Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Passenger Voice March 2016: Case study

04 March 2016

Mr P was due to travel from Leeds to Bristol Temple Meads on a Cross Country service in September 2015. His secretary ordered his ticket for him and had selected the ‘print at home’ option. Mr P had not been made aware of this and did not realise until his arrival at his departure station (Horsforth) that he was unable to retrieve a paper copy of his ticket from the ticket vending machine.

Mr P asked a member of staff on the train from Horsforth to Leeds what he should do and he was advised to board the train with the confirmation and explain the situation to the ticket inspector. However, on the train from Leeds to Bristol he was stopped by a guard who took down his details.

Two months later Cross Country contacted Mr P via letter and asked him to send a copy of his ticket with an appeal letter. Rather than write in himself, his secretary did this for him and explained via letter that she had purchased the ticket and had not explained the print-out instructions to her employer. Despite this, Mr P was sent a court summons from Transport Investigations Limited (TIL) because it claimed that no contact had been received since Cross Country sent its letter.

Mr P contacted Transport Focus to explain his version of events and see if we could get a better outcome. We asked why this case had reached the court summons stage as we felt that this outcome was not fitting for what was essentially a simple human error. We were told that Mr P had not sent an appeal letter by the deadline stated and for this reason it forwarded the case to TIL. We were able to confirm, however, that his secretary had appealed on his behalf and we forwarded Cross Country a copy of the letter that was sent within the deadline.

On receipt of the letter, and confirmation of the secretary’s details, Cross Country informed us that TIL would take no further action and the court summons would now be overturned. Transport Focus has since advised Mr P that a ‘print at home’ ticket must be printed by the passenger.

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