FCC Penalty Charge - False Name

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Greenback

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Panic can be caused by many things. I;ve been in a major panic having lost my wallet, it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that being unable to find a railcard that youw ere sure you had may bring out similar emotions.

As to a previous address, I thnk it depends how long you lived there and how recently you moved. After living at one address for nine years, it did take me a couple of weeks to reprogram my automatic repsonses when I moved! It's the same with phone numbers!

In this case, I agree that the OP should seek some form of legal advice. It would be easy to argue that their actiosn are those of a deliberate fare evader, though that could be refuted to some extent if they could provide proof of having a railcard at the time of the offence. What is harder to defend is giving a compeltely wrong address that is not even recent. My own personal opinion is that a court would find it harder to believe that it was a result of panic, and more a deliberate attempt to evade the penalty.
 
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Thanks guys for all the supporting advice and comments, it's really really helpful!

Like I said, I just feel devastated by the whole thing. I would never have bought the ticket had I thought for one moment I didn't have my Railcard with me - the embarrassment alone is enough to stop that.
 

tony_mac

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I would suggest you get impartial legal advice.

If you send them what is effectively a confession, then you have to hope that they are so grateful that they decide not to prosecute. If they still carry on with a prosecution, then you have made it very much easier for them. If you simply say nothing then it makes the prosecution much more difficult, particularly if they have trouble tracking you down. However, this means you can worry about it for the forseeable future.

but I would imagine it's worth paying for a professional opinion.
 

scrapy

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Were you given any documentation by the RPI?

You say you refused the penalty fare but were you given a penalty fares notice (to be paid within a period of time) or did the RPI simply take your details?

If you were given a penalty fare notice then I imagine that if you pay this then no further action will be taken and they will not know you have given a false address.
 

Stigy

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First thing I would do, given that you say you are on probation, is explain the whole story to your probation officer. He / she just might be able to sort it out for you, at least in terms of reducing the severity of how they might treat you. Just one thing - your probation isn't for previous fare related matters is it? ( You don't have to say what it is for, just say it isn't for fare related matters if it isn't ).
I believe he/she is on probation in their new job, and not due to being on the wrong side of the law ;)

Tony_Mac said:
I would suggest you get impartial legal advice.

If you send them what is effectively a confession, then you have to hope that they are so grateful that they decide not to prosecute. If they still carry on with a prosecution, then you have made it very much easier for them. If you simply say nothing then it makes the prosecution much more difficult, particularly if they have trouble tracking you down. However, this means you can worry about it for the forseeable future.

but I would imagine it's worth paying for a professional opinion.
Although you can't beat good legal advice, I don't think the OP can go far wrong than to just sit this one out until such time as FCC get in touch. Basically if he/she contacts FCC now, they'll not only not know who he/she is, but they'll be waiting for the report from the RPI with haste. And to be honest, if FCC decide to prosecute anyway, the sentence will be no different than if you wait for FCC to send you a letter stating their intention to prosecute, and cough it all to them at that time.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Were you given any documentation by the RPI?

You say you refused the penalty fare but were you given a penalty fares notice (to be paid within a period of time) or did the RPI simply take your details?

If you were given a penalty fare notice then I imagine that if you pay this then no further action will be taken and they will not know you have given a false address.
I believe the PFN went out the window and the RPI cautioned and questioned the OP.
 

jon0844

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What was the name of the RPI (PM me if you prefer) as I wonder if it's a certain RPI that is known to be quite menacing. However, that's still no excuse to give a false name and address, and it's situations like this that probably make the RPI in question feel that acting tough is actually a good thing.

I could accept you saying 'I've just moved and can't remember my new address' but then you'd give the old one. The fact you've said you had things registered to old addresses that you weren't going to move makes me wonder if you're also trying to run away from other bills/debts? That's a bad idea, for the record, as credit agencies will eventually find out. They share information with each other, banks, lenders and councils - electoral roll etc - and connect them all together - so one day your credit rating will fall to zero. They might be slow, but they'll eventually catch up.

How did the RPI do the ID check over the phone? I presume you therefore gave a valid name and address, so who were you setting up to get the letter and ongoing hassle from a debt collection agency? If you'd just made something up completely, it would have been sussed out immediately and I would have expected the police to be called.

In any case, the PF would stand as you didn't have your railcard. I don't know why you didn't just pay up - it wasn't a major crime. In fact, it wasn't a crime at all. A discounted ticket is only valid with the corresponding railcard, which you didn't have with you. Just pay up, curse yourself for forgetting it, and move on. That's what should have happened!!
 

Stigy

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How did the RPI do the ID check over the phone? I presume you therefore gave a valid name and address, so who were you setting up to get the letter and ongoing hassle from a debt collection agency? If you'd just made something up completely, it would have been sussed out immediately and I would have expected the police to be called.

In any case, the PF would stand as you didn't have your railcard. I don't know why you didn't just pay up - it wasn't a major crime. In fact, it wasn't a crime at all. A discounted ticket is only valid with the corresponding railcard, which you didn't have with you. Just pay up, curse yourself for forgetting it, and move on. That's what should have happened!!
Even if he gave a valid name, if there's a different person, or indeed nobody, registered at the address given, it's not completely unheard of to be completely valid and correct details, as IRCAS (or similar) only use the Electorol Role to verify details, which can be up to 2-years out of date. Having said that, they'll log it on their system when the details are subsequently found to be false, so as to eliminate it happening in future.

There's no possibility of paying up, as the PFN went out the window I believe. It's the waiting game now by the sound of it.
 

222007

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Thanks guys for all the supporting advice and comments, it's really really helpful!

Like I said, I just feel devastated by the whole thing. I would never have bought the ticket had I thought for one moment I didn't have my Railcard with me - the embarrassment alone is enough to stop that.
Firstly welcome to the forum

Right if i may give a little insight into an RPI as this is what i am myself althought not for FCC. When i come across someone who has no railcard i will firsty go down the line of selling a new ticket (as per conditions of the railcard).

If this is refused i will request details which i will then ring to confirm (yes we have that ability). False details will then result in me requesting the details again which gives the person a chance to give me the correct details. Failure to give me these will result in me calling BTP (british transport police) To assertain the details.

Then i would move to the caution stage (criminal caution as you said earlier) and without giving too much away i have to write everything down then i have to read my notes back to you to sign so you know EXACTLY what i have put. By this point i would be in possesion of your original ticket as my evidence.

A report with evidence is then submitted to my TOC who would then decide what action to take.


If i may suggest in future pay the penalty fare or at very least check you have your railcard befor leaving home. I do not excuse the behaviour of the RPI who dealt with you because we all have very high standards (well i do at least) which we must achieve. I would suggest that vaing your original ticket and receipt (with some of your details on) would give FCC a chance to find you and take any action they see fit.

Keep us posted
 

tannedfrog

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I am a little surprised by some of the comments here. The OP is saying he actually has a railcard so wasn't intentionally fare-evading. We don't need to judge him here, and we can take what he says at face value! Why make him even more worried?

He paid with a card - so the TOC can obtain a card number and maybe a name - but not an address I don't think. And maybe they are able to match the transaction time with a CCTV picture but it seems unlikely they would go to so much trouble ?!

And just because someone buys a ticket, it doesn't mean the same person was travelling on that day. Presumably though they can find a list of Railcard holders and see that the cardholder actually does have a Railcard.

And the thing about the RPI being able to check that a name and address combination is valid - yes providing they are on the electoral roll - but lots of people live in shared houses for relatively short periods, and wouldn't be on the electoral roll. So just because the RPI can't confirm that name and address combination doesn't mean the customer isn't telling the truth.

I think that OP should make sure he doesn't lose his Railcard just in case this does go further.
 

DaveNewcastle

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When i come across someone who has no railcard i will firsty go down the line of selling a new ticket (as per conditions of the railcard).
Although my query won't help the OP at this stage in their predicament, it may help others in the future . . . . .

If a pax presents a ticket which is valid for travel with a railcard but they aren't able to produce the card when requested, is selling them a new ticket the only option?
Could their Railcard-discounted ticket be excessed up to a non-discounted ticket? And if so, is that option offered to passengers?
(It would seem more appropriate to me to accept the ticket as presented but to disallow the Railcard discount if the card cannot be shown to substantiate the discount. An Excess would allow that to happen.).
Thanks
 

Ferret

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Although my query won't help the OP at this stage in their predicament, it may help others in the future . . . . .

If a pax presents a ticket which is valid for travel with a railcard but they aren't able to produce the card when requested, is selling them a new ticket the only option?
Could their Railcard-discounted ticket be excessed up to a non-discounted ticket? And if so, is that option offered to passengers?
(It would seem more appropriate to me to accept the ticket as presented but to disallow the Railcard discount if the card cannot be shown).
Dave - yes and no. The 'rules' state that the customer is treated as 'no ticket held'. In practice though, some Guards Excess the tickets despite the fact they aren't supposed to!
 

DaveNewcastle

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Dave - yes and no. The 'rules' state that the customer is treated as 'no ticket held'. In practice though, some Guards Excess the tickets despite the fact they aren't supposed to!
Thanks, Ferret.
So should anyone be unlucky enough to find they've arrived at the station without their Railcard, then they could at least ask the Guard if they could Excess the ticket at an early opportunity, even if the answer might sometimes be a 'no'.
 

Ferret

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Thanks, Ferret.
So should anyone be unlucky enough to find they've arrived at the station without their Railcard, then they could at least ask the Guard if they could Excess the ticket at an early opportunity, even if the answer might sometimes be a 'no'.
Or sort it at the ticket office...;)
 

asylumxl

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I wouldn't worry about it. As a regular FCC user, the RPI are on a competitive PF drive. God knows why, some people reckon they get some kind of unofficial bonus. To be quite honest, some of the FCC RPI in London are just assholes, and not worth worrying about. Learn about ticketing, validity of them, and your rights as a passenger. Challenge them and watch how fast they back down. From my experience, they think they can intimidate and humiliate everyone, make them out as criminals, so it's lots of fun to do the same to them :).
 

jon0844

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You can't just excess people without a railcard, or you'd always get a discounted ticket and hope to get away with the lower fare more often than not. You'd never be able to be done for evasion, as you could simply use the same excuse over and over.

Far better to charge for a whole new ticket, then allow a refund when you can prove ownership of the railcard - subject to an admin fee of, say, £10. Person who forgot their card grumbles a bit and carries on, a fare evader pays the full price for a new ticket and realises it was somewhat pointless.
 

danfitz123

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Thanks Scotsman.

Is there anything I can do!? :s

I asked several times while I was discussing this with the inspector, I had no confidence he was really even recording what happened right.

I suspect from what you're saying that calling them is a totally pointless gesture then. :(
One thing to do is to act sorry. Don't lie anymore as you will just dig a deeper hole for yourself. If you act as if it was your fault and you just panicked you may be able to reduce the punishment. Sorry about the situation you are in :|
 

Tom B

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You can't just excess people without a railcard, or you'd always get a discounted ticket and hope to get away with the lower fare more often than not.
But surely you'd get caught every time you used a ticket without the railcard, and therefore excessed every time?
 

yorkie

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Although my query won't help the OP at this stage in their predicament, it may help others in the future . . . . .

If a pax presents a ticket which is valid for travel with a railcard but they aren't able to produce the card when requested, is selling them a new ticket the only option?
Could their Railcard-discounted ticket be excessed up to a non-discounted ticket? And if so, is that option offered to passengers?
(It would seem more appropriate to me to accept the ticket as presented but to disallow the Railcard discount if the card cannot be shown to substantiate the discount. An Excess would allow that to happen.).
Thanks
If a train with a guard, the guard can use their discretion (guards here have said they do that) however if encountering an FCC RPI then they have absolutely no chance whatsoever. The 'd' word is highly unlikely to be in their vocabulary.

This is one reason, out of many, why replacing guards with rarely-seen RPIs (some of whom can be rude, obnoxious, almost unhuman, unknowledgeable and on a mission to 'catch people out') leaving most dodgers to get away with it (as an RPI is more often unseen), while people making genuine mistakes are persecuted, is not the way forward.

I am therefore opposed to DOO (unless it is done the way it's done in Glasgow)
 

222007

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If a pax presents a ticket which is valid for travel with a railcard but they aren't able to produce the card when requested, is selling them a new ticket the only option?
Could their Railcard-discounted ticket be excessed up to a non-discounted ticket? And if so, is that option offered to passengers?
Thanks
I see what your saying and yes it could be excessed however i am of the opinion it should be done befor travelling (booking office where one exist's) i always check i have the documents i need befor going to platforms so if it were me i'd known i didnt have it. When someone signs a railcard they in my opinion are signing to say they understand and accept the t&c's.
 

jon0844

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But surely you'd get caught every time you used a ticket without the railcard, and therefore excessed every time?
Depends where you are. If you know there's a good chance you can get by without being checked, then it seems a good way of ensuring that if you ARE unlucky, you'll not get a PF but an excess and no further action.

Some stations are unstaffed, some have gatelines that don't reject tickets with railcards, some gatelines aren't staffed at all hours of the day. It would be asking for all sorts of problems if there was no punishment for not having a railcard - and my suggestion gives a genuine way for those who forgot, or actually lost their card somewhere along the line (for some reason, people do seem to keep their railcard in another place to their ticket) to get compensated - partially.

Those who try it on get nothing, so there's now an actual deterrent factor, as you might get stung for a full price ticket (or PF) and the discounted ticket you bought was pointless. May as well travel with no ticket at all, but then risk being taken to court. Suddenly, the pressure is on the evader and lifted from the innocent victim.

Yorkie, I can say that today was another day with a good FCC RPI - a very friendly lady who knew first class was declassified, and actually had to deal with the only person in there that did have a first class ticket and got upset. She kindly informed him that the timetable clearly shows the services that have first class in operation! I told her (and him) that from the 12th December he'd be okay - as the service will instate first class when being strengthened to 8-cars from 4, so we all had a bit of a joke (and I saw a few others in there looking shocked and disappointed to hear the news!).

After that, she saw a bike blocking the aisle and went to find the owner (bikes are not allowed on trains arriving in London before 1000) and it turned out that the owner, who tried to hide at first, didn't have a ticket. She then remained with the bike until taking both the bike and passenger off at Finsbury Park. She was firm but polite with the passenger at FPK, which is how it is supposed to be.
 
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lm321412

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I would of had sympathy for the OP as I understand forgetting the railcard can be a genuine mistake in some cases. However, I believe that you should get all you deserve by evading the Penalty fare and deciding to use a fake name & address.

I understand that moving house you may not know your address, but if you don't know your name then there is something seriously wrong with you or you are a Liar and fraud...

You have made the job much worse and should of just paid the £20 and then there would of been no trouble with FCC and it would of been all forgotten about and you would of had a clearence of any more future problems. If they do find you eventually, you now risk a fare of several hundred pounds and a criminal record (rightly so giving a fake name).

Best of luck, you'll need it...
 

Peter Mugridge

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I believe he/she is on probation in their new job, and not due to being on the wrong side of the law ;)

Ahh... right... Apologies to the OP then; this is what happens when you live near London and the media is full of the one meaning of the word and nobody really uses the other meaning...!!



Johnmorris0844 said:
What was the name of the RPI (PM me if you prefer) as I wonder if it's a certain RPI that is known to be quite menacing. However, that's still no excuse to give a false name and address, and it's situations like this that probably make the RPI in question feel that acting tough is actually a good thing.
I have to admit that as soon as I read the first post the thought immediately crossed my mind that it might be this character...
 

DaveNewcastle

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You can't just excess people without a railcard, or you'd always get a discounted ticket and hope to get away with the lower fare more often than not. You'd never be able to be done for evasion, as you could simply use the same excuse over and over.

Far better to charge for a whole new ticket, then allow a refund when you can prove ownership of the railcard - subject to an admin fee of, say, £10. Person who forgot their card grumbles a bit and carries on, a fare evader pays the full price for a new ticket and realises it was somewhat pointless.
Well, with the proviso that the refund of the new, replacement, ticket was assured on production of the Railcard, then perhaps that wouldn't be so hard on the innocent if occassionally forgetful/ careless/ distacted/ unfortunate traveller.
My reason for asking is twofold, with a strong focus on the customer :
- the appropriateness of the industry's response (an Excess to repay the 'discount' is appropriate; whereas in the OP's case the industry and OP have managed to escalate it to something innapropriate with great haste);
- the appropriateness for the traveller (if it was me, and I'd left my Railcard behind I would also have left my bank cards behind, so would only have cash - possibly enough for an excess but maybe not enough for a full-price replacement.)

I wonder if a long-term solution might include a technological aid to confirming Railcard holders' ID?
 

mumrar

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We don't need a technological aid to confirm ownership of a railcard, you just need to bring it with you when you travel. Exactly how much time would using this 'technological aid' take up, not to mention the costs involved in the technology.

I have sympathy for the OP if the RPI was as bad as is being claimed, but where the OP states that he wouldn't accept the fine because he thought it unreasonable it gets confusing. You have signed up to these conditions, the railways abide by their bit in giving you a discount where available, and the customer has to do their bit as well.
 

yorkie

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The RPI withdrew the ticket yet did not issue a receipt, so the RPI is in the wrong. Whether this is enough of a failing to get the OP out of it, I do not know.
 

RJ

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I take it you've never moved house and been forced to give your new address in an extremely stressful situation before. Sometimes comments from rail staff on this forum make my blood boil.<D
I post here as an enthusiast, whatever my livelihood may be is entirely irrelevant. All said and done, how credible is someone going to look if they allege they didn't know their address when they give a fake name as well?
 
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Stigy

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I wouldn't worry about it. As a regular FCC user, the RPI are on a competitive PF drive. God knows why, some people reckon they get some kind of unofficial bonus. To be quite honest, some of the FCC RPI in London are just assholes, and not worth worrying about. Learn about ticketing, validity of them, and your rights as a passenger. Challenge them and watch how fast they back down. From my experience, they think they can intimidate and humiliate everyone, make them out as criminals, so it's lots of fun to do the same to them :).
Although you might be at least partially correct in your statement, you do seem to be singing from the Evening Standard's hym sheet. If somebody doesn't have their YP Railcard and are in possesion of a YP discounted ticket, they automatically become liable for prosecution, as they're at the very least in breach of a byelaw. People are of the illusion that if it's a genuine mistake they can't be prosecuted. No, if it's a genuine mistake then they're in breach of a byelaw (18.2 in this case I'd imagine), if it's not a genuine mistake, they're a fare evader and are in breach of a Regulation of Railways Act offence.

As I keep saying, the Penalty Fare is meant as a deterrant, and RPIs are under no obligation to issue one, and can go straight down the MG11 route if they so wish. By rights, people should be allowed no more than a couple of PFs to their name before they're expected to be well versed with the system. Part of my job is enforcing byelaws, and I've seen stereotypical fare evaders, and I've seen more profesional fare evaders.
 

Tom B

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Depends where you are. If you know there's a good chance you can get by without being checked, then it seems a good way of ensuring that if you ARE unlucky, you'll not get a PF but an excess and no further action.
Having re-read a few posts I see this refers to the southern setup of having gatelines on stations and roving inspectors rather than a guard on each train doing tickets - yes, I see that you could get away with it for a while without being caught under such a system.

The one occasion I did travel without a YPR (it had expired the previous week, I had a fresh one but it was at home waiting to be put into my ticket wallet!) the guard took the old YPR away and said he ought to charge an excess, but couldn't be bothered going to fetch his machine given I looked genuinely embarrassed enough!

Your refund idea does sound workable however maybe not the £10 "admin fee" - at the rate that TOCs are sprinkling them all over the place we'll have to pay a £10 admin fee to buy a ticket soon!
 

90019

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As I keep saying, the Penalty Fare is meant as a deterrant
It's meant as a way for the railway to get a quick buck without having to go down the route of prosecution which costs them time and possibly money.
They provide little deterrant to fare evaders, whilst penalising those who make a genuine mistake.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Your refund idea does sound workable however maybe not the £10 "admin fee" - at the rate that TOCs are sprinkling them all over the place we'll have to pay a £10 admin fee to buy a ticket soon!
Ah, sir would like to board the train via the doors? That'll be a £10 admin fee thank you.
Alighting at a station? £10 admin fee for that too, sir.
 
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