TfL investigation letter received - help requested please

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Msduvet1703

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Hi all hope you can help (not sure if this is the right place)

I mentioned to my dad last week that I was going to London on Saturday 15th for a day trip and he offered to lend me his Oyster card that gets him on the tube for 'free'. Thanks dad. Readers, I'm sure you can see where this ends up. I travelled from Birmingham to London and got off at Euston train station with a view to heading to Old Spitalfields market. Euston-Kings Cross-Liverpool Street. Went to leave the station at Liverpool Street, the barrier beeped and said seek assistance. Having just been at Kings Cross I noticed they had ticket booths and machines all over the place so I figured it must be the same at Liverpool St, I'd just go to a booth and buy a full day ticket to get out and not bother with the so called Oyster card faff. That to me was seeking assistance. Anyway, I turned round to walk towards the way I'd come from and check out the signs only to be chased by 2 guys asking to check my Oyster card.

I said sure it's my dad's. The main guy took it from me, pulled a note pad out of his bag and asked where I was going. Then asked if my dad knew I had his card, to which I answered as above. He asked did I know why he'd stopped me, where I was from, how long I'd been using the card and how it came to be that my dad had given it to me. I explained just for that journey and reiterated he'd given it to me. He scanned the card then asked why I'd walked away from the barrier so I told him it said seek assistance so I wanted to find a ticket booth. Then he asked for my ID and started writing his Qs and my As and said I looked to young to be married which I found a bit odd, but said I was 29 - even though he had my D/L. Asked if I lived with my dad (no) and where he lived (Coventry).

Then he cautioned me and said the card allows my dad free travel on the tube. It was at this point the penny dropped that I was in big trouble. Throughout the whole thing I didn't see any ID and they didn't tell me who they were so it was all a bit odd. He asked if I was entitled to any freebies and I said not that I'm aware. Did I agree that I had evaded a fare by using dad's card. Yes I did agree. How could I not. He confiscated the card and said if dad wanted another he'd have to apply for one saying he'd lost his. He asked me if I wanted him to read the notes back and I said no I've been watching him write it. Then he asked me to sign so that he wouldn't be able to write anything underneath after I'd gone and I can expect a letter. So here I am.

I'm absolutely not blaming my dad, I take full responsibility for using the card without thinking about it. I'm not sure what his card was, I assumed it was a benefit he got being ex-military as he's previously offered for me to use his friends and family discount on a certain website he uses. Having said that he's 67 so it could be a senior citizen card. Either way I realise that by using it it's meant that TfL haven't received my fare and someone else was paying for me to use dad's card which isn't right. I wouldn't walk into a shop and stand there using a product without paying, but that's essentially what I've done here and I'm mortified.

I've recieved a letter asking for my version of events as he facts are under investigation and I've written a response but yet to send it off. Would anyone mind advising if it looks ok? If do I will post it here.

Thank you
 
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Please do post your letter here - as you are a new user then you wouldn't be able to PM anyone without the admin releasing your account to do so.

Im trying to hunt for other threads on this issue but no luck - at least you understand the severity of what has gone on with using an Oyster that you were not allowed to use.

TfL don't normally settle outside of court from what I have read on here but there are more learned posters who know about TfL than I do who will be able to direct and assist you with your letter.
 

mikeg

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Was it an Oyster Pay as you Go?

If not, what did it have loaded on to it in terms of season tickets?

If so, did it have any discount (railcard, etc.) loaded onto it?

I'm saying this as I thought a non-discounted PAYG Oyster is actually transferable.

Edit: Never mind, I see it allows free tube travel. I'd leave it up to those more experienced with TfL matters. As well as you being in trouble, I'd say your Dad possibly could be as it is an offence to transfer the ticket. This would however be more difficult to prosecute so is highly unlikely. But he can likely give up hope of ever seeing his Oyster card again.
 
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Greenback

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It is permitted to share a PAYG Oyster in this manner. The Oyster must have had something on it that only the OP's father was entitled to use. Unfortunately, the OP isn't sure what it was.
 

mikeg

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If the OP thought it was a PAYG Oyster and could reasonably be expected to think that it was a PAYG Oyster, could it be that he didn't intentionally avoid paying the correct fare and therefore only a byelaw prosecution be brought.

The only thing I can see working against this is the OP said to the revenue staff that he did avoid paying the correct fare.
 

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This on the first line is the most important bit of info about the thread and the position the OP finds themselves in

I mentioned to my dad last week that I was going to London on Saturday 15th for a day trip and he offered to lend me his Oyster card that gets him on the tube for 'free'
 

najaB

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I wouldn't walk into a shop and stand there using a product without paying, but that's essentially what I've done here and I'm mortified.

I've recieved a letter asking for my version of events as he facts are under investigation and I've written a response but yet to send it off. Would anyone mind advising if it looks ok? If do I will post it here.
I won't sugar coat things, TfL aren't known for taking the light-touch approach, but that's the right attitude - you're not trying to blame anyone else for your actions.

Please post your letter here and we'll do what we can to help.
 

bengley

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I'm guessing it's a Veteran's oyster photocard. Living in Birmingham he wouldn't be entitled to a London freedom pass.

This is treated as a very serious ticketing offence indeed and unfortunately you can expect to find yourself in court with a criminal record resulting if you're convicted - as you admitted evading the fare to the RCIs it will be very easy for them to pursue a Regulation of Railways Act prosecution.
 
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najaB

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I'm guessing it's a Veteran's oyster photocard. Living in Birmingham he wouldn't be entitled to a London freedom pass.

This is treated as a very serious ticketing offence indeed and unfortunately you can expect to find yourself in court with a criminal record resulting if you're convicted - as you admitted evading the fare to the RCIs it will be very easy for them to pursue a Regulation of Railways Act prosecution.
I agree that consequences of this reaching court are quite severe, but it's not yet a 100% certainty that is the only possible outcome. While TfL are less likely to settle out of court it isn't totally unknown.

The OP has one thing going in his favour - the misuse was detected at the first set of exit barriers he encountered so TfL's loss is currently a Zone 1 to Zone 1 single fare. If he can provide persuasive evidence that it has never happened before (and that isn't going to be easy) they might be inclined to accept an out of court settlement.
 

tony6499

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I'm guessing it's a Veteran's oyster photocard. Living in Birmingham he wouldn't be entitled to a London freedom pass.

This is treated as a very serious ticketing offence indeed and unfortunately you can expect to find yourself in court with a criminal record resulting if you're convicted - as you admitted evading the fare to the RCIs it will be very easy for them to pursue a Regulation of Railways Act prosecution.
Very much sounds like he lent his Veterans Oyster card which should have a photo on, this isn't going to end cheaply if it was
 

swt_passenger

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Very much sounds like he lent his Veterans Oyster card which should have a photo on, this isn't going to end cheaply if it was
Because the "Veterans" Oyster (if that is definitely what it is) isn't available to just any Veteran, but only those with a War Pensions or compensation scheme entitlement; the owner has made a big error in assuming he can lend it out. I can't believe people issued with them are not made fully aware they are personal.
 

AntoniC

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Because the "Veterans" Oyster (if that is definitely what it is) isn't available to just any Veteran, but only those with a War Pensions or compensation scheme entitlement; the owner has made a big error in assuming he can lend it out. I can't believe people issued with them are not made fully aware they are personal.
Are you sure about the War Pensions or Compensation Scheme Entitlement ?

I ask as my 75 year old dad who lives in Southport , has a Veterans Card and he doesnt get a War Pension or have any Compensation Scheme Entitlement BUT he does get an RAF Service Pension for his 25 years service.
 

ChiefPlanner

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TfL put blocks on the gates for "non standard" Oysters - as a retired and even active railway bloke with a privilige (i.e free Oyster) , I have been pulled over a few times and had to prove my identity

All done firmly and fairly. Often at weekend and even on trains- last week for example.

Always told any misuse is treated quite firmly.
 

swt_passenger

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Are you sure about the War Pensions or Compensation Scheme Entitlement ?

I ask as my 75 year old dad who lives in Southport , has a Veterans Card and he doesnt get a War Pension or have any Compensation Scheme Entitlement BUT he does get an RAF Service Pension for his 25 years service.
Just going by this: https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/adult-discounts-and-concessions/veterans-oyster-photocard

It clarifies the requirement. An 'ordinary' service pensioner doesn't get it.
 

Msduvet1703

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I ended up sending my letter off yesterday if was one big grovelling apology. Quite aware that I'll probably end up with a summons so I'm planning on ringing round some solicitors today that are based in London. Hopefully once I get he summons they can assist with getting an out of court settlement as I can guarantee my letter alone won't be taken seriously.
 

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You may have sent your letter off in haste then without someone proof reading it for you - especially as you seem to know that your letter wasn't up to scratch - people here would've helped you with it.

Be advised that you had better start saving now - lawyers who have knowledge in railway offences do not come cheap so I hear. Oh and save up a bit more too if you want to settle OOC.
 
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