Greater Anglia - delay repay fraud

Andrew S

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4 Aug 2018
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106
Some companies now require you to have an account. I’ve not really travelled with anyone but TPE or Northern since the first lockdown on March 2020 but TPE definitely force you to have an account now.

Registering an online account isn't difficult or time consuming really, and if you don't use that company regularly, once you've made your one claim, you can forget you have that account.

Similarly, the few times I've done it I haven't found delay repay claims to be too difficult to complete. The information asked for is all relevant, and the online form works.
 
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_toommm_

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Registering an online account isn't difficult or time consuming really, and if you don't use that company regularly, once you've made your one claim, you can forget you have that account.

Similarly, the few times I've done it I haven't found delay repay claims to be too difficult to complete. The information asked for is all relevant, and the online form works.

Absolutely, I didn’t mean to imply that it was cumbersome or an annoyance.

It benefited me greatly at Xmas 2019 where Northern were very short on train crew, and I was claiming for a good 50% of journeys. It saved my personal info and my recently used stations IIRC.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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I get the feeling some forum members see conspiracy and anguish in everything rail!

I also like having a delay repay account with my local operator although they don't force you to. Everything is saved person details wise and when I claim, it literally takes me less than 2 mins, even if I have to upload my e-ticket. Compensation is normally in my pocket 2-3 days later. Some of you probably take convoluted journeys or use irregular ticket types or routes, which whilst I'm sure they are valid, will be a very small minority overall. If the system caters fairly well for 95% of passengers like me, who keep things simple, I think we can accept that some more complex claims don't always go as smoothly.

Surely things that make it quicker to claim (and I suspect those with an account are more likely to claim again in the future), are to be welcomed?

Some googling suggests:

(Before Covid)

2019-20

1.4 million claims

99.9% of claims closed within 4 weeks

79.4% of claims were approved

So 21.6% were rejected. However, the vast majority of these I suspect will be correct rejections, i.e. not eligible, invalid ticket, fraud etc and a tiny percentage of that will be claims incorrectly rejected.

So I think with some confidence, there's cause to be optimistic that the rail industry is pretty good in this area, for the vast majority of passengers.
 

ta-toget

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So 21.6% were rejected. However, the vast majority of these I suspect will be correct rejections, i.e. not eligible, invalid ticket, fraud etc and a tiny percentage of that will be claims incorrectly rejected.

So I think with some confidence, there's cause to be optimistic that the rail industry is pretty good in this area, for the vast majority of passengers.
Are there statistics about appeals? If not, there should be.
 

maniacmartin

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The process could definitely be improved. I used to be a GTR commuter until recently, that their website made me fill in all my photocard and season ticket details for every claim. You then had to key in the train time (the website didn't generate itineraries to click like on Greater Anglia).

If your claim is rejected, to appeal you have to lodge a whole new claim and choose type Appeal, filling all of the information again and enterieng the reason for your appeal in a notes box. Annoyingly, this box only appears for appeals, so if you have a claim that is slightly out of the ordinary, you can't tell them what happens, and have to just submit a claim you know will be rejected, and remember the details for a few weeks time so you can type it in for the appeal.
 

SteveM70

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So 21.6% were rejected. However, the vast majority of these I suspect will be correct rejections, i.e. not eligible, invalid ticket, fraud etc and a tiny percentage of that will be claims incorrectly rejected.

So I think with some confidence, there's cause to be optimistic that the rail industry is pretty good in this area, for the vast majority of passengers

So you “suspect” the majority of rejections are correct, but have “confidence” the industry is good in this area. Where’s your evidence?
 

philthetube

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So you “suspect” the majority of rejections are correct, but have “confidence” the industry is good in this area. Where’s your evidence?
If there was evidence the word suspect would not be used, know would be better.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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If incorrect rejections were of any significance, the regulatory authorities would be reacting, as well as consumer champions and voices. Clearly authorities are collecting and analysing statistics, given the link posted earlier.

I also read that year on year, before Coronavirus, the number of people eligible to claim was actually increasing 5-7%. If people were being deterred, either by the design of the forms or incorrect rejections, that number likely wouldn't rise as much.

I think it's extremely pessimistic and irrational to conclude that anything other than a 'relatively' small % of claims overall are rejected incorrectly. I don't think it's hard to believe someone will perhaps claim for a 15 minute delay, when it's actually officially 13 minutes etc, or they select a wrong train, or upload the wrong ticket, or apply to the wrong operator, or commit some sort of fraud.

The other thing that I suspect supports that is that all 99.9% of claims have a final resolution within 20 days. If thousands of people were having to appeal claims and have manual reviews, I find it highly unlikely a 99.9% response time would be possible. If people aren't appealing and just accepting an allegedly incorrect decision, then more fool them.

It's a bizarre mindset to have that any company is looking to fiddle people out of compensation, when it's probably a tiny fraction overall of their business revenue with negligible impact on their profit, but with potentially severe political and regulatory risks if they were caught acting in such a way. Like I said before, as someone not involved in rail and no real enthusiast, but with a passing interest in some of the topics, this forum is sometimes sees issues and problems with things that 99% of regular passengers would never even notice or consider.
 

robbeech

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The TYPES of journeys have a major impact on rejection levels. An A to B ticket on an A to B train that is delayed beyond the threshold will be accepted every single time. This will account for the vast majority of claims. The issue comes when you add in other things, and I’m not talking about interesting tickets that are valid on a technicality or other such things, I’m referring to a simple missed connection. With some operators these have, in the past been rejected outright by default. As people aren’t fully aware of the rules, they’ll often give up at this point. It’s all well and good saying more fool them but it’s incredibly convenient for the operators to have a difficult system that is setup to reject valid claims knowing full well it will thin out the numbers.

This, to try and stay within the topic will also have impact on these fraud claims, if someone has a simple journey then it’s less likely to cause issues, but add in complications such as a change of train, a missed connection etc and you may trigger this investigation where you’ll be made to prove your innocence.
One operators system was analysed a couple of years ago, the timetable used for a “next available service” was set as the GBTT rather than the actual running data. So 2 cancellations in a row would result in a rejection (or a lower compensation amount) as the system did not take into account the actual running data. Appalling system design but profitable so no incentive to change it.

As for regulatory bodies, which ones? The ones funded by revenue generated in part by ticket sales?
 

SteveM70

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I also read that year on year, before Coronavirus, the number of people eligible to claim was actually increasing 5-7%. If people were being deterred, either by the design of the forms or incorrect rejections, that number likely wouldn't rise as much.

Sorry if I’m being thick, but I don’t understand this statement. The number of people “eligible to claim” will be directly related to train performance, and the number of claims will be related to that and the claimants’ desire to engage with the claims process. I know of a few people from my work who had never previously bothered with delay repay (“too complicated”, “not worth it” etc) but after the Northern omnishambles a couple of years ago took the view that they’d claim for every penny they could, out of spite as much as anything
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Sorry if I’m being thick, but I don’t understand this statement. The number of people “eligible to claim” will be directly related to train performance, and the number of claims will be related to that and the claimants’ desire to engage with the claims process. I know of a few people from my work who had never previously bothered with delay repay (“too complicated”, “not worth it” etc) but after the Northern omnishambles a couple of years ago took the view that they’d claim for every penny they could, out of spite as much as anything

My point is that the web forums / information required to claim clearly can't be as big of a barrier (if any barrier at all) to people claiming, like some people seem to be suggesting, if the number of people claiming continues to rise.

If they are claiming for micro amounts like you suggest, surely it must not be too burdensome to claim, especially if they are doing it repeatedly!

I also doubt the number of people eligible to claim is solely down to train performance. Year on year, delays are broadly the same in my experience, averages out over a year. I suspect a significant contributing factor is that things like automated delay repay (even on my flexible tickets with a seat reservation on East Midlands) is available, people not having to fill in paper forms and post them away, and wait weeks for a voucher, and that on most of my delayed journeys, staff seem pretty good at making announcements encouraging us to claim.

I really do think any notion that TOC companies try to make it deliberately difficult to claim compensation is an absurd view with little supporting evidence, other than some forum members don't like it.
 

SteveM70

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Year on year, delays are broadly the same in my experience, averages out over a year

I take it you don’t live in Northernland?

My commuting experience since I started a job in Manchester:

Percentage of trains >= 15 minutes late:

2014 - 17% (part year but including leaf fall season)
2015 - 10%
2016 - 11%
2017 - 12%
2018 - 25%
2019 - 26%
2020 - 20% (part year due to lockdown)

As I said, Northern “broke” a lot of customers in 2018 and they had the double whammy of more people being eligible to claim, and a bigger proportion doing so
 

CrispyUK

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19 Jan 2019
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I suspect a significant contributing factor is that things like automated delay repay (even on my flexible tickets with a seat reservation on East Midlands) is available
Are they really offering that with no need to confirm you travelled on your reserved train?

Thinking about the theme of this topic, you could change your plans and travel at a different time (or even day) and have an on-time journey against your new plan without reservations, yet the train you originally reserved runs late and triggers and automatic delay repay payment. Would you be expected to highlight this and return the payment to the TOC.

I know Avanti also offer automatic delay repay but only on Advance tickets, so in the majority of cases you will have travelled on the reserved train, or not travelled at all.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Are they really offering that with no need to confirm you travelled on your reserved train?

Thinking about the theme of this topic, you could change your plans and travel at a different time (or even day) and have an on-time journey against your new plan without reservations, yet the train you originally reserved runs late and triggers and automatic delay repay payment. Would you be expected to highlight this and return the payment to the TOC.

I know Avanti also offer automatic delay repay but only on Advance tickets, so in the majority of cases you will have travelled on the reserved train, or not travelled at all.
They send me an email saying essentially the train I was reserved on was eligible for compensation, and a button in the email to click to confirm I was on the train and enter my select a compensation method.
 

vinnym70

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Does anyone know whether these 3rd party claim sites use a single source of data to collate their lists of delays?
It's not beyond the pail to think that errors exist in the data source that then sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to the real data when a claim is made.
A cynic might even say that errors are introduced deliberately much like the OS supposedly add minor but specific errors on their maps.
 

SickyNicky

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Does anyone know whether these 3rd party claim sites use a single source of data to collate their lists of delays?
It's not beyond the pail to think that errors exist in the data source that then sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to the real data when a claim is made.
A cynic might even say that errors are introduced deliberately much like the OS supposedly add minor but specific errors on their maps.

It's likely to come from DARWIN, which is availabile freely and is the "official" data.
 

43096

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I really do think any notion that TOC companies try to make it deliberately difficult to claim compensation is an absurd view with little supporting evidence, other than some forum members don't like it.
Really? So why when SWR took over from Stagecoach did they keep it really rather quiet that the arrangements for season ticket holders had changed so that you then claimed for each individual delay? I was unaware of the change until I renewed my ticket and found the previous arrangement stopped as Stagecoach left the building. Rather convenient that that benefits them from not paying out.
 

eoff

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Well, obviously the TPE Delay Repay website, and the massive banner on it stating ‘we don’t take claims from unregistered users’ (paraphrased)
They do not require an account (which is the statement I queried). You can choose to download the form, fill it in and post it.
 

_toommm_

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They do not require an account (which is the statement I queried). You can choose to download the form, fill it in and post it.

An account is an online thing, and if you wish to claim online, you need an account.
 

arb

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An account is an online thing, and if you wish to claim online, you need an account.
But my post (that you originally replied to in post #510) was highlighting that if you don't want to create an account, you don't have to, because there are other (non-online) methods available to make a claim. I don't dispute that several (most?) TOCs now force you to create an account to make an online claim.
 

RHolmes

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One of the reasons TPE now require an account for delay repay is that they offer automatic delay repay compensation if you use the account login and purchase from their app/website. (Although I’ve not tried it myself)
 

Niceguy21

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I received one of these letters through the post and it mentioned claims I processed over a year ago. I have no recollection of why I claimed and said that I would have only claimed if my original train was delayed/cancelled. They were able to offer smartcard tap ins/outs which were different from the journeys i claimed for. I suffer from memory problems and have no explanation for this so I asked to repay the claims. They accepted this with an admin charge on top. My advice would be to be completely honest with them as they are very reasonable
 

Tazi Hupefi

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I received one of these letters through the post and it mentioned claims I processed over a year ago. I have no recollection of why I claimed and said that I would have only claimed if my original train was delayed/cancelled. They were able to offer smartcard tap ins/outs which were different from the journeys i claimed for. I suffer from memory problems and have no explanation for this so I asked to repay the claims. They accepted this with an admin charge on top. My advice would be to be completely honest with them as they are very reasonable
Out of interest, now that you've had the matter fully resolved/closed, on reflection, do you think that you might have taken the odd advantage on occasion and tried to get away with it? I know you say "memory problems", but must have been on a few occasions to flag!

No judgement, and you seem to hold your hands up, but essentially, I think some forum members would benefit to know that the train company isn't just going round picking on people just to make money, and they do have some substance to their case!

Really? So why when SWR took over from Stagecoach did they keep it really rather quiet that the arrangements for season ticket holders had changed so that you then claimed for each individual delay? I was unaware of the change until I renewed my ticket and found the previous arrangement stopped as Stagecoach left the building. Rather convenient that that benefits them from not paying out.
No idea what that train company is - but I find it hard to believe that any reasonable and frequent commuter wouldn't be aware of changes such as that. Certainly in my season ticket days I was pretty clued up to the best trains/seats/routes and my rights!! In any event, surely it is your own responsibility to read the relevant terms and conditions before purchasing your ticket?

Also, surely, worst case, you'd realise after your first renewal, e.g. a week or a month? So worse case you've not been able to claim compensation for some of the previous month, (but I think you get 28 days to claim anyway, so with a monthly ticket expiring, you could still potentially claim back 28 days prior, if you found out literally when buying your next ticket?)

I'm not sure of the precise arrangements in your circumstance, but if you had an annual ticket, I am quite sure (certain) that only the most ignorant person would wait 12 months and not realise any arrangements had changed. Worst case it might take a month or two to realise, during which time you might only have had a couple of delays anyway, not amounting to all that much.
 
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Wolfie

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Out of interest, now that you've had the matter fully resolved/closed, on reflection, do you think that you might have taken the odd advantage on occasion and tried to get away with it? I know you say "memory problems", but must have been on a few occasions to flag!

No judgement, and you seem to hold your hands up, but essentially, I think some forum members would benefit to know that the train company isn't just going round picking on people just to make money, and they do have some substance to their case!
I tend to agree BUT, depending on the cause of the "memory problems", the TOC could well be falling into an Equality Act trap. Asking someone with say brain damage due to a stroke to recall why they did something in excess of a year ago doesn't really offer them any opportunity to defend/justify their actions. Any records that they may have kept were likely long since disposed of.

Out of interest, now that you've had the matter fully resolved/closed, on reflection, do you think that you might have taken the odd advantage on occasion and tried to get away with it? I know you say "memory problems", but must have been on a few occasions to flag!

No judgement, and you seem to hold your hands up, but essentially, I think some forum members would benefit to know that the train company isn't just going round picking on people just to make money, and they do have some substance to their case!


No idea what that train company is - but I find it hard to believe that any reasonable and frequent commuter wouldn't be aware of changes such as that. Certainly in my season ticket days I was pretty clued up to the best trains/seats/routes and my rights!! In any event, surely it is your own responsibility to read the relevant terms and conditions before purchasing your ticket?

Also, surely, worst case, you'd realise after your first renewal, e.g. a week or a month? So worse case you've not been able to claim compensation for some of the previous month, (but I think you get 28 days to claim anyway, so with a monthly ticket expiring, you could still potentially claim back 28 days prior, if you found out literally when buying your next ticket?)

I'm not sure of the precise arrangements in your circumstance, but if you had an annual ticket, I am quite sure (certain) that only the most ignorant person would wait 12 months and not realise any arrangements had changed. Worst case it might take a month or two to realise, during which time you might only have had a couple of delays anyway, not amounting to all that much.
Your last para is utter rubbish. SWT, the predecessor to SWR, compensated annual season ticket holders for poor service with a percentage reduction in the price of a replacement annual season ticket. Therefore anyone who didn't know that the arrangements had changed would wait 12 months before they found out. Guess who also has an SWR season ticket....
 

Tazi Hupefi

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I tend to agree BUT, depending on the cause of the "memory problems", the TOC could well be falling into an Equality Act trap. Asking someone with say brain damage due to a stroke to recall why they did something in excess of a year ago doesn't really offer them any opportunity to defend/justify their actions. Any records that they may have kept were likely long since disposed of.


Your last para is utter rubbish. SWT, the predecessor to SWR, compensated annual season ticket holders for poor service with a percentage reduction in the price of a replacement annual season ticket. Therefore anyone who didn't know that the arrangements had changed would wait 12 months before they found out. Guess who also has an SWR season ticket....

Memory issues or not, they made invalid claims through their own admission. Equality issues also do not prevent recovery of money unlawfully obtained, plus a comparative administration fee for the trouble. It may provide mitigation, but does not cause the matter to fall away completely. In any event, if a person knows that they have poor memory, (caused by a protected reason), there is a moral (and in some cases legal) obligation on them to take further steps to verify their memory as best they can before submitting a claim that they are attesting is completely valid. The Equality Act is not just one way - people with disabilities or protected characteristics are protected in law, but only to some extent, and the person with the characteristic cannot rely on the law to fully protect them from circumstances they had control over. In this case, it would be easy to simply write down a train or make a note on a mobile phone. Simply giving it your "best guess" in such circumstances is dubious at best, and certainly not the makings of a successful Equality Act claim.


If somebody already held a valid season ticket, and the terms and conditions changed midway through the duration of that ticket, as you suggest, there must have been a contractual entitlement in the original terms allowing them to do so, and usually only after a period of notification and acceptance (including implied acceptance, e.g. through continued use of the ticket), as in the alternative, the terms and conditions published at the time and point of purchase surrounding compensation (and other matters) would have remained intact. A suitable pro-rata refund would have been lawfully due should the terms have been rejected by the customer. However, I still maintain that your average commuter would not be so blissfully unaware of such a change for an entire 12 months, least one active on these forums.
 

maniacmartin

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Memory issues or not, they made invalid claims through their own admission.
My reading of Niceguy21's post is not that they admitted making up a "best guess" delay when filling in Delay Repay, but rather that they cannot recall submitting the Delay Repay because it was so long ago
 

ashkeba

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Memory issues or not, they made invalid claims through their own admission.
I cannot see that in their post. They did not have an explanation for smartcard tap data not matching but that does not always mean that the claim was invalid, as was discussed earlier.

In any event, if a person knows that they have poor memory, (caused by a protected reason), there is a moral (and in some cases legal) obligation on them to take further steps to verify their memory as best they can before submitting a claim that they are attesting is completely valid.
We do not know whether the poor memory existed at the time of the claims, or is due to some event in the long time since then.

In this case, it would be easy to simply write down a train or make a note on a mobile phone.
Which may well not have been kept for over a year. I expect you take good care of your phone, but it is not that unusual for someone to lose or destroy one.
 

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