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Southwest trains - permission to travel, but still penalised

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Here's the deal:


I got to my station at 11.10 for an 11.30 train intending to buy a return ticket, and noticed a train was due at 11.13 that would take me to my connecting station, Southampton.


The 11.13 pulled in, the guard got out, and I asked him if I could buy a ticket on board. He said yes, so I got on. When he got round to me, it turned out his credit card machine was on the blink - he tried it twice - and I hadn't enough cash, so he told me to buy the ticket at Southampton. I asked him if it would cause problems, and he said, "Why would it?" Fair enough.


Got off at Southampton and went to the barriers to buy the ticket. The station guard said ok, and asked if my originating station had been open. I said yes, and explained the situation as above. He said he wasn't "party to" the conversation with the train guard, and gave me an option: buy a single ticket or suffer a penalty fare.


"So I have to pay for two singles, out and in?"


"But ..."

"Unless you want the penalty fare."


I ended up paying £32 for a 100 mile round trip, and I want half that money back.


As I understand it, the train guard gave me permission to travel without a valid ticket and the station guard therefore had no right to penalise me.


Am I in the right or the wrong?


And what do I do about it?


I have the SWT complaint form, but wonder if I should just go straight to the regulator and cut out the waffle.

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Edited by SRPO

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As I see it the guard said you could buy a ticket on board, the Conditions of Carriage state that tickets sold onboard trains will not have discounts applied to them & will be standard rate.

Therefore by entering the train without a ticket you gave up the opportunity to buy discounted or cheap rate fares.

Obviously the station guard could not legitimately charge a penalty fare as you had permission to board, but he/she was right to charge a SDR (2 x SDS).



Tickets bought on board are priced at the standard return fare. So the guard has a discretion? And that standard return fare is at a discount?


As for the station guard, seems that giving the option of single/penalty fare was unjustified.

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