Delay Repay claims rejected

yorkie

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I am hearing a lot of reports of Delay Repay claims being rejected for spurious reasons.

Some TOCs have a policy of rejecting claims until you have taken another photograph of the ticket showing the ticket has been "spoiled'' to "prevent you using it again" even when the relevant ticket/portion is only valid on one specific train and/or one specific date.

Some TOCs make it really difficult to make Delay Repay claims by requiring customers to use convoluted forms.

I believe an investigation should be carried out into malpractice by TOCs for making it as difficult as possible for customers to claim.

Does anyone know which TOCs engage in the malpractice of asking passengers to re-upload images of spoiled tickets?
And also, does anyone know what the policies of those TOCs are in relation to retaining tickets at gatelines?

I would have thought a customer should be able to take a photo of their ticket at any point before, during or after their journey, and upload this photo once the extent of delay is known, and the customer should have no further obligation to retain the ticket.

For example if a customer makes a Delay Repay claim while sat on a delayed train, and their destination station retains the ticket, the TOC should not be able to claim the customer should go back to the station and ask for the ticket to be fished out of the machine (!) in order to deface it.

Is there some collective action customers can take against TOCs for wasting their time and rejecting valid claims? I wonder if a class action claim could be brought against TOCs who engage in the malpractice of making Delay Repay claims as difficult as possible? I am not sure if this is the sort of malpractice a class action claim could be brought against, though.

Thoughts welcome.
 
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Nova1

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I'm not really sure but it's never been that difficult with West Midlands Railway. Usually I use e-tickets, and all they require is a screenshot of the ticket and some number from it.

When I've used paper tickets, they haven't required me to spoil the ticket, just send a picture of the ticket. (Usually I use anytime day returns)
 

_toommm_

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As far as I remember, Abellio Greater Anglia and TfW both require you to deface the tickets.
 

mmh

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Yes, TFW ask you to send a picture of the ticket cut / torn in half. By contrast, submitting a claim to Avanti West Coast today, the upload a picture button disappeared once I'd entered in the ticket number with a "we've found your ticket" message. If one TOC can do that, for tickets it didn't sell (TFW did), why can't all?
 

Deafdoggie

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XC wanted to speak to everyone I claimed for (two adults and two children on a family railcard) before they would pay out on a claim. When I pointed out myself and my son were deaf so a phone call would be difficult, but if they sent us free tickets we'd attend a face to face meeting, common sense prevailed and they just paid out
 

yorkie

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As far as I remember, Abellio Greater Anglia and TfW both require you to deface the tickets.
Scotrail do too.

Does anyone know if these companies have set their ticket gates to always return tickets, or do they retain them at the end of the journey?

I recall LNER used to set the gates at KGX to return tickets but a few years ago that changed, which caught people out!

I opt for e-tickets these days to avoid the many issues with paper tickets (see separate thread!) but sometimes paper tickets are the only option. I am in the habit of photographing my tickets before the end of the journey, in case of delays (or expense claims) however it seems absurd for companies to retain the tickets in the machines and then tell passengers they are acting wrongly!
 

Haywain

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I recall LNER used to set the gates at KGX to return tickets but a few years ago that changed, which caught people out!
LNER do not control the gates at Kings Cross, and they do not retain tickets. GTR did briefly set them to retain tickets some years ago but this was changed again fairly quickly because of ongoing validity to Moorgate.
 

yorkie

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LNER do not control the gates at Kings Cross, and they do not retain tickets. GTR did briefly set them to retain tickets some years ago but this was changed again fairly quickly because of ongoing validity to Moorgate.
Ok, glad to hear it was changed.
 

mmh

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I am hoping that GBR will have a single Delay Repay clearing house so this sort of inconsistency will go away.
I am hoping that GBR will have a single Delay Repay clearing house so this sort of inconsistency will go away.
Indeed, it's always seemed like insanity to me that this wasn't a centralised thing run by ATOC or whoever. It should never have been up to the passenger to work out who to submit claims to.
 

35B

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I am hoping that GBR will have a single Delay Repay clearing house so this sort of inconsistency will go away.
That strikes me as the triumph of hope over experience. The story about George Bernard Shaw and the actress comes to mind; I'm pretty sure we'd end up with the delay repay equivalent of his looks and her brains.
 

robbeech

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The ACCEPT threshold is often in the wrong place. Whilst the process for claiming is often fairly straight forward, various operators, Northern, Avanti and XC to name some where i've witnessed it add in a plethora of hurdles to jump over if the (mostly automated) system spits out your claim for a reason, spurious or otherwise. So we see people giving up, because they have no way to obtain the compensation they are entitled to. Customer services don't answer premium rate **Correction** local call rate (so may or may not be chargeable depending on your telephone operator to a maximum of 65ppm but usually included for free as part of inclusive minutes) phone numbers (2hrs is fairly common before the line goes dead), e-mails are often not responded to in weeks, and this adds a further hurdle as they passenger then exceeds the time limit to claim and operators WILL throw this one at them where possible.

Some examples of utter drivel responses from operators:

A ticket between Guide Bridge and London Euston (SVR). The northern service was a few minutes late but not late enough to cause a missed connection, and (if it matters) not late enough to enter the minimum connection time frame at Manchester Piccadilly. The Avanti service got held up on the way down and arrived in London over 60 minutes late, one of the better performers of that part of the day. The claim was rejected by Avanti because they should have claimed from Northern, who's train was late, but not late enough to cause a missed connection. The passenger claimed from Northern who of course rightly rejected it as their journey was not delayed. The passenger e-mailed Avanti and heard no response within a couple of weeks. They telephoned their customer services and after approximately 1hr40 at 20p per minute from a mobile they managed to speak to someone who promptly told them that they do not keep train times for more than a month which is why you have to claim within 28 days and hung up. They have e-mailed again to no response. The next step is the Ombudsman but i'm fairly sure the Ombudsman will be fobbed off with the same excuse as the passenger was and the ombudsman will fall for it and close the case.

A missed connection between 2 valid Northern services where the 2nd train is delayed or cancelled results in a rejected claim. It seems here there is not enough data for the system to use so to combat this it just rejects these sorts of claims. An pre pandemic example of Worksop to Bingley.
The Worksop to Leeds Service runs 7 or 8 minutes late leaving no time to make the connection at Leeds. The NEXT service to Bingley is cancelled so the passenger is then to be 1 hour late instead of 30 minutes. The system can't comprehend this so just spits it out as Rejected, again, expecting the passenger to appeal (or of course, hopefully not bother). Upon escalation the operator uses the TIMETABLE data NOT the RUNNING data and ignores the cancelled train and offers to pay out on 30 minutes. There is NO WAY to get the operator to understand or accept their mistake. The Ombudsman accepts the TIMETABLE data as fact because the operator quotes this.

A passenger holds a Doncaster to Derby return ticket. On the return journey there is disruption and the Newcastle bound XC service announces a diversion bypassing Doncaster AFTER leaving Sheffield. The train travels the usual diversionary route via Pontefract and arrives in York. The passenger asks what to do and is told to get ANY train to Doncaster and remember to claim delay repay. The LNER guard charges the passenger for an anytime single between York and Doncaster. XC Reject the delay repay claim for a series of reasons, one at once, in no particular order :
* The train did not call at Doncaster.
* The LNER train caused you to get to Doncaster late, you need to claim from LNER
* As you didn't travel to Doncaster you need to contact your point of purchase to obtain a refund.
This was never settled
LNER refunded the York to Doncaster ticket first time

A small group of passengers with Sheffield to Manchester Advance singles for EMR finds the service cancelled. Ticket acceptance is in place with TPE and Northern, the TPE service is next to leave but they are refused boarding a fairly empty service because "EMR tickets are not valid". By the time they have questioned this they have also missed the Northern stopper that leaves directly afterwards. They claim from EMR, and the claim is rejected, firstly because everyone needs to claim separately. On appealing this decision it is rejected because they should have caught the TPE service and as such they should claim from TPE. Of course TPE rejected a test claim because the ticket was not for one of their trains, and their train ran to time. A strongly worded letter with threats of legal action saw it paid in full within a few days but there is no question that without this it would have remained unpaid.

Automated systems are making it much easier and faster to claim, but when things aren't absolutely simple it seems there can be little way to get around it. Passengers shouldn't have to jump through hoops to appeal a clearly incorrect decision.

The whole ticket swallowed by the barrier is an issue that has been around for years and there is no incentive to change this as it would lead to an increase in claims. Some Gateline staff at St Pancras WILL NOT allow you to pass through without putting your ticket in, and when there is a delay and your ticket terminates there this is incredibly convenient. A more cynical man than I would absolutely come to the conclusion that this is taught to minimise claims although obviously that is NOT the case. I try to use E-tickets where i can but in the event i am using a paper ticket i usually have a photo of it shortly after issue anyway as i'm mostly using the train for work purposes so a photo is useful when it comes to expenses as its generally easier to find and assign than a random entry on a bank statement. I've certainly been caught out before, when you're late, you're often in a rush and its incredibly time consuming to provide a bank statement and a copy of the other portion of the ticket for them to consider whether they will pay out or not.

Overall, i'm not sure i agree that the INITIAL claiming process is always difficult, although some are of course better than others, but upon rejection (which happens for these reasons i and others state) it suddenly becomes orders of magnitude more difficult to deal with for passengers and it is clear that this is causing lots of people to give up which whilst maybe unintentional, is certainly a bonus for the operators.
 
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Tazi Hupefi

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Out of interest, but is a claim actually being rejected, or is the customer simply being asked to upload a copy of the defaced old style ticket for approval without needing to reapply?


This seems to show that Delay Repay is generally pretty good.

Nationally, 78.1% of claims approved, and 99.9% within 20 days.

If you go into the individual operators statistics, the percentages are still high for approvals, e.g. Greater Anglia is 81.1% with 100% compliance within 20 days.

Looking at the stats, it seems that TfL, London Overground and Heathrow Express are responsible for dragging the claim approval rate down, it would be in the mid 80%s otherwise.

Can't see how any chance of collective action would have any real prospect of success, (except at those handful of operators), given that those percentages seem very impressive, especially once you consider there will be a not insignificant number of claims which are genuinely invalid for various reasons.
 

Dave91131

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Ref one of the points made in the opening post, I've never grasped why anybody would submit a claim "while sat on a delayed train" - how can the length of the delay possibly be known until the destination is reached?
 

Darandio

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Ref one of the points made in the opening post, I've never grasped why anybody would submit a claim "while sat on a delayed train" - how can the length of the delay possibly be known until the destination is reached?

Because if the train is severely delayed then the passenger has probably already passed the maximum threshold.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Ref one of the points made in the opening post, I've never grasped why anybody would submit a claim "while sat on a delayed train" - how can the length of the delay possibly be known until the destination is reached?
I also think it would possibly cause the customer a delay or confusion in processing the claim anyway, where automatic delay repay is available, like on EMR, my local operator.

If I'm delayed, I just get the email automatically a few hours later telling me I'm entitled to compensation, asking whether I want it and if so, click the link and it seems to be an expedited process, almost pre-approval.

If I was to manually claim, especially in advance of the train completing it's journey, would that easy process stop working?
 

Hadders

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The Abellio TOCs used to insist on a defaced ticket. It's been some time since I had to make a Delay Repay claim with Abellio so I don't know if this is still the case..

CrossCountry require positive confirmation that if you claim on behalf on another person that you will pass the money on (I made a claim on behalf of my parents a couple of years ago (Disabled Railcard holders) and had to give this assurance before they would pay out)

I have a case outstanding with SWR where they have rejected a straightforward claim for a 30 minute delay caused by one of their trains (no split ticket although a cross London journey is involved). Their Delay Repay generates itineraries when you submit a claim which doesn't appear to adhere to the minimum connection times when crossing London. I have appealed their rejection and await their reply.
 

robbeech

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Is there data to show what constitutes a rejection with regard to the figures?

I shall assume that a request for more information will NOT count as a rejection. If the system is dealt with manually from this point, and is subsequently approved, does that class as an approval, likewise if it is rejected, does that add to the numbers?

Where is the line drawn with these figures. Is rejection only for claims where the train wasn't sufficiently delayed, for example, trying it on with a 29 minute claim? what about when they get it wrong?

Do some of these spurious rejections count towards the rejection figures? For example, when you're told they cannot find the train in question (after a timetable change), does this go as a rejection, or a void result?
When they tell you to claim from someone else, is this a rejection or just advice?

The figures are good, but there are enough issues to keep this forum and social media busy from people that are having issues, and it is clear that operators are reluctant to improve the escalation processes.

I think this actually adds a discussion point for this thread if anyone knows what criteria a response must pass to be considered a rejection.
 

SteveM70

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Some Gateline staff at St Pancras WILL NOT allow you to pass through without putting your ticket in

The Northern gateline people at Manchester Victoria used to do that. Eventually common sense prevailed. I had loads of claims rejected in the 2018 carnage period and appealed every one saying “your staff refused to allow me to retain my ticket”, and eventually got them paid out, and presumably many other people did something similar
 

The DJ

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LNER do not control the gates at Kings Cross, and they do not retain tickets. GTR did briefly set them to retain tickets some years ago but this was changed again fairly quickly because of ongoing validity to Moorgate.
GTR is a TOC, LNER is a TOC. How is it the former can apparently set gates to retain tickets while the latter apparently has no control over the same gates
 

Wallsendmag

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GTR is a TOC, LNER is a TOC. How is it the former can apparently set gates to retain tickets while the latter apparently has no control over the same gates
It’s all linked to the fact that the gates need to be part of Oyster and Cpay which LNER and the many previous ECML TOCs have never been a signatory to.
 

XAM2175

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Does anyone know if these companies have set their ticket gates to always return tickets, or do they retain them at the end of the journey?
SR do have their barriers set to retain, yes. I agree it's a very sneaky practice from any operator that requires the coupon as proof in a claim.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Is there data to show what constitutes a rejection with regard to the figures?

I shall assume that a request for more information will NOT count as a rejection. If the system is dealt with manually from this point, and is subsequently approved, does that class as an approval, likewise if it is rejected, does that add to the numbers?

Where is the line drawn with these figures. Is rejection only for claims where the train wasn't sufficiently delayed, for example, trying it on with a 29 minute claim? what about when they get it wrong?

Do some of these spurious rejections count towards the rejection figures? For example, when you're told they cannot find the train in question (after a timetable change), does this go as a rejection, or a void result?
When they tell you to claim from someone else, is this a rejection or just advice?

The figures are good, but there are enough issues to keep this forum and social media busy from people that are having issues, and it is clear that operators are reluctant to improve the escalation processes.

I think this actually adds a discussion point for this thread if anyone knows what criteria a response must pass to be considered a rejection.

Methodology is on there, Page 11 onwards. I don't think there's a void outcome. It's either approved or not.

I don't think there's that many issues on this forum really, not that I've seen anyway. There's a few handfuls of claims which are generally less than straightforward or have some additional complexities to them. In the scheme of what must be ordinarily millions of claims per year, I really doubt many "valid" claims are rejected, if anything, it seems that more claims have been approved than perhaps should have been, given the fraud topic.

I imagine claims being rejected are largely for common issues like wrong operator, train not sufficiently delayed, typos in the claim form, ticket invalid, fraud/dubious claim issues etc. Obviously this is speculation, but it's fairly likely any public facing system would have this sort of problem.

That's not to say that valid claims aren't rejected, but I'm not convinced from more recent research, having become quite interested in this area, that it's a massive issue.

I'd also imagine that the defaced ticket issue specifically being discussed here is an especially small problem in the scheme of things given the publicised push towards smart ticketing, and the fact that surely this excludes season tickets and multi use products which you wouldn't deface or destroy. I'd also imagine that a decent number of tickets will have been marked by staff anyway during a ticket check too.

SR do have their barriers set to retain, yes. I agree it's a very sneaky practice from any operator that requires the coupon as proof in a claim.
ScotRail (SR?) had a 77.8% approval rate in the latest stats, and it's been as high as 82.9% in previous years - so if they were intentionally intending to be sneaky, I'd say it's not been much of a success.
 

XAM2175

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ScotRail (SR?) had a 77.8% approval rate in the latest stats, and it's been as high as 82.9% in previous years - so if they were intentionally intending to be sneaky, I'd say it's not been much of a success.
Granted, but it's harder to measure the number of people who don't claim at all because they don't have the ticket, even if they do learn to retain it for subsequent claims.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Granted, but it's harder to measure the number of people who don't claim at all because they don't have the ticket, even if they do learn to retain it for subsequent claims.
Absolutely. It's difficult to find stats for that unfortunately.

Although given a lot of tickets will never be retained, such as season tickets or smart tickets, it's still fair to say that you'd imagine the commuters make up the bulk of delay repay claimants, who wouldn't be affected by having their ticket swallowed up.
 

robbeech

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The Northern gateline people at Manchester Victoria used to do that. Eventually common sense prevailed. I had loads of claims rejected in the 2018 carnage period and appealed every one saying “your staff refused to allow me to retain my ticket”, and eventually got them paid out, and presumably many other people did something similar
Presumably many many more people just didn't bother to claim, or didn't bother to appeal a result. only a third of people eligible to claim do so.
There's a few handfuls of claims which are generally less than straightforward or have some additional complexities to them.
Where do we draw the less straight forward line. if missing a connection is "less straightforward" and operators are rejecting tickets by default here because the system isn't good enough to handle it then is this acceptable?
If your train is removed from the timetable and you claim, and the system rejects because the system isn't good enough to handle this, is this acceptable?

if anything, it seems that more claims have been approved than perhaps should have been, given the fraud topic.
Claims take the running data, the ticket and its flexibilities and the times specified by the passenger and calculate to the best of its abilities based on that.
I don't consider this to be a falsely approved claim because the system has done the right job with the data provided. It has been fraudulently claimed by the passenger but that is an entirely separate issue.

If we forced these systems to reject anything that could be fraudulent we would immediately see all flexible ticket claims rejected. A massive step backwards. Something the railway would love but passengers would not.
 

joncombe

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I had a legitimate claim with Thameslink rejected with the stated reason.

Having checked our records for the details of the delay you provided to us, our systems show that the delay was less than 15 minutes, which is below the minimum threshold for which you are entitled to Delay Repay compensation.

However whilst the delay to the Thameslink train may have been less than 15 minutes it caused me to miss a connection and hence a 31 minute delay (the next train was scheduled to depart in 30 minutes but arrive 31 minutes later, for some reason) so the total delay is over 30 minutes.

Thameslink require you to specify the date and time of departure so I supplied that along with the "via" point but still rejected.

I have resubmitted but I'm fully expecting them to reject it again and then I'll have to try and telephone or just write it off (which I'm sure is what they are want me to do).
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Presumably many many more people just didn't bother to claim, or didn't bother to appeal a result. only a third of people eligible to claim do so.

Where do we draw the less straight forward line. if missing a connection is "less straightforward" and operators are rejecting tickets by default here because the system isn't good enough to handle it then is this acceptable?
If your train is removed from the timetable and you claim, and the system rejects because the system isn't good enough to handle this, is this acceptable?


Claims take the running data, the ticket and its flexibilities and the times specified by the passenger and calculate to the best of its abilities based on that.
I don't consider this to be a falsely approved claim because the system has done the right job with the data provided. It has been fraudulently claimed by the passenger but that is an entirely separate issue.

If we forced these systems to reject anything that could be fraudulent we would immediately see all flexible ticket claims rejected. A massive step backwards. Something the railway would love but passengers would not.
But clearly in the vast, vast majority, probably millions of claims, there doesn’t appear to be a problem whatsoever, given the approval rates are so high, and response times consistently “quick”.

Clearly an ideal system would never reject a valid claim, but this is not reasonable, all systems have their limitations. I’d rather have a less than perfect (but still impressive) approvals rate, if it means a quicker response time that’s fit for purpose for most people.

The independent regulator is providing statistics that seem to prove that in the overwhelming majority of cases, a claim is approved and paid out quickly. I remember being delayed in the days gone past where it took months just for a voucher to turn up.

I believe the real issue with delay repay is that not enough people are claiming it in the first place, but that seems to be getting addressed through fully automated claims.

20% of claims being refused seems reasonable to me, even if you say 10% of that is passenger error and 10% operator error. In reality, strip out those London TfL operators and it’s more like 15% anyway. Incidentally it looks like the TfL rejection stats are so high because they don’t even offer what I would call Delay Repay, so no surprise customers aren’t being paid out successfully!
 

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