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Hi All, Many thanks for reading this entry, if anyone has any advice just to settle me that would be ideal.


I sent an email to the south west train customer service desk before the letter arrived but haven't heard back as of yet.


The events were as follows


I had been travelling to xxx from xxx late afternoon and proceeded to tap my contactless card at the entrance gates to xxx train station.

The gates opened and my card was logged.



I proceeded to take the train towards xxx and upon my arrival,

attempted to leave the station by tapping my card out, I was unable to do so.


I was in a rush at the time and spoke to the gate attendant who told me 'sort it out the other side'.

In my confusion I left the station on the belief the issue has been rectified,



i told my friend who had been waiting for me at guildford train station who told me if i didn't tap out,

i would have an incomplete fare and just be charged 8.80,

i was then reprimanded by a revenue enforcement agent who overheard the conversation.


At the end of the conversation the agent informed me that I had deliberately avoided paying the fare

to which I had responded that it was merely an oversight as the maximum fare imposed on my card for not tapping out

would have been more then the cost of my journey and so it was not in my best interest to avoid the fare.


I just got back from working abroad for four months and had only travelled around London using my debit card since i was home.

I assumed that xxx would have the facilities available but i was wrong in this assumption.



My job relies on me having a US visa, and with a possible criminal record i would most definitely lose my job.


I have one previous penalty fare from a few years ago at the beginning of student years where a drunken haze led me purchase the wrong ticket.

I paid the upfront fine and didnt hear back from them after that.


Can anyone tell me what the likelihood of SWT settling out of court in this matter.

I have a transcript of my travels from the TFL website that shows i tapped in at xxx.

Im sure this is a repeat of the plenty of posts on here but i am yet to see one where a contactless card was used.


Many thanks for taking the time to read this, any help would be appreciated.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.


When you say contactless card, do you mean one that's like a debit card, a sort of electronic purse please?


As you may have seen when reading other threads, it's difficult for us to predict what SWT are thinking. And you can't start negotiating until you hear from them and have a unique reference plus the name of a staff member to speak or write to. They may not have been able to tie up your email with the file for this reason.


Normal advice is to wait until the letter arrives, I'm afraid.


My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum




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Do SWT have their own smartcard system or was the journey you did part of the TfL oyster zone ? What stop did you get on/off ?


It appears that SWT have their own Smartcard system > http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/smart.aspx but not a contactless debit card system.


So what card did you use at the start of your journey ?

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SWT Map > http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/networkmap.aspx


TfL Zones Map > http://content.tfl.gov.uk/london-rail-and-tube-services-map.pdf


So Kingston is in Oyster TfL area,

so I assume that you can swipe in to Kingston using an Oyster and also a Contactless Debit Card, but this is only for journeys with TfL Zones,

Guildford is outside,



IF they have Swipe card readers at Guildford I assume they would only read SWT Smart Card system

but I would of thought they wouldn't let you out, unless they do and thev charged you a not tapped in/out fee in same way Oyster does,

this is normally quite high and in excess of any amount you would of normally paid.


There are two options here, you know the area well and were trying it on to avoid paying the full fare.




You dont know area well and the combination of Oyster/SWT SmartCard system/Contactless debit card system has caused confusion,

I know Im bloody confused and Ive spent a while looking into it,



further confusion is added by the fact that some TOCS (such as my local ones GA and C2C) usem same fare structure as Oyster

BUT some others use a different higher fare structure although you are still within the TfL Osyer area.


If its a genuine mistake on your part then Transport Focus have been useful in persuading TOCs that prosecution is not the best option

> http://www.transportfocus.org.uk/help/rail-complaints


Also see > http://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research/publications/ticket-to-ride-an-update

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Hey thanks for the reply

It was a genuine mistake,

i used to have a car and did little travel on the train.

I sold my car before going abroad for work.



I have spent the last 4 months away from the country,

when the whole contactless craze came in,

and this was my first time since being back in england that i have travelled outside of london.



Because i was so used to the london system i made an assumption that everywhere had it. Obviously this was not the case.


My train fare from kingston to guildford would have been 8.10,

but my friend told me and i later looked online to confirm this,

that if you tap in and not out, you get charged the maximmum fare which is 8.80.



So with what he told me at the gate, it really wasnt in my interest to leave.

We were in a rush at the time so i just accepted that i was gonna get charged the extra 70p.

Edited by pleasehlep
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Do contactless debit cards charge the £8.30 not tapping in/out fee Or is it just Oyster ?


Also what is at Guidlford, card readers we assume, but surely they only read the SWT smart cards NOT Oyster and therefore NOT contactless debit cards, I suspect you have been charged nothing ?, have you checked ?

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  • 2 months later...
Do contactless debit cards charge the £8.30 not tapping in/out fee Or is it just Oyster ?


Also what is at Guidlford, card readers we assume, but surely they only read the SWT smart cards NOT Oyster and therefore NOT contactless debit cards, I suspect you have been charged nothing ?, have you checked ?

All SWT stations have card readers for their own Smartcard ITSO system. This can confuse those using Oyster or Contactless payment cards at stations outside of Zone 6. It's still the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid ticket though. With contactless payment cards outside Zone 6 the barriers will simply reject the card and display a "seek assistance" message as it's not inside London.

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