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Delay Repay Question

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JamesM

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Hi there,

Hopefully this is in the right forum. So a friend of mine has just been made an hour late by ticket queues at Victoria. He claims (I suspect a slight exaggeration) there are queues of about 100 people for the ticket machines and counters at the station. He has been unable to buy a ticket in the 10 minutes he's been there before the train departed.

Subsequently he missed the hourly Southeastern train to come and see me, and will be an hour late. The guy at the gate wouldn't let him on the train, claiming that guards can't sell tickets, and so our day has been screwed up.

He got there in a reasonable amount of time, a number of the ticket machines are out of order and there was a huge queue.

What should he have done in that situation, it seems really unfair that he has his day screwed up because he wasn't able to buy a ticket.

So, can he claim under delay repay? And was there anything he should have done differently. I don't see why you should have to turn up to the station half an hour early every time in case there are a load of out of order ticket machines.

Many thanks for any tips or advice on what to do next. He'll just be an hour late and our day is screwed up somewhat.

Best,

James
 
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najaB

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He'll just be an hour late and our day is screwed up somewhat.
He's entitled to compensation, however Southeastern may try to avoid payment on the basis that he didn't buy his ticket until after the delay was known. Hold firm and insist that they pay.
 

Hadders

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I'd put in a delay repay form and see what happens. Did your friend take a picture of the queue as it might help to strengthen the case.
 

AlterEgo

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There's no *entitlement* to delay repay for a queue at a ticket machine before the journey begins I'm afraid.

Nonetheless if you can prove a length of delay at a ticket machine a TOC may extend a goodwill gesture towards a customer.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'd put in a delay repay form and see what happens. Did your friend take a picture of the queue as it might help to strengthen the case.

Don't use a form, they'll get processed blindly against a train time. Email them and set out the complaint in prose.
 

JamesM

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Yes, he's taken photos - I think key is the long line of Southern ticket machines that are out of order at Victoria station. I have encouraged him to write in, as it just seems very unfair.

Many thanks for your time.
 

Mag_seven

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Yes, he's taken photos - I think key is the long line of Southern ticket machines that are out of order at Victoria station. I have encouraged him to write in, as it just seems very unfair.

Many thanks for your time.

Not acceptable - when is someone going to start holding these private operators to account.
 

najaB

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Not acceptable - when is someone going to start holding these private operators to account.
There's only a case for outrage if they are out of order for different reasons and they have been so for an extended period of time.

To give an example, a few years back *all* of Scotrail's TVMs and ticket offices in the north-east of Scotland went down for a day due to a data circuit failure. Would you demand that this 'private operator be held to account' because of a fault on their supplier's network?
 

yorkie

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I'd also write to GTR and ask what action they are taking to ensure that they comply with their Passenger's Charter commitments regarding queuing times.

If GTR's response isn't satisfactory, or they keep doing it, refer the matter to Transport Focus and ask the DfT to investigate a potential franchise breach.

Many people report considerably longer queuing times at Victoria than they aim for, so I believe they are probably in breach.

How long was the wait?

GTR said:
Our aim is that most of the time you shouldn’t have to wait
for more than three minutes before being served, and no
more than five minutes during busy peak periods. Busy
times vary from station to station so we display this on
local information posters.
Anyone know what times are defined as "busy" as displayed by GTR on posters at Victoria?
 

najaB

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I'd also write to GTR and ask what action they are taking to ensure that they comply with their charter regarding queuing times.

If GTR's response isn't satisfactory, or they keep doing it, refer the matter to Transport Focus and ask the DfT to investigate a potential franchise breach.
Absolutely agree that's the thing to do if it's a regular problem.
 

bb21

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I am also of the opinion that there is no automatic entitlement to Delay Repay in the event of ticket office queues. There was no delay to any service, and it was not as if he was unable to get on any of the services.

I can only echo the advice of writing in, explaining the situation, and hoping for the best.

Not something you wanted to hear, granted, but I can't find anything to suggest to me the contrary.

Anyone know what times are defined as "busy" as displayed by GTR on posters at Victoria?

Not going to be any time on a Saturday or a Sunday.
 

sheff1

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I think key is the long line of Southern ticket machines that are out of order at Victoria station.

I don't know what type of TVMs they have at Victoria, but at Sheffield this week all the collection machines were out of order (again - see separate thread) as were some of the larger buying machines. I asked a member of staff who was trying to fix things what the issue was and he said they had recently started getting ticket stock from a different supplier and they were very slightly larger and kept getting stuck in the machines.
 

JamesM

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Hi there,

He was queuing for at least 25 minutes, I wasn't in the queue so couldn't say for definite, but he'll write in - my guess is c.25-30 mins.

I understand the delay repay rules, but to suggest that passengers arrive c. 35 mins before departure time in order to purchase a ticket, a transaction that should take 2-5 minutes, seems absolutely absurd.

The problem is on a Sunday when the trains are once an hour, so why should people have to arrive 35-40 minutes early, thus missing an extra half hour in bed etc, each time they want to guarantee getting a service on the off chance that there might be a shambolic situation at the station. He sent me a photo of a whole line of five machines being out of order.

In my view, if you arrive at the station, say, 12 minutes before the service and no one is able to sell you a ticket within 10 minutes, you should be allowed to buy one on the train or elsewhere. I fully accept the issues with fare dodging and people lying about it etc - but once again the faultless passenger suffers, not the company.

Southeastern will likely blame Southern and say they've passed his hugely important and welcome feedback on and that will be the end of it. It frustrates me!

Many thanks once again for the helpful feedback and viewpoints.
 

Bletchleyite

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To give an example, a few years back *all* of Scotrail's TVMs and ticket offices in the north-east of Scotland went down for a day due to a data circuit failure. Would you demand that this 'private operator be held to account' because of a fault on their supplier's network?

No, but I'd expect them to allow travel by some means rather than delaying people.
 

najaB

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No, but I'd expect them to allow travel by some means rather than delaying people.
In Scotrail's case they let me travel with the booking reference and collect my ticket at Crewe (was travelling by the sleeper down to Birmingham).
 

MikeWh

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Southeastern will likely blame Southern and say they've passed his hugely important and welcome feedback on and that will be the end of it. It frustrates me!

Just to be 100% clear. Southeastern operate trains out of Victoria to Kent. Southern operate trains to Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, including importantly the Southampton trains. Southern also operate the main banks of ticket machines. I don't think his complaint has anything to do with Southeastern, and I'd strongly advise not sending it to them as it will delay a meaningful response.
 

Master29

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The huge queue at the ticket office line does have merit but wouldn`t that depend on our old friend subjective interpretation?

4.11 One of the SRA’s three basic conditions for approving a penalty fares scheme is that
passengers must be given a sufficient opportunity to buy a ticket or permit to travel before
they get on a penalty fares train or enter a compulsory ticket area. Every penalty fares station
must have sufficient facilities for selling tickets.
 

najaB

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The huge queue at the ticket office line does have merit but wouldn`t that depend on our old friend subjective interpretation?...
You raise an interesting question, but I can't see the relevance of the Penalty Fare Rules to a potential Delay Repay claim?
 

furlong

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I've witnessed severe queueing problems at Victoria recently too. For starters, invite the DfT to open an investigation into why passengers are seemingly being denied the ability to travel when the company has failed to provided sufficient ticketing facilities and whether, in respect of Penalty Fares, to invoke the SRA's rule 13:

7.3 Rule 13 allows us to stop operators charging penalty fares either completely or in connection with particular penalty fares trains or stations, depending on the circumstances. For example, if an operator does not sort out a serious queuing problem so that passengers do not have sufficient opportunity to buy a ticket, we might stop them charging penalty fares to passengers who join trains at that station.
 

island

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I do think we are doing the OP a disservice by invoking irrelevancies like penalty fare rules in this discussion of delay compensation.
 

Master29

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I do agree that in normal circumstances penalty fares may not be relevant, however as Furlong rightly points out rule 7:3 makes a case, although from the OP`s perspective let`s hope it doesn`t get that far.
 

Agent_c

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There's only a case for outrage if they are out of order for different reasons and they have been so for an extended period of time.

To give an example, a few years back *all* of Scotrail's TVMs and ticket offices in the north-east of Scotland went down for a day due to a data circuit failure. Would you demand that this 'private operator be held to account' because of a fault on their supplier's network?

Yes.

Scotrail are ultimately responsible for the service provided, that they've chosen to subcontract it to somebody else doesn't escape them from their obligations to the customer - the customer shouldn't need to know or need to care how Scotrail arranges its business - they are dealing with Scotrail, and nobody else.

Scotrail undoubtedly had a contract with promised a certain "service level" with penalties paid if that was not met. If they don't have a Service Level agreement in place, then it suggests that the business itself isn't being run on a competent basis.
 

najaB

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Scotrail are ultimately responsible for the service provided, that they've chosen to subcontract it to somebody else doesn't escape them from their obligations to the customer - the customer shouldn't need to know or need to care how Scotrail arranges its business - they are dealing with Scotrail, and nobody else.
And, as I said, Scotrail allowed passengers to travel with their booking references. How else, exactly, would you suggest that they be 'held to account'?
 

AlterEgo

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I do agree that in normal circumstances penalty fares may not be relevant, however as Furlong rightly points out rule 7:3 makes a case, although from the OP`s perspective let`s hope it doesn`t get that far.

I'm afraid penalty fares rules are a complete non-sequitur. They are of absolutely no relevance to delay repay.
 

sarahj

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A hint for Victoria is there are a couple of machines as you head towards platforms 15-19 just near the Buck Palace road entrance. Often either no queue or a very small one. I know it's out of the way to the SE side of the station, but always good to know.
 
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For the future, the best option is probably to try and buy tickets elsewhere, ie. at another National Rail station. I used to use Blackfriars a lot for this purpose as the staff were quite helpful but this has become less easy since the station was modernised. Even when Victoria is working well, it is not very good and I try and avoid dealing with its ticket office if possible. One could always use an Oyster to eg. Bromley South and get a ticket there but this would obviously add to the journey time.
On Penalty Fares, I suspect what is being suggested is that the 'SRA', now DfT, could ban a TOC from issuing Penalty Fares if ticket buying facilities are inadequate. This is, technically, an option but not a very likely one in practice.
 

Shempz

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Just to be 100% clear. Southeastern operate trains out of Victoria to Kent. Southern operate trains to Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, including importantly the Southampton trains. Southern also operate the main banks of ticket machines. I don't think his complaint has anything to do with Southeastern, and I'd strongly advise not sending it to them as it will delay a meaningful response.


Southern also operate trains to Kent out of Victoria.
 
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