Gravesend to City Thameslink via St Pancras - dispute

Status
Not open for further replies.

dazarooni

New Member
Joined
27 Jul 2012
Messages
2
I bought an annual season ticket for Gravesend to City Thameslink/Blackfriars (though it only says London Terminals) via St Pancras for my commute to work; the journey has two legs each using the track of a different train company.

Recently one of the train companies (FCC) has blocked my ticket going through their barrier at St Pancras, stating the ticket isn't valid for that leg of the journey.

The other train company (Southeastern) initially advised in a letter that my ticket was valid for the whole journey but have since backtracked and advised this is not the case.

I have bought the same season ticket for the last three years with no problem and have paid the cost as stipulated on the train company's website for the journey specified and specified my desitnation as City Thameslink or Blackfriars on each occasion.

Do I have any recourse against one or both train companies, can I invoke Section 75 for instance as I purchased using my credit card? Could the train companies take legal action against me for doing this?Whilst this dispute has been going on I have had to pay an extra £4 a day on my Oyster to get between St Pancras and City Thameslink. Should I be making a claim for this too?

I bought the season ticket on 23/02/12 and have since lost my job and no longer need it. Is there any point fighting the rail companies or should I just get the refund on the ticket? It cost £3995, so how much would I be due back?

Thanks

Dazarooni
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

RJ

Established Member
Joined
25 Jun 2005
Messages
7,589
Location
Rail replacement bus cab
I bought an annual season ticket for Gravesend to City Thameslink/Blackfriars (though it only says London Terminals) via St Pancras for my commute to work; the journey has two legs each using the track of a different train company.

Recently one of the train companies (FCC) has blocked my ticket going through their barrier at St Pancras, stating the ticket isn't valid for that leg of the journey.

The other train company (Southeastern) initially advised in a letter that my ticket was valid for the whole journey but have since backtracked and advised this is not the case.

I have bought the same season ticket for the last three years with no problem and have paid the cost as stipulated on the train company's website for the journey specified and specified my desitnation as City Thameslink or Blackfriars on each occasion.

Do I have any recourse against one or both train companies, can I invoke Section 75 for instance as I purchased using my credit card? Could the train companies take legal action against me for doing this?Whilst this dispute has been going on I have had to pay an extra £4 a day on my Oyster to get between St Pancras and City Thameslink. Should I be making a claim for this too?

I bought the season ticket on 23/02/12 and have since lost my job and no longer need it. Is there any point fighting the rail companies or should I just get the refund on the ticket? It cost £3995, so how much would I be due back?

Thanks

Dazarooni
Hi,

The truth is it is not valid, because any tickets for "London Terminals" are not permitted for any journey which goes through Farringdon. If you have been using that London Terminals ticket for three years, I'd be tempted to keep quiet about it as you would have saved quite a lot of money over that time. Very easy mistake for anybody to make. There's a little information on the Thameslink/London Terminals situation here on National Rail.

The ticket is valid at City Thameslink, if you travel via London Bridge/Blackfriars. It's also obviously valid at St Pancras, but you can't use it to travel between City Thameslink and St Pancras unfortunately. If you were still using the ticket, I would have advised getting it changed over to a Gravesend to Farringdon season ticket, which costs an extra £44 per year and is valid on the High Speed as well as the slow route via London Bridge. Consequently it would be valid for the way you wished to use it.

In my opinion, the letter from Southeastern might only be helpful if FCC tried to Penalty Fare or prosecute you. As I stands I reckon it's best left alone.
 
Last edited:

dazarooni

New Member
Joined
27 Jul 2012
Messages
2
Thanks RJ

My arguement is that Southeastern have sold me tickets that are not fit for purpose. I bought them in good faith with the understanding they covered my entire journey. It's not my fault their ticket machines can't cope with the fairly simple route that I requested and the ticket staff are either clueless to the invalidity of the ticket being issued or are deliberately keeping quiet about it.

Had I known my annual journey costs would increase by an extra £1000 on Oyster fares on top of the £4000 I already pay for the season ticket I may have chosen not to travel by train.

Is there a site online where I can calculate the potential refund for relinquishing my ticket or is it just a case of ring Southeastern's (un)helpline?
 

oversteer

Member
Joined
26 Jan 2011
Messages
710
You generally get more money back if you changeover the season ticket instead; an added bonus being that you keep the gold card.

I think arguing the point about validity will get you nowhere.
 

LexyBoy

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
4,468
Location
North of the rivers
Had I known my annual journey costs would increase by an extra £1000 on Oyster fares on top of the £4000 I already pay for the season ticket I may have chosen not to travel by train.
As RJ has said, a ticket between Gravesend Farringdon is £4040 and would be valid for the journey you make.

The Farringdon issue comes up regularly and catches many people out, especially since Southeastern started running into St Pancras. It's disappointing that staff in the area don't have a better understanding though, especially as it's something that FCC are happy to issue Penalty Fares or prosecute people for making a genuine mistake such as yours.

As for a refund, I can't remember exactly how it's calculated but it's something along the lines of:
Paid: £3996
Less usage 23/2 to 27/7 = 5 months 4 days, Season for 05M04D = -£1767
Less admin fee: -£10
Refund: £2219
 

talltim

Established Member
Joined
17 Jan 2010
Messages
2,334
Taking your wors as truth, you have been mis-sold, but I think the difficulty will be proving that you asked for a ticket to City Thameslink or Blackfriars rather than London Terminals
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,360
Location
Yorkshire
Taking your wors as truth, you have been mis-sold, but I think the difficulty will be proving that you asked for a ticket to City Thameslink or Blackfriars rather than London Terminals
But he appears to have a letter from SET?

dazarooni - I suggest you contact your MP and Passenger Focus about this matter. Enclose the letter from SET as evidence. I am happy to proof read a letter regarding this matter, feel free to send me a PM.
 

RJ

Established Member
Joined
25 Jun 2005
Messages
7,589
Location
Rail replacement bus cab
Thanks RJ

My arguement is that Southeastern have sold me tickets that are not fit for purpose. I bought them in good faith with the understanding they covered my entire journey. It's not my fault their ticket machines can't cope with the fairly simple route that I requested and the ticket staff are either clueless to the invalidity of the ticket being issued or are deliberately keeping quiet about it.

Had I known my annual journey costs would increase by an extra £1000 on Oyster fares on top of the £4000 I already pay for the season ticket I may have chosen not to travel by train.

Is there a site online where I can calculate the potential refund for relinquishing my ticket or is it just a case of ring Southeastern's (un)helpline?
You're correct in stating that the ticket was not fit for purpose and you were wrongly advised. However, it worked the barriers until FCC recently reconfigured them to reject it. That ticket was never supposed to work the barriers, but the oversight on FCC's part worked out in your favour. For that reason, it's best left alone, regardless of the priciple involved.

I think it's fair to say that for quite a long time, the railway industry has employed people to work in retail, who are not adequately equipped to learn their trade properly. Unfortunately, this does sometimes lead to great inconvenience for the customer. It should not be luck of the draw whether you get a knowledgeable person deal with you or someone "clueless" but in reality, it is.

There does appear to be a glitch in National Rail's website - if you go into the Season Ticket Calculator and search for Gravesend to St Pancras, it advises you to buy a Gravesend to London Terminals ticket routed Not Via HS1. The ticket cannot legitimately be used to travel between Gravesend and St Pancras.

No doubt somebody will be along soon who is able to calculate the best refund for you!

But he appears to have a letter from SET?

dazarooni - I suggest you contact your MP and Passenger Focus about this matter. Enclose the letter from SET as evidence. I am happy to proof read a letter regarding this matter, feel free to send me a PM.
What would be the purpose though? dazarooni has (fortunately!) not been penalised by FCC and the errors made by SET conjoined with the oversight on the part of FCC have worked in their favour until now! If FCC had started their revenue enforcement nonsense then I'd whole heartedly agree, but in this instance, the only loser has been the railways.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top