Used expired student rail card. Please help

Tweet20

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Thanks for reading and taking the time to reply
I am a mature student who has been on a full time course and have a part time job. I also have a son with autism and a 18 month old baby. The past few months have been just about survival with no care to detail. I made my student railcard just before my due date and then went onto maternity leave early Feb 2020. When I had it made I didn't realise it will be valid for just one year and didn't even gave a second glance. Having only moved to UK 3 years prior and no experience with cards I foolishly thought that my student Valley card will be valid as long as my course end date in August 2021, so was using it 2 times a week under the misconception it was valid.
As baby would be with me on journeys, I kept all my cards on a lanyard around my neck so easier to just show/take out when asked. I never ever gave it a glance to see if it was expired until today.
Today I was travelling from Cardiff Queen Street to Cogan on Transport for Wales and the ticket conductor asked me for my ticket. I happily showed the eticket on my phone, he then asked for my student card which again I happily showed, and it was then that the conductor spotted that my card has expired
I was shocked to say the least, I immediately apologised and offered to pay the difference but he waved me off and confiscated my valleys student railcard, and said something about warning, I couldn't hear properly as baby was chatting at my ear, he then proceeded on and my station had come so I got off.
Now reading the threads here I am not sure if I got a caution and will be getting a letter (based on information on the valleys card, as no details were taken from me) or if he just confiscated it so I am not tempted to use. He didn't even gave me chance to explain just went on. I am now so very scared as to what will happen
I already have once gotten a penalty fare where I had to buy a ticket for not having a ticket (again this was a stupid mistake as I had completely forgotten to buy ticket as my mind had been on baby being sick that day). Is there any hope for me as it seems I am a repeat offender?
 
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Gloster

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Up the creek
Just to say that you will get plenty of good advice from some very wise people on this forum, of which I am not one. However, it is the weekend and it is August, so it may take a day or two before the real experts look at the forum. They will then be able to advise you. Other than that, I would just add: Do not worry.
 

RPI

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Thanks for reading and taking the time to reply
I am a mature student who has been on a full time course and have a part time job. I also have a son with autism and a 18 month old baby. The past few months have been just about survival with no care to detail. I made my student railcard just before my due date and then went onto maternity leave early Feb 2020. When I had it made I didn't realise it will be valid for just one year and didn't even gave a second glance. Having only moved to UK 3 years prior and no experience with cards I foolishly thought that my student Valley card will be valid as long as my course end date in August 2021, so was using it 2 times a week under the misconception it was valid.
As baby would be with me on journeys, I kept all my cards on a lanyard around my neck so easier to just show/take out when asked. I never ever gave it a glance to see if it was expired until today.
Today I was travelling from Cardiff Queen Street to Cogan on Transport for Wales and the ticket conductor asked me for my ticket. I happily showed the eticket on my phone, he then asked for my student card which again I happily showed, and it was then that the conductor spotted that my card has expired
I was shocked to say the least, I immediately apologised and offered to pay the difference but he waved me off and confiscated my valleys student railcard, and said something about warning, I couldn't hear properly as baby was chatting at my ear, he then proceeded on and my station had come so I got off.
Now reading the threads here I am not sure if I got a caution and will be getting a letter (based on information on the valleys card, as no details were taken from me) or if he just confiscated it so I am not tempted to use. He didn't even gave me chance to explain just went on. I am now so very scared as to what will happen
I already have once gotten a penalty fare where I had to buy a ticket for not having a ticket (again this was a stupid mistake as I had completely forgotten to buy ticket as my mind had been on baby being sick that day). Is there any hope for me as it seems I am a repeat offender?
From what you've said, it sounds like they've just confiscated it to stop you using it again, unless they took any details from you then I would think that would be the end of the matter.
Its not beyond the realms of possibility for you to be traced from the details on the card but that would only usually be reserved for people who refuse to provide their name and address when requested, which doesn't seem to be the case here.
I know Transport for Wales haven't been doing on train ticket checks until very recently so possibly why the guard has taken this approach.
 

skyhigh

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As @RPI says, it does sound like it's just been confiscated to stop any further misuse.

However, it is possible to find your details from your eticket or your railcard, so you might still get a letter through the post, but it does sound like you've been given the benefit of the doubt. If you do get anything through from the company, come back and post it here for further advice.
 

Tweet20

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I would really appreciate some form of input from the experts here on this form too regarding my situation as from reading previous threads they have usually taken details for the letter to be sent. Is that the proper way? If the conductor hasn't taken my details and just taken the card does it really means I lucked out. Also I do keep thinking that I heard him say that I will be sent a formal warning, but I can't be sure as I said the baby was chatting away and he said it just as he was about to move on. He didn't really talked with me beside pointing out my card has expired and to give it to him so I don't know what to think, or how to survive the next several months with this hanging over my head.
Honestly though a part of me want to go to the station and fess up my mistake and pay all the difference. Cheating out the system was never my intention and I can't be sorry and apologetic enough for having this happen
 

221129

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If the conductor hasn't taken my details and just taken the card does it really means I lucked out.
Yes, it's your lucky day. If no details were taken at the time, then it is almost certainly that there will be no further action.
 

Hadders

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Welcome to the forum.

Below is the advice I normally give to people who have been caught in similar circumstances and who post here seeking advice. If the ticket inspector took your details when he confiscated your railcard then it's almost certain that the matter will be followed up. If your details weren't taken it's possible that the rail company could obtain your details from the expired railcard, as you would have had to give your details when it was purchased, so if your details weren't taken I wouldn't yet say the matter won't be perused.

If the matter is perused you are likely to receive a letter from the train company (or an investigation company acting on their behalf) which will probably take a few weeks to arrive saying that they have received a report, are considering prosecuting you and asking for your version of events. It is important that you engage with and reply to this letter. You might want to include the following in your reply:

- That you are sorry for what has happened
- What you have learned from the incident
- That you are keen to settle the matter without the need for court action
- Offer to pay the outstanding fare and the train company's administrative costs in dealing with the matter

Make sure your reply is short and concise, don't give a sob story - they've heard it all before. Most train companies are usually prepared to offer an administrative settlement (commonly known as an out of court settlement) to people who engage with the process and who haven't come to their attention before. There is no guarantee of this, and the train company is within their rights to prosecute you in the magistrates court, however harsh this may seem.

If you are offered a settlement the amount varies depending on the train company and circumstances but tend to be around a hundred pounds plus the outstanding fare. An out of court settlement might appear to be a fine, but it isn't and you won't have a criminal record as a result of accepting one.
 

Tweet20

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Thanks everyone who has taken the time to reply. It seems I can't do anything more than just wait for the letter. Its just that TFW employs TIL is making me so scared that the matter won't be resolved easily. I honest can't afford to have conviction given I work with children and required to have a clean enhanced DBS check

Welcome to the forum.

Below is the advice I normally give to people who have been caught in similar circumstances and who post here seeking advice. If the ticket inspector took your details when he confiscated your railcard then it's almost certain that the matter will be followed up. If your details weren't taken it's possible that the rail company could obtain your details from the expired railcard, as you would have had to give your details when it was purchased, so if your details weren't taken I wouldn't yet say the matter won't be perused.

If the matter is perused you are likely to receive a letter from the train company (or an investigation company acting on their behalf) which will probably take a few weeks to arrive saying that they have received a report, are considering prosecuting you and asking for your version of events. It is important that you engage with and reply to this letter. You might want to include the following in your reply:

- That you are sorry for what has happened
- What you have learned from the incident
- That you are keen to settle the matter without the need for court action
- Offer to pay the outstanding fare and the train company's administrative costs in dealing with the matter

Make sure your reply is short and concise, don't give a sob story - they've heard it all before. Most train companies are usually prepared to offer an administrative settlement (commonly known as an out of court settlement) to people who engage with the process and who haven't come to their attention before. There is no guarantee of this, and the train company is within their rights to prosecute you in the magistrates court, however harsh this may seem.

If you are offered a settlement the amount varies depending on the train company and circumstances but tend to be around a hundred pounds plus the outstanding fare. An out of court settlement might appear to be a fine, but it isn't and you won't have a criminal record as a result of accepting one.
Thanks @Hadders I realise that getting my details from the expired railcard won't be out of realm of possibilities
I just think that what happened was highly irregular and have led to much confusion and anxiety.
Why he didn't take my details? Why didn't he informed me of being reported for prosecution? Why did he mentioned warning? Is it because he wasn't a member of RPI team and wasn't trained or aware of procedures or did he really meant to scare me into not repeating the mistake again?
I really don't belive that. My gut says that I am going to be prosecuted, that they are not going to settle as my card was expired for a while (6 months). Given it will be TIL, I really have no hope:(
 
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jumble

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Thanks @Hadders I realise that getting my details from the expired railcard won't be out of realm of possibilities
I just think that what happened was highly irregular and have led to much confusion and anxiety.
Why he didn't take my details? Why didn't he informed me of being reported for prosecution? Why did he mentioned warning? Is it because he wasn't a member of RPI team and wasn't trained or aware of procedures or did he really meant to scare me into not repeating the mistake again?
I really don't belive that. My gut says that I am going to be prosecuted, that they are not going to settle as my card was expired for a while (6 months). Given it will be TIL, I really have no hope:(
I wouldn't worry I doubt that even TIL are going to write to an address that they know you might well not have lived at for over a year.
They would not risk being challenged over an abuse of process
Rather than gut feeling consider what job RPI might hold and speculate if they are the person who really knows what they are talking about
 

221129

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My gut says that I am going to be prosecuted
Your gut is almost certainly wrong. If your details weren't taken at the time the chances of it being taken any further are next to none. Purely because there is no requirement to update your details once you have purchased a railcard, which the TOCs know and would potentially find themselves in hot water if they tried to pursue.
 

Tweet20

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Your gut is almost certainly wrong. If your details weren't taken at the time the chances of it being taken any further are next to none. Purely because there is no requirement to update your details once you have purchased a railcard, which the TOCs know and would potentially find themselves in hot water if they tried to pursue.
Thanks for reassurance
However my details are correct on the card. If they try and find my address details via the card they can easily find me as address is up to date on it as well as the TFW app on my phone which I use to purchase tickets:( also even if the address details wouldn't have been correct on the card that wouldn't have much difference (as far as from what I have read) as people's cases have been escalated without their knowledge. At least this way I will know when they try to approach me (hopefully for a settlement)
But really thank you for trying to make this hard deal better
 

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