Fast train by mistake

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by najaB, 12 May 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    15,324
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    I got the delayed 0837 Southern service from Victoria to Brighton which, due to delays ran fast to Brighton. The guard made two announcements before departure but a gentleman hopped on just as the doors were closing - unfortunate for him as he only wanted to go to East Croydon.

    The guard has charged him for a Brighton to East Croydon single, isn't there any way he could have issued something like a zero fare excess as it's not like he got on the wrong train, just the train isn't making the usual stops? Would he be eligible for a refund on either ticket?

    (Apologies for the earlier post, apparently my phone decided it would be funny to stick some predictive text in there.)
     
  2. James Wake

    James Wake Member

    Messages:
    754
    Joined:
    30 Aug 2013
    I'm not sure about the fare enquiry, but the problem is that there are some passengers who will just jump onto a train and assume it is going to their station (like East Croydon passengers as the majority of trains from platforms 15-19 go there). I did see at Clapham Junction last Friday at 1612 on platform 13 a Dorking via Epsom service, and people were getting on, only to keep asking if the train was going to East Croydon. It was only 4 mins late, but delayed the next four mainline trains behind it. The majority of passengers though make sure they are right before boarding.
     
  3. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

    Messages:
    9,033
    Joined:
    26 Nov 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Though in this case it *was* the right train and on most days would have stopped at East Croydon.

    I know when going to my trains I often know which I can and cannot get and waiting for the stops to scroll round could mean me missing one - a change in stopping pattern could well catch me out.

    Had the platform signs been updated to reflect the fast running?
     
  4. James Wake

    James Wake Member

    Messages:
    754
    Joined:
    30 Aug 2013
    That's of course provided the signs were updated, absolutely, although a check on RTT shows a 9 min late start from Victoria and a 5 min late arrival in Brighton, so not a lot of time made up, but I'm sure they had good reasons for doing it.
     
  5. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    15,324
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    The signs had been updated, but very close to the departure time. And the guard's second announcement must've been right as he was pressing the door close button as we were on the move maybe 10 seconds later.
     
  6. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

    Messages:
    8,838
    Joined:
    14 Apr 2008
    I think, given the chap jumped on at the last minute and that the train was 9 minutes late, that it would be reasonable to assume that it was not his normal train (though it can't be ruled out completely at this stage). Perhaps he looked at the departure board properly before it changed and ran to the platform? Or perhaps he saw a late running train to Brighton and assumed it would call at East Croydon?

    I don't think we will ever really know and that means we can't really say if the guards actions were correct, lenient or harsh.
     
  7. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,158
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2014
    Taking the story as is told. It does seem a bit dick to be honest to charge an excess fare in this circumstance especially as the departure board wasn't updated to the last minute too
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  8. londonbridge

    londonbridge Member

    Messages:
    628
    Joined:
    30 Jun 2010
    As posted in another thread, I was coming home from work at Kingston, train was running late, there was another one a few minutes behind, I boarded the first one and somehow managed to miss all the announcments that it would run non-stop to Waterloo and anyone wanting Clapham Junction should wait for the one behind. Sometimes it really is just too easy to make this sort of error if you're not paying full attention.
     
  9. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    15,324
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    Personally I think it was a bit harsh, given that the guy was going to be almost an hour late getting to East Croydon. Could he be cheeky and make a delay repay claim - after all a late running service and cancelled stop caused him to be late to his destination....
     
  10. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    3,599
    Joined:
    22 Jan 2014
    Location:
    North West
    I think a lot would hinge on his attitude. I wouldn't be surprised if he was frustrated/angry at realising how delayed he'd be and this might have come off as a bad attitude towards the guard.

    Personally I think the time penalty in itself renders a new fare on top overkill.
     
  11. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    15,324
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    He actually didn't have a bad attitude and didn't come across as angry at all. The conversation went something like this:
    I can see both sides - it's the guy's fault for not double-checking the platform signs, at the same time he's lost an hour or more of his day, it could be seen as mean-spirited to make him pay nearly £20 for the privilege.
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  12. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    3,599
    Joined:
    22 Jan 2014
    Location:
    North West
    Perhaps it was just one of those guards that does things 'by the book'.

    I wonder if we might see the gentleman concerned posting in the Disputes section at some point? ;) I certainly wouldn't be pleased in such an event (but I suppose the blame does sit with him somewhat for not checking).
     
  13. 34D

    34D Established Member

    Messages:
    6,011
    Joined:
    9 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I would like to think he would be sent vouchers by the TOC the if he wrote in
     
  14. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    21,451
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    I don't think the accusation helped.

    I don't think I have ever seen someone being charged for being accidentally over-carried before. Perhaps the guard thought the passenger was being cheeky in that he deliberately "missed" the announcements in order to get a free ride to Brighton, and had no intention of returning at all.
     
  15. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    21,247
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    I think so. If he jumped on last minute, nobody else could be getting on after who was then deprived of a seat/standing space - so what was the harm? And how much of a problem would it be having the gentleman having to take another train back? It would be outside of the peak by then, and going against the flow too.

    The passenger was delayed enough, which could be seen as punishment enough for not noticing, but if you see your train (even if late, it would show the original departure time) then you might reasonably board it and not notice the changed stopping pattern.

    Case in point; I come up at King's Cross from the tube, and the only screen I see when walking to the rail platforms is the summary of departures display. This doesn't show the stopping pattern, but if I saw my 2005 (example) train to Cambridge still on there as it was delayed, and the platform, I'd possibly run for it.

    On that basis, why would I check the stopping pattern on the screen on the platform? I know it's the train I wanted, but thought I'd missed. In fact, I could see myself suffering the exact same fate.
     
  16. SussexMan

    SussexMan Member

    Messages:
    355
    Joined:
    23 Oct 2010
    Isn't that a bit far fetched? Customer wants to go to Brighton so happens to find a train which would normally call at East Croydon but has had that stop cancelled so then goes and gets a ticket to East Croydon and then goes back to the train and gets on. Come to think of it, why wouldn't he have bought a ticket to Clapham Junction if this was his plan.

    If the guard charged him for a Brighton to East Croydon ticket, why didn't he also charge him for an East Croydon to Brighton ticket?


    Sounds unreasonable to me.
     
  17. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    21,451
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    Doughnutting perhaps, especially if he was intending on travelling to one of the gated stations in that area?

    Or could have been a chancer who was banking on no revenue being done by the guard, or travelling to an ungated station?

    Lots of possibilities.
     
  18. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,860
    Joined:
    3 Mar 2014
    Location:
    Merseyside
    I do sincerely hope that the man concerned writes into Southern and they refund the care. The guard here needed to be more reasonable and just accept that he hadn't realised. To take money off someone on top of the delay due to the change in stopping pattern and him missing his stop at East Croydon (a station the train normally stops at) is bad customer service indeed! The guard should have apologised and endorsed his ticket to allow travel back to East Croydon. Yes, we all makes mistakes and there is such a thing as doing the gentlemanly thing in such circumstances.
     
  19. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    3,599
    Joined:
    22 Jan 2014
    Location:
    North West
    1933 tonight from London Bridge to Horsham had an FTC at New Cross Gates. I wonder if the guard will be charging people for tickets back from Norwood? ;)
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  20. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    21,451
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    I sincerely hope there is a smiley missing at the end of that post.
     
  21. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    21,247
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    Ultimately, summary boards and many apps would just show the train as delayed and not necessarily any changes in stopping pattern. It's perfectly reasonable therefore for someone to make a mistake through no fault of their own.
     
  22. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    3,599
    Joined:
    22 Jan 2014
    Location:
    North West
    Yes, my bad. I forget not everyone is as cynical as me. :)
     
  23. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,860
    Joined:
    3 Mar 2014
    Location:
    Merseyside
    I think our poster on here who saw the indicant should complain to Southern about what he saw. The guard needs a lesson or 2 in a. assisting customers during service disruption b. good communication (a PA 10 seconds before pulling out is not good) c. when to use discretion d. delivering good customer service. He seriously needs a talking to and perhaps some additional training!

    Even escalate it to a Manager if they fob you off first time round. If they are a decent company (I doubt they are actually) but I wonder if they are human enough to even trace the transaction and refund his fare back onto the bank card he paid with (if indeed he did pay on a card). Most likely asking way too much here!

    But this is out of order and I know there are some really lovely and helpful Southern guards on this forum who would NEVER behave in such a way.
     
  24. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    21,451
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    I don't doubt that, but without knowing what was on the departure boards it is difficult to pin the blame on the train company given that the guard made full announcements prior to departure. From the guard's perspective, he did all he could to bring everyone's attention to the changed stopping pattern.

    It would be nice if discretion was exercised on this occasion, but discretion is all it is.
     
  25. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    21,247
    Joined:
    1 Feb 2009
    Location:
    UK
    I don't think the guard could have done anything else to warn people. If someone who saw their train as not having left yet run to it, and boarded as the doors locked shut, that's simply unfortunate.

    The correct thing to do would be say 'Sorry mate, it's not your lucky day' before endorsing the ticket to allow a return to East Croydon on the next service.

    I can see myself making this mistake potentially, and bet loads of other people here who know the timetable well enough to just look out for their service by time/destination, could too.

    And I'd have expected that in all such cases, discretion would have been shown and that would have been it.
     
  26. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    21,451
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    I think this would be a perfect example for Customer Service to sort out, as they can maintain a database of such claims to ensure that these small probability events are not abused as excuses.

    As you say, "unfortunate" is the word I would use to describe what happened. No more, no less.
     
  27. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    15,324
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    I'm of half a mind to do that, but as a disinterested party I can't be 100% sure of what may or may not have happened before or after, only what I heard - not that I believe there was any more to it. If anything, I hope that the passenger makes a complaint.
     
  28. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

    Messages:
    8,836
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    I very much doubt a refund is on the cards here... but there is an easy way to solve that problem: refuse to pay up! I certainly wouldn't pay for a new ticket if I'd boarded a train which had its calling pattern changed and that meant I was accidentally travelling beyond my destination because of it.
     
  29. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    3,599
    Joined:
    22 Jan 2014
    Location:
    North West
    Whilst a Rora would off the cards, couldn't you still be done under the byelaws?
     
  30. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

    Messages:
    2,466
    Joined:
    1 Aug 2013
    I would have thought that many passengers from Victoria to East Croydon would be using Oyster PAYG instead of tickets, so there would be the automatic excess charged if you don't exit in the time, which you never find out about until later, if at all, to add to the costs.

    Operators also need to realise that there are nowadays large numbers of passengers in London for whom English is not their first language, and that PA announcements about late changes made after passengers have legitimately boarded, especially ones given in rail-speak, may not be readily understood. I would have thought there would be a standard procedure for people who are overcarried in situations like this, and charging them extra is not one of the elements of that. It doesn't help that issues arising from such events are often discussed by rail staff concealing that the train in question was timetabled to stop, was shown previously at the station as going to stop, etc.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page