Unpaid fare notice, appeal?

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serenity

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Hi everyone I'm new to this forum so I apologise if this is under the wrong topic!
The Situation: travelled from Nottingham to St Pancras on the 13.28 train using an advance ticket I'd purchased online a couple of days previously. I'd had to fly home early from holiday that morning after finding out my boyfriend had been admitted to hospital, therefore I had no proof of address or my young persons railcard; I hadn't seen much point taking them away with me.
I had realised my mistake, but didn't have time at the station to explain and pay the difference to a full fare ticket, I'd hoped to do that on board. I explained this to the ticket officer, who refused to let me pay the difference. She issued me with an unpaid fare notice of £74.50 (she said this was the price of a single ticket, despite having looked online at a full price ticket which cost £54.50) I have 21 days to pay this or appeal. As I had no proof of address I gave a false one, which she has ticked as not being verified.
For the second part of my journey I went to the ticket office at the station in London and was allowed to pay the excess to a full priced ticket.
Questions: Do I have grounds for appeal? I know I have broken the the rules and regulations of my railcard, £74.50 just seems a bit steep considering the circumstances, and how there seems to be such a huge difference between how difference ticket conductors treat you (being allowed to pay the difference at the station in London). Unpaid/penalty fares are designed for people who deliberately avoid buying tickets, if I send a copy of my railcard along with proof of other valid journeys using my railcard (this is the first time I've travelled without it) will this be enough for an appeal?
Can they prosecute me without a verified address? My name and date of birth had been verified however as I had my passport
Finally, if I don't have grounds for an appeal can I challenge them for overcharging me? The price of a single ticket from Nottingham to St Pancras on that train was £20 cheaper than my unpaid fare notice states.

I know a lot of these queries end up with the same outcome; just pay the fare and accept you made a mistake, which would be simple if I could afford it! I would be grateful for any help anyone can offer, thank you.
 
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221129

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Im afraid not the Anytime Single for Nottingham - St Pancras is £74.50 so she was correct in charging you that amount.

On a side note An Unpaid Fares Notice (UPFN) is just a Bill as it were and does not imply any wrongdoing. Also a Penalty Fare is designed for those who make genuine mistakes not Fare Dodgers.
 

BestWestern

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Hi there. Others will be along shortly to give you a fuller explanation and some very good advice, but briefly the short answer would be no, you have no grounds for appeal.

There are a great many reasons/excuses people give for not having their Railcard with them, but I'm afraid none of these change the ultimate situation, which is that have travelled without it. It is advertised that your card must be carried when you make a journey, and therefore there is no mechanism for recovering any additional cost incurred by not doing so. In your particular case, you booked a discounted ticket despite knowing full well that you would not have the card with you when you travelled; in effect that could be viewed as intent to defraud. By boarding the train without visiting the ticket office at the station, you have avoided making any attempt to deal with the issue prior to undertaking your journey, by which time it is too late to plead innocence. Again, the reason that you 'didn't have time' would not be accepted. In addition, giving a false address will not have helped at all, and may well make the situation considerably worse. The fare you have been charged is the full price single ticket for your journey. Any fare you may have found online is likely to have been a further 'Advance' discounted online price, which does not apply once you are on the train. Advance tickets are priced in increasing bands, so the £54.50 may just have been the most expensive discount fare, which will be less than the full price payable for a 'normal' ticket.

I appreciate that it isn't the advice you are hoping for, but I would pay this now before it goes any further. It is only likely to become more serious and more costly as time goes by.

Regards, BW.
 
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222007

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It's worth writing an appeal enclosing a copy of your railcard and ticket (assuming it was not withdrawn) I cant promise it will be successful but surely its worth a try. Its worth sending a letter to the appeal body and possibly East Midlands Trains
 

jon0844

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If you've given a false address, how are they going to get get the money from you?

They won't know who you are. If you appeal now, you'll have to give the correct address and that could land you in a lot of trouble.
 

LexyBoy

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Pay up. Your appeal will be rejected as your ticket is not valid without the railcard. On-board inspections are much less flexible deliberately, to prevent people chancing it. As others have said the amount charged is for the full Anytime single, which is the only fare which is supposed to be sold on board (some TOCs are more generous).

As I had no proof of address I gave a false one, which she has ticked as not being verified.

This is a criminal offence, so I expect you'd not want to give them any reason to pick up on this.

Unpaid/penalty fares are designed for people who deliberately avoid buying tickets

A UFN is simply a bill for a ticket.

If you had met an RPI rather than guard, you would have to pay a Penalty Fare of £149. Penalty Fares are supposed to be a penalty for those who make an honest mistake, to educate them for future. (In actuality, they also provide an easier way than prosecution to get some revenue out of deliberate evaders). Penalty Fares schemes only operate on defined areas, which are busy suburban routes with frequent stops where regular on-board inspections are not practical (such as, err... London to Sheffield).
 

BestWestern

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If you've given a false address, how are they going to get get the money from you?

They won't know who you are. If you appeal now, you'll have to give the correct address and that could land you in a lot of trouble.

Is this not likely to be traceable via Railcard application form data? The OP has said the wrong address was given, but presumably the correct name was provided, along with the information that a R'card is held.
 

ralphchadkirk

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If you've given a false address, how are they going to get get the money from you?

They won't know who you are. If you appeal now, you'll have to give the correct address and that could land you in a lot of trouble.

There are ways and means. Good research on the internet can often find addresses, for example.
 

185

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.....had to fly home early from holiday that morning.....

.....I explained this to the (guard), who refused to let me pay the difference....


Whilst I appreciate we're all different, had that been my train, I would have considered using some discretion.

ie. Did the passenger respond rudely, did they have proof they just got off a flight, did I believe them etc...

A missing railcard though, is something that is 'black and white' which I feel you would have no chance to appeal against.

Whilst there is a set of rules to be followed, common sense should also factor into each situation. For those of us at the coalface, the job is either as easy or as difficult as you make it.

Personally, I'd explain this to the company in the form of an written/email appeal first, within a day or so. If this fails, just pay it, maybe learn from this, maybe also approach passenger focus about the lack of discretion you believe they have shown.
 

jon0844

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Oh yes, I'm sure there are ways to correctly identify the OP. Even the seat reservation on that service could probably be traced back to who purchased the advance ticket in the first place.

I would say the OP may well find a separate charge of fraud/deception in the future, which will be far more serious than paying £75 for having broken the terms and conditions of the YP railcard.
 

ainsworth74

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She issued me with an unpaid fare notice of £74.50 (she said this was the price of a single ticket, despite having looked online at a full price ticket which cost £54.50)

The £54.50 fare is the Super Off-Peak Single whilst the £74.50 fare is the Anytime Single. Because you didn't have your railcard you ticket was considered invalid which means you were treated as if you didn't have a ticket (harsh I agree but that's the way the rules work). This means the only tickets you could buy on-board having joined the train at a station where there was an opportunity to buy tickets before travel is the more expensive Anytime fare.

Unfortunately this is pretty much an open and shut case as without the railcard the ticket you held was not valid for use and the correct procedure was to charge for a new ticket. I'd suggest paying it and moving on.
 

ng1980

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Hi everyone I'm new to this forum so I apologise if this is under the wrong topic!
The Situation: travelled from Nottingham to St Pancras on the 13.28 train using an advance ticket I'd purchased online a couple of days previously. I'd had to fly home early from holiday that morning after finding out my boyfriend had been admitted to hospital, therefore I had no proof of address or my young persons railcard; I hadn't seen much point taking them away with me.
I had realised my mistake, but didn't have time at the station to explain and pay the difference to a full fare ticket, I'd hoped to do that on board. I explained this to the ticket officer, who refused to let me pay the difference. She issued me with an unpaid fare notice of £74.50 (she said this was the price of a single ticket, despite having looked online at a full price ticket which cost £54.50) I have 21 days to pay this or appeal. As I had no proof of address I gave a false one, which she has ticked as not being verified.
For the second part of my journey I went to the ticket office at the station in London and was allowed to pay the excess to a full priced ticket.
Questions: Do I have grounds for appeal? I know I have broken the the rules and regulations of my railcard, £74.50 just seems a bit steep considering the circumstances, and how there seems to be such a huge difference between how difference ticket conductors treat you (being allowed to pay the difference at the station in London). Unpaid/penalty fares are designed for people who deliberately avoid buying tickets, if I send a copy of my railcard along with proof of other valid journeys using my railcard (this is the first time I've travelled without it) will this be enough for an appeal?
Can they prosecute me without a verified address? My name and date of birth had been verified however as I had my passport
Finally, if I don't have grounds for an appeal can I challenge them for overcharging me? The price of a single ticket from Nottingham to St Pancras on that train was £20 cheaper than my unpaid fare notice states.

I know a lot of these queries end up with the same outcome; just pay the fare and accept you made a mistake, which would be simple if I could afford it! I would be grateful for any help anyone can offer, thank you.



Hi Serenity,

Welcome to the forums. I'm really sorry to hear that your boyfriend is in hospital and you had to return early from your holiday. I hope everything turns out okay.

I am also really sorry to hear about the abismal (or even, lack of) customer service that you received from the guard on the train. Unfortunately, this seems to be quite frequent for rail travellers in the UK.

As you are aware, you did not meet the conditions of the Railcard and the guard, and therefore the guard acted as they were entitled to under the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. However, guards do have discretion specifically for circumstances such as these and it is a great embarrassment that the guard did not do so in this case. I am delighted to hear that 185 would have treated you more appropriately if you had been on his train.

Although you are not entitled to any refund, I would have recommended that you write to the TOC explaining the circumstances with photocopied proof of your flight and your boyfriend's hospitalisation, and ask for their lenience in this matter. Whether the TOC would have refunded you the money, we do not know, but you would have had nothing to loose.

Unfortunately, you gave a false address, which not only showed that you were considering avoiding the UFN, but it is also a criminal offence. In light of this, they would be very unlikely to refund you any money or show any discretion in your favour. Indeed, they could take action for providing a false address alone.

In light of the false address, I would not recommend appealling to the TOC in this matter.

Again, I am very sorry that you have been treated in this way; more discretion from the guard could have saved a lot of money and inconvenience. If you ever get into a similar situation again, always give the correct details.

Hope things with you and your boyfriend go well. Have a good day!
 

Monty

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Hi everyone I'm new to this forum so I apologise if this is under the wrong topic!.

Hi there, Welcome to the forums. You are posting in the correct place I asure you. :)
The Situation: travelled from Nottingham to St Pancras on the 13.28 train using an advance ticket I'd purchased online a couple of days previously. I'd had to fly home early from holiday that morning after finding out my boyfriend had been admitted to hospital, therefore I had no proof of address or my young persons railcard; I hadn't seen much point taking them away with me. I had realised my mistake, but didn't have time at the station to explain and pay the difference to a full fare ticket, I'd hoped to do that on board.

Unfortunately if you need to excess your ticket to a new ticket type, you need to do this at the station before you travel if there were facilities to do so.

I explained this to the ticket officer, who refused to let me pay the difference. She issued me with an unpaid fare notice of £74.50 (she said this was the price of a single ticket, despite having looked online at a full price ticket which cost £54.50) I have 21 days to pay this or appeal. As I had no proof of address I gave a false one, which she has ticked as not being verified.

£74.50 is the correct fare, as under condition 2 of the National Rail Conditions of carriage if you do not have a valid railway ticket when you board a train you are not entitled to a discounted fare which the £54.50 fare was.

Why did you give a false address though? Even if you did'nt have proof you could have still given your actual address. By doing so if the train company in question got wind of it you could find yourself in very hot water indeed.

For the second part of my journey I went to the ticket office at the station in London and was allowed to pay the excess to a full priced ticket. Questions: Do I have grounds for appeal? I know I have broken the the rules and regulations of my railcard, £74.50 just seems a bit steep considering the circumstances, and how there seems to be such a huge difference between how difference ticket conductors treat you (being allowed to pay the difference at the station in London).

You were allowed to pay the excess during the second part of your journey because you did so at the ticket office before you boarded the train. If you had just got on like you had done before the outcome would have been the same, ie a Unpaid Fares Notice or at worse a Penalty Fare Notice. My opinion would be you have very little grounds on which you could appeal your UFN. Giving false details does not help your case either I'm afraid

Unpaid/penalty fares are designed for people who deliberately avoid buying tickets, if I send a copy of my railcard along with proof of other valid journeys using my railcard (this is the first time I've travelled without it) will this be enough for an appeal?
Can they prosecute me without a verified address? My name and date of birth had been verified however as I had my passport
Finally, if I don't have grounds for an appeal can I challenge them for overcharging me? The price of a single ticket from Nottingham to St Pancras on that train was £20 cheaper than my unpaid fare notice states.

I know a lot of these queries end up with the same outcome; just pay the fare and accept you made a mistake, which would be simple if I could afford it! I would be grateful for any help anyone can offer, thank you.

This is simply not true, people who delibrately avoid their fare are prosecuted under Section 5 3a of the Regulation of the Railways Act 1889, penalty fares are for those passengers who perhaps forgot to buy a ticket for whatever reason, or did'nt leave enough time to purchase one etc. The Unpaid Fare Notices is just a bill of an outstanding fare that needs to be paid. Both are issued on the RPI/Guard's discretion Most UFN's are issued to children who maybe stranded without money or a season ticket holder who forgot his ticket etc.

My advice is to is to pay it without question and put it down as experience for the future, and yes £74.50 is the correct fare you would need to pay. If you were to appeal you would have to inform them of your correct address and you could possibly get a letter through the post asking to explain why you gave a false address to a member of staff. I know it's perhaps not the advice you were hoping for, but it's the best advice I can give you to avoid any legal entanglements in the near future. I do hope this helps you make a decision.
 

island

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I agree with all the above. If you had not chosen to commit the offence of giving a false address then I would have suggested asking for leniency in the circumstances, but doing that now will probably make them start asking questions that could lead to a prosecution and much more serious trouble. Pay the £74.50 and consider it an expensive lesson but that you are lucky not to be in worse trouble.
 

snail

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I am also really sorry to hear about the abismal (or even, lack of) customer service that you received from the guard on the train. Unfortunately, this seems to be quite frequent for rail travellers in the UK.

As you are aware, you did not meet the conditions of the Railcard and the guard, and therefore the guard acted as they were entitled to under the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. However, guards do have discretion specifically for circumstances such as these and it is a great embarrassment that the guard did not do so in this case. I am delighted to hear that 185 would have treated you more appropriately if you had been on his train.
That's all well and good but it is a condition of using a railcard that you have to carry it on the journey. The OP knew she didn't have her railcard with her and wouldn't have time to pick it up before travelling. Despite this, she appears to have booked a discounted ticket online.

I agree that leniency is a good thing at times, especially when people are in stressful situations but this mess would have been easily avoided by booking a full fare ticket in the first place. No one appears to have picked up on that aspect of the OP's account.
 

Ferret

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I agree with all the above. If you had not chosen to commit the offence of giving a false address then I would have suggested asking for leniency in the circumstances, but doing that now will probably make them start asking questions that could lead to a prosecution and much more serious trouble. Pay the £74.50 and consider it an expensive lesson but that you are lucky not to be in worse trouble.

I agree with this.

As for the quotes about poor customer service - I strongly disagree. The terms and conditions of the advance ticket are quite clear about what happens in this scenario on board the train. Talk of poor customer service I'm afraid is inappropriate.
 

GadgetMan

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Hi Serenity,

Welcome to the forums. I'm really sorry to hear that your boyfriend is in hospital and you had to return early from your holiday. I hope everything turns out okay.

I am also really sorry to hear about the abismal (or even, lack of) customer service that you received from the guard on the train. Unfortunately, this seems to be quite frequent for rail travellers in the UK.

As you are aware, you did not meet the conditions of the Railcard and the guard, and therefore the guard acted as they were entitled to under the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. However, guards do have discretion specifically for circumstances such as these and it is a great embarrassment that the guard did not do so in this case. I am delighted to hear that 185 would have treated you more appropriately if you had been on his train.

Its very easy to sit on this forum and criticise the Guard. The guard did their job as is expected. That does not necessarily equate to poor or abismal customer service.

As a Guard I can assure you almost everyone who travels on a train their ticket doesn't cover has a sad story to go with it. I'm not suggesting the OP is lying, but hearing these stories does become the norm and unfortunately telling the genuine from the chancers is not easy.

If someone is shown discretion then great, however no discretion does not = poor customer service.

She bought the ticket online a couple of days in Advance, so whenever she travelled back the likely hood is she would not have had her Railcard with her anyway.
 

KA4C

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Its very easy to sit on this forum and criticise the Guard. The guard did their job as is expected. That does not necessarily equate to poor or abismal customer service.

Hmm, not unheard on this forum, though, is it? Always plenty who know better than the person doing the job
 

oversteer

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therefore I had no proof of address or my young persons railcard; I hadn't seen much point taking them away with me.
So why book an advance ticket with railcard discount? Mistake one.

I had realised my mistake, but didn't have time at the station to explain and pay the difference to a full fare ticket
You should have got to the station earlier and sorted it out. Mistake two.

As I had no proof of address I gave a false one, which she has ticked as not being verified.

I don't think I can call that "mistake three".

I can't believe you would come on here and admit that. Is this really what this forum is for?

Why did you give a false address? Did you expect the UFN to just go away?

Just think: when you applied for your railcard, what information did you have to give?
 

GadgetMan

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Hi everyone I'm new to this forum so I apologise if this is under the wrong topic!
The Situation: travelled from Nottingham to St Pancras on the 13.28 train using an advance ticket I'd purchased online a couple of days previously. I'd had to fly home early from holiday that morning after finding out my boyfriend had been admitted to hospital, therefore I had no proof of address or my young persons railcard; I hadn't seen much point taking them away with me.
I had realised my mistake, but didn't have time at the station to explain and pay the difference to a full fare ticket, I'd hoped to do that on board. I explained this to the ticket officer, who refused to let me pay the difference. She issued me with an unpaid fare notice of £74.50 (she said this was the price of a single ticket, despite having looked online at a full price ticket which cost £54.50) I have 21 days to pay this or appeal. As I had no proof of address I gave a false one, which she has ticked as not being verified.
For the second part of my journey I went to the ticket office at the station in London and was allowed to pay the excess to a full priced ticket.
Questions: Do I have grounds for appeal? I know I have broken the the rules and regulations of my railcard, £74.50 just seems a bit steep considering the circumstances, and how there seems to be such a huge difference between how difference ticket conductors treat you (being allowed to pay the difference at the station in London). Unpaid/penalty fares are designed for people who deliberately avoid buying tickets, if I send a copy of my railcard along with proof of other valid journeys using my railcard (this is the first time I've travelled without it) will this be enough for an appeal?
Can they prosecute me without a verified address? My name and date of birth had been verified however as I had my passport
Finally, if I don't have grounds for an appeal can I challenge them for overcharging me? The price of a single ticket from Nottingham to St Pancras on that train was £20 cheaper than my unpaid fare notice states.

I know a lot of these queries end up with the same outcome; just pay the fare and accept you made a mistake, which would be simple if I could afford it! I would be grateful for any help anyone can offer, thank you.


Out of interest was your original Advance ticket for a later Train on the same day or a different date?
 

yorkie

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Unpaid/penalty fares are designed for people who deliberately avoid buying tickets,
Welcome to the forum. Where did you hear that? It's certainly incorrect.

A Penalty Fare is a charge that Train Companies can make in certain circumstances, including the circumstances you found yourself in, however not for the particular journey you made.

An unpaid fare is merely a fare that you are being asked to pay later.

No fare should be charged for someone who is deliberately avoiding payment, instead the matter should be reported for prosecution. There are threads on here where people have been reported for prosecution that are very different to your case. You are not being prosecuted and you are not accused of any wrongdoing (other than a simple break of conditions which is not a criminal matter - unless, of course, you refuse to pay it, then it can be!)

The correct charge for not holding a valid Railcard is the full Anytime Single fare, which is the fare you have been asked to pay.

Had you corrected this error at the station, then you would have been entitled to the appropriate (Super) Off Peak fare.

If you do not pay the fare due, you would likely face prosecution. Therefore, I advise paying it! If you later found your Railcard, you can ask if the unpaid fare notice will be cancelled if you are able to provide sufficient evidence to the Company. They are not obliged to do this, but some Train Companies have a policy of refunding in these circumstances.

Edit: if anyone wishes to discuss proposals for a system for forgotten railcards, please use the appropriate thread: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=68288&page=4 (please do not use this thread, or any other thread where someone is asking for advice, to discuss such proposals)
 

island

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Out of interest was your original Advance ticket for a later Train on the same day or a different date?

My understanding is that the OP was on the right train but had purchased a Railcard-discounted ticket and failed or refused to present the Railcard for inspection with the ticket.
 

185

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"simply doing what's expected by your company"

Hmm, not unheard on this forum, though, is it? Always plenty who know better than the person doing the job

Some people take "whats expected" far too seriously. :roll:
 

Ferret

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"simply doing what's expected by your company"



Some people take "whats expected" far too seriously. :roll:

Although, there may be times when if you don't do what's expected, you lay yourself open to being disciplined. It's a fine line that is walked...:roll:
 

ANorthernGuard

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UFN's are the best way too deal with passengers who have either not got means to pay to get from A to B, no railcard or a declined debit/credit card. When used correctly they are invaluable. In the op's case I would have probably done the same as the guard. Giving a false Address tho was very silly and could have Severe Implications.
 

Ferret

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UFN's are the best way too deal with passengers who have either not got means to pay to get from A to B, no railcard or a declined debit/credit card. When used correctly they are invaluable. In the op's case I would have probably done the same as the guard. Giving a false Address tho was very silly and could have Severe Implications.

Well, UFNs and the TIR process are both invaluable. UFN for genuine unintentional circumstances - like a forgotten railcard for instance! TIR for somebody who gets on with no means of payment hoping to get away with it!
 

ANorthernGuard

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If someone has got on with no intention to pay anyway a UFN tends to catch them out easier as usually there will be a record of a similar UFN aand they will try and get away with paying that as well. They always slip up eventually.
 

SussexMan

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I can't believe you would come on here and admit that. Is this really what this forum is for?

Well if people come on here, surely it is best if they tell the truth - even if they didn't at the time on the train. The response on here would be different if the OP had said - I gave them the correct address.
 

Ferret

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Well if people come on here, surely it is best if they tell the truth - even if they didn't at the time on the train. The response on here would be different if the OP had said - I gave them the correct address.

Agreed - this part of the forum exists in part to assist those who have made mistakes like this OP. And I for one get really hacked off if somebody comes on and tells half-truths, or lies. How can I or others possibly advise based on untruths? So, credit to this OP for being up front and honest.
 

BestWestern

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Hi Serenity

I am also really sorry to hear about the abismal (or even, lack of) customer service that you received from the guard on the train. Unfortunately, this seems to be quite frequent for rail travellers in the UK.

As you are aware, you did not meet the conditions of the Railcard and the guard, and therefore the guard acted as they were entitled to under the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. However, guards do have discretion specifically for circumstances such as these and it is a great embarrassment that the guard did not do so in this case. I am delighted to hear that 185 would have treated you more appropriately if you had been on his train.

Although you are not entitled to any refund, I would have recommended that you write to the TOC explaining the circumstances with photocopied proof of your flight and your boyfriend's hospitalisation, and ask for their lenience in this matter. Whether the TOC would have refunded you the money, we do not know, but you would have had nothing to lose.

Your post is an attempt at humour I presume? If not, what planet are you living on?!

Passenger intentionally books a R'card discounted ticket for a journey they will knowingly make with no R'card with them, doesn't make any effort to deal with it at the station prior to boarding, and then to cap it all gives a member of staff false details. And you feel that it is an embarrassment that the Guard did their job correctly and issued a fresh ticket? And you think that the passenger has grounds to contact the TOC asking for lenience?!

I think you need to go away and have a long think about it, or just stop trolling, whichever applies here :roll:
 
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