Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

£6.99



Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder guns28 Novitiate



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    Default Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    I received a penalty fare, whilst travelling on a National Express East Anglia service from Norwich to London.
    The reason the penalty was issued was that I was unable to produce a valid ticket (lost ticket).
    I had paid for my travel in advance and had a ticket covering my entire journey but somehow managed to temporarily misplace it when getting off the train (my ticket was checked on board the train but I couldn't locate it at the station exit). I say temporarily because when I arrived at work later that day, typically enough, there it was, in one of my many pieces of luggage I was carrying.
    I appealed the penalty fare - even sending in my original tickets (I have a copy) , but have just received notification that is has been refused - please see below:

    A Penalty/Unpaid Fare Notice was issued as production of a valid ticket or other authority to travel was not possible on the date concerned.
    I note that on this occasion, although a ticket/authority to travel was purchased prior to travel, production for inspection when required was not possible.
    It must be stressed that the safekeeping of a ticket is the rail users responsibility. A ticket must be shown or handed over when required to the staff of any Train Operating Company. If the passenger fails to do so they will be treated as having joined the train without a valid ticket and, where applicable, will be liable to pay a Penalty Fare or Unpaid Fare Notice. A ticket is the passengers' evidence of their right to make a rail journey. Tickets or other evidence produced at a later date can not be considered as a ticket must be shown to the member of staff when requested at the time of travel.

    So really I ask these questions:

    1. While I accept that it was my fault for temporarily misplacing the ticket, it was mostly due to tiredness, having more luggage with me than usual and travelling further than usual. Is a fine justified in these circumstances - a fine for losing a ticket rather than fare evasion?

    2. The amount of the fine was 93 (Norwich to London on Weds 24 Sept 0800 am). My ticket cost me 15. Where has all the extra come from?

    3. How would I be able to appeal this further because I believe I have been unfairly treated?

    Any help you can provide will be greatfully received.

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder Dougy79 Novitiate



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    Default Re: Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    The extra costs are "administration" charges, which allegedly ammount to the remainder of the cost (which is doubtful). However, it is preferable to pay for any costs so you don't get a court summons (see my thread below). I would ask them for a break down of the costs also then you'll know if they'll be a just claim to make on the rest of the fine.


  3. #3
    mc661
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    Default Re: Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    I am confused here.
    Were you issued with a Penalty Fare or a Unpaid Fares Notice.

    These are two different things and have different rules relating to them. If it was a PF I can help you. If it was a UPFN I am afraid I have no experience of these and cant help you.

    As regards the penalty.
    The standard single fare Norwich to Liverpool St is 46.50, times this by 2 and you come to 93.00
    .

    On another matter, As you have now appealed I think you have exhausted your appeal route. Unless you go through the courts system which is not cheap.
    I guess you could also take them to court in the small claimsicon court as you can prove you had a valid ticket and was not attempting to avoid the fare. You could also claim that you were searching for the ticket in one of your bags and the inspector assumed you were a fare evader and did not wait for me to find the ticket.
    The thing is if you would have asked us before you appealed I maybe would have been able to find technicalities which would have won your appeal.


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder guns28 Novitiate



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    Default Re: Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    Thanks for your replies.
    For clarification, I was issued with a penalty fare for failing to produce a valid ticket (lost ticket is actually indicated on the form).
    I've noted the comments made earlier and have contacted the independent rail consumer watchdog - Passenger Focus.
    PF are going to contact Nat Express EA on my behalf.
    It seems to me though that there is no real incentive for the train company to overturn the IRCAS appeal decision so am not expecting a successful outcome, but I'll post any developments on here.


  5. #5
    mc661
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    Default Re: Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    IRCAS is independent of any railway companies or so they claim.
    It costs every railway company 8 for each appeal made by a person regardless of the outcome, and that's before successful appeals.

    It looks as if you have already appealed and as such have no further recourse other then via RPC/Passenger Focus (whatever they are called now days).


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder guns28 Novitiate



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    Default Re: Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    An update on the situation.
    PF finally got back to me, a few days after the deadline that they set themselves to respond.
    As I had predicted they didn't get NXEA to give me a refund. Below is the actual response:

    Thank you for your complaint with National Express East Anglia (NXEA). Im sorry to hear of the problems you encountered at Liverpool Street Station which resulted in you being issued with a Penalty Fares Notice. I can appreciate your frustration.

    Under the terms and conditions of your contract, the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, it states that A ticket is your evidence of your right to make a rail journey and its your responsibility to keep it safe. If you lose or mislay a ticket... it will not be replaced nor will any of the cost be refunded. I understand that you had previously shown you ticket to the Inspector on board the train that you did have proof of purchase. However without a valid ticket for the journey the ticket barrier staff are within their rights to issue a Penalty Fares Notice.

    I have escalated your complaint to NXEAs Customer Relations Manager and unfortunatley they have declined to refund the cost of the fine issued. I have argued your case on the basis that you did find the ticket after the incident and have supplied documentation to prove this. As they are not legally obliged to provide a refund of the fine I cannot persue the matter any further with them. I am disappointed with this outcome as I had hoped NXEA would offer something towards this cost.

    I know you will be disappointed with this outcome but trust I have clarified our position on this.

    Thank you for contacting Passenger Focus.


    Can anyone advise as to whether there is any further I can do? Is it likely I would have any success through the courts?

    In summary, to anyone reading this. Lose your ticket and you are screwed. Equally get mugged / someone steal your ticket while leaving the train and from what I can make out, you'd be equally screwed.

    It's utterly ridiculous that a penalty fare should ever be enforced despite being able to prove I purchased a ticket.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    to start with they used the word "FINE" which is a no no

    someone should be able to give you more info shortly

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  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder daniel9878 Novitiate



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    Default Re: Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    This is a joke. The whole idea of a train ticket is to prove you have paid for the crap service the train company provides and not obtained a service by deception (repealed by the Fraud Act). The train company is quite clearly trying to make money out of you and being completly unreasonable.
    Going to court is a gamble, your fine would most likely be reduced but that all depends on the jp's sitting.


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder scuzziemoo Novitiate



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    Default Re: Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    Any joy?


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder guns28 Novitiate



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    Default Re: Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    Further update on the situation.
    Since my last post I wrote a letter to my MPicon who contacted National Express on my behalf.
    Had partial success in that I received a cheque for 15 from National Express. Strangely I received just a cheque through the post, nothing so much as a covering letter was attached or even any description as to what this cheque was for.
    So I phoned National Express and got to speak to their Customer Relations manager who explained that this was in respect of the 15 that I originally paid for my ticket
    Now, I suppose I should be grateful for receiving something but I'm still rather p**sed off. The way I see it, I unjustly had to pay a 93 penalty for not being able to produce a ticket, despite having already paid 15 for my original ticket.
    Then they offer to refund the original 15 I paid! This is crazy - surely if they accept I paid to be on the service, there's no justification for the penalty fare.
    Anyone think I may have any joy through the courts or further appeal somehow?
    Incidentally I haven't cashed the cheque, I'm considering wiping my a*se with it, may give me more satisfaction


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Please help - Penalty Fare Appeal Rejected

    It does seem a bit odd that they give you a refund because they accept you had paid, but then penalise you for not having a ticket doesn't it?

    Mind you, you can look at it from another direction. I know from a mate's experience, if the excise licence for your car falls off and lies on the floor, then you get booked because it isn't visible to a police officer or traffic warden, you may still get fined because the offence is 'failing to display'.

    I believe that one of the reasons the train company can still charge you if you show a ticket later is because they can simply say to a court that the ticket you are now producing could be someone else's used ticket.

    I wouldn't wipe your ar*e with their cheque. That will give them more satisfaction because they'll still have your 15 and the 93.



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