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gertysingh

Support for Action against DLR Penalty Fares for those who were not trying to avoid paying their fare

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In 2008, the evening standard reported that TFL collected £32m in penalty fares due to:

- folks not tapping out

- folks forgetting to tap their oyster card at the DLR

 

Source: TfL collects £32m in Oyster card penalty fares | News

 

I have also found out that if you appeal, the appeals bodies charge £8 per appeal. So the maths makes this sum pretty appalling.

 

The DLR is inconsistent with the way other London stations operate and infrequent visitors to the area are getting caught out and charged a £25 penalty fare. I wonder how many appeals actually get paid back.

 

Right now I have "Bee in my bonnet" about the whole thing. I was charged a penalty fare when I was trying to correct not having tapped my card at the DLR. I rarely use the DLR but I pay thousands a year on train fares. I have 3 other women friends who have been charged a penalty fare on the DLR for having forgotten to tap their oyster cards. And I know of many who have been charged a greater fare for not having tapped out. So why have we all allowed a system to criminalise all of us and make money out of human error?

 

And finally here is a reported quote from the source article.

 

A spokesman from TfL added that TfL had "no plans" to find ways to remind passengers to tap out or collect money owed, but confirmed it would refund those who complained. He said: "Everybody should now know how the Oyster pay-as-you-go system works."

I would (as well as a couple of other people) be interested in how many people have been charged a penalty fare due to not tapping out or not tapping in and not been refunded. Because the spokesman is talking C***

 

I have created a facebook group to find out who the innocent are who have paid the penalty fare rather than be hassled about it. Please do join if you are one of the innocents who want to do something about the bully tactics of the DLR/Serco

 

Welcome to Facebook

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Surely not tapping out wont give you a 'Penalty Fare', even if an inspector checks your card (your Oyster will be debited the full fare of £5 instead).

 

However I agree with your sentiments, It is so easy to sometimes forget (or get confused) to swipe, especially at complicated interchanges (some require multiple swipe outs/ins while others don't), despite being a regular commuter I myself made a mistake the other day, luckily I realised and asked a ticket cashier to correct it, he did, but said, he wont do it again..how flexible of them !

 

Andy

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Hi Andy - if you don't tap out you get an automatic penalty charge which is the £5 charge. A ticket inspector can issue you a penalty charge if he/she thinks you are trying to avoid paying the train fare however as I am reading and have experienced, they are generally happy to just simply issue a penalty fare and ask you to appeal to a system that will rarely give you your money back. Seems a bit mafio-so!

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I blame Ken Livingstone.

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yea but i bet if tapping out gave you £5, people would somehow not forget.

 

where there is an obvious and regular travel pattern for the holder then i think no fine at all TBH, or a fine that gets removed when the card is topped up if within 5 days.

 

but i can't see how it's making £32M in penalty fares

me thinks that some wild spurious figure

just do the maths.

 

sensationalizm?

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Hi Andy - if you don't tap out you get an automatic penalty charge which is the £5 charge. A ticket inspector can issue you a penalty charge if he/she thinks you are trying to avoid paying the train fare however as I am reading and have experienced, they are generally happy to just simply issue a penalty fare and ask you to appeal to a system that will rarely give you your money back. Seems a bit mafio-so!

 

Like Andy, I agree that this whole arrangement does deserver closer examination, but it is important to get the terminology right to avoid any chance of confusing your questions.

 

The £5 charge is not described as a penalty (it is described as the 'maximum fare') although it may obviously seem to penalise in some circumstances

 

The charge referred to as a penalty is only appropriate if you are issued with a Penalty Fare Notice (£50, but reduced to £25 if paid within 21 days)

 

It may be splitting hairs, but if pressing Serco-DLR or TfL for answers, it's best not to confuse the query.

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Dx - Dunno this is what they received from Serco. I just wonder why they have not used those funds to install barriers to be consistent with the rest of the underground system.

 

How many people will be fined when 2012 comes in? Do all those foreigners (including British nationals who live outside of London) receive an exception since it's the olympics? Yes I am expecting:

 

1. Many to forget to tap out

2. Many to forget to tap in

 

Either way it will be a huge revenue boost to TfL. Is this fair?

Edited by gertysingh

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Like Andy, I agree that this whole arrangement does deserver closer examination, but it is important to get the terminology right to avoid any chance of confusing your questions.

 

The £5 charge is not described as a penalty (it is described as the 'maximum fare') although it may obviously seem to penalise in some circumstances

 

The charge referred to as a penalty is only appropriate if you are issued with a Penalty Fare Notice (£50, but reduced to £25 if paid within 21 days)

 

It may be splitting hairs, but if pressing Serco-DLR or TfL for answers, it's best not to confuse the query.

 

Thanks Old C - appreciate what you are saying here. So will need add another query alongside the penalty fare questions such as:

 

"How many have been charged the maximum fare for not tapping out on DLR in the past 12 months?"

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I blame Ken Livingstone.

 

Although Ken himself did get caught and had a rant about Penalty fares, although this was on a rail route I do believe.

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Although Ken himself did get caught and had a rant about Penalty fares, although this was on a rail route I do believe.

 

He did not receive any penalty and was allowed to pay the fare.

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yea but i bet if tapping out gave you £5, people would somehow not forget.

 

where there is an obvious and regular travel pattern for the holder then i think no fine at all TBH, or a fine that gets removed when the card is topped up if within 5 days.

 

but i can't see how it's making £32M in penalty fares

me thinks that some wild spurious figure

just do the maths.

 

sensationalizm?

 

dx

 

 

Actually originally the reverse did apply.

 

For example..

 

You taped in (in zone 1) and your card was debited the default single journey cost £1.50. If you exited in (for example) zone 1, there would be no change, however if you travelled all the way to zone 6 and taped out, an extra £3 would be debited, the total being £4.50, of course it was in passangers interests NOt to swipe out !

 

This was changed to the reverse, you are debited £4.50 by default, if you exit in the same zone, then £3 is put back on your card, if you exit in zone 6 then nothing is added back on nor if you forget to tap out.

 

Now heres an interesting scenario, you have £1.50 or so on your card, the barrier lets you swipe in and your card will read -£4.50 or so, you then forget to swipe out, the next day you go to top it up but you'll have to put £6.50 on before you can travel anywhere OR you could just chuck it in the bin, buy a new Oyster for £3 and carry on with that. :)

 

Andy

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Thanks Old C - appreciate what you are saying here. So will need add another query alongside the penalty fare questions such as:

 

"How many have been charged the maximum fare for not tapping out on DLR in the past 12 months?"

 

 

The really interesting thing so far as DLR is concerned is the fact that if a single fare is collected on a DLR service, then TfL get to share that as a whole, but if the traveller is charged a penalty instead, then Serco get to keep it all.

 

Not much of an incentive to allow appeals is it??

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No wonder they are so trigger happy to issue a penalty fare first!

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No wonder they are so trigger happy to issue a penalty fare first!

 

Yes, but you can hardly blame the individual staff, as it is a management policy that they are working to.

 

That doesn't seek to excuse any individual who might be thought to be over zealous, but simply identifies where the policy comes from

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Yes, but you can hardly blame the individual staff, as it is a management policy that they are working to.

 

That doesn't seek to excuse any individual who might be thought to be over zealous, but simply identifies where the policy comes from

 

I myself ran into one of these over zealous types on a rail/DLR interchange the other day, I missed my train and jumped on the next one only to discover it didnt stop at the stop on my ticket, it stopped at the next one, which I believe would of cost 90p more (or if I'd swiped my oyster at my intended stop, it would of been the same price, as its the same zone).

 

Anyway, the staff member told me I had to pay a £20 penalty fare, which I argued about but wasnt getting anywhere, I gave him my debit card which didnt work, I had just paid in over a grand so knew there was plenty of money on it, after more arguing, he insisted i go to the shop and withdraw the money..I went to the shop and then proceded to walk down the road to the next stop..still angry...but smirking that i had saved a lovely £20, i sure need it than the money grabbing rail company.

 

Please note; I had no intention of avoiding my fare, I had made a simple mistake, but was still angry about the lack of any reasonablness or understanding that even seasoned commuters such as I do make mistakes.

 

Andy

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I myself ran into one of these over zealous types on a rail/DLR interchange the other day, I missed my train and jumped on the next one only to discover it didnt stop at the stop on my ticket, it stopped at the next one, which I believe would of cost 90p more (or if I'd swiped my oyster at my intended stop, it would of been the same price, as its the same zone).

 

Anyway, the staff member told me I had to pay a £20 penalty fare, which I argued about but wasnt getting anywhere, I gave him my debit card which didnt work, I had just paid in over a grand so knew there was plenty of money on it, after more arguing, he insisted i go to the shop and withdraw the money..I went to the shop and then proceded to walk down the road to the next stop..still angry...but smirking that i had saved a lovely £20, i sure need it than the money grabbing rail company.

 

Please note; I had no intention of avoiding my fare, I had made a simple mistake, but was still angry about the lack of any reasonablness or understanding that even seasoned commuters such as I do make mistakes.

 

Andy

 

Had he made out the notice with your details awaiting your return to pay Andy?

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Had he made out the notice with your details awaiting your return to pay Andy?

 

Nope :) I'd given him no details.

 

Also on a rather spooky note, I had a feeling that they would be checking tickets that day for some reason !

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Here's an observation. I have dealt with the Inland Revenue, DVLA and councils about penalties, parking fines etc. In my own experience, I have found them all really pleasant and reasonable to deal with.

 

So far dealing with Serco and their agents, it appears they are unreasonable to the point that I feel they are abusing human nature. My understanding is that laws and penalties are there to reduce/stop people from deliberately avoiding paying their fares. However there appears to be zero consideration to those who have made honest mistakes with proof of the error, and the approach has been to simply recite their laws. Are they above all?

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Gerty,

my understanding of Penalty Fares is that they are used when there is no evidence of an intention to avoid the fare, i.e. when people dont ensure they have paid the full fare for the intended journey before travelling when there are facilities available to purchase said ticket.

Fare evaders are (for the most part) dealt with in Court & not issued Penalty Notices.

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Gerty,

my understanding of Penalty Fares is that they are used when there is no evidence of an intention to avoid the fare, i.e. when people dont ensure they have paid the full fare for the intended journey before travelling when there are facilities available to purchase said ticket.

Fare evaders are (for the most part) dealt with in Court & not issued Penalty Notices.

I agree, although some staff don't apply this way of thinking, and simply issue Penalty Fares to fare evaders. Unfortunately, when you explain this to most punters, it falls on deaf ears!

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Penalty fares are indeed not for fare evaders, a Penalty Fare is an expensive ticket issued to people who don't buy ticket's before travelling.


Views expressed in this forum by me are my own personal opinion and you take it on face value! I make any comments to the best of my knowledge but you take my advice at your own risk.

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As has been mentioned, it is not a Penalty Fare. When a card is touched in, the maximum possible fare from that station is deducted (£4.30 off peak, £6.00 peak in most cases). This is called an Entry Charge. When the card is touched out correctly, the appropriate amount is refunded onto your card.

 

For people who find it difficult to touch in and touch out, would it be better if there was a more expensive flat fare that only required a single validation? How else are TfL meant to know how much credit to deduct other than a validation at the start and finish of the journey?

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As has been mentioned, it is not a Penalty Fare. When a card is touched in, the maximum possible fare from that station is deducted (£4.30 off peak, £6.00 peak in most cases). This is called an Entry Charge. When the card is touched out correctly, the appropriate amount is refunded onto your card.

 

For people who find it difficult to touch in and touch out, would it be better if there was a more expensive flat fare that only required a single validation? How else are TfL meant to know how much credit to deduct other than a validation at the start and finish of the journey?

Touching in/out was once easy, as all Tube Stations have ticket barriers as far as I'm aware, and with bus stops it tends to be a one at a time system whereby you can't accidentally not tap your card. The problem now, is that not all national rail stations in the London Zone area are barriered, and during rush hour I'd imagine it would be extremely easy to think you've touched your card, but the beep you heard was someone else, due to the crowds leaving the stations with no barriers or staff.

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