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    • I came across this discussion recently and just wanted to give my experience of A Shade Greener that may help others regarding their boiler finance agreement.
       
      We had a 10yr  finance contract for a boiler fitted July 2015.
       
      After a summer of discontent with ASG I discovered that if you have paid HALF the agreement or more you can legally return the boiler to them at no cost to yourself. I've just returned mine the feeling is liberating.
       
      It all started mid summer during lockdown when they refused to service our boiler because we didn't have a loft ladder or flooring installed despite the fact AS installed the boiler. and had previosuly serviced it without issue for 4yrs. After consulting with an independent installer I was informed that if this was the case then ASG had breached building regulations,  this was duly reported to Gas Safe to investigate and even then ASG refused to accept blame and repeatedly said it was my problem. Anyway Gas Safe found them in breach of building regs and a compromise was reached.
       
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      The boiler was removed and replaced by a reputable installer,  and the old boiler was returned to ASG thus ending our contract with them. What's mad is I saved in excess of £1000 in the long run and got a new boiler with a brand new 12yr warranty. 
       
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    • Dazza a few months ago I discovered a good friend of mine who had ten debts with cards and catalogues which he was slavishly paying off at detriment to his own family quality of life, and I mean hardship, not just absence of second holidays or flat screen TV's.
       
      I wrote to all his creditors asking for supporting documents and not one could provide any material that would allow them to enforce the debt.
       
      As a result he stopped paying and they have been unable to do anything, one even admitted it was unenforceable.
       
      If circumstances have got to the point where you are finding it unmanageable you must ask yourself why you feel the need to pay.  I guarantee you that these companies have built bad debt into their business model and no one over there is losing any sleep over your debt to them!  They will see you as a victim and cash cow and they will be reluctant to discuss final offers, only ways to keep you paying with threats of court action or seizing your assets if you have any.
       
      They are not your friends and you owe them no loyalty or moral duty, that must remain only for yourself and your family.
       
      If it was me I would send them all a CCA request.   I would bet that not one will provide the correct response and you can quite legally stop paying them until such time as they do provide a response.   Even when they do you should check back here as they mostly send dodgy photo copies or generic rubbish that has no connection with your supposed debt.
       
      The money you are paying them should, as far as you are able, be put to a savings account for yourself and as a means of paying of one of these fleecers should they ever manage to get to to the point of a successful court judgement.  After six years they will not be able to start court action and that money will then become yours.
       
      They will of course pursue you for the funds and pass your file around various departments of their business and out to third parties.
       
      Your response is that you should treat it as a hobby.  I have numerous files of correspondence each faithfully organised showing the various letters from different DCA;s , solicitors etc with a mix of threats, inducements and offers.   It is like my stamp collection and I show it to anyone who is interested!
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1st Great Western Trains: letter- RE:Travel without ticket. - ** RESOLVED **


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My daughter has received a pre-court action letter from First Great Western.

It states that she is in breach of the Regulations of Railways Act 1889

and requires a payment of £84.70 within 21 days. £80 of this is a charge towards costs incurred.

 

I am rather upset at this as she did try to pay at the station she departed from

and was unable to as no staff were manning the ticket office

- they had put up a sign -

and no one came through the train during her journey to enable her to buy a ticket.

 

 

Also just to confirm – she waited in the queue with 4 others until the train arrived into the station,

and then there was a run for the platform.

 

When my daughter arrived at her destination station – she was stopped and did not have a ticket.

My daughter explained she did not have a ticket and the reason.

She was not given an option to purchase a ticket,

but instead the ‘Inspector’ took her name and address and this letter entitled Pre-Court Action is this next communication we have received.

 

I am happy to pay the fare, and do not understand why this option was not offered to her

when she explained about the unmanned station which has no ticket machine.

I do have an issue with paying £80 for a template letter.

 

I have a photo of the sign that was displayed at St. Erth station (where she got on),

and records should show that a conductor had not gone through the train in the 3 stops she was on the train

 

 

Do I have any hope of fighting the admin charge

– I feel it is not representative of the time/effort of sending a template letter?

Thanks in advance.

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IF there were no facilties to buy a ticket then any fines or penalty charges would not apply.

 

Were there deff no ticket office staff and no machines to buy tickets from ?

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My daughter has received a pre-court action letter from First Great Western. It states that she is in breach of the Regulations of Railways Act 1889 and requires a payment of £84.70 within 21 days. £80 of this is a charge towards costs incurred.

 

I am rather upset at this as she did try to pay at the station she departed from and was unable to as no staff were manning the ticket office - they had put up a sign - and no one came through the train during her journey to enable her to buy a ticket. Also just to confirm – she waited in the queue with 4 others until the train arrived into the station, and then there was a run for the platform.

 

When my daughter arrived at her destination station – she was stopped and did not have a ticket. My daughter explained she did not have a ticket and the reason. She was not given an option to purchase a ticket, but instead the ‘Inspector’ took her name and address and this letter entitled Pre-Court Action is this next communication we have received.

 

I am happy to pay the fare, and do not understand why this option was not offered to her when she explained about the unmanned station which has no ticket machine. I do have an issue with paying £80 for a template letter.

 

I have a photo of the sign that was displayed at St. Erth station (where she got on), and records should show that a conductor had not gone through the train in the 3 stops she was on the train. Do I have any hope of fighting the admin charge – I feel it is not representative of the time/effort of sending a template letter?

Thanks in advance.

 

As it is a pre action letter she can write back to appeal this admin charge, by explaining exact circumstances. FGW are one of the more reasonable companies and they should investigate, if she provides all relevant information in writing.

 

My experience with FGW is that they normally let you pay at the arrival station in this situation, provided you immediately go to a member of FGW staff at the station. If you tried to leave the station thinking you have had a free journey, that is where they take action.

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Thanks Andydd -

The staff were not at the desk and I have attached a photo of the sign they put in the window

- its used quite often.

 

 

I have not seen a ticket machine at St.Erth, but did a check online to double check

- which confirmed there are no machines.

 

UncleBulgaria

- My daughters bus leaves 4 minutes after the train arrives from outside the station

- I suspect she probably did make a dash for the bus,

but will need to have another chat with her.

 

 

She said she was stopped inside the station - so I am not sure on this point.

 

Thank you both for your prompt responses.

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The sign does say you will have to wait, it doesn't give permission to travel ticketless and breach Byelaw 18.

 

There is no obligation for the conductor to walk through, in actual fact, if she has decided not to wait as instructed, she should actively be seeking him out and explaining.

 

Appears to me as though she has made no attempt to purchase at her destination, and proceeded directly to the exit instead, which proves intent to avoid paying, and, if convicted, would lead to a criminal record so pay the admin fee. I am persuaded further that this is a very likely possibility owing to your comment about the tight 4 min bus connection etc. But regardless she avoided 3 seperate oppertunities to pay:

 

1) At the station she commenced her journey. Facilities were available, albeit with a notice informing there would be a short wait; did she choose to ignore the advice to wait?

2) On the train, did she fail to actively seek the conductor out on the train?

3) At her destination, did she fail to immediately proceed to the ticket office there- to purchase a ticket for the journey she had just made?

4) If the Inspectors had not been checking tickets, would she have just left the station without paying?

 

If the answer is YES to any of the above, then an offence was committed.

 

(The station will be singled manned, and the booking office clerk will also dispatch trains. However, they will only leave the booking office 2-3 mins before the train is due, so this suggests to me that the person involved here was rather unprepared and cutting it fine).

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Let's not be so harsh

 

Yes a passenger should seek the onboard ticket giver

 

But the fact that the office was noticeably closed

As before is an admissible reason

 

I.d appeal but if that doesn't work pay as that's cheaper than court and a criminal record

 

Dx

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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Let's not be so harsh

 

Yes a passenger should seek the onboard ticket giver

 

But the fact that the office was noticeably closed

As before is an admissible reason

 

I.d appeal but if that doesn't work pay as that's cheaper than court and a criminal record

 

Dx

 

The main issue is the likelehood that she simply tried to leave the station at her destination without paying.

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The sign does say you will have to wait, it doesn't give permission to travel ticketless and breach Byelaw 18.

 

There is no obligation for the conductor to walk through, in actual fact, if she has decided not to wait as instructed, she should actively be seeking him out and explaining.

 

Appears to me as though she has made no attempt to purchase at her destination, and proceeded directly to the exit instead, which proves intent to avoid paying, and, if convicted, would lead to a criminal record so pay the admin fee. I am persuaded further that this is a very likely possibility owing to your comment about the tight 4 min bus connection etc. But regardless she avoided 3 seperate oppertunities to pay:

 

1) At the station she commenced her journey. Facilities were available, albeit with a notice informing there would be a short wait; did she choose to ignore the advice to wait?

2) On the train, did she fail to actively seek the conductor out on the train?

3) At her destination, did she fail to immediately proceed to the ticket office there- to purchase a ticket for the journey she had just made?

4) If the Inspectors had not been checking tickets, would she have just left the station without paying?

 

If the answer is YES to any of the above, then an offence was committed.

 

(The station will be singled manned, and the booking office clerk will also dispatch trains. However, they will only leave the booking office 2-3 mins before the train is due, so this suggests to me that the person involved here was rather unprepared and cutting it fine).

 

Thanks firstclassx

- unfortunately we arrived at st.Erth with 9 minutes to spare.

The station staff didn't come in after the arrival of the St.Ives train but went straight to the next platform.

Often the staff return to the office between trains, but it was not the case on that day.

 

I was not aware that she should go looking for the train conductor,

so will ensure that if this occurs again she doesn't wait in a seat.

 

Thanks you for your assistance.

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Pay the admin fee straight away, get all the relevant receipts etc.

 

AFTER you have done that, there is nothing then to stop you from contacting FGW afterwards to raise a complaint etc. Whilst it will more than likely not get you anywhere, if you can provide any mitigating circumstances as to the reason for ticketless travel. Generally, taking a more pragmatic and apologetic, reflective stance may result in a partial refund - but from my experience, I would say your daughter may have had a genuine and initial intention to pay, but when she realised she could potentially avoid having to pay, she took advantage of the situation, but on this occasion, she was caught.

 

People only "paying when challenged or forced to" is a major problem for the railway and is rightly viewed seriously by the operators.

 

I do understand that ideally the ticket office would always be staffed at the origin, but sometimes it simply isn't practical, and it falls to the operator to trust that their customers will be honest (and comply with the Law) to ensure payment later.

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The main issue is the likelehood that she simply tried to leave the station at her destination without paying.

 

This is likely the key issue, given the OP's post noted :

My daughter has received a pre-court action letter from First Great Western. It states that she is in breach of the Regulations of Railways Act 1889

 

For a RRA prosecution (does it say which section? S5? S5(3)?? S5(3)a???), they would normally have to show intent to avoid a fare / (travel further than paid for) / give false details.

 

This is in contrast to the 'strict liability' Bylaw offence where failing to show a ticket (when asked to do so) makes out the offence regardless of intent.

 

So, if she went up to the staff at the destination and said "I need to buy a ticket!" and their record of the incident shows this : she might consider replying noting that she never intended to avoid her fare ... (is she under 18, BTW?).

 

More details regarding what exactly she was doing and where (was she trying to leave the station? had she walked past the ticket office??) when she was stopped, and what happened when she was stopped (especially if she was asked if she would have paid if she hadn't have been stopped, and her reply) would assist in assessment of if they could show 'intent'.

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- I suspect she probably did make a dash for the bus,

 

records should show that a conductor had not gone through the train in the 3 stops she was on the train

 

 

...........

 

 

these two comments worry me......

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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Let's not be so harsh

 

Yes a passenger should seek the onboard ticket giver

 

But the fact that the office was noticeably closed

As before is an admissible reason

 

I.d appeal but if that doesn't work pay as that's cheaper than court and a criminal record

 

Dx

 

Thanks Dx

I will see what response I get from the company today as rang and left a message yesterday.

Appreciate your help and advice.

Will post results once known.

S

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Thanks Dx

I will see what response I get from the company today as rang and left a message yesterday.

Appreciate your help and advice.

Will post results once known.

S

 

Your daughter should be dealing with this unless she is under 18. FGW may refuse to deal with you otherwise.

We could do with some help from you.

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Your daughter should be dealing with this unless she is under 18. FGW may refuse to deal with you otherwise.

 

Thanks Uncle Bulgaria, just logged on and seen this comment - you are quite right. She was 18 last month and FGW refused to deal with me. A learning curve for both of us!

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Thanks Andy. We will try the department on the letter and if all goes pair shaped, then give Transport Focus a go. Appreciate your advice, sharing of knowledge and the amount of time all of you give.

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Reading the info provided I'm assuming she travelled to Redruth? When the RPI'S do a check there they stand outside the station entrance out of view so that anyone who has travelled still has the opportunity to pay at the ticket office where they would also have someone with an avantix, it's important that we know exactly where the op's daughter was stopped.

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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I know this has no bearing on this case now but GWR are now in the process of installing machines at St Ives, St Erth, Camborne and Redruth so in future hopefully any incidents like this will be less frequent

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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Try contacting Transport Focus (previously Passenger Focus), I (and many others) have found them very helpful and they can often bring pressure to bear on TOCs where they behave unreasonably.

 

See here > http://www.transportfocus.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

I understand Andydd's intention here and whilst I agree it can be worthwhile sometimes, it is worth reminding people that Anthony Smith's organisation Transport Focus, has a brief to look at the detail when the Rail (or other transport undertaking) has not resolved a disputed issue to the traveller's satisfaction to see if that company has acted unreasonably.

 

That does NOT mean that a prosecutable case can automatically be stopped by Transport Focus because it cannot, although they may be able to help come to an alternative disposal in some cases.

 

If the TOC believe that they have sufficient evidence to proceed to prosecution, it is their right to do so.

The final arbiter in such a dispute will be the Court.

 

Unless we know all of the details involved in any case and that means we would have to have sight of the inspector's report and a first hand account from the actual traveller for comparison, along with train loading/running information etc., it would not be fair to suggest that a TOC has 'acted unreasonably' in pursuing an unpaid fare.

 

As a parent & grandparent I know only too well the automatic impulse to try to help and I only offer this to try to ensure that no-one gets an unrealistic expectation from going to Transport Focus with any unjustified complaint that a TOC has been unreasonable if they have not. It is a fact that sometimes it can make matters worse if misunderstandings arise as a result.

 

If your daughter genuinely does not think she has done anything wrong and therefore does not wish to accept FGW's offer of an opportunity to dispose of the matter by administrative penalty, we sometimes have to accept that she really is best advised to seek advice from a qualified lawyer.

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I'm speaking from my experience of TOCs where they have acted unreasonably and TF got involved, two occasions spring to mind, one resulted in apologies received from CEO and Head of Revenue protection and some compensation, the other wasnt resolved as much as I hoped, TF clearly agreed with my point of view but admitted that ultimately they had no legal powers to force the TOC to do anything. In fact Id hazard a guess to say that ALL of us who have traveled on a train have at some time or another been it situations where the TOC acts unreasonably when it comes to threats of penalty fares or prosecution.

 

Clearly IF the TOC believes it can prosecute then it is free to do so, but often it is a grey area, the TF produced a report on this where commuters were treated unfairly so this is quite a wide spread problem, see the Ticket To Ride report here > http://www.transportfocus.org.uk/media/4456151818a0a1658bfd421c3e9c86c9c650de05/Ticket%20to%20Ride%20%E2%80%93%20an%20update%20-%20February%202015%20-%20FINAL.pdf

 

True we dont know the full facts, and we can only go on from what we are told, but it would appear that its not reasonable to close a ticket office, provide no other means of purchasing a ticket and then seeking to prosecute the traveller.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello all.

My daughter contacted GWR and discussed her case

- they requested she send them by post the photograph to demonstrate that the ticket office was not available.

 

 

However, in their return letter they noted

"It is your responsibility; knowing that were not in possession of a valid ticket after the train left St Erth,

to proactively seek out the Train Conductor on the train."

This is true and we are paying the pre-court action fine/costs as recommended.

 

Still think the costs are not representative of the template letter they sent out; it has been a learning curve for both of us.

I have many times sat on the train and bought a ticket from the conductor as they strolled through

- but realise that although that may be OK, you should not exit the train without having paid.

 

Thank you everyone for your advise and assistance.

Without forums such as this its hard to work out where you stand.

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Hello again.

 

I'm pleased you've managed to resolve this, even if it wasn't what you had hoped for. And I hope that armed with your new knowledge, you don't have the same problem again.

 

Thank you for updating us, I'll amend your thread title to show the result. :)

 

Best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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However, in their return letter they noted

"It is your responsibility; knowing that were not in possession of a valid ticket after the train left St Erth,

to proactively seek out the Train Conductor on the train."

This is true and we are paying the pre-court action fine/costs as recommended.

 

Still think the costs are not representative of the template letter they sent out; it has been a learning curve for both of us.

I have many times sat on the train and bought a ticket from the conductor as they strolled through

- but realise that although that may be OK, you should not exit the train without having paid.

 

Thank you everyone for your advise and assistance.

Without forums such as this its hard to work out where you stand.

 

"I have many times sat on the train and bought a ticket from the conductor as they strolled through

- but realise that although that may be OK, you should not exit the train without having paid."

 

FGW's reply makes it cler that sitting on the train waiting for the conductor isn't OK. Your responsibility is to seek them out to pay.

 

"It is your responsibility; knowing that were not in possession of a valid ticket after the train left St Erth,

to proactively seek out the Train Conductor on the train."

 

If you wait for the conductor / Train manager, or get asked for your ticket by an RPI before the conductor comes to you : you might be opening yourself up to a Bylaw 18 prosecution.

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What if the train has many carriages that are not accessible ?, on my local line, only 4 can be walked through but train maybe 8 or 12 and sometimes connecting doors don't work.

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What if the train has many carriages that are not accessible ?, on my local line, only 4 can be walked through but train maybe 8 or 12 and sometimes connecting doors don't work.

 

Virgin Trains sometimes have this.

Due to safety regs, each portion of the train that can't be accessed from the other has its own train manager.

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