroborated it.
You are correct, the OP doesn't have to prove anything, it is up to gWr to prove their case.

There is no doubt that the season ticket has been misused, the TOC would be within their rights to withdraw it and they already have sufficient evidence to ensure that a prosecution under the RoRA will be successful.

The advice we have given the OP (e.g. provide a record of when she travelled to London using the ticket) is to try to convince gWr not to proceed with that prosecution.
 

furlong

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There is no doubt that the season ticket has been misused, the TOC would be within their rights to withdraw it

And return the ticket to its rightful owner (after possibly trying to determine whether or not the owner was complicit in any offence) I think you mean. The contract clearly states that it cannot be transferred, so the unauthorised actions of another party surely cannot in themselves void it!

That the two people are known to each other may raise suspicions, but that's surely not in itself evidence of any offence or breach by the owner of the ticket.
 

najaB

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And return the ticket to its rightful owner (after possibly trying to determine whether or not the owner was complicit in any offence) I think you mean.
No. They are the 'rightful owner' and there's no obligation on the part of the TOC to return it to the OP - as stated several times now tickets remain the property of the TOC.

However, in the real world, they would return it after satisfying themselves that she wasn't involved in its misuse.
 

furlong

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No. They are the 'rightful owner' and there's no obligation on the part of the TOC to return it to the OP - as stated several times now tickets remain the property of the TOC.

I think you might be losing sight of the fact that it is the underlying contract that governs matters, not the ticket itself. The ticket is evidence used to demonstrate the existence of that contract, but loss of the ticket by the season ticket holder does not automatically cause them to lose all their rights under the contract or void it - otherwise a lot of people would not risk buying one!
 

najaB

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I think you might be losing sight of the fact that it is the underlying contract that governs matters, not the ticket itself.
I am not. One of the terms that you agree to when entering the contract is that the ticket is only to be used by the named holder.
...loss of the ticket by the season ticket holder does not automatically cause them to lose all their rights under the contract or void it - otherwise a lot of people would not risk buying one!
No it doesn't. But I don't see how that has any relevance to the OP's position since she hasn't lost her ticket.
 

najaB

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"Lose (v.) ...to be deprived of.." [O.E.D.]
I wasn't ignoring you, it just took a while to get my head around such a ridiculous argument!

A withdrawn ticket isn't 'lost' by any reasonable or sensible definition of loss. The reason a TOC withdraws a ticket is because the holder has breached the contract.

Anyway, this is getting silly now and doesn't help the OP in any way.
 

furlong

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The reason a TOC withdraws a ticket is because the holder has breached the contract.

And I fail to see how it can automatically follow that the holder has breached the contract because another person who is not a party to the contract is discovered in possession of the ticket. The contract, as written, makes no distinction between loss of the ticket due to the unauthorised actions of someone known to the holder or due to the unauthorised actions of a complete stranger.
 

najaB

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And I fail to see how it can automatically follow that the holder has breached the contract because another person who is not a party to the contract is discovered in possession of the ticket.
Since you seem to have missed it here:
That is correct. Remember that the ticket is the property of the train company so they need to be sure that you aren't complicit in its misuse before they return it to you.
And here:
In the circumstances, you may as well buy a weekly, or even monthly season while you are waiting to see what happens. Keep the receipts as there is a possibility, but not really any more than that, that GWR might refund you when this matter has been concluded.
And here:
Assuming that there is nothing else that we have not been told, chances are that the season ticket will be returned. The only question is when.
And here:
The justification is that the ticket is the property of the TOC. Condition 20 of the NRCoC allows the TOC to withdraw the ticket "If you do not comply in a material way with any Condition that applies to the use of a ticket"

As I noted above gWr will want to ensure that the OP wasn't complicit in the misuse before returning it. There is no obligation to refund tickets bought in the meantime.
And here:
Seems to me the best thing for a TOC to do is confiscate the ticket. If the husband was allowed (by the owner) to use it, then losing the ticket seems fair as a punishment.
As per post #10 - fGw need to satisfy themselves that the ticket was used without the OP's knowledge, then they will more than likely return it.
And here:
However, in the real world, they would return it after satisfying themselves that she wasn't involved in its misuse.
I'll say it one more time: gWr have temporarily withdrawn the season ticket because it has been misused. They will investigate the circumstances to see if there is evidence that the OP was complicit in this misuse. If they are satisfied that she wasn't involved they will more than likely return the ticket.

Got it?
 

furlong

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If they are satisfied that she wasn't involved they will more than likely return the ticket.

If you delete the words "more than likely" and accept that the burden of proof (for not returning it) is higher than "if they are satisfied" as the company's actions may not be arbitrary or discretionary but be governed by the contract and the law. (The holder of the season ticket retains rights and entitlements - the company does not hold all the cards.)
 
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najaB

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If you delete the words "more than likely" and accept that the burden of proof is higher than "if they are satisfied" as the company's actions may not be arbitrary or discretionary but be governed by the contract and the law.
Since I am not an agent of gWr I cannot state anything with the 100% certainty that you seem to possess.

But I would be extremely surprised were they to return the season ticket if the result of their investigation leaves them in doubt that the OP was blameless.
 
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furlong

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But I would be extremely surprised were they to return the season ticket if the result of their investigation leaves them in doubt that the OP was blameless.

And if the season ticket holder disagreed, they could seek proper legal advice and potentially have a court decide what can be proved to the necessary standard and whether or not any compensation is due.
 

najaB

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And if the season ticket holder disagreed, they could seek proper legal advice and potentially have a court decide what can be proved to the necessary standard and whether or not any compensation is due.
Uhh... yeah. Who said they couldn't?
 

furlong

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Uhh... yeah. Who said they couldn't?

Some would say it is the knowledge that the season ticket holder does have this means of redress - a substantial sum of their money could be at stake - alongside other factors (such as the impact of possible adverse publicity) that places the constraints on the actions that the company would take in practice under the various scenarios. Adapting the words of an earlier poster, this is not a case where the rules allow the TOCs to do whatever they like.
 

najaB

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Now that you've got that off your chest, can we please get back to actually helping the OP?

(Post deletion request sent)
 

furlong

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Now that you've got that off your chest, can we please get back to actually helping the OP?

It does not help the OP for suggestions like "If the husband used it without permission, then it would be reported as stolen before the ticket is given back. Another fair punishment, as the husband is now charged with theft." and "Why should the TOC need to investigate the back story or need to care? Broken rules, ticket taken, thank you very much. " to be allowed to lie unchallenged - the thread was going fine up to that point - and I hope both have been refuted.
 

furlong

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It also doesn't help to refer to the OP as 'the rightful owner' when the ticket is not and has never been her property.

"Custodian" if you prefer, but it makes no difference to that line of argument. The season ticket holder has paid a significant sum of money and has entitlements under the contract that cannot automatically be lost just because someone else might have committed criminal offences without their knowledge.
 

najaB

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"Custodian" if you prefer, but it makes no difference to that line of argument. The season ticket holder has paid a significant sum of money and has entitlements under the contract that cannot automatically be lost just because someone else might have committed criminal offences without their knowledge.
That is not in doubt. The point I've made all along, and I believe we are basically in agreement, is that if the result of their investigation is that gWr believe they have evidence that the OP was involved in the misuse of the ticket, they would be within their rights to withdraw it permanently, and the OP would be within their rights to test the legitimacy of that withdrawal in court.

They cannot simply withdraw it on suspicion that the OP was complicit as proposed by jonmorris0844.
 
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furlong

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if gWr believe they have evidence that the OP was involved in the misuse of the ticket, they would be within their rights to withdraw it, and the OP would be within their rights to test the legitimacy of that withdrawal in court.

We can agree on that, yes.
 
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