Used a out of date ticket.

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by dizzygran, 9 Aug 2015.

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  1. dizzygran

    dizzygran Member

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    Im hoping for some spacific help here and best way to go with this issue.

    I booked a train ticket online on the 5th August, I wanted to travel from Leeds to Scarborough at 1711 on the 7th. I booked my ticket online however I put in the wrong date but did not know this until 10 minutes from Scarborough station.

    15 minutes before the train was due to leave I put in my ticket ref number into the machine and recieved my ticket to travel on the 1711. I had my 3 year old grandson with me and proceeded to the security barrier and scanned my ticket and made my way to the platform.

    The ticket inspector did his ticket check around 10 minutes before we approached Scarborough station, the train was packed full of commuters and he told me that my ticket was out of date. He said I would have to pay £28 but I refused as I had a ticket and of course didnt know it wa sout of date but I really thought he would maybe see my point of view that I had made an error and was hpoping he would let me off, rightly or wrongly.

    The guard said he would take my name and address and I would be able to have may say when the company contacts me.

    Maybe I should have paid for it there and then and tried to get a refund later. But at the time I was quite embarrassed by his attitude and all other commuters looking at me wondering whats going on. Anyway thats all by an by now cant turn back the clock.

    I genuinely didnt realise that my ticket was out of date and would have thought the ticket machine would not have given me an expired ticket, or the security barrier refusing to let me pass.

    If I had not been given my ticket by the machine I would have had several options to get home. Yes I could have purchased a ticket for £28, or got the bus to Scarborough for around £11 or could have asked my son to drop us both off in york and had my husband to pick my up in York.

    By getting the ticket and getting through security my options became limited as 10 minutes from Scarborough what can I do?

    Anyway, thats the situation. I really cant afford a fine to be honest and Ive never been in a trouble with the poilce, not even had any fines or anything.

    So whats the best way forward here? The guard took my tickets away so now I cant even produce any evidence that I printed the tickets at around 5pm on the 7th from a ticket machine in Leeds station, however I would imagine those tickets will go to the rail company along with my personal details.

    Thanks very much.
     
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  3. trentside

    trentside Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    With hindsight, yes - you should have paid when challenged, regardless of the fact it was a mistake.

    If I'm presented with an out of date ticket, the first thing I do is show it to the customer and point out the date on the ticket, while confirming the current date - it avoids arguments about not knowing. This is by the by, however, as it's just a personal thing and not any requirement.

    When the tickets are received by revenue protection at TPE they will be able to see when the tickets were printed, and where. Were you given any paperwork by the guard on the train? Or given nothing? This will help us to advise on what to do next.
     
  4. clagmonster

    clagmonster Established Member

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    How much did you pay for the ticket? It may not make a difference legally, I'm not sure, but it may make a difference as to how TPE (the train company concerned) view the matter.

    First off, you are automatically guilty of breaking this byelaw:
    "18. Ticketless travel in non-compulsory ticket areas
    (1) In any area not designated as a compulsory ticket area, no person shall enter
    any train for the purpose of travelling on the railway unless he has with him a
    valid ticket entitling him to travel.
    (2) A person shall hand over his ticket for inspection and verification of validity
    when asked to do so by an authorised person.
    (3) No person shall be in breach of Byelaw 18(1) or 18(2) if:
    16
    (i) there were no facilities in working order for the issue or
    validation of any ticket at the time when, and the station where,
    he began his journey; or
    (ii) there was a notice at the station where he began his journey
    permitting journeys to be started without a valid ticket; or
    (iii) an authorised person gave him permission to travel without a
    valid ticket."
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/4202/railway-byelaws.pdf

    You may also be guilty of a more serious offence of travelling with intent to avoid payment under the Regulation of Railways act, I will let the experts comment on that.

    As to what will happen next, the likelihood is that TPE will write to you and ask for your version of events. If I were in your shoes, I would respond, pointing out:
    1) you had accidentally bought a ticket for the wrong date, and had collected the ticket immediately before travel
    2) accept responsibility for what happened
    3) apologise
    4) offer to settle the matter out of court by paying the fare due, which is £28.90 and covering TPE's administration costs in dealing with the matter
     
  5. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    What was the date on the ticket?
    Do ticket machines print tickets with previous days dates on them?
     
  6. Brucey

    Brucey Member

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    They do indeed. They just print whatever is in the system.

    Try collecting a season ticket purchased on the Southern website from a SWT machine. Unless things have changed recently, you'll get a ticket with -1 day of validity (i.e. the expiry is the day before the start date).
     
  7. dizzygran

    dizzygran Member

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    Firstly thanks for the reply. Yes he gave me what he called a 'zero ticket' that is all
     
  8. dizzygran

    dizzygran Member

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    The date on the ticket to travel was the 5th, I printed it out on the 7th in Leeds station, then used the ticket to scan through the security barrier. I was unaware of my mistake until almost at Scarborough when it was pointed out to me.
     
  9. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Have a look for your confirmation email. What date and time did you actually place the online order, and what date did you place it for? Did you buy the tickets on the 5th for the 5th?
     
  10. Ianigsy

    Ianigsy Member

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    Not that it changes the facts of the situation, but it would be a useful safeguard if the software behind ticket machines could be designed to recognise a ticket bought online but not collected and either cancel the booking or move it forward to the date of collection. I suppose there might still be situations where the intending passenger wanted the return half (e.g. being offered a lift all or part of the way on the outward leg), but even then as I understand things, it should still be tied to collection from the departure station.

    If TPE can see from their systems that the tickets were only printed on the 7th then it would be interesting to see how they view the situation- the rules are presumably in place to prevent uncancelled outward tickets from being used several times over, but in this case that would have been physically impossible.
     
  11. Brucey

    Brucey Member

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  12. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    You've answered your own point about having a reason to collect out of date tickets, add to that needing to collect tickets/receipts for expenses purposes. And simply moving the date forward raises issues - Advance tickets that require a reservation, Off-Peak tickets bought for the weekend not being valid on a weekday, etc.

    None of this is of assistance to the OP though.
     
  13. dizzygran

    dizzygran Member

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    I realise I may have acted in the wrong way by not wanting to pay £28 when confronted. But if knew my ticket was out of date I would have had other choices available to me while on the train station. I doubt I would have taken the choice of paying £28 when I could have caught the bus for £11. Of course this is now incidental and would like to remain from being taken to court or even breaking the by laws of the railway to incurr further charges. I just feel there was possible opportunities I could have been preventing from getting on the train. Of course in the end pure embarrassment of many commuters watching me while a inspector was asking and writing down my name and address.
     
  14. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Unless an incident like this has arisen with utterly and unmistakably no contributory fault of the passenger, it is usual for the Train Operating Company (TOC) to write within a few weeks time to explain that the matter has come to their investigations team and that they would like to give you an opportunity to explain what happened.

    If, and when, that letter arrives, please just explain the facts - as you have done on here.

    The investigators are fully aware that people make mistakes, and often have documentary evidence (as you have) that they couldn't have used the tickets on the earlier date. I would hope that this incident will be seen for what it is.

    In the unlikely event that it is not, then please come back here for more specific guidance and advice, but please be prepared for a long wait - a wait of perhaps several months.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. clagmonster

    clagmonster Established Member

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    I note from the thread on Money Saving Expert that you paid £11. I will now attempt to explain this from the point of view of the Train Operating Company. The £11 fare is an advance purchase ticket and is quota controlled, that is there are only so many, if any at all, available in each price category for each train on each day. It is entirely possible that all the £11 tickets had been sold for the day that you actually travelled, hence the applicable fare booking in advance could have been the highest priced tier of £12.30, or there could have been none at all so you would have had to pay the walk up fare.

    Taking that into account, from the point of view of the train operating company, there could still have been an intent to avoid the fare with the intent being to use the story that has been given.

    I am not saying that is the case, but you have to realise that others will look at it as a possibility.
     
  16. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    I may be wrong with this, but just from something I have heard previously, I believe uncollected tickets are held for collection until a few days after their expiry, after which they become non-collectable, so it may not be beyond the realms of possibility to collect an old ticket
     
  17. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Others looking at speculative possibilities might indeed test the facts against this scenario, but the choice to abuse the small discount for an Advance ticket is hard to reconcile with collecting the ticket from a Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) some days after its date of purchase and also after its date of validity, and then attemting to use it on that later date.

    I repeat that I find it unlikely that any analysis of the facts will lead to suspicion of an intent to defraud the Railway Company of a fare.
     
  18. clagmonster

    clagmonster Established Member

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    Indeed, Dave I would tend to agree but thought it best to put the possibility out there. Presumably to prove such an evasion, the railway company would at the very least have to prove that there were no advance tickets available on the date of actual travel at the fare that was paid.

    I would also state that I can think of other ways in which a fare evader would be more likely to operate. I shall not post them on here in case it gives anybody ideas.

    Dave, you know the law far better than I, does declining to pay the fare to the guard on board make this an RoRA matter, or is this byelaws only so far as the potential for prosecution goes?
     
  19. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I've collected an Anytime ticket after the first date of validity when I've had to change my plans but still make the outward journey within 5 days. So it is useful to be able to collect tickets after the date of first intended travel. In the same way, someone may still wish to use the return part of a ticket that is valid for a month.
     
  20. dizzygran

    dizzygran Member

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    Thanks for replies.

    I'm in no way a fare dodger. If I had known my mistake before getting on the train I would have made my way home either by buying a £28 ticket but more likely getting the Coastliner bus for £11. I just made a error by not checking the date when making an online purchase.
     
  21. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    I've done the same, bought a ticket the day before travel, forgetting to select the following day. I realised my mistake just after hitting "print" on the TVM screen - at which point there was nothing I could do. I had to go to the ticket office and buy another ticket. For me it's doubly annoying because I buy from Southern so that I can get a refund in the event of not travelling (plus quidco cashback!); had I realised before pressing "print", my mistake wouldn't have cost me a penny.

    So a simple "this ticket is no longer valid are you sure you want to print it?" message would have been very useful for me! But I appreciate that that would not be the case for some ticket types the day after their initial validity.
     
  22. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Totally agreed, however I bet nine out of ten people would still hit print anyway. That's not a reason not to do it though.
     
  23. dizzygran

    dizzygran Member

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    That option would have saved me all this worry.
     
  24. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    If you simply send payment of the required sum (£28.90) to TransPennine Express I'm reasonably confident - based on what you have said - that you will not have any more worries regarding this matter.
     
  25. reb0118

    reb0118 Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Not in itself no. We usually work on the "Three fails" system before, in Scotland, reporting to the BTP*. The three fails are:-

    1) Failure to produce a valid ticket.
    2) Failure to purchase a valid ticket.
    3) Failure to provide a name and address.

    Other factors may influence the likelyhood of a RoRA case even if correct details are given.

    *In Scotland the railway does not prosecute so all cases have to be submitted via the BTP to the Procurator Fiscal who to be honest is not interested.
     
  26. dizzygran

    dizzygran Member

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    I will offer them the full sum when they contact me. I would just like to offer my side of the story say im sorry, I didnt have the funds to pay so I refused, maybe a foolish thing to do but its was quite embarrasing at the time to be pulled in front of a train packed with people, many thinking 'im a fare dodger with a child' Jeremy Kyle fodder.

    Mistakes happen so im not disputing the fact that my ticket was not valid, but i'm hoping they see my side in the error and maybe think as I would do if I was sat in front of a panel to judge whether im liable to be taken to court. I do not know anything about what goes on to judge this but I would at least look at the fact I had a 1 day valid single ticket, I collected that ticket 15 to 20 minutes before the train arrived, the ticket machine gave me the ticket without any warning, the security barrier let me through upon scanning an out of date ticket so another opportunity missed for me to see my error.

    All in all if this was me dealing with this type of error I think I would know that it was a genuine error, the person has no criminal record, or any record of frauding the rail company so to add it all up either pay £28 and thats the end of it of maybe take a more leniant route.
     
  27. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    The problem is is that you are not the first nor the last to claim that it is a genuine error(even if it was for you) and the railway companies see this excuse trotted out all the time when people get caught out so why should they take a lenient route? And they have been hearing it since before you were even born.
     
  28. dizzygran

    dizzygran Member

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    Thanks to the above. I can prove everything i say. Firstly i went to leeds via bus as it was the cheapest option. I went to leeds to collect my grandson who was in nursery, on the friday. Again this is true as my grandson only goes on a friday. I had to collect him and bring him to our home as his mum and dad were on nights, again both can be verified. So while i understand the train company may have doubts i can prove everything if i need to. Also i have no criminal record and would it be wise to put a 3 year old child in a potential nasty situation if say the police were involved at the station? I have nothing to hide as i made a genuine error with buying a ticket online and not checking the correct date.
     
  29. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    My gut feeling is that since the ticket was only collected minutes before you boarded the train, the TOC will be of the opinion that no deliberate attempt was made to defraud them.

    I don't work for them, so can't offer anything more concrete than an opinion, but I expect they will accept the outstanding fare plus a small (e.g. £50) contribution towards their legal costs. While £50 might seem like a lot, if the case went to court the costs could easily exceed £300.
     
  30. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    I agree.
    They may well want some contribution to cover their costs, but they might not.

    That's one reason why, if it was me, I'd not wait for them to incur further costs, and would send a cheque for £28.90 with appropriate letter (worded carefully not to antagonise) and hope they bank it.

    Right now, there is a debt of £28.90 due, and this may increase.

    It might be weeks before a letter arrives, and we don't know what they'll ask for. Some people will disagree with me on this no doubt but if it was me I'd just send them the £28.90 and hope that's the end of it. True, they might not bank the cheque and may ask for more, but I'd say it's worth a try.
     
  31. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    I get that and you don't have to justify it to me or anyone else but Northern - I was merely telling you that no matter how much you protest about your innocence its a common occurrence.

    You still need to pay the money you owe them for the ticket though. As others have said please do it quickly before it escalates any further
     
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