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Help Unfair Unpaid Fare Notice x 10

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Hi My friend recently organised a trip for 10 of us to go to London to celebrate a friends 50th Birthday.She booked the trip with Superbreak through Thomas Cook. Everything was paid in advance and included return rail fare from Doncaster to London and 2 nights accomodation. She picked up the travel documents from Thomas Cook for all 10 people but after reading bad reports for the hotel we were due to stay in she asked Thomas Cook to change the accomodation. They did this and asked my friend to return all the documentation and 2 days later she picked up an envelopecontaining the amended travel tickets. Unfortunately they omitted to transfer the rail voucher showing payment already made for 10 return rail fares. We discovered this when the ticket inspector asked for the tickets on the train - we were able to show her an invoice from Superbreak clearly showing the date of travel and journey and that payment had been made in full. We immediately rang Thomas Cook and they found the voucher in the original envelope. This was explained to the ticket collector and we were told that was fine as we would have 10 days to produce the valid rail voucher and she filled in an unpaidfare notice for each of us.

As soon as we got back from the trip I sent the rail voucher and the 10 copies of the unpaid fares notice with a covering letter to RPSS THINKING THAT WAS THE END OF THE MATTER.However we have each had a demand for £92 plus £15 admin costs and told that our appeal was unsuccessful. That means a total of £1075 we would collectively have to pay even after though we had already paid for our tickets in advance and produced a valid ticket within the 10 day period. Please any advice or sample letters would be very grateful

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It seems that this was the most fair cause of action given the circumstances, bearing in mind you could have been penalty fared or worse. Unfortunately the staff concerned have no input in the appeals process, and although they probably thought they were doing the right thing, had no right to tell you just to phone/write to the company etc in order to get the Unpaid Fare Notice overturned (UFN). The problem is, in the eyes of rail comapnies, only the ticket itself is valid for travel, and failure to produce one can lead to these sorts of problems. I understand that the fault here lies not with yourselves, so I#d like to think that IRCAS or whoever else deals with these UFNs would use a bit of common sense, so long as you can prove the fault lies soley with Thomas Cook. I suggest you write another letter, underlining exactly what happened. Out of curiosity, what exactly did your initial appeal say?

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Tell them you have provided proof of the tickets and that the matter is now closed.

Its a civil dispute and would not be successful in a county court.


I agree that in this case RPSS are simply rejecting your appeal in what appears to be a revenue raising exercise, although this is hardly likely to be a County Court matter


If they were to issue Summonses it would be likely to attempt a case of 'fare evasion' in the Magistrates Court (RRA 5.3.a) but I doubt that they could make it stick and no prosecutor of repute is ever likely to run with it..


I would certainly send a further appeal to the Independent Penalty Fares Appeal Service (IPFAS) and ask for a review of the matter although IPFAS are part of the same set-up and hardly entirely independent in many eyes within the industry.

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