NXEA Finally respond regarding charging for 1st class when not advertised

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by embers25, 10 Nov 2011.

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  1. embers25

    embers25 Established Member

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    Back in August I travelled on the 1345 Norwich to Sheringham and then on the 1446 back from Sheringham to Norwich. On the return trip I sat in 1st class on the 170 which as the Sheringham line has no advertised first class I was perfectly allowed to do. When she came through she clipped my ticket again and asked me if I wished to pay a supplement to remain in First Class. Obviously I refused showing her both the printed and online timetables which clearly show no first class. She insisted that if any train had first class she could charge me the excess for sitting in it whether advertised or not. I again refused and she said that I should pay as the person sitting next to me(funnily enough a reader of this forum so well versed on FCC doing the same!) had a first class ticket and so that meant I had to have one too. Again I refused and she begrudgingly trudged off.

    On arrival at Norwich I went to the customer service area and the guy couldn't believe it..or as he put it very well I thought "I'm not a guard or a ticket expert but even I know that the Sheringham line has no first class and so the section is declassified on any trains it is on"
    He had me fill in a form to raise the complaint so I'll await their response.
    I returned to the guard as she was about to leave on the 1550 and told her she needed to talk to her own customer service team as they agreed charging excesses was wrong and she insisted she was right and I should be grateful she hadn't forced me to pay!

    Anyway after being blown off by National Express customer services who insisted I should pay I got passenger focus involved who have also been ignored for 2months despite face to face meetings to discuss this. Finally today I got the following response:

    "As you are aware from our previous emails and telephone conversations I have been trying to get a resolution to this complaint from National Express East Anglia (NXEA) since August. I have been in contact with them several times via email, in telephone calls and also during a meeting on 6 October 2011. I have now received a communication from them which NXEA say is their final response on the matter.
    The customer relations manager for NXEA has discussed this case with the conductor manager team at Norwich Station and with other senior colleagues. They clarify that First Class accommodation is declassified in certain circumstances on their trains, however the circumstances that you detail do not apply in this instance and therefore you will be required to pay a supplementary charge should you use First Class accommodation on substituted train stock. To clarify, the fare that would be charged is equal to the Weekend First so is a supplementary charge for the use of First Class accommodation. The conductor team have all been briefed to make this supplement applicable where First Class accommodation is available and there is no First Class fare. This is to ensure that an enhancement has been correctly applied where there is enhanced accommodation.
    I understand that this is not the response you were hoping to receive and that you will probably feel disappointed with it, especially considering the length of time it has taken for it to be finalised. I also appreciate that you may feel that NXEA are acting unfairly in relation to other train operators. Unfortunately we are not able to compel NXEA to take a different stance on this matter. As you may be aware Abellio Greater Anglia Limited is the railway company that will succeed National Express East Anglia as the operator of the Greater Anglia Franchise from 5 February 2012. It may be worth you enquiring again about this issue once they have taken over as they may view it differently."

    Frankly I am absolutely stunned at the arrogance of NXEA towards myself and Passenger Focus and how can you charge Weekend First during the week!!!!!

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  3. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    I don't quite know how to put into words what I feel about that outcome.
     
  4. embers25

    embers25 Established Member

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    As you can tell Passenger Focus aren't too thrilled either! Who can I raise this with now though as surely making up fares is not allowed?
     
  5. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    I'll try for you, as I was the same.

    I imagine you were aware of the original thread, as I was, and on reading the new post thought that as you worked your way down, NXEA would finally admit they were wrong. When you eventually saw the reply, you were shocked, stunned and speechless.

    However, after reading and participating on this forum for many years as well as reading many past threads regarding NXEA, you were actually not shocked at all, more like you were not surprised at all.

    Does that sum it up? :lol:

    It's absolutely amazing though, I am not even sure you could make it up.
     
  6. lyesbkz

    lyesbkz Member

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    I've had a few tries, however even my best efforts consist mainly of words which would not be appropriate on this forum.
     
  7. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Indeed!

    A very disappointing outcome from NXEA. I had quite a neutral opinion on them, but having read their response, I'm sorry to say I might not miss them much. :|
     
  8. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    They seem to be getting confused between the situation where a service is not advertised as having first class accommodation but does, and the situation where the service is advertised as having first class accommodation (and does have it) but there is no first class fare available (e.g. some Sheffield to Dore services).
     
  9. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    Or EMT's meridian that goes from Lincoln to nottingham without a first class fare?
     
  10. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Is that service listed in the timetable as having First Class accommodation? Surely it is, if it runs to/from London. I fear you may be getting confused.
     
  11. ginger

    ginger Member

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    this is NX!!! They are interested in only ONE thing.....the cash in your wallet.....they are racketeers!!!!
     
  12. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Unfortunately as they now know that their franchise will not be renewed, they probably have no interest in good customer service either. I shall also be writing to them regarding this type of situation and they had better be consistent in their reply, which I think that if they had been making things up as they went along, I would have different responses.
     
  13. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I seem to recall that someone tried this during the original thread and got a similar reply back, indicating this rather unique policy.
     
  14. embers25

    embers25 Established Member

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    From my own enquiries and also those of Passenger Focus it would seem that all staff that haven't been got to by their Conductor Manager agree with me but as soon as that Conductor Manager gets to them they change their mind. Given this one person is both clueless and seems to have so much power over everyone else at NXEA I am VERY curious to know who he/she is. Does anyone know? Also who else can I complain too as I am still very mad over this particularly as Southern Metro now even have rolling screen messages advising that because their Metro services don't have advertised first class anyone can sit in those seats! All I can say is that I really hope that their recruiting of Elaine Holt won't mean that her inside info somehow manages to get them the fGW (or any other) franchise. Suddenly First and SWT don't seem so bad.
     
  15. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    Its the second option in the post above mine, Has first class accomodation advertised, but no first class fare for Lincoln-Nottingham
     
  16. embers25

    embers25 Established Member

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    Then clearly Weekend First it is then by NXEA logic...farcical!
     
  17. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Yes of course. As we know First Class is still enforced in that case, and you may not sit in there without a First Class ticket. It is the actual train and its designation in the timetable that is important, not whether there is a First Class fare for the flow.
     
  18. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Yes that's what I was saying, that NXEA seem to be getting mixed up between the two different situations. It might be worth contacting ATOC about it? They could gently point out to NXEA that what they are saying is not standard practice and is very confusing for passengers who are used to the way it works on all other TOCs.
     
  19. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Possibly, although I suspect ATOC already know. ;)
     
  20. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    Incredible. Absolutely incredible. But unfortunately, it's the kind of stunt one would expect from that bunch of idiots. Remember all that trouble shinkansen1966 had from them (e.g. here)? They haven't the first I idea how to legitimately run a TOC. One time I was sitting in First Class on a 321 - which for the record must have the worst FC provision in the country - with a First Class Advance. Before we left SOV though, an employee came on and told me my tiocket wasn't for First Class, despite clearly saying "1ST" in the top-left! He wasn't travelling on the train anyway, so it mattered not :|

    I suspect they don't care. Or is that stating the obvious? :lol:
     
  21. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    I saw an analogy with the situation where Virgin used to refuse to accept travelcards on Oyster combined with boundary zone tickets, and let the complaints about it escalate to a pretty high level, until they were nagged by ATOC to implement the rules properly. That's why I thought ATOC might want to help for the sake of harmony?
     
  22. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I believe that ATOC will be on the case. ;)
     
  23. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    FCC are also putting up signs at one end of each 377/5 set to declassify that compartment (but leave the other one as first class) to give more standard seating. Despite the odd RPI trying to dish out a PF, they do at least back off when they see 1st isn't advertised on the service, as they should.

    I am absolutely stunned by that response given it cannot be enforceable, and you would simply refuse to pay. By the sound of it, they'd just sigh and walk on to get some easy money from someone else who complied. Easy money for a company soon to be in the wilderness, and who could potentially find that stories like this come back to haunt them when bidding for new franchises...
     
  24. TTI

    TTI Member

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    Embers25,
    If they froth at insisting to charge FC on a "non-FC" advertised service on a lot of routes there is simply no FC fares available.
    Gone are the days when someone could up your ticket 50% on their Sportis machines - ask them for a First Class Single immediately! ;)

    However, in this case Norwich-Sheringham I see Anglia have a "AFS - ANGLIA 1ST SUPP 00000 - ANY PERMITTED "
    1 Adult @£ 7.00 = £ 7.00
    __________
    £ 7.00
    First Class Single

    Whereas a SDS is only £6.00 for the same journey.

    Even so, I would say pursuing a First Class fare on that route with a Standard Class timetable was "unenforceable through the courts"
     
  25. Bedpan

    Bedpan Member

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    As I was reading this thread I was thinking that the attitude of NXEA making up their own rules as it took their fancy reminded me very much of FCC whilst Elaine Holt was there, and then her name pops up in this post! Has she been recruited by Abellio or National Express? I can't find any reference to it on Google, just that she is leaving DOR at the end of the year.
     
  26. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I believe it's been confirmed somewhere around here that she has joined NX to head up their bidding team for the next round of franchises. I wonder if they're going to try bidding for ICEC again?

    But moving back onto this, well I have to say I'm somewhat flabbergasted at NX's continuing insistence and being different from every other TOC in the country. The one thing that occurs is it written down anywhere offical (like the NRCoC) that if there is no advertised first class then any first class accommodation is declassified?
     
  27. richw

    richw Established Member

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    Surely after their disastrous last couple of franchises they will be last in line for the future. Being completely forgetful what franchises have they got at the moment, nxea is only one I can think of.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk
     
  28. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    They've also got the rather well run c2c franchise. Everyone keeps saying that NX should be last for any new franchises, but doesn't that ignore the fact that it's a sealed bid process so no one knows whose bidding until fairly far into the process?
     
  29. Eagle

    Eagle Established Member

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    Just the two at the moment, soon to be reduced to one. Considering that in the mid-2000s they had eight franchises simultaneously...

    Being as it's a blind bid I don't see how past performance with other franchises will have anything to do with the selection process. It's just a question of what they say they will do and whether the DfT believe they're able to.
     
  30. WillPS

    WillPS Established Member

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    Does the bidding process actually have a viability check in-built?
     
  31. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's an important step where the DfT should be able to judge NX Group's bids against their past performances.

    Unfortunately I can see the politicians only focusing on the price and price alone.
     
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