LNER UFN

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by SaveECRewards, 20 Dec 2018.

  1. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    A rather long account of my experience is here (as I wanted to try and explain things from my side): https://saveecrewards.co.uk/blog/unpaid-fare-notice

    In short - I got on the 19:30 (P4) [note: I mistakenly typed P6 when I posted this, but it was definitely P4] last Friday instead of the 19:00 (P5) at KGX, I hadn't worried when no annoucements for ready to departure were made just before 19:00 as I was told in the lounge it was a late arrival so would probably depart late.

    As I go pretty much on auto pilot at KGX and have never got on the wrong train before, I thought it may have been an innocent mistake as the 19:30 already had the door labels saying Edinburgh on it.

    When I came back on Sunday I retraced my steps and I'm now pretty sure (but not certain) that the 19:00 popped up on the P4 board on the bridge, meaning, if this is true, I received misleading information.

    The guard wanted to charge me full fare even though he knew before departure I got on the wrong train. I didn't have a suitable payment method so I asked for a UFN.

    Now for the appeal I'd like to know if the 19:00 was advertised for a brief period at the wrong platform. If that's the case then it would be void and I should really received delay repay for arriving late.

    As RPSS (Southeastern) handle these appeals does such a thing as goodwill exist if you've made an innocent mistake? Can LNER deal directly with the appeal?

    Also it's been pointed out to me that the UFN has the wrong headcode on, and I also noticed (despite me giving him my passport) he noted down my name incorrectly. Would that be enough to void it on its own?

    Hmm ok, this wasn't in short after all.
     
    Last edited: 22 Dec 2018
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  3. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    1. I assume you had an Advance?
    2. You refer to P6 as well as P4, I presume this is an error?
    3. The fare due is the Offpeak First Single which BRFares says is £154.50
    4. Going down the "void" route is something I would leave to a good lawyer.
    5. I see no harm in writing to LNER after you have gone through any appeals process, been turned down and paid the correct amount.
     
  4. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    An Unpaid Fares Notice is not a Penalty Fare made under statutory enactments. It is, in effect, a bill giving you the opportunity to settle your fare after the journey.

    As such, there are no rules and regulations for what such a Notice must or must not contain. Minor errors such as the headcode or name do not 'invalidate' it in the same way they might a Penalty Fare. If the fare is legally speaking due from the circumstances, the way the Unpaid Fares Notice is made out doesn't matter at all, really.

    The only circumstances I can imagine where the UFN wouldn't be correct would be if you could show that it is more likely than not that you were incorrectly told which train you were boarding. Note that being absent minded isn't a defence here, and it might be argued that you should know that trains to Edinburgh are half-hourly at that time, so merely seeing Edinburgh doesn't confirm it's the correct train (in the same way that merely seeing Manchester Piccadilly as a destination at Euston doesn't mean it's your train).

    I would contact LNER and ask them whether they would consider reducing the amount of the UFN to the excess between your Advance and the appropriate fare, or even waiving it, based on the circumstances. But if you are unable to do this successfully (such as they palm you off to RPSS) then I think the best course of action is to pay it.

    Any administration charges which RPSS attempt to add on are a load of unenforceable tosh (having no basis in the NRCoT or anywhere else!), but ultimately if you can't prove a defence and can't negotiate a lower settlement, it will probably be easiest to pay up now.
     
  5. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I'm slightly surprised by this in a couple of ways:
    1. I wasn't aware of the ability to appeal against a UFN, and:
    2. I was under the impression that RPS simply acted as the payment collector (for card payments.
    I would have expected any challenge to or discussion of the correct issue of a UFN to be handled at LNER's head office, where the Debt Recovery & Prosecutions team are based.
     
  6. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Neither was I. Since it's basically just an invoice I'm not sure what you be 'appealing' against.
     
  7. swt class 450

    swt class 450 Guest

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    I have seen from the photo you posted on Twitter that you were charged £205.00 for this UPFN ticket. This seems rather odd as there is no such ticket for your journey which costs that price. Could this make your UPFN void meaning you don't have to pay it? Are you legally required to pay an UPFN if there is no such ticket for that price?
     
  8. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    Yeah the fact I couldn’t find a fare for £205 has confused me. He never looked at my advance ticket (I would have thought he should have at least looked at it as some passengers think an ‘advance’ is any ticket booked in advance and might have been valid).

    I boarded platform 4 and the actual train left platform 5. However when I retraced my steps on Sunday I’m fairly sure that it actually appeared on the platform 4 section of the boards on the bridge. I’ve also been told be someone else who was on the 1900 that their app showed a number of homeless platform changes so it’s not beyond possibility they incorrectly put the wrong platform up briefly.

    There’s definitely an appeals process. It’s listed on the form. One of the bad things about the UFN is it doesn’t tell you what the UFN is for.
     
  9. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    TPE helpfully publish a breakdown of the number of their UFNs which were appealed https://www.tpexpress.co.uk/help/unpaid-fare-notice

    Of the 437 appeals received, 338 (77 %) were upheld.
     
  10. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Thanks for the link, it's interesting stuff.

    I think it's the terminology - the UFN isn't appealed, it's more that further investigation found that no fare was actually due. For example, a UFN issued because of a missing Railcard. The word 'appeal' makes it seem that a penalty has been applied (to me at least).
     
  11. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Quite what I was thinking too but its good they publish this because it is contrary to certain posters beliefs that the TOCs are all money grabbing gits and do nothing for the passenger.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 22 Dec 2018
  12. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    The platform numbers here are pretty confusing. In the first post you said you boarded a train on platform 6, not 4, and on your website you said you went down from the bridge onto platforms 4/5. Is it possible you just went down the wrong escalator from the bridge, onto platform 6?
     
  13. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I can't understand where this £205 fare has come from. The cheapest fare valid for travel on that train in first class would have been £154.50 for an Off Peak First Single Route: LNER Only. What was the value of the advance ticket you held for the 1900?
     
  14. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Does anyone know on what basis an UFN can be appealed. I know it is not like a PF whereby there is a lot of information published. However, looking at the stats on the TPE site there must be valid grounds for which it can be overturned. Could it be appealed on the basis that it has been issued for a fare that doesn't exist? I don't ask that to try and get out on a technicality but I am sure we will all agree that a fare either exists (or an excess to a published fare) or it doesn't and there is no scope for a fare to be given for a different amount them the published fare.

    Another point, I know that formally UFN could only be issued for the Anytime Single fare for the class of accommodation being used. I am not sure if this is still the case or not. However, even if it was then the Anytime single in first class between London and York is not £205. Also, I notice the UFN states it is valid on LNER only and arguably the Route LNER Only should be charged (not the Any Permitted) when one exists for the journey being made, as it does in this case.
     
  15. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    It's correct to say that the LNER Only fare should be used and I think that was the intention, but the fare has been understated slightly. As the UFN is an invoice, I don't see it as meaning anything more than the OP is being undercharged for the fare.
     
  16. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    That was never the case, a UFN is an invoice for a fare that needs to be paid. It can be for any fare, for any amount, and they can be issued for any reason.

    You are correct that they should always be issued for a clearly defined amount: either a fare or an excess to a fare.
     
  17. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    That being the case then that they do not need to be issued for an Anytime fare, the train manager has overcharged the OP. £154.50 is the cheapest first class walk up fare (Off Peak 1st Single Route LNER Only) for the journey being made valid on the train they travelled on. Is it possible to appeal that the fare charged or amount charged is incorrect? Otherwise, you could just have a train manager making up amounts without any checks or balances in place.
     
  18. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Where a UFN is issued to regularise the situation of a ticketless passenger, the NRCoT makes it clear that the passenger should expect be charged the full, undiscounted Anytime fare - though Train Managers naturally have discretion to issue the UFN for a cheaper fare if they have reason to believe that the passenger isn't trying it on.
     
  19. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    Sorry 6 was a typo. I boarded the train on P4 and the 19:00 left on P5, but I see in my head the train popping up on the higher of the two departure boards by the escalator which is the one for P4.

    My advance was a little over £50, it was (in my mind) a bargain for an evening meal service. Although when I first spoke to the guard I had the mTicket open on my phone and he may have seen the ticket on there, he never asked to look at it. I hope he did at least glance at my ticket to see it was actually an advance (as some passengers think 'advance' just means bought in advance rather than a specific type).

    UPDATE

    Anyway, the news is good. They've chosen to cancel my UFN due to the difficulties I had paying it online (which they were aware of) and also they believe I had no intent to deliberately avoid payment.

    It does mean, however, that I'll probably never find out if the incorrect platform briefly appeared on the boards so will never know if I made the mistake I'll also probably never find out how the £205 is calculated. I'm a bit nosey like that, but as they've been so good about resolving this I don't think I should waste their time in pushing for an answer to this.
     
  20. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Make sure you keep the correspondence as proof it has been cancelled.

    You are entitled to make a complaint to LNER customer service if you believe that incorrect platform details were shown and this caused you to miss your meal service and arrive late at your destination.
     
  21. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    While it would put your mind at ease to know, it's probably not worth it in the long run. Thanks for letting us know that you had positive outcome.
     
  22. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    I think I’ll leave it as although I think the UFN process can be improved I am happy in how quick it was dealt with.
     
  23. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Just as a side point now this thread has come to a conclusion and the OP has decided not to take it any further with LNER. I remember once at a Forum Fares Workshop one of the forum staff suggested it would not be wise to ever ask directly for an UFN. This was because it could give the impression that you are very familiar with the process and the person checking tickets may then suspect you have a history of not paying the correct fare. This could result in them not using their discretion. Rather, it might be better to ask something like "if there any appeals process or any way I can take this up with customer service." - for example when using a ticket that you know for sure if valid (although in this case it was a question of being on the wrong train).
     
  24. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    For what it's worth using the place I work as an example the UFN notice is used as the basis should a prosecution be proceeded with following none payment.

    Any mistake in completing the paperwork by the inspector (whether that be a guard, RPI or whatever) will result in it being thrown out by the prosecutions department as unsuitable for prosecution and not pursued, though payment will still be accepted for it if offered.

    This may not apply to all TOCs but we get an email with feedback for any unpaid fare notices submitted.
     
  25. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    That is interesting, and worth bearing in mind. However, as you state, it is merely a matter of policy - and that could vary significantly TOC to TOC.
     

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