Issued a travel incident report - Although had a promise to pay (Northern rail)

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Sadnorthern, 14 Feb 2020 at 19:18.

  1. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    Hi,

    Summary of my incident.

    I was in a rush for the train, As there is only one train per hour from my station (Although Northern promised two to win the contract) There was a que at the station, as i was late and in a rush. And couldn't miss this train due to work. I obtained a promise to pay ticket.

    When i got off the train at Altrincham station. I was met by 6 aggressive train guards. Who informed me that even though i had obtained this promise to pay. And also asked the train conductor if i could purchase a ticket. Once i got off the platform. That i still had to pay a penalty fine !

    I explained my issue and situation. A nasty little women (Revenue protection agent) Shouted at me, "IT DOESN'T MATTER THERE IS A TICKET OFFICE OPEN)

    To which the person taking my details. Explained to the women "But we can't issue him a fixed penalty notice, as he has obtained the promise to pay"

    The women then said "It doesn't matter the by laws state, that if there is a ticket office he must obtain a ticket ! And that it was my fault for running late (Which i totally agree, it is my fault for running late) However to get techincal. Northern did promise two trains per hour to win the Mid cheshire line contract. They never delivered this ! (Not passing blame it is my fault for running late. However where is this second train that was promised?"

    I decided i need to record this incident ! As i recorded it, (revenue agent, already had my promise to pay ticket)

    I turned the camera on and asked him to show me the ticket, he quickly flashed it across the screen and then hid it ! And refused to show it to me. He thought this was funny and laughed with all 5 other of these agents.

    I asked him "why he was hiding this card" To which he explained he wasnt !! Luckily my camera managed to pick up the ticket, if paused exactly at the right time.


    At this point i had been kept here for 15 minutes. And was late for work. And had been surrounded by all 6 agents.


    I explained not aggressively, very calmy with a flat tone. "This is ****ing ridiculous i am now 15 miniutes late"

    This revenue agent. Then decided to tell me. That because i had sworn they were now going to right me up a Travel Incident Report.

    To which i explained (Had now been here for 30 mins and was 20 mins late to work"

    "Please hurry up and give me the ****ing fine, so i can go and get to work. As i have to go to work !"

    One member of the agents, decided this was extremely funny. And decided to start laughing !

    At this point, been here for 40 minutes waiting for my form . I'm very annoyed. I ask him what he is laughing at. Before turning my camera to film his face.

    As i'm finally issued the fine. As im walking off, The agent who has issued me the fine. Decided to shout after me "Oi don't you want you're promise to pay !"

    As i went back to get it, he said "OOOH to slow" This is infront of 6 agents.

    Already have submitted a incident report my self to northern. Just wondering you're opinion on thiS.

    Seems ridiculous to me they can pay these thugs salaries. But can't keep trains running on time !

    Do they get commission for these type of fines?
     
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  3. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Was the Promise to Pay obtained from a ticket vending machine?

    If so, why didn't you buy a ticket?
     
  4. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Why would you? The instructions on the machine make it clear that one isn't needed before boarding if you choose to comply with the company's Promise to Pay criteria.

    Carlisle staff working for Northern in revenue protection are very good at bullying people into telling them their name and address in situations where I don't agree they're entitled to collect it - they did it to me once when they had no ticket machines, and they refused to let me pay the fare.

    You must never use bad language with these people, however, as they will use any excuse to cause problems for you. In your situation I would have calmly repeated that I wished to buy a ticket and broadly ignored whatever else they had to say except to move the conversation forward "Do you intend to sell me a ticket?" "What are we going to do about it then?" etc.

    It's also worth noting that while you ought to be very carful about saying anything that might imply that you refuse to provide your name and address, you can generally refuse to write things down or accept their "fine".
     
  5. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    Too many of Northern staff (and contractors) are simply dead from the waist up. I encountered some the other week asking for tickets before I had chance to buy one.

    I've had a response to my complaint and it's the usual platitudes which didn't address my complaint.

    I wouldn't even raise it as an incident, straight to the MD with a formal complaint in writing.

    As this was a busy station also give them some work by putting in a Subject Access Request for all CCTV they have of the incident. Template letter in link below.

    https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matter...g-and-submitting-your-subject-access-request/
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2020 at 20:59
  6. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    Because i only had cash, given to me by my parents. As i have just started my new job and dont have any balance in my bank account.
     
  7. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    Thank you for you're advice ! Good to see that the people of Manchester and surrounding areas are sick of this.
     
  8. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    Thank you very much, i will submit this now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 14 Feb 2020 at 23:14
  9. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Which is fair enough.

    Northern's own website is distinctly ambiguous. It states "if a passenger gets on a train without a ticket or a Promise to Pay notice at a station where ticket buying facilities are available, they may be liable to a penalty fare".

    Which could be taken to mean that even where there is an open booking office a PtP is valid for travel. And, of course, there is no obligation to be able to pay by card.
     
  10. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Can you explain the sequence here. Did you make any attempt to pay on the train ?
     
  11. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    Thanks for the advice ! I personally just dont understand the use of promise to pay. If they are paying 6 enforcement agents on the mid cheshire line. Could they not use that money to build actual ticket barriers. Like the one you have at Manchester. Or more encouragement for the conductors to walk down collecting tickets. Opposed to out sourcing work to these nasty people who have no common decency
     
  12. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    I got on the train, on the middle carriage. No train conductor came down.He would come out of his door to open the train doors and then go right back into his carriage. for the 5 stops i was on board. However when we got to the station. I asked the conductor, if i could buy a ticket. He said they didn't have time (Which they did)
     
  13. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    So, when the guard said he didn't have time to sell you a ticket at Altrincham did you go straight to the ticket office? And, if not, where were you stopped?
     
  14. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    I don't think the Northern statement quoted above is ambiguous. "Ticket buying facililities" clearly includes an open booking office. However, it wouldn't surprise me if Northern introduce ambiguity elsewhere - it seems to be a speciality of theirs.
     
  15. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    I didn't have a chance to go to the ticket office. As the platform i got off, is in the middle of Altrincham station. (Like a island) There is no place to buy a ticket on that platform. You have to walk over to the other side (Cross a bridge). To purchase a ticket. I also just realised. In the first video i recorded. You can hear me asking the conductor if i can buy a ticket. And you can also see the money in my hand. (Video evidence )
     
  16. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    So, where were you stopped?
     
  17. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    I was stopped (If you know altrincham station) About 10 steps of the platform. If you see this picture > https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4093751

    And Notice the Steps up in the Middle. There were 6 guards stood there. At the entrance to those steps. Which you would then walk up, and turn right. To reach the ticket office.
     
  18. SussexMan

    SussexMan Member

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    Although you say it is not ambiguous, you don't explain what you think it means! The website says:

    I think what they are trying to say is:

    If a passenger gets on a train without a ticket or with a Promise to Pay notice, at a station where ticket buying facilities are available, they may be liable to pay a penalty fare.

    As it is, I can read it in many different ways but to me you can read it as "If a passenger gets on a train without a Promise to Pay notice at a station where ticket buying facilities are available, they may be liable to pay a penalty fare."

    However, I think it is a little academic and I don't think you'll ever win an argument based on it.
     
  19. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I don't think that this is what the statement means and I struggle to believe that anyone would in good faith think that it means that, to be totally honest.

    It reminds me of people who might see a sign in a shop doorway that says 'Guide Dogs Only' and think that, as they are not a dog, the sign forbids them.
     
  20. Any_Permitted

    Any_Permitted Member

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    Allow me to understand the sequence of events:

    - You arrive at the station, go to the machine and select a ticket to Altrincham.

    - You select the option to pay with cash, and the machine gives a Promise to Pay.

    - At Altrincham you approach the revenue inspectors with the promise to pay and ask to pay.

    If this is what happened then I just can’t see how this could be interpreted as not being able to present a valid ticket or avoiding the correct fare. The ticket office would have allowed you to pay immediately. But many people would use the machine for whatever reason (long queue at ticket office) and you did seem to follow company policy here.

    As a word of comfort, the people looking at your case in the prosecutions department will be different to the people who reported you on the platform. You’ll likely be given an opportunity to write and explain what happened, with the case hopefully not being taken further.

    From your description the behaviour of the inspectors seems unprofessional. I can’t think of anything more antagonizing than being laughed at when I’m upset / stressed! However it is important not to swear at them in future as there is a byelaw offence for abusive language they could prosecute you for if they wanted to.
     
  21. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    Thank you, and yes that is the sequence of events. I appreciate you're support. As i do struggle with Anxiety. (Something i didn't mention as i didnt want my report to be based off of that) And i like to take trains whenever possible to clear my head. And just sometimes take long journeys. So i have started to get anxious already that i will be repeatedly harassed by these agents. I shouldn't of sworn and will accept any punishment i get for this.

    But yes the sequence of events is correct. I approached the revenue with my promise to pay and also my money in my hands.
     
  22. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    Thank you for you're support. I have heard a lot of complaints about the revenue protection agents over stepping their mark. And hope northern will be taken of the trains soon. So we don't have to deal with these people !
     
  23. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Make sure you don't loose your video footage. Keep back up copies
     
  24. daodao

    daodao Member

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    I was under the impression that the "promise to pay" notice is only intended for use where the TVM cannot issue the ticket that the customer wishes to purchase, or only has cash where the TVM is card only, and there is no open ticket office. If the origin station has an open ticket office, is one not obliged to use it to purchase the appropriate ticket before boarding if one can't buy the ticket that one needs at the TVM? If so, the Northern staff at Altrincham behaved accordingly. It is unfortunate in this case that the TVM could issue a "promise to pay" notice when the ticket office at the boarding station (presumably Knutsford) was open.

    Some of these problems seem to arise because ticket-buying facilities are often inadequate on Northern Rail, compared to Metrolink (which has adequate numbers of ticket machines at each tram stop and simpler fares) or Merseyrail (which has ticket offices open nearly the whole time their stations are open). I presume that the TVMs at stations with a ticket office are enabled to issue "promise to pay" notices all the time, even when the ticket office is open, because the ticket offices often do not adhere to their published opening hours, so programming the TVMs not to do so at such times would be problematic. However, the TVMs at stations with ticket offices could display a warning message stating that the "promise to pay" notice is only valid if the station ticket office is closed, and print this warning on the notice.
     
    Last edited: 15 Feb 2020 at 08:08
  25. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    When the new TVMs were installed one difference I noticed at New Pudsey (which has a ticket office) and unmanned stations is there was no promise to pay option.

    This was noticeable as IIRC the original software had promise to pay on the home screen. The change in software means PTP is now deeper into the screens so I don't know if it is still the case.
     
  26. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Just for clarity was their an open ticket office at the station where you began your journey?
     
  27. Eddd

    Eddd Member

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    In a fair world there would be no case to answer here. The ticket office was busy so you used the machine and followed the instructions it gave you.
     
  28. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    You are correct there was one person within the ticket office. However I arrived late, and people were already paying. It was either Get The promise. Or wait a hour. I tried explaining to the staff, that if it was the case of the metro. I could easily of just waited until the next metro came. As they are every 5 minutes. How with there not being a train for over a hour. I didn't have a option to miss this. (Something that wouldn't of been a issue if Northern had delivered two trains promised per hour.
     
  29. Sadnorthern

    Sadnorthern Member

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    Correct, Open ticket office. One vendor inside. And people purchasing tickets. I arrived to the platofmr at 8:42. Meaning i only had two minutes to spare. And literally seconds after obtaining this promise to pay. The train pulled up. Which is something i can prove once i obtain the CCTV through GDPR.
     
  30. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I believe that was the intention, I'm not so sure that is what the signs actually say.
    Keep in mind that it is the passenger's responsibility to arrive at the station in time to purchase their ticket, so I wouldn't focus on this in any correspondence with the TOC.
     
  31. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Yes if the ticket office was open I'm not sure that any penalty fare (I think that's what's been issued) was issued incorrectly. By all means complain about the conduct of the staff in the way they handled the situation but the penalty fare itself I think would be valid.
     

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