Scotrail Ticket Inspectors, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the fares.

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So, it's Friday night. I've been in Glasgow with some friends, and we get a train from Central to Partick, then get on the 2F27 15/06/2012 2153 Lanark [LNK] to Milngavie [MLN].

We pulled into Anniesland when the conductor came over to us and inspected all our tickets, gave us the all clear. He told one girl travelling with us that she would have to get off here and change trains, and she said "No, I'm just going to Hillfoot". He said he would have to charge her a penalty fare, which then caused me to stand up and say "well, there is no penalty fares in Scotland"

I told him if he could be bothered to, he could excess her ticket from Anniesland to Hillfoot but there's not much point, to which I think he agreed. He then challenged me over the penalty fare issue. He printed a receipt from his Avantix which had RSP9299/PEN stock in it, explaining that he could issue penalty fares. I told him that he can't since there are no penalty fare stations in Scotland. He told me they were going to be introduced soon, including at Hillfoot which has no ticket issuing facilities except a mini ticket machine which is card only.

This claim was later disproved by Scotrail
ScotRail Support said:
I have forwarded your email to our fares and pricing manager, who has advised that there are no planes at present to introduce penalty fares on our services.
He called me by my last name during this encounter, and I was like "How do you know my name?"
He told me I was known in Scotrail for fraud (since I always buy my ticket when I can and use a valid railcard), because I'd made a particularly ballsy post or three on a facebook page about fare dodging.

I was shocked at this, he even claimed there was a photo of me in their fraud office, despite no inspector ever noticing me before. I occasionally test them by using an outdated ticket in my wallet (whilst having a valid one behind it), but have never once been noticed (maybe I should tell them?)

He explained I could be done with theft from the back cab if I was found with a T-key or BR1 (which was interesting - enthusiasts take note) and that I should watch my back in future. As we came into hillfoot, I thanked him for his informative musings and got off.

So, has anybody else come across ticket inspectors like this, or been told their photo is in the fraud office? And if the inspector is a member here, was there any truth in what you said?
 
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route:oxford

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So, has anybody else come across ticket inspectors like this, or been told their photo is in the fraud office?
Nope, but a CCTV grabbed picture of me found its way behind the reception desks throughout a certain hotel chain in England.

One of the managers of the chain had identified me as a "mystery shopper" and warned his colleagues.

It was rather good. Always upgraded, reception desks swiftly became fully manned, room service piping hot and delivered very quickly with a smile...

I don't "shop" anymore, but a friend has just completed a set of "shops" on the railways...
 

Monty

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We pulled into Anniesland when the conductor came over to us and inspected all our tickets, gave us the all clear. He told one girl travelling with us that she would have to get off here and change trains, and she said "No, I'm just going to Hillfoot". He said he would have to charge her a penalty fare, which then caused me to stand up and say "well, there is no penalty fares in Scotland"
Well first of all, he is a Conductor and would not be able to issue PFNs even if ScotRail did have a penalty fares in the first place, only authorised collectors can do that (Revenue Proection staff, and there is a difference). To my knowledge no TOC has it's guards or conductors issue PFNs.

I told him if he could be bothered to, he could excess her ticket from Anniesland to Hillfoot but there's not much point, to which I think he agreed. He then challenged me over the penalty fare issue. He printed a receipt from his Avantix which had RSP9299/PEN stock in it, explaining that he could issue penalty fares. I told him that he can't since there are no penalty fare stations in Scotland. He told me they were going to be introduced soon, including at Hillfoot which has no ticket issuing facilities except a mini ticket machine which is card only.
If he printed off a receipt from the ticket stock I'm thinking of then it merely warns you that you may be issued penalty fare for not buying a ticket for your journey before you board. It would mention nothing about that he is authorised to collect penalty fares. To be quite honest he may have been telling the truth, maybe they do plan to introduce such a scheme and the 'ScotRail Support' just do not want to make you privy of it at this time.

This claim was later disproved by Scotrail

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotRail Support
I have forwarded your email to our fares and pricing manager, who has advised that there are no planes at present to introduce penalty fares on our services.
Not that I wish to call you out as a liar or anything but I would really like to see the letter you sent to ScotRail and the full reply you recieved, this small quote doesn't do much to convice me that its legit (that and the spelling error).

He called me by my last name during this encounter, and I was like "How do you know my name?"
He told me I was known in Scotrail for fraud (since I always buy my ticket when I can and use a valid railcard), because I'd made a particularly ballsy post or three on a facebook page about fare dodging.

I was shocked at this, he even claimed there was a photo of me in their fraud office, despite no inspector ever noticing me before. I occasionally test them by using an outdated ticket in my wallet (whilst having a valid one behind it), but have never once been noticed (maybe I should tell them?)
To be brutally honest with you, the Conductor may well have been wrong to call you out like that but you should'nt be at all surprised trying to be a smart alec and embarrass the man in front of passengers on his train. Since the man is not here to defend himself and all we have to go on is what you have said, i'm having a hard time to believing you this actually happened the way you said it did.
'Testing' with outdated tickets isn't a particularly clever either as all you are doing is wasting the Conductor/Inspector's time, you don't need to test him the company will do that. Bragging about faredodging on a social networking site was rather stupid aswell and you may well have painted a target on your back for that.

He explained I could be done with theft from the back cab if I was found with a T-key or BR1 (which was interesting - enthusiasts take note) and that I should watch my back in future. As we came into hillfoot, I thanked him for his informative musings and got off.
Curious to know why he would even mention something like that unless you said something first? And indeed you have no business having either in your possession unless you have been issued with them for work use.

So, has anybody else come across ticket inspectors like this, or been told their photo is in the fraud office? And if the inspector is a member here, was there any truth in what you said?
I have to say in my 5 and a bit years of Revenue Protection no i have not once met an inspector such as this and I have worked with many! TOCs may indeed keep tabs on serial offenders who often defraud the railway out of thousands of pounds, something tells me you aren't quite in that league. I'm also getting the impression the full story has not been told and I too am curious to know if the Conductor in question is on these boards as I would like to hear his side of the story.
 
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142094

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The only advice I can give the OP is that nobody likes a smartarse.
Quite, but at the same time why start talking a load of rubbish. As has been said, he could have been a mystery shopper. Worse than that, a senior manager could have been sitting in the seat opposite.
 

Monty

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Quite, but at the same time why start talking a load of rubbish. As has been said, he could have been a mystery shopper. Worse than that, a senior manager could have been sitting in the seat opposite.
Thats if it happened exactly the way it was written.. I have yet to be convinced.. :|
 
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Well first of all, he is a Conductor and would not be able to issue PFNs even if ScotRail did have a penalty fares in the first place, only authorised collectors can do that (Revenue Proection staff, and there is a difference). To my knowledge no TOC has it's guards or conductors issue PFNs.
I used conductor instead of ticket inspector - there are no conductors on this service, as they are all DOO


If he printed off a receipt from the ticket stock I'm thinking of then it merely warns you that you may be issued penalty fare for not buying a ticket for your journey before you board. It would mention nothing about that he is authorised to collect penalty fares. To be quite honest he may have been telling the truth, maybe they do plan to introduce such a scheme and the 'ScotRail Support' just do not want to make you privy of it at this time.
Probably, I really don't know.



Not that I wish to call you out as a liar or anything but I would really like to see the letter you sent to ScotRail and the full reply you recieved, this small quote doesn't do much to convice me that its legit (that and the spelling error).
Check your PM


To be brutally honest with you, the Conductor may well have been wrong to call you out like that but you should'nt be at all surprised trying to be a smart alec and embarrass the man in front of passengers on his train. Since the man is not here to defend himself and all we have to go on is what you have said, i'm having a hard time to believing you this actually happened the way you said it did.
'Testing' with outdated tickets isn't a particularly clever either as all you are doing is wasting the Conductor/Inspector's time, you don't need to test him the company will do that. Bragging about faredodging on a social networking site was rather stupid aswell and you may well have painted a target on your back for that.
I wasn't being a smart alec really, I was just backing up a friend of mine to try stop her getting ripped off. And I am not testing in any real capacity, just seeing if they do check tickets! I still need a valid one to get off (barriers)


Curious to know why he would even mention something like that unless you said something first? And indeed you have no business having either in your possession unless you have been issued with them for work use.
Wanted to know the company line on such things.

I have to say in my 5 and a bit years of Revenue Protection no i have not once met an inspector such as this and I have worked with many! TOCs may indeed keep tabs on serial offenders who often defraud the railway out of thousands of pounds, something tells me you aren't quite in that league. I'm also getting the impression the full story has not been told and I too am curious to know if the Conductor in question is on these boards as I would like to hear his side of the story.
So would I tbh, I may have put some bias in the story subconsciously. It was also late so my memory may have omitted some of it.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The only advice I can give the OP is that nobody likes a smartarse.
I am a bit of a ****, but at the same time, I don't like people in positions of authority talking bollocks.
 

Monty

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Check your PM
Thanks for sending that, after reading through it I am convinced it is indeed legitimate, I am still somewhat scratching my head over this whole "I'll give you a penalty fare if you don't watch out" routine as the inspector is quite clearly not in a position to do so...

Does anyone know how First's policy toward's revenue protection on it's scotrail franchise work? TIRs and MG11s? Seeing First's other franchises on how keen they are for their Penalty Fares schemes it is not beyond the realms of reality that they may try to introduce it on ScotRail, He may well have been trying to warn you and your friends. Sounds plausable to me if either one of you had become frustrated during the conversation that something may have been said that was erroneous

I remember when SWT included the Hounslow Loop into its own scheme and we had been rostered at Waterloo weeks before hand warning people as we sold tickets off, the amount of verbal abuse we got was shocking "You can't penalty fare us off this train blah blah blah!" ignoring the fact we merely warning them from this date they would be liable. :|

I can understand you standing up for your mates, its only natural. But I'd urge you to think before trying to quote the rules to the man in the know, if he is in the wrong be polite about it and if doesn't take the hint take his name down and report it the company will do the rest. Remember you said it was late and you were tired, it may well have been a long day for him too. :)
 

ralphchadkirk

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I get the feeling that there is a lot of history here that we're not being told, possibly with regards to the OP's previous actions which have led to him becoming widely known amongst staff, and, allegedly, having his photograph in the fraud office.

I'd also suggest that the OP wind his neck in.
 
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I can understand you standing up for your mates, its only natural. But I'd urge you to think before trying to quote the rules to the man in the know, if he is in the wrong be polite about it and if doesn't take the hint take his name down and report it the company will do the rest. Remember you said it was late and you were tired, it may well have been a long day for him too. :)
I'll bear that in mind in future, maybe I was getting a bit hasty
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I get the feeling that there is a lot of history here that we're not being told, possibly with regards to the OP's previous actions which have led to him becoming widely known amongst staff, and, allegedly, having his photograph in the fraud office.

I'd also suggest that the OP wind his neck in.
Nope, I'm one of the most legit people in my circle! Hard to believe, but almost all my friends try getting a half when they board and I usually get my railcard fare from the office (unless of course, it's shut!).

I doubt I'm well known, maybe this is just one inspector who checks the Facebook pages to catch wide ****s like me.
 

michael769

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Would I be right in assuming that it is not Scotrails choice alone to introduce PF's? Presumably they would need authorisation from Transport Scotland or the Government before they could introduce it. Which would probably mean a public consultation.
 
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Would I be right in assuming that it is not Scotrails choice alone to introduce PF's? Presumably they would need authorisation from Transport Scotland or the Government before they could introduce it. Which would probably mean a public consultation.
Yes - I was told it would need DfT approval by a friend, so probably the Scottish equivalent.
 

WelshBluebird

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The only advice I can give the OP is that nobody likes a smartarse.
At the same time nobody likes a member of staff who abuses his position and makes threats that they are not legally allowed to carry through (and if the OP had not stopped in I wonder what the guard would have done?).

I would imagine that many of the people on here who have good ticketing knowledge would have also got involved if they overheard a member of staff abusing their position in such a way (and before anyway says anything - wanting to charge a penalty fare when such fares are not in use in that area IS abusing their position).

Obvious normal caveats about not knowing the other side of the story apply though.
 

Monty

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At the same time nobody likes a member of staff who abuses his position and makes threats that they are not legally allowed to carry through (and if the OP had not stopped in I wonder what the guard would have done?).
Nothing as we have established it wasn't a guard, and it's DOO on that particular service. ;)
 

WelshBluebird

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Nothing as we have established it wasn't a guard, and it's DOO on that particular service. ;)
Apologies, I'm in the habit of calling revenue inspectors or whatever guards too lol. Just replace guard with member of staff.

I agree with what you said earlier about not causing a scene, but at the same time as someone who has knowledge of such issues, would you not feel compelled to say something if someone was about to be ripped off by a member of staff who was not allowed to do what he was doing?

Also before anyone jumps in about me being anti staff, I'd like to think many would also do the reverse - back up a member of staff if needed. I was on a CrossCountry service a couple of weeks ago where someone had an e-ticket that a family member had bought for her, so obviously didn't have the ID needed to make the ticket valid. The woman argued for ages about it, and at a few points I was tempted just to give her a bit of advice about just accepting that she was wrong (she kept on arguing that there was never anything that said e-tickets needed ID - something I know to be false as I was travelling on an e-ticket aswell!), but as I was with my girlfriend I didn't really want to get involved.
 

Monty

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Apologies, I'm in the habit of calling revenue inspectors or whatever guards too lol. Just replace guard with member of staff.

I agree with what you said earlier about not causing a scene, but at the same time as someone who has knowledge of such issues, would you not feel compelled to say something if someone was about to be ripped off by a member of staff who was not allowed to do what he was doing?
Absolutely, I would feel obligated to come to the passengers aid. But it works both ways, had the staff member been on the receiving end I would have equally identified myself and offered my assistance. I'm going to guess what happened was that two parties who thought they knew better allowed it to degrade into a name calling contest (figuratively of course), and neither showed the respect they perhaps should have.
 

yorkie

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. He told one girl travelling with us that she would have to get off here and change trains, and she said "No, I'm just going to Hillfoot". He said he would have to charge her a penalty fare, which then caused me to stand up and say "well, there is no penalty fares in Scotland"

I told him if he could be bothered to, he could excess her ticket from Anniesland to Hillfoot but there's not much point, to which I think he agreed.
Where was her ticket to? If it was Anniesland, an excess would be appropriate. If it was on another branch (e.g. a ticket to Dalmuir) the ticket cannot be excessed and needs to be issued from the last station before the deviation (e.g. Westerton).
 
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Where was her ticket to? If it was Anniesland, an excess would be appropriate. If it was on another branch (e.g. a ticket to Dalmuir) the ticket cannot be excessed and needs to be issued from the last station before the deviation (e.g. Westerton).
Her ticket was to Scoutstounhill, on another branch though I'm not sure where it splits.
 

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I get the feeling that there is a lot of history here that we're not being told, possibly with regards to the OP's previous actions which have led to him becoming widely known amongst staff, and, allegedly, having his photograph in the fraud office.

I'd also suggest that the OP wind his neck in.
Agree 100% ralph. And yes, there are controls around railway keys. I won't attempt to give any more detail as I don't have it to hand.
 

yorkie

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The fare from Hyndland to Hillfoot is £2.20, so that is the fare that should be charged. There is no penalty that can be charged as such, and an excess is not applicable.

However if the passenger did not co-operate, refused to pay the fare, was falsely claiming the ticket to be valid, etc, then details can be taken for the Company to consider a prosecution.
 
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The fare from Hyndland to Hillfoot is £2.20, so that is the fare that should be charged. There is no penalty that can be charged as such, and an excess is not applicable.

However if the passenger did not co-operate, refused to pay the fare, was falsely claiming the ticket to be valid, etc, then details can be taken for the Company to consider a prosecution.
Nope, she just asked for discretion, and to the mans credit, he gave it.
 

Temple Meads

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At the same time nobody likes a member of staff who abuses his position and makes threats that they are not legally allowed to carry through (and if the OP had not stopped in I wonder what the guard would have done?).

I would imagine that many of the people on here who have good ticketing knowledge would have also got involved if they overheard a member of staff abusing their position in such a way (and before anyway says anything - wanting to charge a penalty fare when such fares are not in use in that area IS abusing their position).

Obvious normal caveats about not knowing the other side of the story apply though.
An excellent post :)
 

bb21

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I told him if he could be bothered to, he could excess her ticket from Anniesland to Hillfoot but there's not much point, to which I think he agreed.
Did you really use those exact words that I highlighted? If so, then that is a highly insulting thing to say to someone and I would not be surprised that you got his backs up.

I'm curious as to whether your friend asked him to sell her a ticket, or just wanted "discretion". The ticket, as has been pointed out by people before me, cannot be excessed so you were also wrong in that exchange. Not that I excuse the member of staff from his inappropriate behaviour, I can't help but feel that there is more to this story than meets the eye. Maybe it is just the tone in which this whole post is written, however some things don't seem to add up.

I occasionally test them by using an outdated ticket in my wallet (whilst having a valid one behind it)
... and the point of this being?

Yes, assuming what you said was wholly correct, that member of staff behaved in a completely unacceptable way, nevertheless even from the sketchy details here, I can picture a scenario in which this all panned out. I feel some sympathy for your friend, possibly, although I also feel some sympathy for that member of staff.
 
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