Passenger Voice June 2016: Case Study

27 May 2016

Mr T was due to travel with his nephew to London Waterloo on 23 March 2016. He bought two return tickets and two day Travelcards for London at the ticket desk at Salisbury station. As Mr T is registered blind, he was not aware that the tickets had been printed incorrectly and were only valid for 22 March. Mr T and his nephew remained unaware of this issue up to the date of travel. It wasn’t until they were prevented from passing through the ticket barrier at Salisbury station that they found out the tickets were not valid for that day.

As their train was due to depart in six minutes, Mr T and his nephew ended up buying another set of tickets. In order to make their train on time they had to buy tickets where were priced higher than the original tickets.

Mr T’s nephew later submitted a claim for a refund for the additional tickets, as well as the cost of the Day Travelcards which also had the wrong date printed on them. South West Trains replied that it is the responsibility of the passenger to check they have the right tickets to travel and they were not liable to offer a refund to Mr T for this reason. As a goodwill gesture, however, they sent Mr T a cheque for £46 to go towards the cost of the Day Travelcards and the original tickets.

Mr T and his nephew were disappointed with this outcome however, as they still wanted a refund for their more expensive tickets and remained over £50 out of pocket. They decided to get in touch with Transport Focus in the hope of a better outcome. We agreed that more consideration should have been given to their claim and felt that South West Trains were unfair to advise Mr T that he should have checked his ticket when he was unable to do so.

Our advisor contacted South West Trains to explain what had happened and it soon became clear that Mr T’s nephew had not told the train company that his uncle was blind. Once it was made aware of the situation South West Trains acknowledged that the case was dealt with poorly. South West Trains was therefore happy to send Mr T an additional £50 and advised that he could also keep the £46 that was originally sent to him as an apology for what happened.

Both passengers were pleased to learn that the matter had been investigated and agreed that this was a much more encouraging outcome.

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