Overcharged for off-peak journey

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  • #4020
    Len Maull
    Participant

    Yesterday evening I tapped in at London Bridge NR going to Dartford at 19.01 expecting a charge of £3.25. The system charged me £6.05 The system maintains that I checked it at 18.55
    This was physical impossible as I had just arrived from Peterborough by Thameslink at 18.58 3/4 [National Rail Times] as you can see its not possible.
    I have sent the details to TFL requesting a refund of £2-80 as this was an off peak journey. I would be interested in any comments

    #4022
    Mike
    Moderator

    That’s an unusual situation. I’ve not heard of gates being so far out before. Please let me know what TfL say.

    #4024
    Len Maull
    Participant

    I have received a reply from TFL stating that they cannot make a refund as there system tracks the touch in time as being 18.55.
    I thought I would check the outbound from Dartford at 10.55 to London Bridge
    Realtime Trains shows the arrival at London Bridge at 11.36 1/4 [Train 2C30]
    In order to purchase a ticket to Peterborough I passed though the gate line at 11.32 Dartford 10.49 London Bridge 11.32.
    Something radically wrong here.
    Can you check this out.

    #4026
    Mike
    Moderator

    Hi Len,

    Something is not right there. Can you let me know which gates you used if possible. I’m assuming somewhere in the vicinity of platform 8/9 first and 4/5 second. I’ve an idea for a FOI request which might highlight the issue but I want to narrow it down first.

    I went through London Bridge myself twice on Saturday and the times seemed to be appropriate, so if there was an issue it looks like it’s been fixed.

    #4028
    Len Maull
    Participant

    On both occasions I came down the escalator turned left and straight across to the gate line that is by the South Eastern Tickets Office.

    #4030
    Mike
    Moderator

    That makes sense, thanks. I’ll drop a request in tonight.

    #4032
    Mike
    Moderator

    Hi Len,

    TfL have admitted that there was a problem around 7th June which lasted for less than a week. I asked them to provide statistics for users touching in and out between London Bridge LU and NR on that day, and for comparison on the same day a week later. The results were stunning and proved beyond doubt that the NR station gate clocks were badly out of sync. I strongly recommend re-asking for a refund as you were clearly overcharged.

    For those interested, on 7th June over 4000 cards were touched in at NR before they were touched out at LU. Given it takes at least a minute to run between the two gatelines this is clearly impossible. Having said that, on June 14th 10 cards managed it which I think possibly relates to a later journey the same day. I also asked for touch in at NR after 0-2 minutes from touch out at LU. Over 4700 cards did it on June 7th compared to just over 1500 on June 14th. I did ask about statistics the other way as well, but the outcome wasn’t as conclusive though still showed an issue.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Mike (admin).
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Mike (admin).
    #4034
    Len Maull
    Participant

    I have received an E-Mail this morning telling me that they are giving me a refund of £5.05
    I don’t know how they work that out I asked for £2.80 .
    The customer adviser states that “On this occasion we can offer a refund of £5.05 but you may not receive a refund for this in the future as we go off your journey history statement for the time of tapping in/out.
    I received the previous details regarding tap in/out times and the new one today.
    How many other oyster card users do not bother to check their oyster journey statements. Thanks for all the help. In future I am going to use paper tickets
    Day Travelcard plus Z6- Peterborough [TL/GTR]. And its cheaper and I will not need to do any tap in/outs anywhere and can switch eg at Blackfriars with the tickets.
    Once again thanks for all the help. A true success.

    #4036
    Mike
    Moderator

    Thanks for letting us know, Len.

    £5.05 is the difference between a full price adult peak single and the discounted off-peak single which you should have been charged. They seem to have missed that the full price adult single was capped at the discounted off-peak rate of £9.30 which also included your earlier journey in the opposite direction. I wouldn’t worry about it though – think of it as a little bit of compensation for the hassle.

    What I will add for anyone else reading is that this was an unusual scenario. It is extremely rare for clocks to go out of sync, and even rarer for it to be more than 3 minutes. The grace periods at the start and end of the peak charging times are supposed to ensure that you are never overcharged. Clearly in this case something went badly wrong and the tech teams are working to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The only people who would have been affected were those touching in during the first minute or so after peak ended, which almost certainly included you. Many of those who might have been overcharged will in fact have capped anyway. Harsh though it sounds, I agree that refunds of this nature will be extremely rare, but I’m glad that we managed to secure it in this case.

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