Disputes with Merseyrail not crediting refund and selling wrong ticket

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Merseysider, 22 May 2015.

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  1. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    On 12th April, I travelled from Conway Park to New Brighton and back. I asked at CNP for a ticket with an origin of Birkenhead Central so I could return there later. I paid by Contactless (Visa debit) but after paying I noticed my railcard discount hadn't been applied, despite the clerk acknowledging the railcard.

    He "refunded" the full fare by tapping some buttons on his machine, voided and kept the full fare tickets and then sold me the discounted fare, giving me receipts for both transactions. Yet the full fare is still missing from my account.

    I wrote to ME on 18th April and as of 22nd May, I have neither received a refund nor response to my email. I'll be giving them a call in the morning. Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2015
  2. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    If they're not willing to tell you what's going on, contact your card company - if you've the voided receipt they should refund you.
     
  3. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    Just do that and phone them up before doing anything else, would be my advice. I bet someone will just do something about it there and then.
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Do you have a credit card slip showing the refund? If not, they didn't refund it. It sounds to me like the ticket was non-issued without doing the other part.

    Also, for the refund "in person", you would almost certainly have had to reinsert/re-present your card to the machine. Did you?
     
  5. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I used a debit card, will I have received a credit card slip? I've attached what I got off them. (Plus the railcarded tickets, obviously)
     

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  6. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Those both appear to be sales receipts. Normally a refund one would either specifically say so, or it would be a sales receipt for a negative amount.
     
  7. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Ah, I see. I received neither a refund receipt nor a negative sales receipt. Is this something that could prove problematic?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I agree that's what would happen in an ideal world, but my previous dealings with ME customer service have left me somewhat disillusioned with their capacity to actually understand or address the issue at hand.
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You should also have a third one which would be a refund and would say refund on it. Sorry, I was using the term "credit card slip" generically.

    It definitely sounds like they did the non-issue but forgot to do the actual refund.

    If you have no luck with Merseyrail (but you'll have to go to them first, banks won't do chargebacks if you haven't attempted to resolve via more normal channels) your bank may be able to do a chargeback.
     
    Last edited: 22 May 2015
  9. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    That makes sense, thanks. I will query this with ME tomorrow and hopefully a positive outcome will result. If not, I suppose it would not be inappropriate to contact Transport Focus, given the fact that I've allowed them over a month to sort it.

    Edited to add that I did ask my bank (Santander) about the chargeback procedure but I was told I had to have confirmation that the merchant refused/refuses to resolve the dispute before they can chargeback.
     
    Last edited: 22 May 2015
  10. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Not really. You are making the claim against them, it's up to them to prove that they have processed your refund - not having a refund slip only strengthens your case. :)
     
  11. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    It sounds like the booking office canceled the ticket on the ticket sales side but did not process a refund. ME Customer Relations is closed on a Saturday. You could however contact PF over not receiving your money back and also the length of time taken to reply.

    Those 2 receipts are both sales receipts. You should have been given 1. first sales receipt (you have that). 2. a refund receipt showing the money going back onto your card. 3. another receipt for the second sales transaction (you have that)

    You are right, ME customer service are bad on communication and love to totally ignore when you write in and tell them. I am sure your first letter or email ME was worded very clearly. They are the ones with the problem at communication - or NOT!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    You can complain about ME to Merseytravel too, do it! )
     
  12. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Another example of poor training by Merseyrail experienced today.

    At Birkenhead Central, I asked for an Off-Peak Return to Mauldeth Road (YNG discount) and requested that the minimum fare of £12 be applied, as I plan on returning before 10am, and the standard YNG fare of £10.45 would be invalid at this time.

    The clerk decided he couldn't "sell a fare that isn't there" and that if I wanted to come back at 0959 I would need the Anytime Return ticket at £14.20 (Wrong).

    He was quite adamant that it was impossible to apply the minimum fare of £12. Therefore I am faced with the prospect of an argument with a TPE guard on Tuesday morning, which I really can't be a*sed having. I won't have time on Monday to sort it and MAN will probably be closed when I arrive tonight. Wunderbar.
     
  13. Jonfun

    Jonfun Member

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    Why does it need an argument? Just go and see the Guard, explain that the clerk couldn't sell you them the £12 fare and see if they'd like you to pay the excess.
     
  14. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    You haven't seen this thread have you? ;)

    I didn't say I would go out looking for an argument. I said I'd be faced with the prospect of one
     
  15. Jonfun

    Jonfun Member

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    Where in that thread does it have any relevance to this? You're not in a Penalty Fare area, so the correct action to take to travel at an otherwise restricted time is an excess to the appropriate valid ticket - in this case, the £12 one.
     
  16. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Let's hope you're right! :D
     
  17. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    And if the guard is as misinformed at the ticket seller? That's trickier once you're on a train if a guard believes you should be paying more than you do.
     
  18. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Merseyrail have apologised for not responding to my email about the CNP problem and the gentleman I spoke to said "we'll send out some vouchers for you". Which sounds like a good step forwards.

    Hopefully, for the benefit of other passengers, the clerk involved will get a gentle reminder about processing card refunds :)
     
  19. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I am really sorry Jake that you have had this trouble with ME. I think it has reached the point now with ME that we all need to complain on mass to them and take it to PF. Something seriously needs to be done.

    On your return leg, you could approach the booking office if it is open and you've time. If you happen to be at a bbooking office before then, do it there. I think I'm right in saying that an excess can be done on the train even if the office is open. but I understand totally how difficult TPE can be.
     
  20. Jonfun

    Jonfun Member

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    Rather than going on about "what ifs", please consider for a moment the many millions of journeys which go by without any stress for the passenger or traincrew.

    Consider also the many hundreds of incorrect tickets which are dealt with each and every day, many of which will be dealt with by words of advice, or just collecting the difference in fare.

    The prosecutions that are seen in this section, generally speaking, happen because the person in question was trying it on or wilfully evading the fare. I don't think certain members on here appreciate the many people who try it on and that appropriate action is taken against those who are.

    Yes, there are some Guards out there trying to make a name for themselves, or don't know their tickets They're usually as unpopular with their colleagues and managers as they are with their passengers. But they're in the minority.

    Just go and speak to the Conductor and explain the problem. You might find they're not actually bothered.
     
  21. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Using the ticket is only half of the problem. If a clerk doesn't know how to apply a minimum fare then that is worrying.

    It also took me 10 minutes to get a PlusBus at BKC yesterday; the clerk had never heard of it before and said "why don't you just get a Saveaway?" He didn't know how to issue it so had to walk him through it ("BKC to Birkenhead PlusBus? Nothing. Rovers and Rangers? Nope. NLC codes? K451 is an invalid destination. Look, this is what the screen is showing me. Maybe PlusBus Birkenhead? Nope. Ah, a single from BKC to Birkenhd+BUS? I don't like doing things I haven't been taught how to do.")

    I don't go out to 'create problems'. I should expect that staff will be adequately trained to sell what I ask for.
     
  22. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Which they doubtless will, to the Anytime Return fare! You are far to trusting of the guard knowing the procedure!

    Because that's a ridiculous standpoint. There will not be that many people 'trying it on' as you put it to possibly warrant assuming all of your customers are crooks, as you appear to advocate.
     
    Last edited: 25 May 2015
  23. Jonfun

    Jonfun Member

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    I don't deny booking office ticket knowledge (particularly around plusbus) is lacking across the industry. The amount of issues I had with EMT's offices was horrendous. But it never resulted in arguments with traincrew.

    Drop an email in pointing out where the issues are and they'll probably put out a memo about the issue.

    I have to say I've never really had an issue with Birkenhead Central booking office, the only thing that did go wrong was getting a ticket issued for three days in the future - the clerk had done an advance booking a couple of transactions before, and his machine didn't revert back to today afterwards, but that's poor software design more than anything else.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Are you even reading what I post? I said the exact opposite, that generally most ticket irregularities are mistakes which are dealt with by words of advice or charging the excess to the correct fare.

    I also said that the ones who are prosecuted are, in general, prosecuted for a reason. Are you aware of the scale and extent of the fare evasion problem on our railway network?
     
  24. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    No I'm not and neither are you, because ticketless travel is just that - unrecorded. It's a fairly significant problem on my line because of limited ticket office opening hours and guards who are too busy, but as we all know the TOCs are not interested in collecting that revenue because it would cost more than they would make from enforcing it.
     
  25. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    at the same time you are still entitled to the refund back on your card Jake in addition to vouchers. Or do you feel they are offering the vouchers in leu of refund. Provided they send u national RTVs then this should be fine. Sometimes they only send vouchers valid for travel within ME area - but can also be used for Saveaways and ME Day Savers.
     
  26. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I know one or two people who have started getting the train instead of the bus because of not having an opportunity to pay and there being a low likelihood of being asked to pay.

    I did actually send an email (partly for sh*ts and giggles) to TPE asking if they wanted to invoice me for the £1.25 I owed them. They weren't interested :lol:
     

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    Last edited: 25 May 2015
  27. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Depending on what actually arrives in the post; RTVs/cheque/ME Only vouchers and the reimbursement amount, I might drop the matter. I was considering adding a £5 admin fee if they didn't resolve it at the second time of asking ;)
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    If Merseyrail *really* can't be bothered to train their ticketing staff properly, why don't they seek to withdraw from RSP and just put ticket machines selling Merseyrail tickets on each station, closing the ticket offices? Some mechanism for obtaining excesses at Lime St/Preston/Southport/Chester could deal with through journeys with multiple routes.

    As they aren't a franchise, are they mandated to remain in RSP?

    There seems absolutely no point in them having ticket offices on the network if they can't sell things properly beyond their very simple and small network.
     
    Last edited: 25 May 2015
  29. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    I didn't say anything about it ending up in a prosecution. I merely mentioned that many people would be happier having sorted their ticket out before boarding as there's only one chance on board. I'll agree that in most cases that will go just fine - but in the small number of cases it doesn't it can be very awkward for the person who's tried to sort his ticket out.

    I'm not sure what relevance people trying it on has to JakeF's problems - unless you're suggesting he's more likely to have a problem on board because of these people.
     
  30. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    As someone working on trains checking tickets on trains coming out of Merseyside I have to say that of all the different areas I work in, the level of incorrect issues and wrong sales from ME stations far exceeds all other stations I pass put together. I won't list all the scenarios, but the common ones are selling a time restricted ticket at the incorrect time of the day and also often giving a timetable itinerary showing a passenger a journey which is not valid for the ticket they have just been sold. The instances of this are too many to simply be passengers asking for one thing at the window and trying it on on the train. Selling CDR or SVR tickets for journeys to Manchester early morning, well before the times they are valid, is common. Also common is selling a route restricted ticket then giving the passenger an itinerary which doesn't match the route shown on the ticket.

    I have also had issues with them as a passenger, most notably the time they virtually imprisoned me and my father in Southport station when they wouldn't accept that a Lancashire Day Ranger was valid there and refused to open the barriers for me until such time as I paid for a ticket. Despite me showing them the Northern produced leaflet and a print out of the Pdf map from National Rail website they said they were both wrong. It took 20 minutes of hassle and significant debate until they ungraciously relented.
     
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