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Was I in the right?

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roversfan2001

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So, knew it wouldn't be long before I posted in here, what with travelling on Northern often :roll:

I was travelling between two stations along the East Lancashire Line this evening, with my debit card in my hand ready to pay my fare (£2.15), just before the penultimate station before I alighted, the guard (after the usual ticket checking malarkey) told me my card would not work in his machine as 'they are offline machines'.

After I was willing to try anyway as I had done it before, it didn't work however. The guard then proceeded to tell me that 'as I had no means to pay' he required my name and address so Northern could invoice me for the outstanding fare. I proceeded to tell the guard that as I had a method of payment (my debit card), and that it was their fault their machines can't accept mine, he would not be receiving my details and therefore Northern would not be receiving £82.15 off me. The guard, after another passenger intervened, said he would 'let me off this time' but I should bring cash in future.

Just a few questions in case it happens again,
1) Was I in the right to refuse to give my details?
2) Am I right in thinking the correct thing that should have happened is that I should have been issued an Unpaid Fare Notice?
3) Would the invoice have included the £80 'Penalty Fake' or was I getting carried away?

Thanks in advance :)
 
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bb21

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What type of card was it?

1) Was I in the right to refuse to give my details?

No.

You would be liable for arrest when an offence is suspected and you refuse to provide details.

2) Am I right in thinking the correct thing that should have happened is that I should have been issued an Unpaid Fare Notice?

No.

It is issued at the guard's discretion.

3) Would the invoice have included the £80
'Penalty Fake' or was I getting carried away?

No one can tell you but it is a possibility, but if you had a valid payment method, you should not have to worry.
 

Merseysider

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What ticket purchasing facilities were available at your origin station? If none, then I'd have argued my case too.

However, refusing to give your name and address when asked, if the fare hasn't been collected, is a Byelaw offence and I wouldn't recommend doing so again.

Don't go out of your way to obtain cash. Unless your card says Solo/Electron on it, there's no requirement to have anything else other than your card.

It's a distinct possibility that you'd have been hit with an attempted £80 Penalty Fake. Other forum members have received them in similar circumstances, and some of Northern's outsourced staff have barely got a rudimentary understanding of the rules.
 
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yorkie

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(assuming there was no facility to pay at origin/destination...)
So, knew it wouldn't be long before I posted in here, what with travelling on Northern often :roll:

I was travelling between two stations along the East Lancashire Line this evening, with my debit card in my hand ready to pay my fare (£2.15), just before the penultimate station before I alighted, the guard (after the usual ticket checking malarkey) told me my card would not work in his machine as 'they are offline machines'.

After I was willing to try anyway as I had done it before, it didn't work however. The guard then proceeded to tell me that 'as I had no means to pay' he required my name and address so Northern could invoice me for the outstanding fare. I proceeded to tell the guard that as I had a method of payment (my debit card), and that it was their fault their machines can't accept mine, he would not be receiving my details and therefore Northern would not be receiving £82.15 off me. The guard, after another passenger intervened, said he would 'let me off this time' but I should bring cash in future.

Just a few questions in case it happens again,
1) Was I in the right to refuse to give my details?
No; you need to provide this so they can invoice you for £2.15.

However I do share your concern that they may wrongly increase this to, or by, £80, given previous incidents.
2) Am I right in thinking the correct thing that should have happened is that I should have been issued an Unpaid Fare Notice?
Either an unpaid fare notice at the time, or an invoice through the post, yes.
3) Would the invoice have included the £80 'Penalty Fake' or was I getting carried away?
We won't know now.

However Northern appear to have stated your card isn't acceptable to them, so before you make any future journeys, I think you have a choice to make:-

If you wish to dispute what you've been told, I would advise you contact Northern seeking clarification. If you remain unhappy, I'd contact Transport Focus (and you may wish to seek legal advice).

If you wish to accept what you've been told, you'd need to bring sufficient cash in future.
 

185143

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So, knew it wouldn't be long before I posted in here, what with travelling on Northern often :roll:

I was travelling between two stations along the East Lancashire Line this evening, with my debit card in my hand ready to pay my fare (£2.15), just before the penultimate station before I alighted, the guard (after the usual ticket checking malarkey) told me my card would not work in his machine as 'they are offline machines'.

After I was willing to try anyway as I had done it before, it didn't work however. The guard then proceeded to tell me that 'as I had no means to pay' he required my name and address so Northern could invoice me for the outstanding fare. I proceeded to tell the guard that as I had a method of payment (my debit card), and that it was their fault their machines can't accept mine, he would not be receiving my details and therefore Northern would not be receiving £82.15 off me. The guard, after another passenger intervened, said he would 'let me off this time' but I should bring cash in future.

Just a few questions in case it happens again,
1) Was I in the right to refuse to give my details?
2) Am I right in thinking the correct thing that should have happened is that I should have been issued an Unpaid Fare Notice?
3) Would the invoice have included the £80 'Penalty Fake' or was I getting carried away?

Thanks in advance :)

1)No, if an authorised member of staff requests your details, you must comply.

2)Yes, I think. However this takes paperwork and if you were about to alight would have delayed the train. Out of interest, did you know your card wouldn't work?

3)You were travelling on Northern. Anything is possible from that incompetent lot!

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
 

roversfan2001

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What type of card was it?
Visa Debit.

What ticket purchasing facilities were available at your origin station? If none, then I'd have argued my case too.
Neither origin or destination station has any ticket purchasing facilities whatsoever.

1)No, if an authorised member of staff requests your details, you must comply.
The guard asked for them because 'I had no means of payment'. I had means of payment, not my fault their ancient technology didn't accept debit cards issued to under 18s.
2)Out of interest, did you know your card wouldn't work?
It had worked before, on a journey on the same line but one stop further.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
However I do share your concern that they may wrongly increase this to, or by, £80, given previous incidents.

This was the sole reason I refused to give my details. I'm a 14 year old child, call my cynical, but in my opinion, after this, I believe he thought I was 'easy pickings' to try to catch me out. As soon as he saw my card, he said it didn't work.
 

bb21

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Visa Debit.

I think that is an accepted method of payment, so I would say you are in the right from what I can see.

The guard asked for them because 'I had no means of payment'. I had means of payment, not my fault their ancient technology didn't accept debit cards issued to under 18s.

That is not the customer's fault.

It had worked before, on a journey on the same line but one stop further.

Are you still under 18? If so, I would imagine your card to still be an online one so I doubt it worked normally. Did he swipe it or something?

In any case, more realistically it would be much simpler to just carry your £2.15 with you. I know a lot of people these days don't bother with cash for whatever reason but good old hard cash is still the most versatile money you can have, especially with such a small sum.
 

roversfan2001

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Are you still under 18? If so, I would imagine your card to still be an online one so I doubt it worked normally. Did he swipe it or something?
Had a card machine attached to the ticket machine. I entered my PIN then he took it off me and said it didn't work and asked for my details.

When the card worked it was swiped yes, I had to sign the back of one of the receipt tickets.

In any case, more realistically it would be much simpler to just carry your £2.15 with you. I know a lot of people these days don't bother with cash for whatever reason but good old hard cash is still the most versatile money you can have, especially with such a small sum.

If there was a large number of ATMs that dispensed £5 notes I'd agree. However, if I have to take cash out because of Northern's ancient offline ticket machines, due to the income I receive on my debit card, I'd lose the ability to make online payments (which isn't an ability I'd like to lose).
 

bb21

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Had a card machine attached to the ticket machine. I entered my PIN then he took it off me and said it didn't work and asked for my details.

When the card worked it was swiped yes, I had to sign the back of one of the receipt tickets.

They aren't really supposed to do it (swiping) any more, but some still do, as quibbling over a fare of a few quid for 10 minutes is simply not worth it, so might as well take the risk that the payment might bounce as most passengers are honest.

If there was a large number of ATMs that dispensed £5 notes I'd agree. However, if I have to take cash out because of Northern's ancient offline ticket machines, due to the income I receive on my debit card, I'd lose the ability to make online payments (which isn't an ability I'd like to lose).

It all depends on personal circumstances, eg. keeping some change aside in advance even if need be. Even at 14, I think it would be unlikely to not be able to keep a couple of quid aside in advance if needed, unless you don't use cash at all.

But it all comes down to personal circumstances. There is certainly nothing wrong with not being able to do so, although it would help avoid situations like this. Regardless of rights and wrongs, it's unpleasant for anyone (apart from very few select individuals on this forum I can think of ;)) so it's as much about helping yourself avoid it as an industry stuck in technology ice-age.
 

roversfan2001

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It all depends on personal circumstances, eg. keeping some change aside in advance even if need be. Even at 14, I think it would be unlikely to not be able to keep a couple of quid aside in advance if needed, unless you don't use cash at all.

But it all comes down to personal circumstances. There is certainly nothing wrong with not being able to do so, although it would help avoid situations like this. Regardless of rights and wrongs, it's unpleasant for anyone (apart from very few select individuals on this forum I can think of ;)) so it's as much about helping yourself avoid it as an industry stuck in technology ice-age.

I very rarely use cash, only really use it when I'm given it in birthday cards etc.. When possible I try to buy my train tickets in advance but quite often I don't know I'm going until it's too late for ToD.

-----

Just in case it happens again, what should I do if the guard elects not to swipe my card?
EDIT: As of 04/09, the off-peak return is £2.00 so a much nicer figure to get hold of, might not be in this situation, would still be good to know though, obviously.
 
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185143

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I very rarely use cash, only really use it when I'm given it in birthday cards etc.. When possible I try to buy my train tickets in advance but quite often I don't know I'm going until it's too late for ToD.

-----

Just in case it happens again, what should I do if the guard elects not to swipe my card?
Are M tickets an option for you?
 

bb21

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I very rarely use cash, only really use it when I'm given it in birthday cards etc.. When possible I try to buy my train tickets in advance but quite often I don't know I'm going until it's too late for ToD.

-----

Just in case it happens again, what should I do if the guard elects not to swipe my card?
EDIT: As of 04/09, the off-peak return is £2.00 so a much nicer figure to get hold of, might not be in this situation, would still be good to know though, obviously.

Not a lot, unfortunately.

You just need to stand firm tbh. At that age, there is not a lot they can do with you.

Hopefully when the new portable ticket machines come in, they will work better with off-line cards. Until then, just stand your ground, but don't refuse to provide your details. That is not clever.

If you get one of those £80 demands for such a journey, just laugh at it. Send them any fare that may be owed, and tell them to bugger off (not literally).
 

roversfan2001

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Not a lot, unfortunately.

You just need to stand firm tbh. At that age, there is not a lot they can do with you.

Hopefully when the new portable ticket machines come in, they will work better with off-line cards. Until then, just stand your ground, but don't refuse to provide your details. That is not clever.

If you get one of those £80 demands, just laugh at it.

I didn't 'refuse' as such, I just continued to argue that I had means to pay. The "As you have no means to pay..." really got me for some reason. I had a card in my hand!

If you get one of those £80 demands, just laugh at it.

I'm presuming I'd have to respond to it formally, wouldn't want Northern taking me to court over, ultimately, their machines being woefully out of date. :lol:
 

bb21

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On second thoughts, I guess you could be done for a Section 5.3(a) offence if you know the card won't work and have been informed as such by a guard, and he remembers you on a subsequent trip, but the chance I guess is fairly low but depends on how often you use the train, so probably best to get hold of that couple of quid where you can and use card as a last resort.

(I think I understand that correctly as the criminal age of responsibility is 10, but others might correct me.)

I didn't 'refuse' as such, I just continued to argue that I had means to pay. The "As you have no means to pay..." really got me for some reason. I had a card in my hand!

Well, you don't need to actively say the word. The intention can be interpreted from your actions.
 

roversfan2001

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On second thoughts, I guess you could be done for a Section 5.3(a) offence if you know the card won't work and have been informed as such by a guard, and he remembers you on a subsequent trip, but the chance I guess is fairly low but depends on how often you use the train, so probably best to get hold of that couple of quid where you can and use card as a last resort.

(I think I understand that correctly as the criminal age of responsibility is 10, but others might correct me.)


Ah, but the card has worked in the past. In fact, I have an app on my phone that tells me my current balance, if the guard suspected I was trying them on by offering the swipe method.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Well, you don't need to actively say the word. The intention can be interpreted from your actions.

I'd be surprised if the guard interpreted anything other than "I'm getting nothing off this kid".:lol: Don't mess with a 14 year old who's just witnessed his football team concede a 88th minute equaliser :lol:<D
 

bb21

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Ah, but the card has worked in the past. In fact, I have an app on my phone that tells me my current balance, if the guard suspected I was trying them on by offering the swipe method.

Yeah worth trying that approach.

I doubt the appetite of guards to deal with 14yos harshly though if shown the right attitude. Seeing that Northern clearly haven't barred staff from swiping, I would say quite a few probably would be happy to just swipe it.

There is no perfect solution unfortunately. You'll find out what works best for you through some trial and error.
 

roversfan2001

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Yeah worth trying that approach.

I doubt the appetite of guards to deal with 14yos harshly though if shown the right attitude. Seeing that Northern clearly haven't barred staff from swiping, I would say quite a few probably would be happy to just swipe it.

There is no perfect solution unfortunately. You'll find out what works best for you through some trial and error.

IIRC the date my card was swiped was 2nd April so just after the franchise change, a possibility that Arriva banned it but word hadn't quite got round perhaps?

I'll be making the return journey on Tuesday (armed with my card) so I'll update on any progress (if, indeed, anyone is interested about under 18's debit cards unable to work with offline ticket machines :lol:)
 

HMS Ark Royal

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(I think I understand that correctly as the criminal age of responsibility is 10, but others might correct me.)

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the ACR (Age of Criminal Responsibility ) is 10. In Scotland, the ACR used to be 8 but they increased the age to 12 in 2011.
 

MichaelAMW

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1)No, if an authorised member of staff requests your details, you must comply.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

Not correct, at least not at the general level. You have to provide your details under the byelaws if the member of staff "reasonably" (whatever that means) believes you have breached a byelaw, or under the RORA you have to either show a ticket or pay your fare or give your details. So, here there was obviously an obligation to give name and address but it can't be demanded any time the staff member happens to wish. For me, that "reasonably" is quite an important word. For example, if you had a dispute with a conductor over whether you ticket was valid on a particular route, do you have to give your details if it is clearly apparent that the conductor doesn't understand the routeing guide?
 

DaveNewcastle

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Name and address should have been provided.

If the journey is taken and the fare remains unpaid, then it is reasonable for the ticket inspector to request the name and address so that the correct charge can be made at a later date. This isn't a requirement under the legislation specific to railways, but under Contract Law (its a common procedure in the supply of goods or services when the customer takes advantage of the supply, but payment cannot be taken at the time - for whatever reason).

Taking advantage of the supply (in this case, travelling by train) would constitute entering into an implied Contract.

Refusal to attempt to reach an acceptable means of payment would constitute a breach of that Contract (and paying at a later date is a reasonable means, which usually should be accepted).

Failure to provide the name and address (or providing a false name and address) when requested for the stated purpose of charging later would almost definitely provide the ingredients for a Fraud, (in this case, willfully defrauding the Company of the fare for the journey which was actually taken).

I reccommend taking advice before attempting to refuse to comply with a request for payment in future, to avoid getting yourself into deeper difficulties, and with no possible benefit to yourself.


I'm inclined to agree with JakeF that you should not feel compelled to "go out of your way" to obtain cash before travelling, but as a matter of general precaution, it usually is advisable to carry a little cash, certainly enough for a journey like this. All sorts of problems or opportunities can arise during a day, and a little cash can help resolve many of them. This simple train journey could have been one of those little problems, quickly resolved and allowing you to get on with the things in life that really matter to you.
 

Gathursty

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I always prefer to have at least £10 in my wallet as well as my card. Yes, the world is becoming more and more contactless but as other people have said, it's not worth the stress when your fare is only £2.15 or thereabouts. Sadly it'll take some time for developments in London with regards to paying for transport to reach the Blackburn area but until then, just carry a bit of cash with you.
 

Adam0984

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The new onboard machines will primarily work in off line mode but if need be can be put on line via mobile phone signal, so if a card does decline in on line mode it's a proper decline
 

DaveNewcastle

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I'll be making the return journey on Tuesday (armed with my card) so I'll update on any progress . . . . .

The problem is that you now know that your card may not be accepted - this makes a RoRA prosecution a possibility.
I doubt that the Company has an appetite for youth prosecutions, but it would be unwise to deliberately engineer the situation where you are likely to avoid payment for taking a service. Very unwise. Please don't.
 

roversfan2001

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The problem is that you now know that your card may not be accepted - this makes a RoRA prosecution a possibility.

Would I be right in thinking though that if it declines because it's an offline machine of because the guard knows it won't work, I could offer to swipe the card (and if needs be, show the guard my balance if they think I'm trying them on)?
 

najaB

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Would I be right in thinking though that if it declines because it's an offline machine of because the guard knows it won't work, I could offer to swipe the card (and if needs be, show the guard my balance if they think I'm trying them on)?
As DaveNewcastle says you are unlikely to be prosecuted due to your age, but no I do not think that would be an appropriate course of action. There is a very fine line between presenting a payment card that you think might not be accepted and presenting it in the *hope* that it won't be accepted (thereby getting a free ride).

People have been successfully prosecuted for the latter.
 

roversfan2001

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As DaveNewcastle says you are unlikely to be prosecuted due to your age, but no I do not think that would be an appropriate course of action. There is a very fine line between presenting a payment card that you think might not be accepted and presenting it in the *hope* that it won't be accepted (thereby getting a free ride).

People have been successfully prosecuted for the latter.

I presented my card yesterday, having had a 100% success in it's use on board (at least once, I think possibly more too). I come to pay on Tuesday, my card has a 100% success rate when it has been swiped and I have enough money loaded onto my card. Isn't that exactly the opposite of thinking it won't be accepted?
 
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