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andy johnsonn

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About andy johnsonn

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  1. thanks for your reply old codger. whilst i do not agree with your comments and find them one-sided you are of course entitled to them. i appreciate you have almost forty years of experience and also appreciate that we are living in a fast changing world. my issues are recent and solely to do with southeastern. it is disappointing that you find it more important to defend yourself rather than tackling the real issues of inadequate ticket purchasing facilities and lack of training being provided by southeastern but that is your prerogative. i have received the final e-mail that i am prepared to accept from southeastern with the wide ranging and unreasonable disclaimers. needless to say they failed to respond to the questions they did not like the look of for the third time. i believe that i have now been more than fair with them and will take the matter up externally, including using some of the helpful advice proffered by honeybee. it seems clear to me that morally they are failing in their handling of the ticketing process and also having an unreliable machine is quite possibly legally failing to provide adequate facilities. whilst i support fully cracking down on fare dodgers their practices are leaving too many non fare dodgers open to getting caught up in the process. my final response to them; RE: Information Actions andy johnson 12:31 To: Customer Services dear isaac, thank you for your response which was better reasoned than the second crazy one! however this is being sent with a totally unreasonable disclaimer and many questions have now been ignored on three occasions. in particular the situation of teenagers without bank cards. i feel that i now need to take this outside of southeastern as you are taking a long time to reply and in any case have now been given three chances to respond fully. i have tried to use the ticket machine on four occasions now and twice it has been out of order. whilst i do support your crackdown on fare dodgers if you are providing adequate ticket purchasing facilitities (which i believe you have a legal duty to do) i do not believe that you are doing this. in addition your staff are neither being properly trained nor doing their jobs properly. when i pointed this out to the station master he said there must be something wrong with my card as the machine would let head office know it it was out of order. i used a second card with the same result! when the machine failed previously it showed on the front screen it was 'out of order'. however yesterday that was not the case, it only showed itself as not taking payment on the final screen. i am therefore assuming that as it could not even communicate with itself to say it was out of order it could not do so with head office either, leaving passengers open to penalty fares that they either accept or take a lot of time and effort having them removed. i agree with your final response that the ticket i would require for that journey is maidstone to sandwich, however you seem to have overlooked that i cannot buy this ticket outside of manned hours at harrietsham. it is my view that you are being completely unreasonable asking for the same rates of payment from passengers at harrietsham whilst providing a considerably worse service than at say bearsted. additionally i believe that you are failing to provide adequate ticketing services as laid down by statute. i will no longer reply to e-mails with such a wide and unreasonable disclaimer and will now take the matter up externally as you have been given more than adequate time and opportunity to reply to the points raised. andy
  2. thanks for your suggestion honeybee. as i said my next steps are to contact the local parish magazine a) to warn people and b) to monitor the faults of the ticketing machine. the other step being to contact rail user support groups and i thank you for your suggestions as i have no knowledge of these groups. andy
  3. Disclaimer This email and any attachments (together "this email") are strictly confidential and intended solely for use by the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. Unauthorised use of this email (including disclosure, copying and printing for any reason) is strictly prohibited. Southeastern denies any responsibility and liability in relation to the transmission and use of this email to the extent permitted by law. Any views expressed by an individual within this email do not necessarily reflect the views of Southeastern.
  4. i think there is little point continuing with the thread. the questions i have raised have not been answered here or by southeastern. even now the last three posts have simply been to support a regular poster rather than addressing the issues. i simply stated the final comments were nothing more than common trolling which i believe they were. i hadn't read anyone's profile and neither of the two posters connected with the railways had declared that until i raised the question. i simply stated the final comments were nothing more than common trolling, i made a clear separation from old codger's original comments. i asked if they had 'anything helpful or constructive to add' giving them an opportunity which they declined, in the same way southeastern are refusing to answer legitimate questions and concerns despite all of their disclaimers within them. andy
  5. i have still not decided on a course of action old codger. i do think it is wrong of you not to declare your lack of independence before posting, you final posts along with your colleague in the railways are little more than common trolling. ganymede i have started using an old bank card, an option that would not be open to most teenagers who use the railways often. however the machine has already malfunctioned, leaving no way of buying a ticket before entering the train. fortunately a ticket inspector was doing his job instead of sitting in with the driver and i was able to purchase a ticket rather than being given a penalty fare and having a lot of paperwork to complete to have it potentially cancelled. i have no idea if the railway employees are paid to post one sided replies on here or whether their employers even know they do it or if it is done out of allegiance. my understanding is that the likes of southeastern have a legal obligation to provide some sort of reliable ticket purchasing option, which from an early malfunction it suggests card only machines may not be capable of doing on their own as far as i can see southeastern are indulging in sharp practice at best and breaking the law at worst. there is clearly a new concerted effort to crack down on fare dodgers that even some inspectors are unhappy about. i support it totally as long as it is done fairly. however southeastern must be aware that their machines are not reliable and they are fully aware many ticket inspectors on the trains prefer to sit in with guards on many journeys rather than checking/selling tickets. the only line out of southeastern that i use now and again is the ashford rye brighton line. on every single occasion i have had my ticket checked so it could just be southeastern rather than all rail companies that chose to do nothing about their employees behaviour. i also feel it is wrong that those selling tickets are not being properly trained, it does seem that southeastern take a relaxed approach to their employees doing and having the knowledge to do their jobs properly. as far as what i intend doing goes. i will provide an e-mail to the local parish magazine and provide a warning as to what is going on and request people contact me with details of any downtime of the ticket machine as i don't travel regularly and i am travelling less often by train since the original incident. if others are having problems with their ticket machines malfunctioning at stations that are unmanned i would urge them to do the same. i will contact rail consumer group(s) to try to establish the legality of what is going on and take advice from them. it is clearly not right to fine people trying to purchase tickets but being unable to do so due to lack of facilities provided. so far southeastern have avoided answering questions put to them and refused to allow their replies to be shared. they do in any case add, 'Any views expressed by an individual within this email do not necessarily reflect the views of Southeastern' so effectively by contacting their complaints department you get a response from one of their employees that they take zero responsibilty for and may not agree with the contents of. a reasonable person may conclude this is an ineffective and largely pointless complaints procedure. in short rather than the original problem, having now scratched under the surface i am now extremely concerned by sharp practice and failing customer service employed by southeastern. andy
  6. yes i drifted back to the past there, although i generally put southeastern. is that the main issue for both of you here? can you both confirm that you have never at any time worked for the railways or anyone connected with them in any way and do you have anything helpful or constructive to add to what has been posted? many thanks, andy
  7. i would post the responses from southeastern, however in their e-mails they helpfully state that you are not permitted to reproduce them, somewhat more bizarrely they also state their empoyee replies do not necessarily represent their views. seems a bit pointless employing them or even replying to complaints really then but does give you an insight into their customer service. there is however nothing to stop me posting my replies to them of course nor to stop them coming on here and replying. i had one good well reasoned response and one where the person replying seemed to understand so little of what was e-mailed to them and avoided almost every question put to them to the extent you wondered whether they had just had a rather good liquid lunch! goes to show with one reply from their customer service you could get an extremely different view of it. they have dodged all questions of note but accepted they know some of their ticket inspectors sit in with the drivers and don't do the job they are paid for. you won't be surprised to hear that the new ticket machine is already failing to accept bank cards and given in their wisdom they installed a machine that wouldn't take cash you are again as a customer placed in the position of being unable to purchase a ticket and having a confrontation with a revenue protection officer. i am unsure of the legality of southeastern's position in failing to provide a means of purchasing a ticket or permit to travel. here is my response to the sensible first response. Actions andy johnson 26/11/2015 To: Customer Services hi david, thanks for your reply. it was a lot more helpful and understanding than i had expected. it would encourage me to go back to using british rail as before. as i said i basically thrust the £20 into the inspectors hand and left. i had already outlined the full details as provided to you. i do fully understand the implications of loss of revenue to southeastern and have once or twice in the past been unable to pay the full fare due to guards locking themselves in with the driver and a short journey to another unmanned station. to be honest i usually travel when the ticket office is open so it isn't a problem. i am not interested in trying to claim the penalty fare back partly because it is more trouble than it is worth and partly because i probably owe you getting on for that amount when i have been unable to pay due to the guards not doing their job properly on short journeys. my concern was really twofold. one being given wrong advice by the person who mans the ticket office. he is a decent helpful guy so i don't think there is any chance he was trying to mislead me he simply took a guess he shouldn't have done. he clearly hadn't been told/trained on the implications of the new ticketing system. therefore i will tell you the station i was travelling from, which was harrietsham. however i very much doubt he is the only person selling tickets for southeastern who is unaware of this. it seems unfair on both him and others doing his job and passengers that they are not adequately informed. occasionally the outward portion of my journey is less than the return for various reasons, so i don't end up at the same place, e.g. i may go from harrietsham to the coast, then meet someone afterwards in maidstone. how do i buy a ticket to cover this? i would much rather pay cash but have now got an old bank account going for dealing with southeastern as i don't want to risk the card getting stuck at an unmanned station (have had a card stuck before) nor do i want my main bank details stored in any way by british rail. it does concern me though that a teenager with no bank card could end up fined and going through the ordeal of being treated like a criminal. i can see no reason why southeastern could not have installed a machine that takes cash as they do at nearby bearsted. i have been concerned by a few things as an aside recently. whilst i travel from a station that is unmanned with no waiting room i find that i am on a line that has been historically overcharged. if that is true why is it not changed? i had another unpleasant incident recently when traveling to sandwich. i checked the online up-to-date train time to ensure my train was on time as i only had 10 minutes to make the connection and could have caught one a bit earlier if need be. it was shown as on time but i missed the connection by 3 minutes leaving me with almost an hour to wait for the next one. as the guard was around i asked him what had happened and he told me the train had been that late all the way down from london! i fully understand your problem with fare dodging but would respectfully suggest that a climate of better customer service may relieve some of the problem and that enabling everyone an option to pay by cash in some shape or form should be something that british rail should legally be forced to do and in any case should do so to avoid the potential problems that i raised. whilst i have no details of the inspector concerned i would again reiterate that it must have been completely obvious to him that i was not attempting to fare dodge. there was even a girl present who had seen me actually get off the train to speak with a rail employee to try and buy a ticket. his reply was anything but helpful. the journey lasted as many minutes as you have had days to reply to me! he knew i was in a locked off compartment and had tried to buy a ticket and had been misled to believe that i was entitled to pay cash. i do believe he failed to listen/wasn't interested in listening and was either under instructions to ignore comments from customers or simply had no interest. i gather from the website that i posted on that he failed to advice me adequately of my legal position and should have informed me of my position when i said i wasn't prepared to give my address to him. he seemed to deliberately be trying to drag things out when he knew i was in a hurry to meet someone. the way he dealt with things certainly increased the risk of a physical confrontation. i suspect he was adequately trained but simply couldn't be bothered to follow proceedings properly as he was too fed up with and jaded by fare dodgers, something i can understand even if i disagree with it. one final question for complete clarification. can you confirm that if you simply board a train without either a ticket or permit to travel ticket even if you cannot pay by cash that you are already in a position where you could be subject to a penalty fare. i would appreciate clarification so i can write to the local parish magazine to try and avoid anyone else getting caught out in this embarrassing and unpleasant manner. kind regards, andy the second reply was from a different individual it ignored virtually every question posed and tbh read like complete nonsense. my response to that RE: Information Actions andy johnson 03/12/2015 To: Customer Services dear matthew, i cannot say i am happy with your response which i find both disappointing and incomplete. you won't be surprised to hear that when i last travelled from harrietsham, on tuesday the ticket machine was already malfunctioning and was out of order for bank card transactions. this meant i had to rely on an inspector doing his job properly (which on this occasion he was) and risk another fine through no fault of my own. i will now be contacting my local parish magazine and making them aware of the situation and taking the matter externally. i presume an RPO would again have fined me for this as i couldn't prove the machine was out of order? this is assuming i was unlucky enough to be on one of your trains with a malfunctioning ticket inspector! i have no idea if the RPO who took the £20 at maidstone pocketed the money or declared it to southeastern. you have not explained why you have installed a bank card only machine whereas bearsted has a cash option. you have not explained what a teenager without a bank card should do. you have not addressed the issue properly of say the inability to issue a return ticket from another station. e,g, i may travel from harrietsham to sandwich, then back from sandwich to maidstone. thus i want a return ticket from maidstone to sandwich. i spoke with some RPO's recently at bearsted station and it was obvious they were unhappy with the way they were being used. whilst i support you in trying to obtain the correct fare from all passengers i do not support your attempt to force people to pay by bank card, including minors. it is clearly morally wrong not to provide adequate and full facilities to purchase tickets and then take a hard line in respect of issuing penalty fares. you already provide a worse service at our station than most with less trains, no waiting roomand no loo facilities on a line that i gather has been traditionally overcharged due to an 'anomoly'. it is also clear you are aware that many of your employees are not doing there job properly as inspectors but are not sorting this out and instead penalising passengers for your own internal failings. you have not addressed the lack of training given to your employees issuing tickets. to be honest you seem to have failed to read my e-mail properly getting the wrong end of the stick on occasion and failing to answer some questions. you completely misunderstood my main concern regarding using a bank card in a rural location, namely that my card could be caught in the machine, something i have had happen before, with no one present on site to sort things out. in short you are not providing a fair service to your clients. you are allowing ticket inspectors to not do their job, you are not training your employees properly , you are providing inadequate facilities for purchasing tickets and taking a hard line impacting on people who are trying to purchase tickets rather than just fare dodgers. i have been using rail services for forty years and never had problems before. i will now take the matter up externally having given southeastern considerably more days than i had minutes to buy a ticket on that day and since then the machine has already malfunctioned for bank card when it could have taken cash. i am in short not surprised by your response but pretty disgusted. yours, andy.
  8. as already stated, one guy working in the ticket office 6.15 to 10.30a.m. weekdays only with holiday cover. nothing else.
  9. travel time was 3pm to 4pm. i've already said why i wasn't naming the station. i presume legislation from 1889 would only relate to payment by cash rather than bank card. fact i sought information on paying by cash from southeastern's representative at my local station and followed it. it seems he gave me incorrect information which then led to this ridiculous state of affairs. i'll post the reply from southeatern when i get it.................. if i get it. thanks for your replies, andy
  10. the only one not that likely is an adult without a bank card. have resurrected an old bank account now and put a few quid in it so won't bother with the ticket office in future. the ticket office was closed for a redec for a fair while and there has been the odd unscheduled closure presumably due to the only guy working there being off sick. . at the end of the day the whole episode has left a very nasty taste in the mouth though and i'll probably not use the rail as much in future. so the way it was handled by the inspector has ultimately cost southeastern money which doesn't really make sense.
  11. thanks old cod, several things occur to me 1) it seems the problem arose due to the guy at the local ticket office giving me completely incorrect information and 2) it means effectively you can't get on a train without a ticket if there is an option to pay by a bank card. 3) if you don't have a bank card be it a teenager or an adult it means you can't travel or have to buy a ticket well in advance of travel assuming you know you will be travelling. 4) if you rely on a cash payment as a kid and the guy in the ticket office is off sick you either don't go to school or risk a fine. 5) having the option to pay at a machine with cash would avoid these problems. does that about sum it up? i was actually asked for my address without being given the ultimatum/choice of paying or giving my address. at no point did he give me the legal position, nor explain that i could pay the penalty then appeal it. he simply threatened to involve the police if i walked out without paying. i asked him several times what i owed him once i felt it was address or payment and each time he said the penalty fare is £20. he seemed to get distracted and muddled and was fiddling about with stuff in his pocket (maybe paperwork?) at which point i paid him the £20 as requested just to be shot of it. for the avoidance of doubt he never said to me you either give make payment or give me your address. i had no idea of the legal position as he never told me. however i was fully aware that in the overall scheme of things i was being badly treated as i had tried to find out the position from the local ticket office and made every effort to pay during a journey of under 15 minutes. i certainly had no intention of fare dodging and he must have been fully aware of that.
  12. agreed re the last bit ganymede but how much time would i have ended up burying to try and retreive £20 i should never have been fined in the first place. i suspect it may have taken about 8 hours in total once you take everything into account with an uncertain outcome, seems a pretty poor hourly return which is of course what they rely upon. as it happens i will now stay locally for my leisure time which isnt so much fun for me but an option and they won't get any money from me until i know where i stand so end up out of pocket themselves. a classic lose lose situation brought about by them.
  13. maybe i am maybe i am not ganymede, plenty of hacking of large companies recently, my other concern which has happened before is getting the card stuck as it is pretty old and worn and due to be replaced this month. fine if there is someone about to retrieve it but not at a village station. if i wasn't given what appears to be duff info by the guy at the staion i would have either bought the ticket earlier in the day and hoped arrangements hadn't changed, set up a new account or not travelled by rail. if i was a teenager without a bank card i clearly would not have that option. i asked the guy at the station how the legality of the new ticketing system stood about a week before. everything else happened yesterday afternoon within 20 minutes. i have contacted southeastern and provided the full story apart from the name of the station and await a response. tbh i am prepared to write off the £20 but do want to know where i stand in the future before considering using the rail service. i am not at all happy with what has happened, being treated like a criminal and fined when i was simply following the advice of their representative at the station, nor was i happy with the southeastern representative on the train when i asked him where i could buy a ticket and he wouldn't tell me. part of the problem was the short journey which didn't give me a chance without his help to find out where i could get a ticket from. however the inspector had all of that information plus a girl who actually saw me get off the train and ask the southeastern guy where i could get a ticket from but still chose to fine me. so in other words he knew i had tried my best to buy a ticket but had been impeded and misled by southeastern but expected me to pay for their incompetence and laziness. to me that is not catching fare dodgers, that is quite simply sharp practice at best.
  14. as i said in the original post it is only manned rush hour in the morning, just checked it is 6.10 am to 10.25 am weekdays only
  15. i'd rather not disclose for now as there is only one guy that works at the ticket office.
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