Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Transport User Voice – March 2019 – Proof of purchase is not enough

27 February 2019

Is email confirmation sufficient ticket to travel?

Miss B paid £47.00 for two e-tickets tickets through The Trainline for travel from Leamington Spa to Manchester Piccadilly with CrossCountry. She received the automatic confirmation from Trainline but did not receive a second e-mail to download the ticket to her phone. 

She spoke with a member of staff at the station who informed her to board the train and use the e-mail confirmation of the ticket, to prove she purchased a ticket. Acting upon this advice, she boarded the train.

The passenger was then approached by the train manager who requested to see her ticket. Miss B presented the train manager with a copy of her proof of purchase. The train manager told Miss B that this was not valid. The passenger informed the train manager that she had not received an e-mail from The Trainline permitting her to download her tickets. The train manager took down her details.

Miss B then received a letter from Transport Investigations Limited that stated it had sufficient evidence to take her case to prosecution. The passenger wrote back to Transport Investigations Limited pleading her case. She then received a subsequent letter from Transport Investigations Limited demanding payment of £138.20, otherwise it will issue a court summons.

Miss B approached Transport Focus as she felt the sum being requested was unfair, given that she had paid for a ticket, asked about it before getting her train and boarded the train using the payment confirmation upon the advice from staff at the station. 

Transport Focus looked into this matter and spoke with The Trainline to understand why Miss B did not receive an e-mail allowing her to download her tickets. The Trainline advised that when the passenger initially purchased her tickets, she misspelt her e-mail address, she missed out the ‘.’ dot in ‘.com’.

Mistakes such as these are picked up, which is why Miss B received the automatic acknowledgement email. The agent then must manually send the ticket out which it appears The Trainline did not do, so due to this oversight Miss B never received her ticket. The Trainline then sent the booking confirmation to Miss B and ensured feedback would be sent to the relevant station staff member.

Transport Focus presented all the evidence to CrossCountry. It argued the passenger was never sent an e-mail to download her tickets and when she tried to resolve the issue prior to her journey she was given incorrect advice by station staff. Miss B has since demonstrated she purchased the ticket and did not receive it through no fault of her own.

CrossCountry agreed with this and spoke with Transport Investigations Limited to completely withdraw the matter.

The passenger was delighted with the result Transport Focus achieved for her.

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