SWT PF query

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Frontera2

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Hi..

I've posted this on a different forum but they suggested I posted it here..

Here's my original post from the end of November:

Hi,

As I've not needed to buy a ticket for nearly 20 years, my knowledge on Penalty Fares is a bit ropey so I'm hoping someone knowledgeable here can give me some advice..

Here's the circumstances..

My step-son and his partner travelled down from Ramsgate to Petersfield on Saturday 9 November, returning the next day. He holds a Network Card and the tickets were purchased online and collected from the TV, at Ramsgate.

The outward journey went without a problem, but on the way back they were challenged at the barrier at Waterloo and asked for the supporting Railcard. Unfortunately in the rush to head down on the Saturday they had forgotten to bring it with them ( they weren't asked for it on the way it out and didn't realise they didn't have it until asked at Waterloo ) They were travelling with their 5 month old daughter and being only young themselves, found it very distressing - especially when BTP were involved because they didn't have anything with them to substantiate their home address.

As is correct procedure, they were issued with a PF as they were travelling without the supporting documentation. However their tickets were taken off them and they were given nothing to allow them to continue their journey, the PF notice only covered Petersfield to Waterloo. As expected, they were not permitted through the barrier at Waterloo East so had to buy 2 brand new tickets from London to Ramsgate at a cost of £60. So in total they have paid (or have been asked to pay)

Original tickets, Ramsgate to Petersfield with Network Card: £77.50
Penalty Fare demand: £49.60
New tickets, London Terminals to Ramsgare single: £64.40

Total ( if PF paid ) £191.50 - more than double the cost of the original fare.

My questions are:

1) Should the tickets have been withdrawn from them
2) Should they have been given a paper ticket or authority to travel to their ultimate destination
3) By buying new tickets they have in effect been penalised twice, can they claim any of this back?

Thanks in advance for any info...


Since posting, IPFAS turned down the appeal and I therefore contacted SWT at the end of November. They have not responded despite my chasing twice, and I've subsequently received ever increasing demands from IPFAS.

I rang SWT this morning who have "found" my correspondence (they are about nearly 2 months behind) and they say they can't intervene in PF issues but will forward my complaint to them back to IPFAS for them to consider.

Any advice would be appreciated.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Just to add to this..

My step-son was issued with a PF - his partner was not. Yet her tickets were withdrawn as well, with no receipt or PF notice being given. I don't believe this to be correct process?
 
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yorkie

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.... especially when BTP were involved because they didn't have anything with them to substantiate their home address...
Hmm, we'd need more info on that, but that doesn't sound appropriate or proportionate to me. Had they recently moved address or something? Usually if the address checks out as valid there would be no need to involve BTP, but people more familiar with the procedure would be able to elaborate (in fact I'll send a PM to someone who works for a similar Train Company in a role which means he would definitely know the answer to this and see if he can answer).
As is correct procedure, they were issued with a PF as they were travelling without the supporting documentation. However their tickets were taken off them and they were given nothing to allow them to continue their journey, the PF notice only covered Petersfield to Waterloo.
That's definitely not the correct procedure. At the very least a receipt needs to be issued for the confiscated tickets.

SWT are saying they "can't" intervene, but really, in my opinion they are choosing not to! What would happen if he refused to pay? The answer is IPFAS would pass on the matter to SWT to decide what action to take! That said it may be best to avoid it escalating that far.
My step-son was issued with a PF - his partner was not. Yet her tickets were withdrawn as well, with no receipt or PF notice being given. I don't believe this to be correct process?
I agree, it's not.
 

duncanp

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Your stepson and partner should definitely have been issued with a zero fare excess ticket, to allow you to continue your journey from Waterloo East to Ramsgate.

As the amount of the penalty fare is less than the extra expenses your stepson and partner have incurred through SWT having not followed the correct procedure, why not write to both South West Trains and IPFAS saying that they owe you £14.90, or offer to pay the penalty fare only when you have been refunded the cost of the extra tickets.
 

swt_passenger

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Your stepson and partner should definitely have been issued with a zero fare excess ticket, to allow you to continue your journey from Waterloo East to Ramsgate.

I don't agree with this I'm afraid. When a PF is charged 'en-route' it is £20 or twice the appropriate single fare to the 'next station' only. So in this case the PF due is twice the single fare from Petersfield to Waterloo and AFAICT should have been £49.60 per passenger.

The PF rules state that if the passenger wishes to travel beyond the 'next station' they need a new ticket.

As the RPI and passenger were already at the 'next station', i.e. Waterloo, then there was no point in issuing a zero fare excess to Waterloo?

I find it hard to believe that an RPI would only issue one PF to one passenger in this case, are we absolutely sure that isn't two PFs on one piece of paperwork?

then...

Regarding Waterloo East to Ramsgate - what use would the original tickets have been? This is the bit I'm not clear about - should they have been given the opportunity to buy a new railcard then and there, to effectively bring the original tickets back into use?

People have previously said that railcard discounted tickets are not supposed to be excessed up to the non-discounted rate, although some clerks will do this.
 

tony6499

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The penalty fare only applies to the next stop which was Waterloo then they should have bought new tickets for the rest of their journey but I can't see why the tickets were withdrawn as new tickets were bought and then they could be used for the return portion within their validity as technically they haven't been used.
 

Haywain

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I don't agree with this I'm afraid. When a PF is charged 'en-route' it is £20 or twice the appropriate single fare to the 'next station' only. So in this case the PF due is twice the single fare from Petersfield to Waterloo and AFAICT should have been £49.60 per passenger.

The PF rules state that if the passenger wishes to travel beyond the 'next station' they need a new ticket.

As the RPI and passenger were already at the 'next station', i.e. Waterloo, then there was no point in issuing a zero fare excess to Waterloo?

I find it hard to believe that an RPI would only issue one PF to one passenger in this case, are we absolutely sure that isn't two PFs on one piece of paperwork?

then...

Regarding Waterloo East to Ramsgate - what use would the original tickets have been? This is the bit I'm not clear about - should they have been given the opportunity to buy a new railcard then and there, to effectively bring the original tickets back into use?

People have previously said that railcard discounted tickets are not supposed to be excessed up to the non-discounted rate, although some clerks will do this.
Had the original tickets remained in the possession of the passenger, they would potentially have had the opportunity to either pay excess fares of £40.00 to bring the tickets up to the public fare, or to buy a new railcard at £30.00. However, as a second PF should have been issued at the time, what they ended up with was still cheaper.

For the OP, I would just mention that there do not appear to be any grounds for appealing the PF, so you should only be corresponding with SWT about the other matters. However, as you point out that one journey had already been made without paying the correct fare I feel that sympathy from SWT may be in short supply.
 

Pumbaa

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I don't agree with this I'm afraid. When a PF is charged 'en-route' it is £20 or twice the appropriate single fare to the 'next station' only. So in this case the PF due is twice the single fare from Petersfield to Waterloo and AFAICT should have been £49.60 per passenger.

The PF rules state that if the passenger wishes to travel beyond the 'next station' they need a new ticket.

As the RPI and passenger were already at the 'next station', i.e. Waterloo, then there was no point in issuing a zero fare excess to Waterloo?

I agree with this interpretation.

The receipts issued by SWT revenue staff allow the passenger to continue their journey on SWT to the next station where they should alight and purchase a valid ticket to continue their journey. As they were at a station, this is null.

There should also only be one passenger per PF. While only one PF has been issued, the fact that one may not have been does not render the one issued invalid.

My summary;

1) Yes
2) No
3) No. Sadly not. And it's IRCAS that handle SWT PFs not IPFAS, which by happy coincidence, are based in Petersfield.
 
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Frontera2

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The Penalty Fare was issued at Waterloo and was only issued for 1 passenger.

His Partner had already been let through the barrier without question, it was when he attempted to follow that he was pulled.

I still can't get my head around the fact that some posters believe that someone paying:

1) The original ticket cost
2) A penalty fare
3) Brand new tickets for the remainder of the journey

Which equates to, if the PF is paid, 3x the cost of the original tickets.. Is within the spirit of the Penalty Fare scheme?
 

swt_passenger

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I agree with this interpretation.

The receipts issued by SWT revenue staff allow the passenger to continue their journey on SWT to the next station where they should alight and purchase a valid ticket to continue their journey. I assume the PF was issued between Woking and Waterloo.

That would generally be what happens, I agree, but the OP stated he was PF'd 'at the barrier at Waterloo', rather than on a train, so any paperwork allowing travel following withdrawal of the tickets would be redundant.

My reading of the procedures in the PF rules is that they seem to be based on a revenue check on a train somewhere between start and end points. Perhaps being stopped when leaving at a barrier line sort of simplifies the procedure.

IYSWIM...
 
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Pumbaa

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That would generally be what happens, I agree, but the OP stated he was PF'd 'at the barrier at Waterloo', rather than on a train, so any paperwork allowing travel following withdrawal of the tickets would be redundant.

My reading of the procedures in the PF rules is that they seem to be based on a revenue check on a train somewhere between start and end points, but being stopped when leaving at a barrier line sort of simplifies the procedure.

IYSWIM...

Agreed; and quickly amended when I saw ;)
 

swt_passenger

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Which equates to, if the PF is paid, 3x the cost of the original tickets.. Is within the spirit of the Penalty Fare scheme?

I think the problem is that people see PF's as something round about £20, but that is the minimum - we are now looking at a much longer journey, halfway across the southeast network.

The catch is, the way off-peak returns are priced, (at little more than the price of an off-peak single), then there is always going to be scope for a shock if PF'd somewhere on the return journey.

But try and work out what would have occurred if they had got all the way back to Ramsgate without an inspection, and an RPI had discovered the same error at Ramsgate. As far as I can see the off-peak fare from Petersfield to Ramsgate is about £55.00, so double that and double again for two people - you're now looking at a PF of £110 per person on top of the fare already paid.
 
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island

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My conclusion is that SWT has acted incorrectly on this occasion, but to the net advantage of the passengers.

The passengers were travelling without a valid ticket as they did not have the Railcard that would have been needed for it to be valid. Therefore it was appropriate for them to each be issued with a Penalty Fare for £49.60, double the then prevailing Anytime Single fare from Petersfield to London Terminals. In this case, it appears only one Penalty Fare was issued.

The rules of Penalty Fares state that a passenger wishing to continue their journey by train having been issued a Penalty Fare must pay the full fare to their destination. This would have been two SDSs at £34.40 each (£68.80). In the event, they were charged for CDSs at £32.30 each. Arguably this is correct as the verbiage suggests that the full fare is payable if continuing on "the same train", which they did not do.

Where a passenger fails to show a Railcard and purchases a new ticket (or is issued a Penalty Fare), the discounted ticket should be endorsed "railcard not shown" and given back to the passenger, and are eligible for a refund if applicable. However, any refund would be subject to a £10 administration fee and would take account of any use that had been made of the ticket. I have checked the fares and the SVR tickets they bought cost £77.50. Two CDSs from Ramsgate to Petersfield would have been £70.90, so there was no residual value to refund after the £10 fee (leaving aside the fact that they did not have valid tickets on their outbound journey either). This procedure was not properly followed on this occasion, and it matters because it would have been open to the passengers to purchase a new Network Railcard for £30 at Waterloo thereby revalidating their tickets for use from Waterloo East to Ramsgate.

The withdrawal of the tickets meant the passengers were down £64.60 as the cost of replacement tickets, but against that we must offset the £30 which they would have needed to pay for a new Network Railcard (ignoring for simplicity the benefit of the extra validity of the new Railcard as against the one they held), so £34.60. However, the passengers were undercharged by £49.60 by only being issued one Penalty Fare instead of two. Therefore they were £15 better off than they should have been.

The additional costs which have arisen due to the passenger's failure/refusal to pay the Penalty Fare promptly do not enter into this calculation.

Finally, I suppose we should not discount the possibility that the passengers were issued one Unpaid Fares Notice covering both passengers for an SDS each (instead of a Penalty Fare covering one passenger for twice the SDS) and that the nomenclature has been mixed up, but that seems unlikely and there is nothing much to suggest that is the case.

In this post all fares are as of NFM16 which applied at the date of the incident so may not match current fares on this route.
 

Tetchytyke

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I still can't get my head around the fact that some posters believe that someone paying:

1) The original ticket cost
2) A penalty fare
3) Brand new tickets for the remainder of the journey

Which equates to, if the PF is paid, 3x the cost of the original tickets.. Is within the spirit of the Penalty Fare scheme?

The spirit of the Penalty Fares scheme is to disencourage people from attempting to buy tickets with discounts that they are not entitled to.

I feel sorry for your family, but they have unfortunately learned the hard way that remembering your railcard up there with remembering your passport in terms of importance.
 
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