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Are Northern Rail hypocrites?

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TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    Okay, so I got pulled over by one of Northern Rail's "revenue protection officer"'s in February and have since received an extortionate fine of £2.10.
    I sent them a lengthy email in response to this, and this is the email I sent to them.. I am interested to see if anyone agrees with me or has had similar experiences in the past, as this is more of a matter of principle rather than how much the "fine" is.

    I have received a letter detailing that on Tuesday 16th February I was 'unable to produce a valid ticket' for a journey I had made between Salford Crescent and Manchester Victoria. I have been asked to pay a fine £2.10 to cover the cost of that journey. Allow me to make a number of contradictory points that have been presented my way as a result of this "fine". This may take a while:

    1) While at university, I was running late for a train to get me to Manchester Victoria as my train home to Lea Green is only every hour, due to a overrunning lecture. I only had my debit card on me, which I would have used to purchase a ticket straight home from Salford Crescent. Not only was the ticket office unmanned at the time, with a note on the window advising to 'purchase a ticket on the train', the ticket machine had a large queue. My train turned up, I ran, and heeded to the advice on the window and hoped to buy my ticket on the train.No conductor came round.When I got to Victoria station my train home had just left, meaning I had an hour wait in Manchester, so instead of waiting to pay for my ticket on the train I used the ticket stations on the INSIDE of the platforms in order for me to get out of the station via the ticket barriers. While at the ticket station, I explicitly asked for a single ticket from Salford Crescent to Lea Green - at which point I was pulled aside by a guy stood behind me (I also noticed that another passenger asked for a single from Blackburn to Manchester, but he got away with it obviously). The guy asked me if I knew about the 'buy before you ride' policy, to which I agreed, but in which the letter I have received DOESN'T mention at all. I explained my situation, and he stated that I would receive a letter asking me to explain myself, and asked me where I was going to and from, then ushered me through the ticket barriers meaning I could go and buy a ticket from Salford Crescent to Lea Green from the stations main ticket offices. Therefore I have STILL PAID THE WHOLE FARE.

    2) May I ask why there are ticket stations on the inside of the ticket barriers? Is that some sort of trap? If I am going to receive a fine for not "showing" a ticket despite trying to buy one, then why are there ticket stations there? They shouldn't be there if people like me try and legitimately try and buy a ticket just to get humiliated and pulled aside.

    3) Your "buy before you ride" policy - if I am to receive a fine for not buying before I ride the train then I would like you to send a letter to every person who gets on your trains without buying a ticket before they get on. The conductors should take down their details and send them a letter home just like what has happened with me, because otherwise I have been unfairly treated and surely this is an illegal act. If it is illegal to board a train without having bought a ticket, then thousands of your daily passengers are breaking the law and your conductors are failing to enforce that law by letting them buy a ticket on the train. Otherwise, I should not be writing to you today.

    4) You are clearly a company who does not give a care in the world about their customers. Do you not consider the fact that people could be stranded for a long period of time just by missing one train? Having a conductor on the trains and having ticket stations on platforms allows people like me to still purchase their ticket but make their trains on time, rather than being delayed by (in my case) an hour or even more.

    Shame on Northern Rail for having such little consideration for the people who make their business a business. By fining me, you will be profiting from YOUR mistakes, and will further cast an unsatisfactory view over your disgraceful company.Northern Rail you are despicable, confusing, and completely pathetic for making an example out of a student because of your own blatant mistakes and policy confusion and humiliating me for the sake of £2.10. The price of a ticket from Salford Crescent to Lea Green is also THE SAME as the fare from Manchester Victoria to Lea Green - but, it appears my measly £2.10 must be retrieved in order to balance your books.

    Yours sincerely,
    Lewis Walters

    I read that. its £2.10 you are getting upset about? I was thinking it was a typo and £210.
    You did get on the train without a ticket . You na talk about the notice, but you have to probe it was there, so a photo would have been good.
    You do sound up your own bum and angry, which is just the attitude that will have them laughing.

    Just appeal it and less frothing.

    You cna go for the unreasonableness angle and explain the points in your favour and point out how unfair and reasonable they have been. If its a point of principle then the aim is to win, not throw a strop. Winning= getting an apology, the ticket reversed and an admission they had some fault.

    Was it a fine or an unpaid fair notice?

    If it were the latter, be thankful for them showing you sympathy rather than being childish about it.

    "extortionate" fine of £2.10


    Grow up. You can buy a ticket after you get on the train if there is a legitimate reason (e.g. nowhere to buy one, some stations don't have a machine so if the manned desk is closed you can't buy one) but everyone knows you are meant to buy before you get on the train if you can, which you could as there was a machine. It's not the rail networks fault that you didn't get there in time to queue at what must have been a busy time of day (you could also have asked to jump in front of people). You're not entitled to get on the train you want to get on, if you're late because of your lecture the train company doesn't have to pick things up for you and fix it. Saying 'other people do it too' isn't an argument, you did something wrong so it's reasonable to pursue you for it. They have only given you a 2.10 fine, it's really not an issue, just pay it and move on, challenging it isn't worth the time it will take.

    £2.10 is the cost of an anytime fare according to the National Rail app.

    Are you sure they're not just expecting you to pay for the journey you took on the train?

    The answer to the thread title is no.
    • Thread Starter

    If you'd had read the reply i sent to them, you'd clearly see it's a matter of principle rather than £2.10. I couldn't care less about £2.10, I can pull that out of my backside, but it is the fact that the ticket office WAS closed which some of you have ignored and if I got a fine for not buying a ticket on the train then everyone who gets on a train from a station with a ticket office should receive a fine but instead they don't, they should taint everyone with the same brush.

    I'd also like to point out I have received an apology from them as they believed my explanation and also saw evidence of me still buying the ticket that they have charged me for still. So yeah, some may consider me childish, but a bit of equality and consistency in a company so large was the point I was trying to make - not the matter of a measly £2.10.

    (PS. The use of the word "extortionate" was sarcastic.)

    Northern rail are a joke though
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