TIL and the forum

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I've read a number of posts on this forum that have involved TIL as a instigator of non-compliance with ticketing policies, eg, misunderstanding a ticket, not able to buy a ticket, stopping someone buying a ticket at first opportunity, Etc. The list could go on.
Could this forum as a whole get in touch with some form of national media i.e. T.V. or newspapers to point out what is happening to some fare paying passengers.
 
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yorkie

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I've read a number of posts on this forum that have involved TIL as a instigator of non-compliance with ticketing policies, eg, misunderstanding a ticket, not able to buy a ticket, stopping someone buying a ticket at first opportunity, Etc. The list could go on.
Could this forum as a whole get in touch with some form of national media i.e. T.V. or newspapers to point out what is happening to some fare paying passengers.
If anyone in the media contacts me, I will be happy to assist in put them in touch with people who have been wronged.

The forum doesn't have a spokesperson or a collective voice as such to make an approach, however.

I try not to comment on what I think of TIL on here but if anyone asks me at a forum event such as our popular forum meals or fares workshops, I'll be happy to share my views!
 

Fawkes Cat

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A little bit of a tangent, but it would be good if someone had time to go through the various postings about TIL to see if we can work out what their contracts with the various TOCs say. I'm increasingly thinking that TIL don't have permission to agree settlements - that their role is specifically to prepare cases for prosecution, so seeking a settlement would only be practical when the case went back to the TOC or (where TIL carry out the prosecution) at the courtroom door. If that's the case, then it has implications for the advice that we should give. But I haven't the time to see if the information that we see here really supports this position, so I must leave it for someone else.
 

yorkie

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I'd very much like to see an investigation into the company's conduct.

Do bear mind TIL closely monitor this forum.

I think it's fair to say my views and outlook are as probably about far removed from their ideology as possible, so I doubt I'm popular at TIL HQ ;)
 

Tetchytyke

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I'm increasingly thinking that TIL don't have permission to agree settlements - that their role is specifically to prepare cases for prosecution
That's not my understanding. I'm happy to be corrected, but my understanding is that the relationship is more like that of a debt collection agency, i.e. TIL get to keep a significant proportion of any money they recover.

It isn't that TIL can't negotiate reasonable settlements, it is that their financial incentive is to rinse people for as much as they can. And the threat of prosecution, no matter how unwarranted, will naturally encourage high settlements; even if you win at the Magistrates' Court, your financial loss from travel/a day off work/other will often be more than the settlement. But thanks to the Byelaws, it is difficult to win at Court unless you did, in fact, have a valid ticket or were given permission to travel. There's no defence of lack of intent or mistaken belief. The fact that the Penalty Fares scheme exists to resolve mistakes appears to be by the by.

I am aware that lawyers and TOC prosecutors working in this field do argue that TIL's charges to customers are reasonable for the work they do, but I am somewhat less than convinced when you see Legal Aid Agency rates for similar work.

The issue, as with private parking enforcement (clamping) back in the day, is that there is no oversight of the likes of TIL, and nowhere to complain to. That is why Arriva use TIL so joyfully, even where a Penalty Fare could have been charged (as has repeatedly happened at Leeds). The solution can only be legislative (like when clamping was banned in 2012) but there is a cost to that which DfT won't want to pay.

And I know TIL read this forum (something posters seeking advice need to remember!) so, if they can publicly correct anything I've said, I will gladly retract anything that is inaccurate.
 

WesternLancer

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it would probably be fine for anyone who regularly posts on these forums to get in contact with a media consumer affairs person (as most serious papers or BBC etc have) and see if they are interested in a general story.
Otherwise I would suggest maybe a well known transport journalist like eg Christian Wolmar - who I know from time to time has written critical comments about the industry's treatment of some passengers as 'fare dodgers until proven innocent' - I think poss based on his own experience once. Thus he was specifically critical of the appeals body not being really 'independent' IIRC, but industry owned - at least at the time.
Even if he did not want to run stories on it for whatever reason it's almost certain he would have journalistic contacts with consumers affairs journos who he would rate as likely to understand the wider issues and cover them in an accurate manner.
 

hkstudent

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it would probably be fine for anyone who regularly posts on these forums to get in contact with a media consumer affairs person (as most serious papers or BBC etc have) and see if they are interested in a general story.
Otherwise I would suggest maybe a well known transport journalist like eg Christian Wolmar - who I know from time to time has written critical comments about the industry's treatment of some passengers as 'fare dodgers until proven innocent' - I think poss based on his own experience once. Thus he was specifically critical of the appeals body not being really 'independent' IIRC, but industry owned - at least at the time.
Even if he did not want to run stories on it for whatever reason it's almost certain he would have journalistic contacts with consumers affairs journos who he would rate as likely to understand the wider issues and cover them in an accurate manner.
Indeed, somehow a media coverage (if successfully asking for one) would sometime reduce the hassle to go back and forth with the prosecution team.
Shame that the bylaw is poorly set, but seems that our politicians are too busy in fulfilling other agendas. I think the UK has one of the most customer-hostile railway systems in Europe.
 

Tetchytyke

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would probably be fine for anyone who regularly posts on these forums to get in contact with a media consumer affairs person (as most serious papers or BBC etc have) and see if they are interested in a general story.
Where specific issues reach the media, the railway back down- but only on an individual basis. The Guardian has run plenty of articles about this sort of thing but it's hard to build any sort of campaign, because "isolated incidents" are always resolved when the papers get involved.
 

WesternLancer

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Where specific issues reach the media, the railway back down- but only on an individual basis. The Guardian has run plenty of articles about this sort of thing but it's hard to build any sort of campaign, because "isolated incidents" are always resolved when the papers get involved.
That's true - which is why a 'persistent pattern' needs to be shown and a specialist journo or programme take an interest really.
 

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