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Help - Didn't touch in Oyster and stopped by ....


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Hi,

 

Pls help me me. I travel between Southall and Liverpool st station in London. Sometimes I take the train (FGW) from Southall and go via Paddington and sometimes I get off at Ealing Broadway depending on how the tube is running.

 

Yesterday morning as I got off at Ealing Broadway, I saw the tube platform was packed so decided to get back on the train. Inspectors were also checking tickets here, but as I tried to return to the train I was pulled over a plain cloths police officer or a ticket inspector, he quickly waved his police looking badge but I really didn't see it so not sure who he was

 

When he checked my Oyster card it hadn't been touched in at Southall. I told him I did touch it in but there was no record. I had enough money on my Oyster and I said you can see my regular journey history and the fact I regularly top it up. I gave him all my details and thought he would fine me but instead he read me my rights, filled out a long form which stated the reason why I tried going back on the train, which I signed and then he let me go without fining me or asking me to pay for the fare from Southall.

 

He didn't explain the procedure or what would happen next or how long I should wait for a response.

 

I've just registered with TfL and checked my history and it appears since 22nd April there have been about 6 other occasions when, unbeknown to me, I haven't been touching properly at Southall and this has me really worried now.

 

Can you pls advise what may happen as I'm really worried and unable to sleep thinking I might get a criminal record. Is there anyone I should call or write to?

 

Thanks.

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Hi.

I'm a member of Underground staff and I hope to help you. First things first, you're not arrested when they read your rights, they are doing it purely for their legal purposes. If, and its a big if, you were taken to court (which is done when you are a constant fare evader), they use what you say then.

It seems that either your oyster card, or the machines at Southall are a bit unreliable. I would advice you to change your card, it'll cost you £5, but if you speak to a ticket office staff or oyster, they can transfer whatever is on your old card across.

Secondly, and this is less hassle, make sure you touch your card and it registers. You wont ever get double charged, the software prevents it. This will also prevent you getting charged the maximum when you touch out at your destination (which, if you check your card I'll guarantee you will have). Its not worth losing sleep over though, most that will happen is you'll get fined £80, no criminal record.

Hope that clears it up somewhat.

Tom

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Thanks for this. Do you think that an FOI request would produce useful information as to unreliability of Oyster machines - or cards?

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I think its not worth the hassle. They'll be able to tell from your history that you check in and out. If you touch out often at yourdestination and start point, ooccasionally this happens. As long as you are seen to be trying to pay for your journey, its not worth the companies time nor money to persue you.

Just try what I said, hopefully that'll sort out the reliability. It also might be worth mentioning it to any staff they might have at southall. They can then monitor the gates. If there is proven to be a fault, this will further your appeal.

Tom

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Thanks so much Tom.

 

At Southall I've touched out twice thinking it hadn't registered the first time and had to call Customer Services for a refund hence why I try and avoid touching in twice as well.

 

Obviously I'm very worried until I hear from them, but do you know how long they usually take?

 

Also, if they just fine me then how much that might be?

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I would be surprised if the £80 fine is the likely outcome as with a history of "accidentally" not touching in, the pattern here doesn't do you any favours.

 

If there is anything else you'd like to add to the story, more appropriate advice will of course be provided.

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My usual journey is touch in at Southall, jump across to the tube platform (No barriers), touch in at Ealing and touch out at Liverpool St.

 

I've checked my Oyster history this morning and it only goes back to 22nd April.

 

Around 6 journeys don't show a touch in Southall, all the others do.

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You wont ever get double charged, the software prevents it.

 

At Southall I've touched out twice thinking it hadn't registered the first time and had to call Customer Services for a refund hence why I try and avoid touching in twice as well.

 

 

So which one is correct ?

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