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TFL's staff unbelievable desire to penalize


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Good evening everyone!

 

Here what happened to me this morning(it is actually the text I have just composed to send as an appeal against an unfair decision):

 

I came to St James train station(zone 3) at around 07:09 am.

My train was at 07:12 as usual.

I wanted to renew my 7 days travel card (zones 1-3), but the ticket machine wasn't working, and

I went to the ticket office and asked for help.

 

And the lady behind the glass told me to go across the street to top up at some shop.

If I had done so I would have missed my train.

Well, I couldn't accept it as I just started a new job, and the person in charge there doesn't like it when people are late,

so I could have lost a job over that.

 

Thus I jumped on the train and traveled to the Liverpool Street Station hoping that I would be able to buy my travel card there and avoid coming at work late.

 

When I came to the Liverpool Street Station I asked the staff there to help me out and let me out to the nearest ticket machine to buy my 7 days travel card,

but they were not helpful and preferred to issue me with a penalty notice.

 

I believe it was an unfair decision as I was not going to travel without paying, and it was obvious that the fault was not mine

and I was going to buy the ticket at the Liverpool Station.

 

You can look up in your records and you will see I regularly buy zones 1-3 travel card.

The guys were really eager to make me pay 40 pounds(!!) without even trying to show any sign of understanding my reason,

to say nothing of complete lack of intention to consider my concerns/request.

 

The guy named Mohammed said it was my fault and I should have foreseen things could develop that way

and I should have come to the station much earlier than three minutes before the train arrival.

Then he told me that they(he and another guy of the staff) called the lady at St James Station

and she said that she had offered me to buy a ticket to Liverpool Street Station.

 

But in fact she didn't say anything of the kind, she just refused renewing my travel card and suggested me to go across the street to do so.

 

Mohammed, the guy who issued me the penalty notice, made some notes(along with my details - my full name, date of birth and address)

describing the situation into his note pad and asked me to sign the text.

 

I refused to do so unless he crossed out the clause about the woman's offer to buy a ticket from her, because it was not true – she didn't make that offer.

She just offered me to go across the street to top up my oyster and stared at me in silence with eyes wide open

and expression of her face showing no care that in that case I will inevitably miss my train.

 

I am going to appeal against their decision to charge me 40(!) pounds.

At the back of the penalty notice there is an email and a post address to make an appeal.

Should use those contacts, or anyone had better suggestions?

 

Any advice is very welcome. Thank you very much.

Edited by Conniff
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they would from their records know if the machine was faulty at that time.

 

 

prove that and you might be ok.

 

 

dx

  • Confused 1

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Yep, that's TFL and there are people on here that say they don't intentionally penalise. We know they do and they seem to get great enjoyment from doing it.

 

It looks like they have some commission of each person fined.

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Good evening everyone!

 

Here what happened to me this morning(it is actually the text I have just composed to send as an appeal against an unfair decision):

 

I came to St James train station(zone 3) at around 07:09 am.

My train was at 07:12 as usual.

I wanted to renew my 7 days travel card (zones 1-3), but the ticket machine wasn't working, and

I went to the ticket office and asked for help.

 

And the lady behind the glass told me to go across the street to top up at some shop.

If I had done so I would have missed my train.

Well, I couldn't accept it as I just started a new job, and the person in charge there doesn't like it when people are late,

so I could have lost a job over that.

 

Thus I jumped on the train and traveled to the Liverpool Street Station hoping that I would be able to buy my travel card there and avoid coming at work late.

 

When I came to the Liverpool Street Station I asked the staff there to help me out and let me out to the nearest ticket machine to buy my 7 days travel card,

but they were not helpful and preferred to issue me with a penalty notice.

 

I believe it was an unfair decision as I was not going to travel without paying, and it was obvious that the fault was not mine

and I was going to buy the ticket at the Liverpool Station.

 

You can look up in your records and you will see I regularly buy zones 1-3 travel card.

The guys were really eager to make me pay 40 pounds(!!) without even trying to show any sign of understanding my reason,

to say nothing of complete lack of intention to consider my concerns/request.

 

The guy named Mohammed said it was my fault and I should have foreseen things could develop that way

and I should have come to the station much earlier than three minutes before the train arrival.

Then he told me that they(he and another guy of the staff) called the lady at St James Station

and she said that she had offered me to buy a ticket to Liverpool Street Station.

 

But in fact she didn't say anything of the kind, she just refused renewing my travel card and suggested me to go across the street to do so.

 

Mohammed, the guy who issued me the penalty notice, made some notes(along with my details - my full name, date of birth and address)

describing the situation into his note pad and asked me to sign the text.

 

I refused to do so unless he crossed out the clause about the woman's offer to buy a ticket from her, because it was not true – she didn't make that offer.

She just offered me to go across the street to top up my oyster and stared at me in silence with eyes wide open

and expression of her face showing no care that in that case I will inevitably miss my train.

 

I am going to appeal against their decision to charge me 40(!) pounds.

At the back of the penalty notice there is an email and a post address to make an appeal.

Should use those contacts, or anyone had better suggestions?

 

Any advice is very welcome. Thank you very much.

 

I agree with this Mohammed chap, you should have arrived sooner than 3 minutes before your train departed. That way you would have had plenty of time to top up your card.

 

After all, it is your responsibility to have a valid ticket etc before you board.

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Cut it fine and this is what happened. If your job is so important, you need to leave more than 3 minutes!

 

You intentionally disregarded the advice of railstaff as how to best obtain your desired ticket, and instead travelled without any valid tickets whatsoever.

 

You also had the option of buying a single ticket to London, and then sorting it all out later, but you didn't.

 

Pay the Penalty Fare before it leads to a court date.

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The justice is that they fine or prosecute passengers who do not have a valid ticket of travel. The circumstances of the ticket machine not working is irrelevant since there were staff who could have sold you a ticket and you didn't purchase a ticket despite asking the seller of tickets for travel card topup.

 

If it were myself appealing, I would aplogise for the error and explain that in haste and stress of starting a new job and finding the ticket machine not working, that I wrongly assumed that I could purchase travel card at the next station, point out that you have not done this before and that you are a regular commuter paying for your travel card topup each week.

 

Other threads of same issues seem to suggest that non payers are sometimes taken to court and then have a criminal record! May be easier and safer to pay the 40 even though you feel it is not justice.

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The justice is that they fine or prosecute passengers who do not have a valid ticket of travel. The circumstances of the ticket machine not working is irrelevant since there were staff who could have sold you a ticket and you didn't purchase a ticket despite asking the seller of tickets for travel card topup.

 

If it were myself appealing, I would aplogise for the error and explain that in haste and stress of starting a new job and finding the ticket machine not working, that I wrongly assumed that I could purchase travel card at the next station, point out that you have not done this before and that you are a regular commuter paying for your travel card topup each week.

 

Other threads of same issues seem to suggest that non payers are sometimes taken to court and then have a criminal record! May be easier and safer to pay the 40 even though you feel it is not justice.

 

I agree, your version looks wiser.. But I have already sent my text.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Going to join in with a little rant here ... I travel regularly from my station into Liverpool Street, today I didn't notice that I had a low balance when touching in (there's no barrier, just a touch pad), only when I went to touch out and got a "please top up" notice. Asked the man on the barrier if I could go and top up (sometimes they have let me do this .. before they became London Overground), he told me to go and speak to the revenue man. I resigned myself to a penalty fare at this point, some you win, some you lose. (I've tried to set up automatic top up (which would be the obvious answer) but it's not working for me).

 

 

The man he pointed out was on the phone, with a queue of three people. I went in search of another responsible member of staff - there were about 30 standing around platforms 1-6: 2 on each barrier bank, little crowds by the ends of the platforms. I found the manager and said that I needed to get out as I hadn't had enough money on my Oyster, was there someone else who could deal with that? He made me go through what had happened, while he listened with a look of total smugness, and then said "you have to buy a ticket before your journey". Yes, I know, I said, fine, but I need to get out of here as I have an appointment, is there not another person in this army of people in uniform who can deal with that? Mr Smug felt obliged to puff himself up and tell me that he was the Customer Services Manager, and was trying to help me, and all those staff were barrier staff, bla bla irrelevant bla, to go on about the need to buy a ticket and (eventually) that there was another revenue protection officer I could speak to.

 

The RPO was equally smug and irritating - he asked where I'd come from twice, checked my Oyster, found it had a negative balance - well, yes, because the system had just mugged me of £5.50 or so for tapping in with insufficient funds (there had been a pound or so of credit). "You cannot travel with a negative balance". "Yes, I know that ..." And so on.

 

 

I was offhand with them, but I wasn't offensive. Mr Customer Services Manager seemed put out that I wasn't impressed by him, not bothered about 40 quid and didn't want to play his power game. I did point out that I am a customer who pays several hundred pounds a year to TFL, and I wasn't getting much of a service.

 

 

I had my debit card in my hand the whole time, was ready and willing to pay. They felt obliged to run smugly through the options of charging me £40 if I paid now (yes, yes, yes... ) £80 if I didn't pay there and then, and the possibility of prosecution if I didn't pay (regardless that I had been trying to pay for the last ten minutes). Took the guy 10 minutes to fill in the form, deliberately slowly. All in all, I was delayed by 20 minutes.

 

 

I'm told revenue staff talk about customers failing the "attitude test", and that plays a part in decisions to fine or prosecute; I think they fail the "attitude test" if they treat customers like criminals or naughty children, and deliberately inconvenience them, just because they consider them lippy or insufficiently humble.

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To add ...

 

All the extra staff that have suddenly materialised on the Chingford/Hertford line: there are two on each barrier bank staring avidly at the barriers in order to check no-one misuses a child or Freedom pass. What's the point in automation if you're going to have that level of overmanning? I haven't seen the like outside of a communist country (Russia, where they had women watching the escalators).

 

 

Do they have quotas of people to catch? Are they on commission? Surely the amount lost in dodging cannot justify their wages.

 

 

People like me aren't "dodging" anyway, any negative balance will be made up next time the person uses the Oyster, which has a deposit of £3.00 on it. A Penalty Fare of £40, hmm, maybe a reminder to check the balance more carefully, but all the telling-off and deliberate time-wasting seems nothing but vindictive, unnecessary and disproportionate.

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And there are regulars on this section who have poo poohed my posts where I have said they are out to get passengers, they are paid a bonus on how many they get, no, then prove it.

They love taking people to court and can't use their common sense when a genuine mistake is made, probably because they don't have any common sense and would lose out on their bonus.

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