SWT admit to a 'fare trap'

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Nick W, 19 Jun 2007.

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  1. Nick W

    Nick W Established Member

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    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1945856.ece

    One train guard told The Times that he had been reprimanded by his manager for showing leniency to passengers who had clearly attempted to buy a ticket before boarding. “Even when people are completely honest and come up to us on the train to buy a ticket, we have to charge them the maximum fare,” he said

    " The company signed a new franchise last year under which it agreed to pay the Government £1.2 billion over 10 years. The company said it was being forced to find new ways of raising revenue to pay that sum."
     
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  3. Oracle

    Oracle Established Member

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    I shall have to look to see whether Ashurst New Forest has a pass machine again...it had gone last time I looked. To get anywhere you have to go and see the guard whatever, even if the machine is there and working!
     
  4. Nick W

    Nick W Established Member

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  5. Oracle

    Oracle Established Member

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    Well, the guard on the train I was on a while back couldn't even get her machine working, and despite phone calls to drop a new one on at Soton Central, Winchester and Basingstoke, none arrived!
     
  6. Daniel

    Daniel Established Member

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    Well, I was delayed thanks to a suspension of service on the line which I was travelling on on the tube once, and therefore didn't have time to get a ticket from Woking-Basingstoke, (I had a London-Petersfield allowing a break of journey at Woking). I approached the on train guard asking for a Child CDR Woking-Basingstoke. Now think about this. I had a valid ticket for that train. He charged me for a full Standard Open Return, Adult.
     
  7. Tom

    Tom Guest

    This may be a "fault" - but in most situations they do the right thing and follow Condition 2.

    As for Mem's case, should be a SOR Child - claim it back against them.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    There is no TVM at Ashurst and the PTT machine is currently vandalised and is in an office at BM. :)
     
  8. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    1. Ask to excess the original ticket instead. You are entitled to an excess.
    2. Politely refuse to pay any more than the fare you should pay. If he does not like that he can call BTP, and BTP will not (I am 99% sure) do anything given your circumstances, assuming you had ID to prove you are 15.

    Can you also clarify, did you get a London to Basingstoke train and did you ask the guard for an excess/additional ticket before Woking? If you asked before Woking then they have absolutely no grounds to do this and you can easily get off the train at Woking if they do refuse.

    I trust you got his name and the headcode of the train and will be reporting him?
     
  9. Daniel

    Daniel Established Member

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    It was during the Basingstoke engineering works. The service was London to wherever it was that they were running buses from. I approached the guard just after Clapham Junction requesting the fare, and the train did stop at Woking so I could have alighted - the only reason I didn't was because it would have inconvenienced me with the limited service.

    Got the guards name, didn't manage to get the headcode but remembered the service, put in a complaint at Waterloo, got the ticket refunded, (difference between Child and Adult anyway), and heard nothing else of it.

    I'll have to try and remember to ask for an excess - thanks for that Yorkie.
     
  10. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    I think you are on shaky ground with this advice. He is entitled to purchase an excess prior to starting a journey. Once on the train SWT are only obliged to offer him the standard day single. If he alights at Woking he is entitled to purchase any ticket available but not to excess a ticket from London as he is either breaking his journey or has stopped short.
     
  11. Tom

    Tom Guest

    SWT are entitled to offer him any ticket for another journey if he already has a valid ticket for that journey on the train.

    The Avantix system is certainly not limited in any way to prevent issuing a CDR.
     
  12. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    The key words here are obliged and entitled. SWT are not obliged to offer him an excess on the train. The premium SWT have signed up to mean they have to charge him the maximum fare they can under the terms of the NCOC.
    Whilst I dont personally agree with that, I think they are within their rights to charge him a standard fare.
     
  13. metrocammel

    metrocammel Member

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    I assume you mean SDR, as there isn't a SOR Woking-Basingstoke.


    What do you mean exactly by "entitled to an XS"? You and I both know getting XSs on-board is very hit and miss, and now, in the case of SWT, very unlikley. Perhaps and o/distance and changing ticket type XS to Standard day?, but he is definately not entitled to a "cheap day" XS once on board- tube delays or not.

    LOL! "Sorry, my machine can only sell SDs & ORs" is the classic gripper quote. It really annoys me, if they are not willing to sell a cheap day, TELL THE TRUTH FFS :|.
     
  14. Max

    Max Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    The differences in policies of the TOCs (and even on different areas of one TOC's network!) is astounding regarding boarding without a ticket. I have never had a problem with paying on the train on Northern.

    Just today there were several people on the Scarborough-Hull train paying onboard, even though Scarborough is a staffed station. The guy even sold this girl a return rather than a single (because it was cheaper), even though she asked for a single (I'm not sure why the return is cheaper than the single between Scarborough and Hunmanby though!).

    In my opinion, if the passenger has the money to pay and asks for a ticket, they should be sold it - why should they be fined or charged a more expensive ticket just because they want to pay the guard directly? It's utterly unfair! I've never had any problems on Northern or TPE with paying on the train (though some guards on TPE are strict because I've seen them tell people off before!). There should be one, reasonable policy for every TOC set by ATOC in my opinion, with allowances for discretion.
     
  15. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Rule 12
    If a restriction applies
    and the ticket you are using is not valid for the train you are travelling in, then:
    (a) you will be liable to pay an excess fare (the difference between the price
    paid for the ticket you hold and the price of the lowest priced ticket
    available for immediate travel that would have entitled you to travel in that
    train for the journey shown on the ticket);

    Rule 13
    (e) If you make your journey by a route other than those referred to in (a) and
    (b) above, you will be liable to pay an excess fare. This excess fare will be the difference between the price paid for the ticket you hold and the price of the lowest priced ticket(s) available for immediate travel that would have entitled you to travel by that route.


    You cannot excess child to adult, and Memorex has not clarified if he had ID, but assuming he did, I fail to see how the guard can legally refuse to excess. The guard should be brought to account.

    Yes, so why was he not able to BEFORE Woking? Unfortunately this exact circumstance does not appear to be documented anywhere, but logically if he is requesting a ticket for a journey that has not yet commenced or extending a journey while still valid, I do not see how he can be treated as boarding without a ticket as he, frankly did not.

    I also do not see that condition 18 applies here, as the wording is in the past tense ("If you travel beyond..."), and does not seem to apply for if you wish to extend your journey by requesting it in advance. That is NOT the same as being caught as having already extended it without asking for a ticket.

    At the end of the day, I can't see how this exact circumstance is catered for, but you cannot say he should be treated as having boarded with no valid ticket.

    I don't understand what you are saying, but he would NOT have been breaking his journey by going to the ticket office - that is NOT a break of journey! "you will be treated as breaking your journey if you leave a Train Company’s or Rail Service Company’s stations..." he isn't leaving the station so it does not apply. In any case, break of journey and ending short is permitted on any ticket unless that ticket explicitly prohibits that (I am assuming he had a CDR? so there's no problem then).

    Sadly there is a lot of misinformation around about ticketing, and a small minority of guards don't have a clue either. If you know you're right, you just have to argue your case against the Basil Fawltys out there. Never let them win.
     
  16. dan_atki

    dan_atki Established Member

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    Going slightly off topic here but it has always annoyed me that SWT have had a penalty fares system in place (except round the Hounslow loop) and how if a guard came up to you then you could just buy a ticket on the spot no questions asked, no penalty fare given.

    The amount of times I've stood in the queue at Waterloo for 30 mins+ to get a priv ticket, it angers me that this used to be allowed to happen.

    I remember once going from Woking to Clapham Junction, a guy got on a Woking with his bike, guard got to him just before Surbiton where he was getting off and sold him the ticket. He asked him how he had got on the train at Woking because of the inspectors and his reply was that he had got off a train with a Megatrain ticket - yes a Megatrain ticket (which you cannot use for any intermediate stop if you are unaware) - and the guard just said OK and let him go!
     
  17. Tom

    Tom Guest

    Penalty fares are now active on the Hounslow loop. All stations have working TVM machines and if there is not a working TVM machine all guards and RPIs will be alerted by pager.

    If you're getting a priv you may as well just ask the guard before the train departs - or go harrass an RPI. 8-)

    Nothing I can say to that....

    Memorex was technically not excessing the ticket. Excessing is only (at least on SWT in my experience over the past week) done where you have an Advance Purchase or other limited ticket upgraded to a SOR/SDR/CDR. A WG - BS was just required to make him valid as pretty much all trains call at Woking.

    As I said previously, a CDR should have been issued for the journey.
     
  18. dan_atki

    dan_atki Established Member

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    I am aware that the penalty fares have now been brought into operation around the Hounslow loop along with (which is the point I was making) the enforcement of the previous system (which has existed as long as I can remember).


    Firstly, if the staff at Waterloo are not serving on a window they are helping people use the ticket machines (which should have a priv option installed - and before you talk about the implications of such a scheme they should have a box where you type in your priv ticket number or more ticket checks should be carried out).

    Secondly, how do I get to the guard on the train without going through the 'security' at the entrance to a platform (without ticket machines)

    Thirdly, I have never seen any RPIs at Waterloo, ever.
     
  19. Tom

    Tom Guest

    I'm about to send you a PM.
     
  20. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    Yorkie,
    Rule 12 doesnt apply because there is no restriction that makes his ticket invalid. it is valid as far as Woking.

    Rule 13 doesnt apply because there is no via Basingstoke Route to Guildford.

    Child/ Adult as you say depends on whether he had id but isnt really an issue.

    His original ticket is available to woking where he can either break his journey and continue later to the original destination or stop short. If he stops short that is the end of the validity of his ticket.

    Memorex has entered in to a contract with swt to convey him from point a to point b. He can use that contract to travel to woking. However once he has commenced his journey SWT are under no obligation to ammend the terms of his contract. They are quite within the law to offer him a new contract to travel from woking to point c.
    The fact that they have offered to ammend the terms of his contract once the journey has commenced in the past does not oblige to do so now.

    Whilst its a hash decision and probably not good in terms of pr. I think they are within the terms of Ncoc and the law.
     
  21. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    The difference is, when you go down south a lot of stations are staffed, and even if they aren't they have a ticket machine or four. Whereas most stations here have one, if you're lucky, and that is often out of order or broken and they only sell a very limited range of tickets and accept a limited range of cash.
     
  22. Oracle

    Oracle Established Member

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    I have to sau that that in my experience Southampton Airport Parkway has been appalling at times for getting a ticket...once I waited ages to gt a FRC and then the woman decided to shut up shop just as I got to the counter, with loads of passengers in a queue. There is at least one machine though, but I would hate to think what happens in the morning peaks with all those extra airport passengers.
     
  23. David

    David Established Member

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    I feel sorry for passengers at Scunthorpe who want to travel before 0800 or after 1930.

    If you want to travel outside the ticket office hours, first you have to get a ticket from the machine. Trouble is, it's in the ticket office which is locked up for the night :shock:

    I've seen quite a few passengers chinged because they have had no ticket when joining at Scunthorpe, all because the guard has argued there is a ticket machine there, so they should have bought a ticket before they joined....
     
  24. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    "See you in court" is the obvious answer to that one.

    The guard should be done for obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, which carries up to 5 years in jail.
     
  25. David

    David Established Member

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    Don't worry. Everytime I'm about, I tell the guard (it's usually the same one), and the passenger gets a refund.

    One good thing about using South TPE is that most of the guards know me, and believe what I say most of the time, even if they carry doing the same things (like chinging passengers when there is no reason too).
     
  26. Jordy

    Jordy Established Member

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    You do get to know them quite quickly, although this business of chinging when the booking office is closed, and there is no access to a ticket machine is crazy!

    Does it really open that late? The Grimsby one opens in time for the 0526!
     
  27. David

    David Established Member

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    It's supposed to open in time for the 0559, but never does. The earliest I've known it to open in the last year or so is 8am.

    If I know I've got an early start, I go and buy my tickets the day before....
     
  28. Jordy

    Jordy Established Member

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    Grimsby officially opens at 05:45, but everytime i've got the 0526 (rare!) its been open. 0800 seems pretty late, although it does prove Grimsby is better than Scunthorpe.
     
  29. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    More bad press for SWT:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1975243.ece

    SWT are making a lot of people very angry.

    I predict SWT will implode soon, as they are unable to unfairly extract enough money from their customers in order to pay the premium payments they stup signed up for. Is their managing director Stewart Palmer heading for the sack, I wonder?
     
  30. Tom

    Tom Guest

    Actually - that particular article is a load of bull****.

    The editor of the Times boarded an Up Pompey fast to Waterloo and had no ticket - and rightly so, he was given a penalty fare by a authorised PF collector (ie, RPI).

    The Times have have been very biased in that article - only because their editor got a penalty fare for not having a ticket. He arrived 5 minutes before his train and the recommended time is 10 or more minutes. Had he been 10 minutes before his train he would have been able to purchase a ticket from the ticket office which had a short queue.
     
  31. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    Unfortunately (for SWT) a disgruntled member of staff has leaked the internal memorandum to the Southampton Evening Echo
    http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/search/display.var.1490824.0.train_guards_told_take_no_prisoners.php
    The document in (last fridays edition) looked pretty convincing to me and I understand SWT were asked to verify the document before it was printed but refused to deny it was an official document.

    (Southampton is a rather run down minor city where the Bournemouth Branch joins the South West Main Line. It doesnt have a premiership football team ;) )
     
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