penalty fare dispute.

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by herts_craig, 16 Apr 2015.

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  1. herts_craig

    herts_craig New Member

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    Hi all i hope you can help me out,
    I got a penalty fare on the 17:44 from kings cross to kings lynn, a great northern train. there was no train info at the platform as boarded the train, the driver made no announcement, i got on within 1 min the doors closed and the train left. The ticket officer was standing next to me as was a police officer.

    this line splits and the cambridge one stops at letchworth, where i was intending to travel this train the first stop was royston.

    I was asked to produce my ticket. I showed my monthly season ticket, then the officer told me that i had not valid ticket as the train did not stop at my station. obviously i pay nearly £400 a month to this service provider. The officer issues me with a £40 pentalty charge

    I disputed the fact that i had not valid ticket but merely needed an extension to complete the part of the journey i had made by error.
    he refused to listen to me and the police officer advised me that i must give him my details. i did but in doing so he put my personal details on his mobile phone and started to search for my address on google maps. When i asked him what he was doing he replied he thought i could be lying to him so he was checking.

    I bought an extension ticket at the royston station, a return to cover both part of the journey as i would have normally in these situations.

    Can i ask, why are there excess fare windows in the platforms at kings cross if not for these situations.
    I appealled and its been rejected, if the train was not announced isnt that grounds for the appeal to be upheld?

    should I press the fact that he in essence stole my personal information?


    You adivse would be appreciated
     
  2. rdwarr

    rdwarr Member

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    The train would have been announced but, unfortunately for you, the last announcement is three minutes before departure so you wouldn't have heard it. Similarly, the trains disappear from the information boards as well.
    Obviously we can ask why you boarded the train at all given that there was nothing to indicate it was yours (I assume you notmally get the 17:53) and why you didn't notice that the train was much more crowded than usual - the 17:53 is half empty at 17:44.
    Given that, I think you made a genuine mistake and were treated somewhat harshly. A penalty fare IS the correct thing to do if passengers are believed to have made a mistake but the officer could equally have just taken pity on you.
    So unfortunately I can't see any grounds for dispute (especially "stealing my personal information") and the best thing to do is just let it lie.
     
  3. herts_craig

    herts_craig New Member

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    thanks for the advise!
     
  4. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    How far down the line was the train when the ticket check took place? Had you passed Letchworth by that time?
     
  5. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Pay up unfortunately.

    And complain to Great Northern, from your account (and only you can know of course), it sounds entirely an honest mistake and most TOCs are perfectly understanding in these scenarios where it is easy to do. It has happened to me several times and it's always been a case of telling me the time of the next train to my destination - likewise with colleagues.

    In a way you've been lucky - although a Penalty Fare is supposedly for "honest mistakes" this is rarely conveyed when issued, and if challenged the RPI can withdraw it and take your details for prosecution instead. So starts many a thread here.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    That's an interesting question, do you think it is relevant? I'd always thought that the extension ticket would have to be held before boarding - the requirement is to hold a ticket valid for the journey: it would be hard to argue that any valid journey could be claimed with only the ticket held.
     
  6. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    From previous discussion, if you hold a season ticket from A to B and intend (or are forced by stopping pattern) to travel to C, then Condition 19 (c) allows you to purchase a B to C ticket, provided you haven't yet passed B.
     
  7. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    Perhaps checking how close your address is to each of the stations concerned.
     
  8. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    Really? What part of what you have explained suggests he stole your personal information?

    Clutching at straws such as this won't help your situation.
     
  9. furlong

    furlong Established Member

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    (If you hadn't passed Letchworth when it was issued, you could have read the rules closely and looked for some ambiguity and attempted an appeal based on a technicality - but it'll be too late for that now.)
     
  10. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

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    I'm at a loss to know how anyone thinks it's easy not to know where you are and what train you are on as virtually all trains on that route have an overhead scrolling display facing both directions in each carriage and a recorded announcement at each stop telling you where you are and what the next stop of the train will be.

    For example, at say Welwyn Garden City, the overhead display adjacent to each doorway will be showing the stop and scrolling all the rest to destination of the train and the recorded announcement will say 'This is Welwyn Garden City, this train is for Letchworth (or Cambridge, or Peterborough etc as appropriate). The next stop will be Welwyn North" and so-on throughout the journey

    you've got to try really hard to get lost on GN :)
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2015
  11. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    This would have been little use to the OP if his account is truthful as he boarded the train right before the doors closed - at which point he was going to Royston, as would be confirmed by the aforementioned scrolling displays in each carriage.
     
  12. arabianights

    arabianights Member

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    Depends if the phone was company issued or not. If not, then the passenger's details are (or at least should be presumed to be at least hypothetically) available on a phone outside of the control of the data controller, placed there by an agent of the data controller (I think I have the right term for this?)

    That's a serious information breach.

    However, suspect the OP will find the phone is company issued.
     
  13. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    To be able to sell tickets to people arriving at Kings Cross without a ticket, in order that they may pass through the barrier lines. I can't see how the excess fare window at Kings Cross would play any part in your situation, since the train doors had already closed (and presumably the train had left Kings Cross) before you had any idea you might need an excess fare.
     
  14. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    Well if it was Googled, even from a company phone, then the info isn't just on servers controlled by the company data controller...
     
  15. First class

    First class Established Member

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    Note:

     
  16. bignosemac

    bignosemac Established Member

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    Doing something to warrant the issue of a Penalty Fares is not a crime though.
     
  17. First class

    First class Established Member

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    Yes it is!

    To be issued with a Penalty Fare, you MUST have committed a crime.

    It will either be Railway Byelaw 17/18 (Railways Act 2005) or Regulation of Railways Act 1889.

    A Penalty Fare allows the Inspector to deal with the criminal offence by other, more lenient means.

    Any person who has been issued with a Penalty Fare could be convicted.
     
  18. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    But only if the Penalty Fare is cancelled/refunded
     
  19. timbo58

    timbo58 Member

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    I cannot see where someone googling would be doing so with personally identifiable information i.e. he might have googled the address to see if it existed and the postcode matched but there isn't any online resource that is reliable enough to google by supplying both address AND name (i.e. the 2 parts of PII likely to be covered under the DPA)?

    As others have said you are clutching at straws with that one, just as the posters mentioning had the train passed the point where your season ticket was limited to IMHO -if the train goes from A-C and you have a ticket A-B then you have no ticket effectively the moment the train leaves since you haven't got a valid ticket for the minimum journey the train is making.

    Unless the train stops at B then you can't excess it either if there was an opportunity to do this at the boarding station.

    You made an error and joined the wrong train.
    You were presumably asked (?) to pay a PF which you didn't/couldn't/wouldn't (?) so details were taken which can of course be verified by any reasonable means and which you then had no right to refuse.
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2015
  20. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Or refused by the passenger...
     
  21. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    This is not necessarily true. Penalty Fares are sometimes issued in error to passengers with valid tickets who have committed no crime. This is why there is an appeals process in place.
     
  22. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Perhaps it would be more accurate to say 'suspected of committing a crime'?
     
  23. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Or "unfortunate to have encountered an incompetent member of staff"?
     
  24. martynbristow

    martynbristow Member

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    Personal Information is defined as enabling you to be identified, well thats the acid test. If he just entered an address into Google Maps then I think that would NOT be personal information because its just an address with no context. It would only be breaching DPA if the information was transmitted on a unsecured connection with more matching information such as your name.
    However company policy may have been ignored its not a crime as such.
     
  25. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Giving a false name and address when requested is, however.
     
  26. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Whilst that's true, I fail to see the relevance.
     
  27. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    If the inspector was trying to determine if the address given exists, then it meets the definition of 'detection of a crime'. Hence no data protection breach.
     
  28. martynbristow

    martynbristow Member

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    I think thats called "Fruit from the rotten tree". Suspecting someone of committing a crime is not sufficient ground to violate data protection. However googling a postcode or street is not breaching data protection.
     
  29. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    <DI suppose one could always verify if it is a false address by looking it up on google Earth and asking the person what colour their front door and curtains are... <D
     
    Last edited: 23 Apr 2015
  30. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    You'd have to establish when the image was taken, and whether or not the person was living there at the time, and if so ask them what colour their front door was at that time.;)

    However, this is getting more and more bizarre, and off-topic, so perhaps we should leave the conversation there until we get more information! :)
     
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