Greater Anglia - Delay Repay Fraud - Discussion of wider issues/rights/wrongs/etc

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jon0844

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Mod Note: If you have been contacted by GA regarding possible fraudulent claims for Delay Repay please post on this linked thread. The thread you are currently viewing is intended for wider discussions on the issues raise by GA's behaviour in this matter rather than for advice and assistance for those affected.
And what about of you had tried to get the 17.02 but didn’t managed to get through the crushed concourse in time? Or that the gate line was open at that platform because of the crunch, but then closed again at 17.13? Or couldn’t actually get on the 17.02? Or any other number of scenarios that play out at Liverpool St during disruption?

I am sure the gateline station control unit will record all the times it was open/closed, which gates were open in which direction and have data tracking the overall usage to tell how busy it was etc.

If the platform was empty and people were all on the concourse due to disruption, nobody would have used the gates.

The problem with this is that it may not take into account a situation where a special stop order has been issued for the train that would otherwise hurtle through non-stop at 08:15, with the specific aim of picking up the passengers for the cancelled 08:00 train. And therefore the person who stayed at home claimed for a significantly longer delay than others waiting at the station for the same train.

This. I said this some time ago (actually multiple times). During disruption, staff may get a stop order on another train or organise taxis. If you were sat at home, you didn't allow for them to reduce your delay.
 
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Deafdoggie

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Whilst this is true, if you're on an hourly branch line service and it is cancelled, and nothing has gone the other way, you know nothing is going to be coming! Certainly here never has a RRB or taxi been provided at short notice- once they claimed an RRB had been provided, but were caught out when asked which company was providing it and that company knew nothing about it!
 

jon0844

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Whilst this is true, if you're on an hourly branch line service and it is cancelled, and nothing has gone the other way, you know nothing is going to be coming! Certainly here never has a RRB or taxi been provided at short notice- once they claimed an RRB had been provided, but were caught out when asked which company was providing it and that company knew nothing about it!

A taxi could surely be organised anywhere at any time? Speak to staff or use a help point. Both things you can't do if at home.

I understand the thinking of not bothering to travel if your train isn't running, but I don't think Delay Repay is a valid method of compensation for when you haven't given the operator an opportunity to do something to help and potentially reduce the delay.
 

Deafdoggie

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A taxi could surely be organised anywhere at any time? Speak to staff or use a help point. Both things you can't do if at home.

I understand the thinking of not bothering to travel if your train isn't running, but I don't think Delay Repay is a valid method of compensation for when you haven't given the operator an opportunity to do something to help and potentially reduce the delay.
A taxi(s) from every station on the branch is unlikely. Certainly here has never happened.
 

ashkeba

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A taxi could surely be organised anywhere at any time? Speak to staff or use a help point. Both things you can't do if at home.

I understand the thinking of not bothering to travel if your train isn't running, but I don't think Delay Repay is a valid method of compensation for when you haven't given the operator an opportunity to do something to help and potentially reduce the delay.
Help points are rarely answered and functional ( often you can't hear the other person or they don't understand you). I wonder if a branch line station has ever had a taxi sent by help point.

Would phoning GA from home suffice to give them chance? I can reach the station before any taxi would.

If they are arranging taxis, shouldn't the cancellation message on journey check say so?

If not delay repay, what is the appropriate method of compensation for a journey delayed by cancellation of its initial train?
 

Riker87

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Everyone's going to be commuting with timestamped GoPros on their heads now for evidence.
 

robbeech

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Everyone's going to be commuting with timestamped GoPros on their heads now for evidence.
It’ll be more evidence than GA have got for many of these cases where folk have just given up and paid.
 

Riker87

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It’ll be more evidence than GA have got for many of these cases where folk have just given up and paid.
Especially since a lot of people who do commute into London on GA mostly work in sectors where a fraud investigation charge can be devastating for their jobs / careers. Blacklisted for 6 years generally until the charge is spent, in finance. So for them it's not worth arguing and just paying to get it done.
 

robbeech

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Especially since a lot of people who do commute into London on GA mostly work in sectors where a fraud investigation charge can be devastating for their jobs / careers. Blacklisted for 6 years generally until the charge is spent, in finance. So for them it's not worth arguing and just paying to get it done.
This is the point many people are trying to make here. Unfortunately there are the people here who have nothing to lose from an accusation who cannot understand why people settle.
I don’t think there’s much else to say until more information on individual cases appears.
 

43096

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Especially since a lot of people who do commute into London on GA mostly work in sectors where a fraud investigation charge can be devastating for their jobs / careers. Blacklisted for 6 years generally until the charge is spent, in finance. So for them it's not worth arguing and just paying to get it done.
And GA know that, which is partly why they’re doing this. Hopefully one day this will become much more widely known and GA will be publicly humiliated into repaying customers, with appropriate compensation on top.
 

packermac

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And GA know that, which is partly why they’re doing this. Hopefully one day this will become much more widely known and GA will be publicly humiliated into repaying customers, with appropriate compensation on top.
Well the Posts Office were still prosecuting sub postmasters long after they were fully aware of the errors in their computer system, (and that meant jail time for some) so I would not hold out much hope of anything once you have paid up to "make it all go away"
 

Wuffle

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Well the Posts Office were still prosecuting sub postmasters long after they were fully aware of the errors in their computer system, (and that meant jail time for some) so I would not hold out much hope of anything once you have paid up to "make it all go away"
And then last year the Post Office did not contest many who appealed and it's cost the Post Office millions

 

talldave

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Having raked in so much cash whilst ensuring that those who've paid up will probably never claim again, I worry that GA might go one step further and boast about how many tens/hundreds of thousands of pounds they've recovered from fraudulent Delay Repay claims in a press release intended to deter even more people from claiming.

The bulk of repaid money will be for "admin fees" and genuine claims. But any misinformation put out could damage DR'S image.
 

MotCO

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Making a mistake with a claim is not a fraudulent act, and if you do make a mistake, which is only natural once or twice, it’s up to the company to dismiss the claim when it comes in.

It does seem to be the case that because GA does not have sufficient checks in place to reject erroneous claims, it is able to 'encourage' claimants to repay all their claims (a proportion of which are genuine claims) on the basis that GA is claiming there is evidence that some are potentially fraudulent, plus a £200 admin charge.

In addition, is GA claiming money from Network Rail for some of the delays? In which case, GA should pay these sums back, otherwise are they not also acting fraudulently?
 

AlterEgo

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It does seem to be the case that because GA does not have sufficient checks in place to reject erroneous claims, it is able to 'encourage' claimants to repay all their claims (a proportion of which are genuine claims) on the basis that GA is claiming there is evidence that some are potentially fraudulent, plus a £200 admin charge.
We have still only had, what? Two, three, posters claim they’ve never intentionally put in a false or inflated claim? A lot of people popping their head round the door to say “oh I got the letter, how do I settle? Hmm, right thanks, bye!”

Paying back all the claims over the last 18 months plus an admin fee seems like a good result if you actually did commit a fraud.
In addition, is GA claiming money from Network Rail for some of the delays? In which case, GA should pay these sums back, otherwise are they not also acting fraudulently?
Sorry, I don’t follow. Are you saying Delay Repay is somehow “claimed back” from Network Rail? That’s not how Schedule 8 payments work
 

MotCO

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We have still only had, what? Two, three, posters claim they’ve never intentionally put in a false or inflated claim? A lot of people popping their head round the door to say “oh I got the letter, how do I settle? Hmm, right thanks, bye!”

Paying back all the claims over the last 18 months plus an admin fee seems like a good result if you actually did commit a fraud.
But if GA had adequate systems in place, no erroneous claims could be made. GA is using some gate barrier info to support their claims of fraud; could this not have been used in the first place to stop these claims. It does seem that because GA did not have adequate systems, they are now recovering more money from passengers than they ever paid out.

Sorry, I don’t follow. Are you saying Delay Repay is somehow “claimed back” from Network Rail? That’s not how Schedule 8 payments work

We had a poster a little while back saying that GA could recover from Network Rail some of the DR payments made if the delay was caused by NR's infrastructure. If that is not the case, I withdraw my remark.
 

Haywain

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But if GA had adequate systems in place, no erroneous claims could be made. GA is using some gate barrier info to support their claims of fraud; could this not have been used in the first place to stop these claims. It does seem that because GA did not have adequate systems, they are now recovering more money from passengers than they ever paid out.



We had a poster a little while back saying that GA could recover from Network Rail some of the DR payments made if the delay was caused by NR's infrastructure. If that is not the case, I withdraw my remark.
Like a number of other posters on this thread, you have made the assumption that fraudulent or erroneous claims are easy to spot. They are not and will only be highlighted by a pattern of claims over a period of time. Even those that may look suspicious at the time of the claim being made may not look sufficiently so to warrant being declined. Once suspicions are raised it may be necessary to allow the pattern to develop further to provide confirmation and only then can action be taken (and I would stress that this is not a defence of the timing of GA's acting in this matter). I would add that the difference between erroneous and fraudulent claims is that errors will likely balance themselves out to some extent over time, whereas fraud will always end up favouring the claimant.
 

ashkeba

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Sorry, I don’t follow. Are you saying Delay Repay is somehow “claimed back” from Network Rail? That’s not how Schedule 8 payments work
If GA did not send a fully prepared and crewed train to any closure, then they did not give Network Rail opportunity to reduce the delay, so have claimed for the disruption fraudulently.

Also, GA reject legitimate DR claims and seem to have accepted some fraudulent ones, so given they do not seem to know which trains were cancelled or delayed, are they confident that they have only made accurate claims from NR or would they like to repay all of them and a substantial admin fee?

I expect GA have a better system than DR so it will not happen but it would cheer us up if NR treated GA like GA treat customers.
 

MotCO

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Like a number of other posters on this thread, you have made the assumption that fraudulent or erroneous claims are easy to spot. They are not and will only be highlighted by a pattern of claims over a period of time.

My point is that GA now seem to be relying to some extent on gate barrier information. Presumably this means, for example, that in some cases someone claimed for a train which left before they put their ticket into the gate barrier*. If so, why wasn't this information available at the time the DR claim was considered; if they had used the information then which is now being used, they would have dismissed the DR claim and we would not be in the situation we are now.

* I accept there are probably other circumstances when the ticket data can prove conclusively that a passenger could not have been on the train being claimed. As mentioned upthread, if your train was cancelled, you may not have passed through a gate barrier until your replacement train was announced, so this would not prove one way or the other whether you were at the station in time for the cancelled train.
 
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maniacmartin

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Schedule 8 payments from Network Rail are not directly linked to Delay Repay in the way you suggest ashkeba. In any case, my understanding is that a lot of the issues were down to problems with the new rolling stock, which as a train problem not a track problem, would not be covered by Schedule 8 anyway. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong as I'm not that familiar with this).
 

jon0844

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Like a number of other posters on this thread, you have made the assumption that fraudulent or erroneous claims are easy to spot. They are not and will only be highlighted by a pattern of claims over a period of time. Even those that may look suspicious at the time of the claim being made may not look sufficiently so to warrant being declined. Once suspicions are raised it may be necessary to allow the pattern to develop further to provide confirmation and only then can action be taken (and I would stress that this is not a defence of the timing of GA's acting in this matter). I would add that the difference between erroneous and fraudulent claims is that errors will likely balance themselves out to some extent over time, whereas fraud will always end up favouring the claimant.

The police are often instructed not to intervene in some crimes in order to build up a bigger picture, like when investigating county lines or the theft of bicycles, as well as the odd occasion where they might take an interest in something like shoplifting.

It would make perfect sense for GA to use the various tools it has (whether that's gateline data, smartcard data, Wi-Fi logins, tracking the 5G chip injected with your Covid vaccine or whatever) to build a case, just as all TOCs have fraud departments that have allowed multiple offences of things like short ticketing to have a stronger case to prosecute.
 

ashkeba

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Schedule 8 payments from Network Rail are not directly linked to Delay Repay in the way you suggest ashkeba. In any case, my understanding is that a lot of the issues were down to problems with the new rolling stock, which as a train problem not a track problem, would not be covered by Schedule 8 anyway. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong as I'm not that familiar with this).
I know it does not work like that and will not happen but we can dream of a fairness fantasy where GA has to suffer what we do, only being paid if they claim!

As I understand it, the GA "new train" problems were mainly due to some intermittent train/signalling interaction failure. There were also door CCTV failures but that was worked around by guards. I think the trains were in spec, as you would expect from Stadler, but that was not enough to operate reliably. I do not know for sure if those delays were attributed to NR but it seems like they would. It might be in https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/abellio-greater-anglia-class-755s-regional-trains.148431/
 

Fawkes Cat

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Elsewhere:

To try and bring some semblance of order to proceedings we're going to try and run two threads on this topic for the time being. This thread is for advice only to those who have been contacted by Great Anglia. That is to say it is to help people understand what has happened, whether they should consider settling, whether they may wish to consider fighting, whether it may be time to seek professional legal assistance, etc. It is not to discuss the wider issues brought about by GA's behaviour around whether they are acting fairly or unfairly, whether this is some sort of cash grab, whether they should be punished, whether their process is right or wrong, etc etc. There is now a new thread to discuss this aspect of the issue which can be found here.

Please ensure any contributions to this thread are aimed solely at helping people who have been contacted and not discussing the wider aspects of the issue. You are more than welcome to quote something from this thread and then make a post about it in the linked thread (hit reply on the post here, copy the contents from the reply box and then past them into the reply box on the other thread). There may well be overlap between the two threads but I think we need to make a best effort to ensure that those that need assistance can find it easily without having to wade through page after page of wider issues that aren't directly related to what they need to consider when it comes to responding to any letters they have received.

Thanks to the mods for doing this - it seems like a good idea to me.
 

maniacmartin

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I see the latest posts in the other thread are that GA refused someone's excuse that the next train was overcrowded.

Again, this seems ridiculous on GA's part. Pre-COVID, on my (non-GA) line at least, most rush hour trains are full and standing. You obviously can't fit 2 trains worth of full and standing passengers onto one train. So if there is a cancellation, or more major disruption, of course not everyone is going to be able to board the first train. In fact, on a fair few occassions I have had to let multiple trains go.
 

robbeech

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I see the latest posts in the other thread are that GA refused someone's excuse that the next train was overcrowded.

Again, this seems ridiculous on GA's part. Pre-COVID, on my (non-GA) line at least, most rush hour trains are full and standing. You obviously can't fit 2 trains worth of full and standing passengers onto one train. So if there is a cancellation, or more major disruption, of course not everyone is going to be able to board the first train. In fact, on a fair few occassions I have had to let multiple trains go.
But until it becomes a criminal matter there are no rules that GA have to follow. So they can say and claim what they like to get people to pay. The absolute worst that can happen is someone turns around and offers overwhelming proof at which point they’ll likely drop the case. Those that don’t cooperate will be the ones they dig up evidence for if they don’t already have it. They’ll then choose whether they stand enough of a chance in court or not and likely make a decision then.
 

Haywain

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I see ugly parallels between what GA is doing and the American 'justice' system: reach a settlement to avoid court. We all know the system would fall apart if every case went to court.
This is a widespread practice in the UK as it avoids increased costs to all involved.
 

guilbert

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It seems to me some of what GA are doing is sailing pretty close to the law on blackmail. If I got a letter and hadn't knowingly claimed incorrectly I'd be tempted to make a complaint to the local territorial police. I appreciate that's easy to say as someone without any skin in the game though.
 

robbeech

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It seems to me some of what GA are doing is sailing pretty close to the law on blackmail. If I got a letter and hadn't knowingly claimed incorrectly I'd be tempted to make a complaint to the local territorial police. I appreciate that's easy to say as someone without any skin in the game though.
I'd say it was a pointless exercise, GA can and will do what they want in this. Nobody will do anything about it, why would they?
 

Tazi Hupefi

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This is a widespread practice in the UK as it avoids increased costs to all involved.
Indeed in areas of civil litigation in England and Wales, there is a long standing REQUIREMENT to make every effort to settle and resolve the matter etc without the need for the court to be involved. Failing to enter into such negotiations with an open mind can be held against a party.

In criminal matters, again, there is a long history of plea agreements, e.g. negotiating the offence to something less serious in return for a guilty plea, or even basic matters like being caught speeding, being offered an educational course (at punitive cost, i.e. more than it costs to actually run it) in return for a promise not to prosecute you. The DVLA also extensively make use of out of court settlements in criminal matters (albeit related to the keeping and adminstration of vehicles).
 
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