Transport User Voice – October 2020 – Casework successes

29 September 2020

How we’ve helped passengers

Chiltern passenger refunded court settlement fee of £419 after being provided with incorrect advice

Mr J booked his tickets on the Southern website to travel from Brighton to Banbury. On his return leg, he had checked with a member of staff whether his off-peak ticket was valid for the next train on Chiltern’s service, and was advised that it was. Unfortunately, the ticket was not valid for the service, which led to Transport Investigations Limited (TIL) issuing Mr J with a letter to prosecute. Upon receipt of his appeal, he was offered an out of court settlement fee of £419. Mr J paid this, but he was unhappy with the way his case had been handled so came to Transport Focus.

When appealing the case, we reviewed the ticket buying process on the Southern website to see if it warned passengers about the possibility of being prosecuted for having the wrong ticket. The website simply stated that if a passenger was to board an incorrect train, they would have to pay the difference in the fare. We pointed out the information was not good enough and Southern accepted the error and apologised. TIL accepted our appeal and agreed to give Mr J a full refund of £419.

Trainline issues full refund of over £300 for passenger who had lost his tickets

Mr R was refused a refund by Trainline as he was unable to provide the tickets he had purchased and printed out. We argued that Mr R had made the claim before the departure date so had no need to keep hold of his tickets. Trainline reviewed our appeal and agreed to provide Mr R with a full refund of £321.00.

The passenger said:

“Thank you so much! We really appreciate your efforts on our behalf. You have provided us with a superb service. Once again, many many thanks!”

TransPennine Express overturns Penalty Fare Notice after train confusion

Mrs E had boarded a London Northwestern (LNW) train and was issued with a Penalty Fare Notice (PFN) as she had a Northern complimentary ticket. She was delayed in appealing this as she was ill with Covid-19. This was not accepted as a reason for delaying her appeal so she approached Transport Focus. Following a lengthy investigation, the caseworker found that she had a Northern ticket, travelled on a London Northwestern train but the penalty fare was issued by a TransPennine Express (TPE) inspector onboard the train.

The passenger supplied a photograph of the LNW train taken at Manchester Piccadilly. The caseworker asked why TPE was issuing penalty fares on a LNW train, bearing in mind that LNW doesn’t run trains into this station. The caseworker found that TPE was using some LNW trains that had not yet been rebranded. TPE couldn’t categorically say whether or not a rebranded London Northwestern train had been used for a TPE service but felt it was right to cancel the PFN.

The passenger said:

“I thought it was worthwhile letting somebody know how grateful we are to Mags for her tenacious investigation involving TPE, Northern, London Northwestern trains on my mother’s behalf. She got to the root of the matter which helped my mother to feel vindicated.

“This mattered to her. She has a lovely approach/written way.

“Oh if every organisation had a Mags!! We can’t praise her highly enough.”


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