Some TOCs are refusing to pay Delay Repay if the timetable has changed since booking

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by yorkie, 14 Sep 2018.

  1. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It has been brought to my attention that some TOCs are denying Delay Repay claims for tickets purchased before a timetable change, if the passenger arrives at time that is sufficiently delayed by a qualifying length of time based on their contracted arrival time.

    Their argument is that the revised timetable is the timetable that Delay Repay claims are based on, and the contract stands for nothing.

    I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has a had a recent claim rejected for this reason (especially if a large amount is disputed) and I'd also be interested to hear from anyone who has any documentation indicating whether or not TOCs are authorised to do this by DfT.
     
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  3. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Yorkie - GTR are doing this.

    They published the Bank Holiday Monday timetable 1 week before the date. The booked ticket had the standard Monday trains. Specifically

    0802 Welwyn GC - London Kings Cross
    0900 London Kings Cross - Edinburgh.

    GTR claim that it was an acceptable situation because the revised timetable was up the day before and people should check. The booking means nothing. I used the 0752 (as I checked) my colleague was 1 hour late after needed to use the 0852.

    GTR firmly blamed him for not checking. Will see if they still have the emails. A few people were probing them on social media - again they believe having the timetable in the journey planner 1 week before is acceptable even if some people would not have booked a journey at all if they knew the real timetable.
     
  4. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    "Checking" is not good enough. A contract has been made on the basis of the timetable at the time of booking. End of!
     
  5. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    Do TOCs ever give an indication at the time of purchase that this might happen?
     
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Whats the value of the GTR claim?
    No.
     
  7. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I believe that LNER email confirmations suggest checking train times for weekend travel. This is a sensible course of action for convenience of using your reserved seats, but it doesn't remove Delay Repay rights.
     
  8. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    So far I know SWR and GTR sure doing this. If we can identify some high value claimants that would be useful.
    Agreed.
     
  9. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I suppose that depends on if the timetable includes a note to the effect that times on weekends/holidays are subject to change.
     
  10. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    We were not on high value tickets. £27.10 AP ticket. My colleague knowing GTR delay repay do well has given up.
     
  11. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Agreed it does. But equally surely GTR should have uploaded the timetable before 1 week of travel? Some people may have chosen not to use rail at all if they had known the real timetable at the time of booking.
     
  12. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Agreed. Open and shut. Will be interested to hear the outcome of this.
     
  13. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    Information in a confirmation email isn't part of what the passenger agrees before buying. That might be particularly relevant where tickets are non-refundable or where a fee is charged for alterations.
     
  14. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    No, it isn't but it is excellent advice if there is a risk that the timings may be changed as long as it does not affect Delay Repay rights based on the timings presented at the time of booking. The advice recognises that for many people travelling on the right train with a booked seat is more important than claiming Delay Repay. It may save the TOC a few claims at the same time, but that will be the result of having happy customers.
     
  15. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Are you referring to Delay Repay rights? If the timetable isn't finalised and the TOC doesn't want to risk paying Delay Repay the simple solution is not to sell tickets with an itinerary until the timetable is finalised.
     
  16. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I agree it would be best to not provide an itinerary at all, however as long as they clearly stated before purchase that the itinerary is only indicative then I doubt that challenging a denied delay repay claim would be successful.
     
  17. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

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    If TOCs are going to be taken to task over this, it may also be relevant to know about any claims for full refund being rejected if customers choose not to travel where there has been a timetable change between booking and date of travel.
     
  18. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Not meaning to open a can of worms here, but I never know quite what to think in cases like this.

    It sounds perfectly reasonable that the original itinerary should be honoured if you're using a ticket valid for a single journey. But what about (say) an annual season ticket? What if the service to your local station gets significantly worse in the May or December timetable change that you had no way of knowing about when you bought your season? It seems obvious to me that you don't get delay repay for this, as it's just how the timetable is. The same applies (in my mind) to engineering work timetables, at least given the proper notice.

    But what if it's a short-notice timetable change due to a strike or poorly-planned engineering work? Is this where we want to draw the line? Does this actually make any sense? I'm not sure.

    Let it be known that I'm NOT trying to contradict anyone here; I'm simply spelling out the various cases, because I'm honestly confused about how it "should" work myself. What basis do we have to draw the line where we seem to be drawing it?
     
  19. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Where the situation is clear cut - e.g. a single or return ticket, it would be based on the timetable published at the time of purchase, and/or any itinerary given at the time of purchase.

    Where a season ticket is involved which crosses multiple timetable periods, then I don't think you can claim compensation against a timetable that was not yet published at the time of purchase, but rather, you recourse would be a fee-free pro-rata refund if the season ticket if you no longer wanted to travel.
     
  20. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    Not sure there is a can of worms at all tbh.
    Sure if you start talking about unrelated things like season tickets then maybe.
    But we are talking about tickets specifically bought against an exact timetable.
     
  21. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    So does this mean if you tick the "open return" checkbox that many journey planners have, you can claim compensation if you are delayed on the outward but not on the return due to a last-minute timetable change not in your favour?

    This is exactly the reason I made that post, as that seems ridiculous to me.
     
  22. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    If you just clicked open return, and so didn't choose an itinerary at the time of making the contract then that is a lot less clear cut.
    I am not saying that you wouldn't be able to, more that if you have a itinerary at the time of making the contract then that surely is as clear as it can be?
     
  23. superalbs

    superalbs Established Member

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    I have this issue with SWR too, value of £41.15.

    I booked the tickets up with an itinerary just six days prior (under a week), and upon getting to the station where my final leg begun, the train was a bus and didn't stop at my destination. I used it to get as far as I could, and went to speak to staff, where I was blankly refused anything at all, except an accusation of "false information". I also asked to board a GWR service to Polsloe Bridge (which gets me closer), but that was also declined, so I had to purchase another ticket (and that was at my own expense too).

    Once there, I faced a late night (almost midnight) walk of almost 2 miles to my home station, and a further 0.5 miles back home.

    Upon claiming, I was told my delay was less than 15 minutes (???), and rung up. I was told it was probably because of the strike, and they forwarded it to a proper complaint. I was then told the exact same in three different emails, that 'compensation is based on the amended timetable'. I have stated multiple times that it is not relevant due to my confirmation of travel times, but they are simply not interested.

    To make someone walk is frankly disgusting, but to then refuse them refunds based on their confirmed travel times is even worse. Currently awaiting yet another response.
     
  24. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Northern did this to me on one of tbeir strike days last year, travelling to a station only served by way of ticket acceptance on local buses. Claim (and subsequent complaint) rejected on grounds that alternative timetable in place and "clearly advertised" (or something to that effect). Ignoring fact that:
    -Local buses not shown in journey planner, so unclear what arrival time DR measured against
    -I live and travelled from Cambridge, and don't recall seeing any posters or local advertising alertimg me to strike or amended timetable, so not reasonable to assume I had prior knowledge of it before travelling
     
  25. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Interesting. If there's a few more, it may be worth considering whether we want to go down the media route or the legal route. I will make some enquiries.
     
  26. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Member

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    This happened to me on Xmas Eve as I'm sure some of the forum members know. Delay Repay was quite simple for me. I explained to Northern what happened as technically the service wasn't cancelled, it was completely removed from the timetable and departure boards a day prior to purchase. They dutifully apologised, and gave me my money back along with some free tickets aswell.

    My best advice is to email CS as opposed to filling out the form, as you'll essentially be waiting for disappointment from someone whos just clicking a few buttons on a computer screen. Having a chance to explain it will make your case heard a bit easier, and it means it can normally be escalated a bit easier too.
     
  27. Bensonby

    Bensonby Member

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    In the case of strike action don’t the TOCs claim that it is out of their control and, therefore, there is no responsibility to pay delay repay?

    I don’t know if their position is based on any legal authority but it doesn’t sit right with me. Of course there is an element in their control: they have failed to maintain their industrial relations!
     
  28. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Member

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    Northern certainly haven't. A couple of strikes ago they were asking season ticket holders to claim, even if they weren't travelling on that day.
     
  29. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Very few TOCs still use the older non-Delay Relay system of compensation, where they can choose not to pay compensation if the delay is "entirely outside the control of the rail industry". There is no way that industrial relations issues (themselves often caused by a refusal to seriously negotiate on the part of the TOCs) could be seen as even somewhat outside the rail industry's control, let alone "entirely" outside their control!

    I don't believe any TOC has tried that excuse recently. If they have they have very sparse justification!
     
  30. Sirius

    Sirius Member

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  31. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    i don't think that suggests that they would refuse a claim if the temporary timetable had not been published at the time the ticket was published (season tickets excluded).
     

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