Help with getting £669.60 refunded after i was sold the wrong ticket and fined a Penalty Fare also.

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by countrysider, 5 Dec 2018.

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  1. Western Sunset

    Western Sunset Member

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    In his first post, it says that he emailed Thameslink the next day.

    There must be a paper trail for all this; re the original ticket purchase and later ones. Also work logs for the supposed ticket inspector.

    Sounds like Thameslink haven't investigated this properly, or even at all. CCTV evidence would've been available if they'd taken this seriously. The OP (and his party) do seem to have been carrying a lot of cash with them though.....
     
  2. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    Although more than likely, some places do store it for six months. It depends largely on the size of the storage device. Older ones need to use it to record again after 24 hours, but newer ones can go longer. Of course it can be downloaded and stored for much longer if required.
     
  3. SussexMan

    SussexMan Member

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    Well I think a "Letter before action" would be a sensible next step. However, before you do I would advise you to be certain that your story is 100% factual. If it did get as far as court then you would need to be able to support your arguments.

    There are a lot of circumstances in this story which on their own may not raise an eyebrow but combined, become a set of coincidences all happening on one journey which certainly would raise questions.

    We have a customer who appears to have arrived at the station with their five friends but would appear not to have checked in advance the train times.
    We have an inept customer assistant who sells a ticket to a station where there are two of the same name.
    We have an employee who commits a criminal act by stealing £120, or we have an impostor who manages to have a uniform and ticket issuing equipment.
    We have a customer who carried £700+ on him/her.
    We have a customer who doesn't seem to question why the original tickets were very expensive and hands over £400+ for the tickets.
    We have a customer who hands over £120 and doesn't seem to have an issue (at the time) with not being given a receipt.

    All of these are of course possible, but you must realise that together they seem unusual and quite coincidental.

    Other things seem unusual.

    How did the group get from the platform to the ticket office at Luton station without a valid ticket.
    Was there no discussion at Luton ticket office about the case when the second set of tickets were being purchased.
    Did you not raise it with at least one other employee on the day?
    Where are the tickets? You haven't mentioned what has happened to them.

    Are you willing to share some/all of the emails you have sent/received? They may help others be able to advise you better.
     
  4. OxtedSignaller

    OxtedSignaller Member

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    I am quite dubious about hearing the whole thing. GTR company policy is that all payments are put through the Envoy machines including penalty fares. You also need to be in possession of a penalty fare pad to complete one and you would be asked for your name and address, if you pay in full you can withhold it but this is rare and most customers will provide it. You should also be sold a ticket by the Inspector to complete your journey especially if they have a ticket machine with them. I am also surprised that a Passenger Host would risk their £30000 job for £120 unless there is something more to it. I would definitely raise it at a senior level with Thameslink
     
  5. tiptoptaff

    tiptoptaff Established Member

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    Modern on-train cameras use HD CCTV and the size of the files is quite substantial. There is no way to turn it on or off, so you sadly get several hours a night of the cleaner going through and hoovering whilst on depot. Whilst I worked on the CCTV desk for ATW, On-train CCTV usually recorded over itself after 7 days. Station CCTV would last up to 28 days - this was due to the fact the station CCTV was "live" and could be netowrk monitored, so it was easier to store large file sizes over the network. Trains still use physical removable hard drives, which limits the storage size a lot more.
     
  6. nuts & bolts

    nuts & bolts Member

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    Paper trail back to the Envoy (said ticket inspector) user

    Cash and monies regulations will have the ticket inspector at fault here regarding non-issue of penalty fare receipt
     
  7. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    My thoughts exactly. This is a large number of anomalies to find in one story.

    The OP should be aware that - regardless of whether they're telling the whole truth or not - anyone investigating this will be immediately suspicious of the events as explained.

    Therefore, if he or she wishes to proceed with formal action, it is a good idea to find some evidence to support the allegations.
     
  8. westcoaster

    westcoaster Established Member

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    Thameslink RPI's and RCO's do not wear hi- Viz clothing, could ot be a rail enforcement officer?
    Doaes a ticket to millbrook not indicate which one was selected iirc it would say Millbrook (hants) or Millbrook (beds) as the destination.
     
  9. tiptoptaff

    tiptoptaff Established Member

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    Yes - OP says they did not know what (hants) meant on their ticket
     
  10. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    So, OP have you contacted the Police yet? If you are serious about taking this forward then I think you would have done this by now.
     
  11. [.n]

    [.n] Member

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    I wouldn't have been surprised by a fare like that being a legit fare, I've seen loads of ridiculous fares before, and given headlines in newspapers about how its cheaper to fly than take a train, I wouldn't blame someone for not knowing
     
  12. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Anyone who thinks that it is common knowledge what Hants means only needs to watch a few quiz shows such as Tipping Point to quickly realise that many people have very limited knowledge of UK geography and related terms. Some contestants would be baffled by a mention of Hampshire, never mind Hants.

    More pertinently in this case, I would not necessarily expect a booking clerk at St Albans to be aware of a station called Millbrook in Hampshire, but they should be familiar with "Hants". It would be disappointing if they were unaware of a station in a neighbouring county to where they work and which is reached via one change of train, hence seeing "Hants" pop up in a station name should cause them to delve further.
     
    Last edited: 7 Dec 2018 at 17:25
  13. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    If someone in a ticket office types a station name, I assume they'll get a choice and could ask the customer 'Do you mean...?'. But if they happened to know the station code, perhaps they wouldn't?

    Perhaps the software should automatically flag up destinations with more than one possible location so it requires a confirmation before a ticket can be selected for sale?
     
  14. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Difficult one this. Could well have helped the OP, but if someone asked at Sheffield for a ticket to Swinton I would expect the one sold, without question, to be different to the one sold to someone asking for the same thing at Manchester Victoria. Would the clerk want an additional confirmation ? But if the ticket was asked for at Birmingham New St a confirmation might be useful.

    What about Hertford/Hartford, for example - would these be flagged ? If someone asks at Stevenage for a ticket to Hertford, I would be expect a ticket to be sold to the county town without question. It would be reasonable to assume that someone who wanted a ticket to Hartford would specify Cheshire ... but, they might not ....
     
  15. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Presumably he/she has 5 travelling companions who can support them?
     
  16. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    I suspect the level of geographic knowledge on here is rather higher than the general average across the population as a whole. :D

    On a recent quiz/panel show somebody thought that Lands End to John O'Groats was 15,000 miles! (He was a stand-up comedian who - presumably - tours.)
     
  17. IanD

    IanD Established Member

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    And North Hampshire is also referred to as North Hants. I remember when I worked for Northamptonshire council, I drove to Dorcester with some guys from the traffic safety team. As we travelled back along the A34 they were dismayed to hear of a multi vehicle pile-up in Northants which would bugger up their stats for the year. They were most relieved when they realised it was in North Hants.
     
  18. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    They also don't habitually carry ticket issuing equipment around with them. It's normally in their rucksack or bag rather than over their shoulder.
     
  19. RT4038

    RT4038 Member

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    A group of 6 people going to Millbrook (Beds) must be quite unusual in itself (being a halt quite some distance from habitation). Not sure that it is fair to call the customer assistant at St Albans 'inept'. Tickets to Millbrook (Hants or Beds) must be a pretty rare issue from St. Albans. Millbrook (Beds) may be the closest to St. Albans, but I would not expect a clerk there to know where either place was.
     
  20. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Millbrook Beds is close to a specialist vehicle testing facility, so 6 people might need to travel there for work.
     
  21. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Millbrook (Hants) is close to a major port complex, so 6 people might need travel there for work.
     
  22. SussexMan

    SussexMan Member

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    I felt it was fair on the basis that if a customer asks for a ticket to Millbrook I assume that the screen in front of them will give them two options as there are two stations with the same name. It would be inept for the customer assistant to not check with the passenger which one they wanted.

    On the same basis, this is the bit which seems strange to me. Would a customer really not check what times the trains were prior to going to the station with the five others? Is it possible to check the times of trains to Millbrook without discovering that there is more than one Millbrook (unless you happen to know to type in MLB and even then there's a big hint that there might be another Millbrook as it states Millbrook (Bedfordshire))?
     
  23. RT4038

    RT4038 Member

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    Bit of a dangerous assumption that the two options are that clear? Maybe the clerk did say 'Beds or Hants' and the passenger did not hear properly or understand the question and answered 'Yes' ? On own admission the passenger did not know what the 'Hants' was on their ticket. We do not know exactly what was said, only the passenger version. This type of confusion must be a relatively frequent occurrence (and even more so in the past with far more duplicated names). In the past stations have been re-named because of frequent confusion [Alderholt to Daggons Road to remove confusion with Aldershot for instance]
     
  24. big all

    big all Member

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    has no one got inside access to computer record for st albans from say 10-15weeks ago :D
    there cant be many 6 identical tickets in one transaction
     
  25. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Why didn’t you just take the unused incorrect tickets back for a refund?
     
  26. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Quite. So many questions about this story.
     
  27. MotCO

    MotCO Member

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    Because the ticket had already been partially used?
     
  28. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Well no it hadn't had it because they headed off in the opposite direction.
     
  29. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    It's not just me having problems with this, as seen above.
     
  30. BluePenguin

    BluePenguin Member

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    Oh dear, what a pickle. Sorry to hear that you have had so much trouble. There's not a lot more that I can add to this that has not already been said really but I hope that both the police and Thamelink investigate this thoroughly and that you get your money back. You were treated disgracefully and should have been given a receipt for the penalty fare. In fact had the RPI had a heart or even some understanding of the mistake they should have sold you the correct tickets for your journey instead!

    The moral of the story is check train times in advance and always check your tickets before walking away from the ticket office, especially when making a big purchase. It would also help in future if you paid by card so that there is a record of all the charges on your bank statement, the penalty fare would be much easier to trace had this been the case. You also could have saved yourself a percent cashback.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing your story which I am sure many of us will will take on board having learnt a valuable lesson.
     
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