I went to Thorpe Park yesterday but on my journey to the train station I was late and as soon as I arrived at the station I literally had to jump on the train as it was about to leave. (I even lost my scarf which one of the staff on the platform kindly ran to the train and handed it over to the conductor for me.)
On the train I approached the conductor and asked for a return ticket to Staines. After notifying me it was £15.90 for the fare I started to collect the correct amount from my purse. Halfway doing so he then tells me that a Travelcard is cheaper and would also take me to Staines as well. (We had a little chat about travelcards, offer wise, so he should actually remember me...) Surprised about this new knowledge I went ahead and bought a Day travelcard for the cost of £15.70 (Not much difference I'd say but to a student a little goes a long way.)
Upon arriving at Staines, I wasn't able to get out of the barrier and the staff at the ticket barrier tells me that my ticket isn't valid here and just sends me to her colleague without explaining why. It was there and then I was issued a penalty fine for travelling beyond validity. Even when I explained the situation to the member of staff he just kept asking for details ignoring a word I was saying and wanted me to cough up £20 on the spot. I asked about appealing and got the answer, "what appeal?" I was so annoyed.
Anyway, I ended up giving details and not paying. This was when I was told after being repeatedly asked the same questions that I was to pay the money at xxx location or appeal at the Ircas website. (So what was all the, "oh you can't appeal" from before?) I was also notified to buy a Single ticket from Staines to Feltham on the way home else I will be fined again.
I'm writing here to ask the community on how I should write the appeal letter and actually be able to claim back my Single train ticket fare of £2.80 and also to not pay the penalty fare due to their staff misleading me that a travelcard covered the area to Staines. If I had knew it wasn't in the catchment area I would have paid the extra 20-30 pence for a return ticket (It was £16 when I checked online), instead of paying an absurd amount of £22.80 extra for a day out to Thorpe Park.
I have taken photos of my train tickets and also the ends of the tickets where it shows the difference between one bought from a conductor (ripped edges) and another from a machine (straight clean cut).