who shall I complain to?

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by joke2711, 13 May 2015.

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  1. joke2711

    joke2711 Member

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    Hi

    Any advice appreciated.

    My work colleague who does not know London that well travelled from Liverpool 1447 - Euston (arrived 17:00_ yesterday and was then due to take an London Overground via first time oyster to Kilburn High Road at 1717 arriving 1724

    On arrival at Euston she asked at the Virgin Information Point which train she should get and the helpful lady walked her down to the platform and put her on the train. As soon as she boarded the doors shut and she found our that the first stop was Milton Keynes. She has been put on a Virgin Service departing platform 8 to Birmingham 4 minutes earlier not Platform 9.

    On arrival at Milton Keynes - she sought assistance and explained what had happened. The staff at the station stated she had to pay to get back to London and asked her where she wanted to go. She replied Euston as she had an oyster card with her for her London journeys. She was sold a ticket for a little over £21ish and when we finally met yesterday evening - she showed me the ticket and she had been charged for a MKC-EUS with zones 1-6 travel card. She caught the 1803 from MKC back to Euston and then the 1857 to Kilburn eventually arriving 1904 and some 1:40 late!

    A total cock up - never mind the time and inconvenience but don't really know where to start ...


    Many Thanks
     
  2. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The complaint needs to go to Virgin Trains for putting her on the wrong train.

    It's unclear which staff sold her the ticket though, but if she doesn't know, it would be possible to find out by the identifying numbers printed on the ticket.
     
  3. joke2711

    joke2711 Member

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    That was quick :)
    I will get the ticket number in work tomorrow.
    Presume it was London Midland staff at MKC that sold the ticket

    Thanks
     
  4. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    I find this incredibly hard to believe, and it's an absolute scandal if true. Anyone at all familiar with the station would know which trains are which; there's no way in hell a seasoned traveller could think a red train was going to Kilburn High Road, let alone a member of staff!
     
  5. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    That said there was a fella platform side at Lime Street tonight with a high viz vest on with a logo of the company which I think does some of the repairs on Pendolinos (Can't remember the name of the company, I have seen them on Pendos before). He was pre filtering people coming through the barriers and to be honest appeared to be a bit of a crank. He also appeared to have been chucked out of the station a short while later. Not beyond the realms of possibility. :D
     
  6. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    If it was P8 as described it would have been this LM (not Virgin) train she would have been put on:

    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/P32312/2015/05/12/advanced

    The Kilburn High Rd train (@17.17) would have been on the opposite platform (9).
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2015
  7. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    Thanks for that. It's still the case that no green trains ever call at Kilburn, and it's still an incredible mistake for a staff member to make
     
  8. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It is plausible someone could get a LM service mixed up with a LO service. (I believe LM run a service on behalf of LO in the early hours - or the other way round - so it happens regularly anyway - albeit not calling at Kilburn)

    I don't know if Virgin have staff at MKC. The station is managed by LM. It was probably LM staff who sold the ticket. This does complicate things, as Virgin may say they are not in a position to refund the ticket, as it was issued by LM. So you may have to write to both Companies.

    If it was me, I'd have made a point of not using the ticket issued at MKC and using Oyster to get to Kilburn. This would have provided some evidence that I did indeed travel to Kilburn. The combination of ticket from Liverpool to London, plus Oyster PAYG statement from London to Kilburn, would be good evidence (note: I am not saying "proof").
     
  9. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Is there a station in the Birmingham area with a similar name to Kilburn High Road?
     
  10. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    That's only a paper exercise - it's run by a London Overground-liveried Class 378 and announced as a London Overground service.
     
  11. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Reminds me of a weird bloke who used to stand outside Hatfield station wearing a yellow hi-vis and give some suspect advice to people about buses and taxis. He didn't work for any bus company, the train company or council - just seemed to be happy to give the impression he did, before he met his wife coming back (by train) from work.

    I did report him and have no idea if he still hands out there. He said some rather ridiculous things to people, including me, which prompted me to get suspicious.

    So, I too wouldn't say it was impossible that the person giving advice wasn't actually Virgin staff.
     
  12. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Virgin do have staff at MKC, including one or more staff to assist with dispatch. Virgin staff do not sell tickets unless they are putting a revenue block on late at night or on Sundays which nearly never happens anyway.

    I concur that LM should be chased up for the refund if the story told is true.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    They do, but only for dispatch, so you will only typically find them on platforms 4 and 6. Barriers and revenue protection are LM. I know the station manager personally and I doubt he would have charged someone to correct the error, but a few of the regular barrier staff can be a bit fussy so it isn't totally surprising, and we don't know exactly what was said. Though I have known people who have travelled to MKC on a Bletchley ticket just be told "go back to Bletchley or you can pay me a PF, your choice" rather than being absolute about it.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It's LO on behalf of LM, isn't it, anyway? It's the 0200 to Watford for the rail replacement coach onwards, I believe. Does it run on the DC lines or the mainline (or does it vary?) No bog to Watford, no bog at Watford at that time of night, and odds on no working bog on the coach - iron bladder required after a night on the lash!
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2015
  14. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    I can't find it in the timetable at the moment; perhaps it no longer runs? It used to be the case that it ran down the DC lines because it called at all stations - it was another Watford DC train apart from on paper.
     
  15. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    At Watford Junction it's announced as an LM service when it departs as the 0040 to London Euston which forms the 0200 from Euston back to Watford. Yes it is run using a LOROL train and driver though!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It is on page 19 of this timetable The only service without first class on that particular page!

    It does indeed run via the DC lines as the mainline is mostly always closed for engineering work Saturday night into Sunday. However it only calls at Harrow, Wembley and Euston, not the usual DC service ;)
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Our station toilets are open whenever the station is open, yes we normally get many people coming off the last trains using them! There is a plan to close the Toilets from 10pm to about 5am to prevent misuse and vandalism but it hasn't been implemented yet AFAIK.
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Perhaps it's best to put this thread on hold for now, until we have a further update.

    I believe a member of Virgin Trains staff has made a mistake and put the customer on the wrong train (LM instead of LO), LM have charged the passenger for that mistake, but let's wait until we hear something back or the thread is going to become unwieldy.
     
  17. joke2711

    joke2711 Member

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    Hi

    I have spoken to my employee this morning and have all the missing and relevant information.

    Attached is a scan of her Oyster History, tickets Liverpool to London and the ticket she was sold at Milton Keynes Central.

    She arrived at Euston just before 5:00pm and her first Oyster transaction was timed at 5:04pm with no touch out.

    When she arrived at Milton Keynes Central all barriers were open so she went straight to the Ticket Office and explained what had happened. They were puzzled how she could have got to MKC on an Oyster and sold her the ticket as copied to return to London. She used this Ticket to get back through the barriers at Euston to board the right train.

    So .. is it a case of writing to both Virgin and London Midland??

    Thanks
     

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  18. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I think so, because it was Virgin whose mistake led to the situation, and LM who sold the ticket.

    I think that's strong evidence. Good luck and let us know what response you get.
     
  19. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    The OP states that his work colleague did not know London that well. And therefore he would naturally assume a member of rail staff would know what they're talking about ...
     
  20. joke2711

    joke2711 Member

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    will do - letters will be sent today
    Thanks for the advice :)
     
  21. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    I think before making complaints you need to be very clear on where the member of staff left the traveller. Did they go through tha barriers and take them to the door of the train, or just as far as the barriers and point towards the platform? Are you certain that your employee didn't just make a mistake and get there left and right mixed up?
    As far as LM are concerned, I think it is possible that someone with a paper ticket would not have had to buy a new ticket, but with Oyster there is no evidence of where the destination was intended to be. I imagine they see people fairly regularly with Oyster who thought it was valid past Watford Junction, and charge as a matter of routine.
     
  22. joke2711

    joke2711 Member

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    The member of staff left the traveller at the train doors - she was escorted to train. As soon as she boarded the doors shut and train departed. It was also full and she was standing to MKC.
     
  23. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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  24. Antman

    Antman Established Member

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    That's what I thought, do Virgin Trains staff at the information point normally walk passengers to their train or do they just say "platform xx"?
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2015
  25. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    If the OPs description of events is accurate and complete then I'm doubly surprised - firstly that the staff member left the information booth (unattended?) to help one customer, and secondly that they can't tell one TOCs train from the other.
     
  26. joke2711

    joke2711 Member

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    perhaps being a first class passenger and the fact that she was weighed down with luggage, they took a different approach, but it happened, they chatted and said goodbye as the train doors closed.
     
  27. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Did your colleague tell the staff at MKC that she was using Oyster to travel round London (she seems to have continued to do that, including an expensive tap out at Kilburn). If so, even if she had to be sold a ticket, why not the £15.40 single to London?
     
  28. joke2711

    joke2711 Member

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    She did indeed tell the staff and that's another annoying thing in this whole scenario. She told them that she had tapped out at Euston and had been put on the wrong train. She was then charged for a ticket to get back and sold the wrong ticket!
     
  29. joke2711

    joke2711 Member

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    Hi, quick update

    Letter received from LM which states

    "Unfortunately, I am unable to reply to your comments as the station / service you mentioned is not actually one of ours. I have therefore passed your correspondence on to the correct company for you"

    Do you think I should wait until VT reply or should I continue to pursue LM for charging a passenger through no fault of her own and then selling an incorrect ticket?

    Appreciate some advice (again)

    J
     
  30. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I've just managed to have a look at this thread. Its a shame London Midland have not said which company they have passed it onto... I assume it is Virgin. It implies to me that they have not read the complaint correctly, that it is the fact the booking office at Milton Keynes Central (which is managed by London Midland) charged the customer for the honest mistake.

    I would therefore take this up with London Midland again, personally I would contact them by telephone and explain the oversight and ask them to look at the matteter again.

    Looking at the Oyster journey history, it sounds like the card had been charged for 2 incompleate journeys 17.04 and 19.13 (the ones with "no touch in" and "no touch out") both on 12 May 2015. Have you contated Transport for London to have this adjusted and the correct amount charged. I hear that TfL are very good on thigs like that. I would certainly explain the circumstances to them.

    Have you heard back from Virgin Trains yet?
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2015
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