Confiscation of ticket? Is this legal?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Pipps, 18 Dec 2009.

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  1. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Pipps attached copies of Advance tickets earlier on in the thread. I drew my own conclusions from here - those of us who are Guards on here have seen similar situations so many times!!!!:roll:

    Anyway, the key bit of the quote above is the last part - Pipps, have you complained to FGW? If you genuinely feel hard done by then rather than bleating on here looking for sympathy, I'd suggest complaining to their customer relations department and see what comes of it. Do let us know how you get on....!
     
  2. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Sorry Ferret, I missed the ticket attachment when trying to catch up with the thread!
     
  3. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Although post 42 is annotated
    it appears that the scanned image of an Advance ticket and an associated seat reservation is no longer present.
     
  4. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Yes, I've had a look back now and I can't see an attachment, perhaps I;m not quite as dull as I thought!
     
  5. jwos

    jwos Member

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    Regular scenario:

    Snotty wannabe lawyer or legal student with 16-25 IQ railcard tries it on on wrong train with AP ticket.

    Chances are they know full well the ticket's not valid, or have gone and asked at booking office and been told it will cost megabucks to travel on next service.

    Snotty wannabe has a little row with staff there, thinks rollocks to that and proceedes to ignore their advice and catch train anyway.

    Snotty gets pulled on train, and snotty gets, well..., snotty... with guard, citing some chunk or other of an irrelevant legal textbook.

    Guard asks for payment. Snotty refuses to pay, or claims he has no money, despite all the poncey designer clobber he's wearing.

    Guard issues UFN, but is not entirely convinced snotty has correctly managed to remember his own name and address, or perhaps snotty has even shown reluctance to part with this information...

    Guard quite rightly retains railcard as an aid to prosecutions dept following up his subsequent TTEF.

    With a bit of luck, guard's TOC as usual chooses to use
    the harshest possible magistrates court in their vicinity to ensure snotty gets a nice criminal record to back up his legal studies.

    Now, of course, snotty and Pipps are two totally different people, aren't they? - I mean, they've nowt at all in common, have they???
     
  6. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I can confirm that. He posted scans of the two tickets yesterday and removed them overnight. Now you really do have to wonder why . . .
     
  7. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    Interesting theory there "jwos"! Still, remember, name and address details are usually verified, and should the details not match then one tends to find oneself in discussions with BTP;)
     
  8. royaloak

    royaloak Established Member

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    The scan was of 1 ticket and the seat reservation which clearly stated the service he SHOULD have been on 19xx or something like that.
     
  9. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Confirmed. The ticket clearly specified it was only valid on the specified service against which the seat reservation was issued.
     
  10. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    This doesn't explain the confiscation of the railcard, which seems to be what plays the most important part in this whole story.

    Without further information, I cannot help but jump to the conclusion that there was something dodgy about it.
     
  11. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    Agreed....

    You haven't told us WHICH railcard you were holding....or when it expired. I wondr why?

    If this ticket was an ADVANCE ticket, it would ONLY have been valid for that particular train, and INVALID for any other - regardless of what "you were told".

    Hence the CORRECT issue of an UNPAID FARE NOTICE, not a Penalty Fare at all.

    Did you try & pay this notice to the Inspector? Did you try & use your railcard then too?

    I'm not sure you are permitted to use a railcard to pay that notice - I think you have to pay in full. You were required to provide your name & address at time of issue of this notice. Did you?

    There MUST be a reason that railcard was withdrawn. Without full facts, I'm unfortunately on the side of the inspector.....however, you should by now have complained to FGW. Have you? And what, if any, response did you get? Did you get the inspectors name (they all wear a name badge)
     
  12. royaloak

    royaloak Established Member

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    Still waiting to know the tone, and volume, used for this bit?
     
  13. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    I suspect you'll be waiting a long time..........:roll:
     
  14. ian13

    ian13 Member

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    To try another way of looking at it: Tired traveller wants to get home, is fed up due to earlier issues, and notices there is an earlier train due.
    Actually doesn't speak to staff given misinformation commonly received.
    Traveller heads to the platform anyway, can't find the guard on the platform, and (maybe against his better judgement) boards anyway, maybe expecting he will be able to pay a small premium onboard.
    Guard has no idea as to if they are trying it on, but notices they try and defend themselves so assumes they are guilty with intent.
    Traveller knows full well if he pays he won't see that money again, so refuses so that he can appeal.
    Traveller gives correct information, but guard still assumes guilt.
    Guard takes railcard from genuinely sincere traveller who has meant no harm, but received no receipt, and has no evidence it was even ceased upon appealing or court case.
    This bit really irritates me. The court system is there to establish the truth, and treat all persons fairly. Hoping that they are found guilty regardless with unfair sentencing shows disregard for the fair treatment that our society aims to be built upon. If you ended up before a court for something you did, with intent or not, wouldn't you expect fair uniform treatment in establishing your guilt, and consistency with mitigating factors correctly considered when sentencing? Or would you hope some guy in an office gets a part in that decision?

    I myself have travelled outside of my tickets validity once knowing full well of consequences (and also some awareness of my legal rights). I knew that my train departed 3 minutes before my ticket was valid, and knew that I could be excessed (but, alas, not penalty fared). I spoke with the guard on the platform, who agreed, but if I'd made a split-second decision and boarded I would have expect fair treatment from the guard (or if it somehow came to it, the magistrates).
     
    Last edited: 27 Dec 2009
  15. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    No what you expect is to be treated as the ticket conditions specify, and which incidentally YOU accept when you buy the ticket.

    Your, or anyone else's view of "fairness" does not come into it.
     
  16. ian13

    ian13 Member

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    I wouldn't expect them to be rude, try and draw attention or embarrass, try and charge a penalty fare (when it shouldn't be, as in this case), cease railcard (when it shouldn't be, as in this case) or any other such thing - to do that would in my view be unfair. A contract never (ever) overrules your legal rights, and one wouldn't expect a guard to assume you are guilty until proven so by a court, or do any of the aforementioned. Basically, they shouldn't be a jobsworth and act as if they have power over you.
     
    Last edited: 28 Dec 2009
  17. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    So if a Guard catches somebody using a ticket fraudulently, you advocate that we just walk on by then? Guards are paid by their employers to do certain duties and one is to protect revenue. Don't be entirely surprised when Guards do just that!
     
  18. mumrar

    mumrar Established Member

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    As a guard, I can say as soon as something looks suspicious, or a piece of the jigsaw such as railcard, reservations, return portion are missing, that's when you're assumed guilty. Not the moment you board a train, don't be so melodramatic.
     
  19. ian13

    ian13 Member

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    No, I believe guards should be professional and act within their powers. Just because something is missing doesn't mean they intended that to happen, and they still deserve to be treated with respect when trying to resolve it. If you think they are guilty, that is your own view but remember they might not be. It's not for you to assume they are guilty (we all have the right to be assumed innocent), you just follow procedures to issue excesses (whereby the customer in effect admits guilt in a strict liability way) or request prosecution.

    No, I fully support the catching of all who try not to pay or use tickets fraudulently. And I'd hope that they make use of legal powers to pursue it such that a court can establish guilt and give a criminal record if necessary. However, if you read my post, I'm saying that that doesn't mean they can be rude, try and charge a penalty fare when shouldn't be, try and embarrass etc.
     
  20. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Which "Rights" are those then ?
     
  21. Ferret

    Ferret Established Member

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    In the case of a missing railcard for example, the conditions of carriage aka the terms of your contract with a rail company state that you will be charged for a new ticket. It does not draw the distinction between unintenional forgetfulness and deliberately pretending to own a railcard when you do not. Therefore, they are acting within their powers!!!!

    Guards don't issue penalty fares for a start - that's an RPI's job. Secondly, at what point has anybody suggested that it's ok to issue a penalty fare where it isn't justified? Thirdly, trying to embarass somebody into buying a ticket is an entirely legitimate tactic when dealing with somebody who won't pay. The line "everyone else in this carriage has a valid ticket; why are you a special case?" works wonders sometimes..........
     
  22. glynn80

    glynn80 Established Member

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    I believe EMT may have trained their guards in revenue protection for their recently introduced Penalty Fares scheme.

    That is not a "legitimate tactic". The guard should remain professional courteous at all times and is paid to do so. Of course he should remain vigilant for fare evasion and that is part of his job description but this in no way authorises the guard to act in the manner you describe which is undeniably rude. It is an irrelevance that it is an effect method.
     
  23. mumrar

    mumrar Established Member

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    There is nothing unprofessional in explaining to someone why it is they should have to purchase an excess or replacement ticket. Many occassions have arisen where I've needed to excess a ticket due to the incorrect ticket type having been issued. In these cases the customer always asks why I am penalising them, rather than seeing it as correcting an error. With the verbal abuse you receive from people of all ages it is a difficult task to remain civil (although, thus far, my mask has not slipped), especially when they roll out the word 'jobsoworth'.
     
  24. glynn80

    glynn80 Established Member

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    Ferret did not state what you have said above, he specifically stated that a guard "trying to embarrass somebody into buying a ticket" is a legitimate tactic. No passenger should have to be subjected to embarrassment by a member of rail staff, there is no question that a tactic such as that is rude and unprofessional.

    Well I am glad to hear it. A guard is paid to remain professional and courteous in the face of adversary. Obviously if the passenger becomes abusive that is a job for BTP but until that point, the guard needs to remain in his professional state.
     
  25. johnb

    johnb Member

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    Chiefly these. In short:

    1) businesses don't have the right to hold consumers to unfair contracts (with "unfair" defined in law)

    2) in a dispute between a consumer and a business where the terms of the contract are unclear or ambiguous, the wording must always be interpreted in the consumer's favour.

    In this case, they probably aren't relevant (except possibly concerning the confiscation of the railcard). In many similar cases (say, if the OP had proof that a member of staff who he reasonably believed was authorised to let him travel had authorised him to travel), they are very relevant indeed.
     
  26. mumrar

    mumrar Established Member

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    Different people are embarrassed by different things. What Ferret said is the he asks them why they think it's fair everyone else has paid and has their ticket(s) in order, but the person refusing to pay shouldn't. That is just asking them to assess their own actions, statements and possibly behaviour when they have been queried, for whatever reason. The fact is a lot of people may get embarrassed when asked that question, but I know Ferret very well both personally and professionally, and if it has got to that stage, then quite frankly their conduct leading up to the point they were asked the question has been far more embarrassing and purely self-inflicted.
     
  27. glynn80

    glynn80 Established Member

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    No guard should ever be asking passengers that question, there is only one purpose for that question and that is to embarrass that person into purchasing a ticket from that guard (as stated by Ferret).

    You don't seem to understand the distinction between the passenger and the guard. The guard is paid to act and remain professional and courteous, the passenger isn't. The guard is not their to judge their passengers' conduct and if they deem that conduct unacceptable then try to embarrass them.
     
  28. johnb

    johnb Member

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    That's because in real life rather than in a railway bubble, you are penalising them. They bought a ticket from a ticket office which they were told would allow them to travel, on the basis that it would cost what they paid. You're forcing them to pay more halfway through their journey, at a point where they have little or no choice but to pay up.

    Imagine if you got on a plane, and halfway through your journey the stewardess said "yes, I know you bought the ticket in a British Airways ticket office, but it isn't valid because my Bumper Book Of Silly Rules says so. You have to give me gbp50 or we'll offload you at Murmansk"...

    Given that you don't understand that charging someone money for the railway's mistake *is* penalising them, it sounds like your customers' use of the term 'jobsworth' is well-deserved.

    If you cared for anything other than blind rule-application (whether because you enjoy exercising power, or because you're worried you'd be fired otherwise), then you wouldn't apply financial penalties to people who'd acted in good faith and been issued with incorrect tickets due to staff errors.

    (that doesn't mean that you should let off would-be dodgers, of course: there's a massive difference between how one should treat people acting in good faith and people who're trying to take the mick).
     
  29. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    The fact that Prosecutions continue might JUST suggest that the Regulations are quite clear and precise.

    I have no doubt that those who have been summonsed before have tried all sorts of tactics up to and including the "Human Rights Act" to fend off a Prosecution.

    Contract Law also has something called "Caveat Emptor", put simply it means "Let the buyer beware". In practice the Courts expect a reasonable person to take reasonable steps to protect their own interests and this includes the expectation that they familiaries themselves with the details of any Contract before accepting it.

    Most Contracts do not allow for the buyers to back out having bought or agreed to buy. Buyers of a Railway ticket are given the option to immediately hand the ticket back if they do not wish to be bound by the conditions under which it is issued. The Courts have always accepted that a person buying a ticket is judged to have read and accepted those conditions, which is why there is reference to them on the reverse of the ticket and why every manned station has available a copy of the terms and conditions.

    In the case of a Railway Ticket, which I am starting to get somewhat tired of trying to get people to understand is a totally different form of contract to buying something (for which Consumer Law is actually primarly intended), once you walk away you are bound by those conditions and any change in personal circumstances or travel needs is irrelevant as far as the Law is concerned. Under Law you then have no entitlement to any refund or any allowance towards paying for a different ticket. This is something which is done by discretion, which is why the excess rules read as they do in part.

    A good analogy is the buying of a car. How many car retailers will allow you to come back and get a full refund on a car you had just bought on the basis that "its not right, I actually want something else" ?


    If you buy a chep airline ticket and then try to use it on another day or a different flight do you think the airline will honour it ? Will they say "oh that's all right we wont charge you any more" ??

    Would you be saying that the Consumer protection laws apply then ?
     
  30. royaloak

    royaloak Established Member

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    Did the Customer give all the details to the staff at the ticket office?
    Why do you assume its "the railways" fault, most of the time the passenger is travelling the wrong route, on the wrong train or even the wrong day!
    IF its the railways fault there are appeal processes to go through, and before you comment have you actually been PFed and appealed, if not could you keep to the FACTS not your assumptions!
    Why should one person without a valid ticket be treated differently than another one simply because one wears a suit and the other a hoody! All ticket irregularities SHOULD be treated the same unless YOU believe that certain people should be treated differently!
     
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