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Passenger Voice July 2016: Case study

29 June 2016

Mrs H purchased three off-peak weekend tickets ahead of her journey from Glasgow Central to Edinburgh Waverley in August last year with Scotrail as a treat for her niece. Whilst travelling, however, the ticket inspector told her that the tickets were incorrect, and made Mrs H fill out a notice with a £37 fare to pay later. The inspector said that if she did not agree to this the British Transport Police would be called to remove Mrs H and her family members from the train.

Mrs H felt that due to the inspector’s aggressive behaviour she had no alternative but to fill out the notice. When she arrived in Edinburgh, she asked the duty manager for advice and they told her that the tickets were in fact valid to begin with and she should not have been issued a notice. She later contacted Scotrail to double check that the guidance she was given by the duty manager was correct and to request compensation. Scotrail responded that the inspector had been questioned in line with their internal staff procedures, but that it would not offer compensation, despite apologising for her distress.

Mrs H got in touch with Transport Focus, as she was not satisfied with the outcome of her complaint. We contacted Scotrail to ask that a goodwill gesture be offered to Mrs H and that an investigation into the conduct of the inspector be carried out. Scotrail confirmed that the matter had been reviewed and decided to overturn the notice. Mrs H’s tickets were indeed valid for the journey she was making. In spite of this however, ScotRail would still not consider offering a gesture of goodwill as the report logged by the ticket inspector said that that Mrs H had shown a different ticket to the one she purchased for the journey.

Transport Focus met with Scotrail to escalate this case however the answer remained the same and Scotrail was unwilling to offer compensation. We were disappointed that we could not achieve Mrs H’s desired outcome of a goodwill gesture for her experience with Scotrail, however we were happy that Mrs H was not penalised in the end.

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