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Notice of intention to Prosecute from Thameslink


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Posted (edited)

Hi, I was wondering if I could get some advice on an odd situation I’ve found myself in.

I received a “Notice of intention to Prosecute” letter from Thameslink, this is off the back of a Revenue Protection Officer (RPO) taking down my details because I travelled with an off-peak ticket during “apparently” peak times.

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A bit on why I was doing this:

 

Returning to work after during the pandemic was very intermittent and ad-hoc. So I needed a different solution to buying weekly/monthly tickets. Initially I got a couple of daily tickets.

However, Thameslink also sells a carnet ticket – essentially a book of 5 tickets, valid for 3 months, where you physically write the date of travel. Perfect for pandemic travel. Carnet tickets, however are off-peak.

 

Also on the Thameslink website there is a statement saying the following.

"The morning peak is generally from when the first train of the day leaves to the last train arriving in London before 10:00am. In the evening it is generally between 16:30 and 19:01 for services leaving London. "

 

I thought the statement was quite ambiguous so contacted Thameslink customer service on twitter, noting down the statement and the direct link asking “The way I read this means if I leave London any time before 16:30 I can use off-peak tickets. Is this correct?”

 

To which they replied “this is correct”

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So I assumed travelling out of London in the mornings counted as off-peak. Considering I was sometimes all alone in a 12 carriage train, I didn’t think any more about it.

The RPO advised me that the advice from customer service was wrong and even conceded that due to me having evidence of this conversation, she wouldn’t even give me a penalty fare. Since then I’ve been buying daily tickets again and now even started using their smartcard (oyster like).

 

So now I’m wondering if anyone can give me any advice on what to include/not include in my reply. I couldn’t sleep at all last night as the wording in the letter seems really harsh – talking about criminal prosecution etc. From my point of view I checked their website, even contacted their customer service – I don’t really see how people could be expected to do more.

 

I would be really grateful for any advice. Please let me know if there're other details you'd like.

 

Thank you very much!

 

Edited by Igor29
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Simply and briefly explain as you have here 

 

Stop worrying about silly prosecution, that won't go anywhere and is only for serial persistent offenders, not people that make honest 'mistakes'....yours is explainable ... Might even get away Scot free 

 

Use their email ad...back up by letter 

 

Dx

 

 

 

 

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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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Agree with dx.

a well worded letter ought to see this off.

 

inadvertently travelled on an off-peak ticket during peak having sought advice and been misled by that advice (submit a screenshot)

didn’t intend to.

willing to pay difference and any reasonable admin costs

please provide authoritative source of which trains carnet can be used on as you are determined not to make same mistake again (or “can I use national rail app and check if it shows an off-peak ticket for that service, would that ensure I never make the same error again, if not how best”, etc etc)

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Thanks for the input @BazzaS I'll make sure to include this info. Although, I find the idea of paying additional admin fees due to their faulty advice pretty distasteful, I will include this. Thank you! 

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Posted (edited)

You put it in, to avoid the hassle of being prosecuted (an absolute defence would be being given permission by an authorised person, but you can bet the Twitter team aren’t “authorised”!, so, in theory you could be prosecuted)

 

You hope someone looks at the whole scenario and thinks “what’s our aim here? Not to penalise this (sensible/reasonable) person, let’s just offer them advice!”

 

 

Edited by BazzaS
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, I replied with the letter and recommendations above, but have now received a Single Justice Procedure Notice. 

The way I understand it I can plead guilty and pay a fine of £135. I think this results in a criminal record.

 

In addition to the above it turns out there was an additional stuff up on my part as I started my journey at a "non-London Terminal". I thought a London terminal was a station in London.

 

I am now looking at legal advice. 

 

I have read in an article that a person called Thameslink and settled their fine over the phone. I'm not sure if this is possible but I will have to try.

 

I will add additional details tomorrow.

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you need to fill out the form and state you wish to plead guilty in person.

 

did you send your begging letter by email too?

 

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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But if I plead guilty I will receive a criminal record, no?

 

No I sent the letter via post as this was the only option.

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you send the begging letter by email as well, their email AD is on the 1st letter. 

pleading guity and wanting to show remorse in person does not automatically mean you'll get a criminal record no.

 

we've seen several here only get a fine or get OOC on the day or win with no record.

 

your case has a very good 'argument'.

 

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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On 24/03/2022 at 08:13, Igor29 said:

The RPO advised me that the advice from customer service was wrong and even conceded that due to me having evidence of this conversation, she wouldn’t even give me a penalty fare. 

 


I ‘missed’ this initially, but went back to the original post when I saw the request for an OOC / administrative settlement was denied.

 

The RPO could have chosen to deal with this by Penalty Fare, but chose not to.

So (given it seems likely this was in a Penalty Fare area), something has made the RPO decide not to issue a Penalty Fare, but report it to the Prosecutions unit instead.

 

Did your interaction with them get heated or difficult at any stage?

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Posted (edited)

Hi no not at all. The interaction was very friendly to be honest.

She gave me two options of

  • paying for a full ticket (again) or
  • to explain to Thameslink why I thought I was in the right.

Considering I thought I was in the right due the advice I was given, I thought it would be quite simple to explain the case. Had I known what this would result in I would have just paid the fare. These two options were another thing to the penalty fare - which she specifically said she would not give me.

Edited by Igor29
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