Quickest ever Customer Service resolution?

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bignosemac

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This morning I boarded a service having not had an opportunity to purchase a ticket. That is I had insufficient time to purchase at my interchange, and no opportunity afforded itself on the first train.

Once aboard, and when I was approached by the ticket examiner, I provided proof of the previous train I'd used, requested my fare and showed my Disabled Railcard.

I was told in no uncertain terms that I could not have a railcard discounted fare and I was to pay for the full undiscounted fare. I was told I should have purchased at the interchange station even if that meant missing this train and being delayed 45 minutes. My connection was 'official'. That is the minimum connection time for the interchange station was met. A couple of minutes of that time were lost due to late arrival of my first train. Station layout and a late platform alteration to my second train left me with insufficient time to attempt to make a purchase prior to boarding.

I patiently explained those reasons for not having an opportunity to purchase prior to boarding, and I also said I was only prepared to offer the amount due for the railcard discounted fare. This was refused and the ticket examiner said she would call an RPI on the phone. The phone was passed to me and the RPI wouldn't listen to my reasons for not already having a ticket, cutting in and saying that I was being recorded and the CCTV would be passed to BTP. Then he hung up while I was in mid sentence.

I stood up in the aisle and gave the CCTV camera a hopefully clear image! I offered the ticket examiner my details but she declined to write them down or engage with me further once she was aware I was recording our conversations.

So instead, I wrote my details down on a piece of paper and handed it to her before I alighted at my stop. Just ensuring I couldn't be later charged with failing to provide, regardless of the outcome of the fare dispute.

I once more offered to pay the railcard discounted fare before alighting, but this was again declined.

I immediately called Customer Services where I recounted the incident in detail. Less than 90 minutes later I was informed there would be no further action, and £30 in RTVs as a goodwill gesture would be sent. There was an acknowledgement that both the Conditions of Carriage and the TOCs Disabled Persons Policy had not been adhered to.
 
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Agent_c

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This is extremely troubling if both a TE and RPI are unaware of the special rules around Disabled Railcards! No wonder they were quick to offer you compensation!

The interchange rule is controversial, and I think its the opinion of most here that you're not obligated to buy a ticket there.
 

yorkie

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This is extremely troubling if both a TE and RPI are unaware of the special rules around Disabled Railcards! No wonder they were quick to offer you compensation!

The interchange rule is controversial, and I think its the opinion of most here that you're not obligated to buy a ticket there.
I hope not many people here would think that passengers are required to delay their journey in these cases. If a slim minority do think that, I'd be even more concerned if they were in a position to actually wrongly charge people.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I immediately called Customer Services where I recounted the incident in detail. Less than 90 minutes later I was informed there would be no further action, and £30 in RTVs as a goodwill gesture would be sent. There was an acknowledgement that both the Conditions of Carriage and the TOCs Disabled Persons Policy had not been adhered to.
A great result :)

I just hope appropriate training and/or memos will be handed out to staff!
 

gray1404

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Which train company was it?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
And do you still have the recording of the conversation? Will be interesting to see how your cover letter with the RTVs is worded....
 

bignosemac

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I should point out that I never played the 'disabled' card in the interactions with the TE and RPI. The ticket examiner knew I had a DSB, but didn't pass that information to the RPI. I never got the chance to mention to him that I was DSB holder.

I only pointed out the wording of the policy in my conservation with the CS representative, to add to my defence. The main thrust of my complaint was not having had an opportunity to pay. Something clearly specified in the Conditions of Carriage. That lack of opportunity due to time constraints and operational decisions (platform change) was not of my making.
 

bignosemac

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Which train company was it?

Any identifying references to the TOC, the staff involved, and the stations and trains used, have been deliberately left out of the OP. I'm more concerned about the general principles involved rather than picking apart (or praising) the particular TOC/Staff stance.
 

N228PF

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A few questions to help me better understand the story.

What conditions of carriage/disabled rules were breached and how are scenarios like this meant to pan out

What is the rule about interchange tickets and times?

Thanks to anyone who can help clarify
 

najaB

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What conditions of carriage/disabled rules were breached and how are scenarios like this meant to pan out?
Short version: Unlike other railcards, DSB railcard holders are allowed to purchase discounted tickets on board. This concession exists because their disability may render them unable to purchase at the station.
 

yorkie

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What is the rule about interchange tickets and times?
You should buy the ticket at the first opportunity before, during or on completion of, your journey.

Some people bizarrely and erroneously claim you have to delay your journey (or split it into two separate journeys) in order to create an opportunity but those claims are made-up and have no merit.
 

SussexMan

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Short version: Unlike other railcards, DSB railcard holders are allowed to purchase discounted tickets on board. This concession exists because their disability may render them unable to purchase at the station.

I don't think that is strictly correct. I think it applies to disabled people, not necessarily DSB railcard holders. Indeed TOC's policies generally refer to "disabled people who are unable to purchase at the station" etc.
 

najaB

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I don't think that is strictly correct. I think it applies to disabled people, not necessarily DSB railcard holders. Indeed TOC's policies generally refer to "disabled people who are unable to purchase at the station" etc.
Strictly speaking, yes you are correct. However most TOC's also have a policy of not questioning DSB railcard holders as to the nature of their disability and instead blanket apply the policy across the board.

"You're not disabled enough..." is a conversation they just don't want to start.
 

edwin_m

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If someone missed a connection to purchase a ticket at the interchange station, and the necessary period elapsed before the next train, could they claim Delay Repay?
 

All Line Rover

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I patiently explained those reasons for not having an opportunity to purchase prior to boarding, and I also said I was only prepared to offer the amount due for the railcard discounted fare. This was refused and the ticket examiner said she would call an RPI on the phone. The phone was passed to me and the RPI wouldn't listen to my reasons for not already having a ticket, cutting in and saying that I was being recorded and the CCTV would be passed to BTP. Then he hung up while I was in mid sentence.

I stood up in the aisle and gave the CCTV camera a hopefully clear image! I offered the ticket examiner my details but she declined to write them down or engage with me further once she was aware I was recording our conversations.

The ticket inspector is in a public facing role. They can expect to be recorded (and filmed), just as a TOC is free to do so with a passenger. Unless they don't know how to perform their job properly, why would they have an issue with this?

I would not agree to speak to an RPI using a ticket inspector's phone. I would ask for the RPI to call a VoIP number and ensure that I record the conversation.
 

bignosemac

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"You're not disabled enough..." is a conversation they just don't want to start.

Indeed. I once had a gateline staffer query my entitlement when a ticket hadn't worked the barrier. He asked to see the Railcard, which is fair enough, but then followed that request with, "You don't look disabled."

I replied, "You don't look like a doctor."
 

gray1404

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That is really bad. It should never have happened. Did you report it? What was the outcome? The should criteria for getting a Disabled Person's Railcard is very strict and ones entitlement is checked at issue stage.

In the case of the OP here, I would ask them to say which train company it was? I asked this as a person with an interest in disability access? Do you still have a copy of the video/recording you took?
 

Doctor Fegg

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Indeed. I once had a gateline staffer query my entitlement when a ticket hadn't worked the barrier. He asked to see the Railcard, which is fair enough, but then followed that request with, "You don't look disabled."

I replied, "You don't look like a doctor."

*applauds*
 

bignosemac

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The topic title was a question.

It now appears this matter has not been resolved. I received an email from Customer Services yesterday informing me my details have been forwarded to the TOCs prosecutions team.

The assurances I received from Customer Services that the matter would not be taken further were lies it seems. The goodwill gesture recognising the TOC were in the wrong has not been received, and I guess it's unlikely now to materialise. I called Customer Services this morning and learnt that there is nothing showing on the system regarding 'no further action' or the goodwill gesture. I've had to instead request that the recording of the call made on 2nd July is preserved as evidence. I'm requesting a copy too.

If this TOC really want to prosecute a disabled person afforded no opportunity to purchase before boarding then I say bring it on.

The email received yesterday:

Dear Mr ******

Thank you for your telephone call of 2 July 2016 (ref: *****), highlighting an incident that occurred on your journey that morning back from *****. I understand that on this occasion you held a ticket to *****, but continued to ***** without purchasing an additional ticket and as such you were stopped by a Ticket Examiner, as no ticket was held for the journey being made.

Whilst I have ensured the details of your complaint have been passed to the relevant Line Manager for review, as per your request, I must also advise that this incident will still be reported to our Prosecutions team. As such I cannot comment further at this stage but they will conduct a full review based on the details submitted in the report. In addition, I have shared with them the details of your telephone call and they will be in touch in due course.

I am sorry I can be of no further assistance at this stage but you have my assurances a full reply will be sent from our Prosecutions department in due course.

Yours sincerely

******
 

Agent_c

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Who was the TOC, and is this connected to your adventures in Paddington in any way?
 

gray1404

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Could you please provide the full details of your journey, in terms of the stations you travelled between and any (if any at all) tickets held. Could you also provide the name of the train company you have been dealing with? Thanks.

and do you still have a copy of the video you took?
 
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najaB

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If this TOC really want to prosecute a disabled person afforded no opportunity to purchase before boarding then I say bring it on.
You don't even need to include 'disabled' in that sentence. I presume you boarded from a station without ticketing facilities or one that couldn't sell the ticket you required?
 

gray1404

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If the prosecutions department have any common sense about them, they will see that if a customer begun their journey at a station without ticket facilities (and given the tight connection at the interchange station) then neither a railway bylaw or RORA procession could succeed.

Once we find out which TOC it is then it will be very interesting what their Disabled Person's Protection Policy says. If the case was to go in the media then it would look worse that they were doing this to a disabled person.
 
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bignosemac

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Could you please provide the full details of your journey, in terms of the stations you travelled between and any (if any at all) tickets held. Could you also provide the name of the train company you have been dealing with? Thanks.

and do you still have a copy of the video you took?

To your first question, I refer you to post #6.

In answer to the second one. Yes. And pre-empting a follow up question; it won't be posted online while there is the threat of prosecution.
 

AlterEgo

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If the prosecutions department have any common sense about them, they will see that if a customer begun their journey at a station without ticket facilities (and given the tight connection at the interchange station) then neither a railway bylaw or RORA procession could succeed.

Once we find out which TOC it is then it will be very interesting what their Disabled Person's Protection Policy says. If the case was to go in the media then it would look worse that they were doing this to a disabled person.

Indeed. I would urge the OP to get hold of the DPPP, and contact a relevant disability charity, and if necessary, his MP.

Assuming the facts are correct then the TOC is behaving appallingly.
 

cjmillsnun

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Could you please provide the full details of your journey, in terms of the stations you travelled between and any (if any at all) tickets held. Could you also provide the name of the train company you have been dealing with? Thanks.

and do you still have a copy of the video you took?

TBQH bignosemac is a regular on these forums and will know what needs to be done, or who he needs to PM for advice.

This thread is more about the principle.
 

Harbornite

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I hope that this issue is resolved with the best possible outcome. The conduct of the TOC staff has been disappointing to say the least.
 

gray1404

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I really don't see why the huge effort not to name the TOC and stations. I just don't get it but nevermind.
 
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