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  • FIRST POST
    • Glasseye
    • By Glasseye 14th Jan 15, 2:18 AM
    • 28Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Glasseye
    Suddenly got terrifying legal letters re: train penalty fare!
    • #1
    • 14th Jan 15, 2:18 AM
    Suddenly got terrifying legal letters re: train penalty fare! 14th Jan 15 at 2:18 AM
    Thanks for helping,

    I travelled a couple of months ago back home to Brighton without my network railcard (which I offered to collect, when I was stopped by someone manning the barriers, as my house is 4 mins from the station and I could leave my phone/wallet/bag/etc as a deposit) They wouldn't let me get the railcard to prove I owned it, nor would they allow me to call my friend to bring it(!!!) apparently that would be giving me an "unfair advantage" over other people who had forgotten their railcards!?

    I've only just got these 3 legal letters as they were sent to my mum's address (which I gave because I didn't have a proper address of my own) and she didn't tell me until I visited recently.

    I just thought that they hadn't bothered pursuing me over something so trivial. Now they're saying I owe 106.50. I have absolutely no way to pay that at all (credit cards/friends) even if I was willing to.

    Thanks for any ideas

Page 3
    • Dr. Shoe
    • By Dr. Shoe 17th Jan 15, 11:57 PM
    • 539 Posts
    • 543 Thanks
    Dr. Shoe
    Welcome to the real world Glasseye. I can accept that you accidently left your railcard at home but I have some serious misgivings about how you've handled the aftermath and how you've handled yourself.

    When I make a mistake, just like you have, there are only three people I can turn to for help: me, myself and I. I cannot give my mother's address because as soon as I say that it's xxxx care home they'd get suspicious. I am single (currently) so have no husband nor boyfriend to sort things out for me.

    If this had been me, I would have put my hands up and paid the excess charge/penalty fare there and the and apologised for the trouble. This isn't because I'm a nice person but it is because fare evasion is a criminal offence. I am in my 50s now and over the years I have learnt that in cases such as this where you are in the wrong it is best to put your hand up to it because not doing so is worse.

    I have no love for officialdom or any corporate entity that can [or thinks it can] impose a penalty or fine but it doesn't matter what the circumstances are in this case, you are clearly in the wrong. Whether you made a deliberate attempt to defraud the railway company (which is doubtful if, as you say, you have a railcard) or whether you honestly left your card at home, you are banged to rights I'm afraid.

    As everyone else has said, you should pay the 53 as a full and final settlement and put it down to experience. You may be asked to pay the other 53.50 too. If so, you should pay that as well. If you go to court they will chuck the book at you. Not because you dodged a fare but because you didn't show any remorse for it, had you done so you would have paid the penalty fare as soon as you could after the offence. The fact that you're talking about making it a campaign is further evidence that you don't consider yourself to be in the wrong.

    High Court Judges, Magistrates and Justices Of The Peace take three points into account: The degree of the offence(s), a timely guilty plea and the degree of remorse. In this case, assuming a first time offence, the degree of offence is low. it isn't the amount of the ticket it's the number of the offences and the pesistance of the offender in offending. If you had put your hands up and gone to the penalty fare counter with a sheepish smile and paid it then that's a timely guilty plea, In your case the level is very high as you still don't believe that you're in the wrong. This is why defendants entering a not guilty plea get heavier penalties on conviction. The fact that you are (or were) planning a campaign proves no remorse whatsoever which will also attract a more severe penalty.

    If judges attach the same importance to the three points of justice as outlined above, you will be looking at 100 or so for the offence, 300 or so for not entering a guilty plea soon enough and another 330 for not having remorse. However, different judges apply the law differently so this is not by any means a prediction.
    Last edited by Dr. Shoe; 18-01-2015 at 12:00 AM.
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 18th Jan 15, 12:08 AM
    • 13,759 Posts
    • 16,940 Thanks
    Cornucopia
    Rules About Rules are always difficult for some people to come to terms with. It would be nice if the powers that be understood that and either tried to arrange their bureaucracy to avoid them, or punish them less severely than the original Rule.
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    • Dr. Shoe
    • By Dr. Shoe 18th Jan 15, 12:23 AM
    • 539 Posts
    • 543 Thanks
    Dr. Shoe
    The problem is that you have to punish the offender both for the original offence and also for breaking the rules designed to make them rectify the original offence. For example, you have to send someone to prison for not paying a fine or in this case penalise someone for not paying a penalty!

    The penalty for avoiding the original penalty has to be a deterrent.
    • sniggings
    • By sniggings 18th Jan 15, 3:37 AM
    • 5,104 Posts
    • 3,110 Thanks
    sniggings

    I thought I had it with me (99% of the time, I do)

    Regarding "fare evasion" I PAID the price I was supposed to. The only thing I did wrong is surely failing to check that I had my railcard...
    Originally posted by Glasseye
    OP bought a discount ticket when she knew the railcard was at home. How is that not intentional?
    Originally posted by peachyprice

    As said the OP made a mistake, just as you have done misreading this thread, or was it intentional?

    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 18th Jan 15, 10:03 AM
    • 35,354 Posts
    • 22,314 Thanks
    DCFC79
    Thanks for helping,

    I travelled a couple of months ago back home to Brighton without my network railcard (which I offered to collect, when I was stopped by someone manning the barriers, as my house is 4 mins from the station and I could leave my phone/wallet/bag/etc as a deposit) They wouldn't let me get the railcard to prove I owned it, nor would they allow me to call my friend to bring it(!!!) apparently that would be giving me an "unfair advantage" over other people who had forgotten their railcards!?

    I've only just got these 3 legal letters as they were sent to my mum's address (which I gave because I didn't have a proper address of my own) and she didn't tell me until I visited recently.

    I just thought that they hadn't bothered pursuing me over something so trivial. Now they're saying I owe 106.50. I have absolutely no way to pay that at all (credit cards/friends) even if I was willing to.

    Thanks for any ideas

    Originally posted by Glasseye
    Have to say I agree with everyone else you broke rules and should pay for the error.

    Good luck with the national campaign and keep us updated, be interesting to see how far it goes.
    • Glasseye
    • By Glasseye 18th Jan 15, 10:10 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Glasseye
    Can we take a breath and just check - you believe I should go to prison as well as pay this fine, because I was in to much of a fluster to double check that I had my Railcard when I left my house? I'm going to let you take a moment to think about what you're saying to someone you've never met, let alone the people who I might support who would be without help if I was locked up.

    "Rules are rules..." I wonder if Hitler said that to someone who expressed concern about driving Jews to Auschwitz?

    Rules are somewhere on a scale of fair and unfair. I'm willing to be open minded to them sometimes being unfair. This may not be one of those times in your mind, but I'm thankful for people in this world who explore how things might be better designed + do something about rules that aren't fair.





    Unless you guys can convince me otherwise very soon, I'll be resisting payment and making a campaign out of this which I intend to go national.
    I'll spend the best part of a month getting people involved because it's not fair, and I don't care about rules as much as I care about what's fair. That's how I work


    Oh please do go ahead with your plans,ignore everything posted on here,take it to the papers and get it on the main page as I for one will look forward to reading it. Your selection as a response bears no relationship to the offence you are being charged with, you may have paid the correct price BUT you have to carry the card as well {you did not}. Carrying the card 99% of the time may be all right in your eyes but {as has been proved now} if you are traveling on the train you need to carry it 100% of the time,be it fair or not rules are rules and {as you will find out if you choose to take such a stupid stand} if you break those rules there are comebacks.
    I wholeheartedly agree with Blackbeard of Perranporth regarding what the fines should be and I would add a 3/6 months prison sentence on top, perhaps then people like you would think twice before thinking that your ideas supersedes what is clearly in the t&c's.
    Originally posted by London50
    Last edited by Glasseye; 18-01-2015 at 11:18 PM.
    • Glasseye
    • By Glasseye 18th Jan 15, 10:27 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Glasseye
    I really appreciate those who have replied who genuinely approached their keyboard with fingers looking to help me, rather than have a go at me.

    Would people here feel differently about this situation if it was discovered that train companies could have used a different discount system for tickets, in which this didn't happen? I bet every one of us here use (or have used) a discount CODE, rather than inventing a piece of plastic which we can get fined and arrested for not carrying everywhere with us when we travel.

    How much do the companies make from penalty fares each year? From people who had already paid the correct amount but just forgot (or even lost/had stolen their Railcard?) This doesn't have to be so complicated and aggressive. I feel like its a trap and I don't feel like many others are exploring this idea.
    Last edited by Glasseye; 18-01-2015 at 11:53 AM.
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 18th Jan 15, 10:28 AM
    • 20,436 Posts
    • 47,381 Thanks
    peachyprice
    Can we take a breath and just check - you believe I should go to prison as well as pay this fine, because I was in to much of a cluster to double check that I had my Railcard when I left my house? I'm going to let you take a moment to think about what you're saying to someone you've never met, let alone the people who I might support who would be without help if I was locked up.

    "Rules are rules..." I wonder if Hitler said that to someone who expressed concern about driving Jews to Auschwitz?

    Rules are somewhere on a scale of fair and unfair. I'm willing to be open minded to them sometimes being unfair. This may not be one of those times in your mind, but I'm thankful for people in this works who do something about rules that aren't fair.
    Originally posted by Glasseye
    But you didn't just leave your house and make one journey without a railcard that entitled you to a discount did you? You pushed your luck too far by making the return journey too.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 18th Jan 15, 10:31 AM
    • 20,436 Posts
    • 47,381 Thanks
    peachyprice
    Would people here feel differently about this situation if it was discovered that train companies could have used a different discount system for tickets, in which this didn't happen? I bet every one of us here use (or have used) a discount CODE, rather than inventing a piece of plastic which we can get fined and arrested for not carrying everywhere with us when we travel.

    How much do the companies make from penalty fares each year? From people who had already paid the correct amount but just forgot (or even lost/had stolen their Railcard?) This doesn't have to be so complicated and aggressive. I feel like its a trap and I don't eel like others are exploring this idea.
    Originally posted by Glasseye

    Oh for goodness sake, stop trying to make yourself out as a victim of an unfair process.

    Millions of people manage, all over the UK, to use a railcard properly, what's so special about you that you can't manage it?

    If you don't like the rules of the railcard system don't buy the railcard in the first place, then you won't be 'trapped' into being a fare evader.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • Flugelhorn
    • By Flugelhorn 18th Jan 15, 10:33 AM
    • 1,634 Posts
    • 2,113 Thanks
    Flugelhorn
    Whenever have bought a ticket (at a railway station) I have been asked to show whatever discount card I am planning to use. Only time I am able to buy one without showing it is if I buy online or am buying in advance for one of the 16-25's at home who, I promise faithfully to the man at the station, will have their railcard with them when they actually travel or else.
    • cookie365
    • By cookie365 18th Jan 15, 10:52 AM
    • 1,778 Posts
    • 1,176 Thanks
    cookie365
    "Rules are rules..." I wonder if Hitler said that to someone who expressed concern about driving Jews to Auschwitz?
    Originally posted by Glasseye
    I hereby invoke Godwin's law which usually suggests nobody has anything more of substance to add to the discussion
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 18th Jan 15, 10:53 AM
    • 35,354 Posts
    • 22,314 Thanks
    DCFC79
    I really appreciate those who have replied who genuinely approached their keyboard worth fingers looking to help me, rather than have a go at me.

    Would people here feel differently about this situation if it was discovered that train companies could have used a different discount system for tickets, in which this didn't happen? I bet every one of us here use (or have used) a discount CODE, rather than inventing a piece of plastic which we can get fined and arrested for not carrying everywhere with us when we travel.

    How much do the companies make from penalty fares each year? From people who had already paid the correct amount but just forgot (or even lost/had stolen their Railcard?) This doesn't have to be so complicated and aggressive. I feel like its a trap and I don't eel like others are exploring this idea.
    Originally posted by Glasseye
    You feel so strongly about it so start a campaign like you said.

    Other people manage to take the rail card with them, why not just pay up and chalk it up to experience.

    I'm a firm believer in taking responsibility for your own actions.
    Last edited by DCFC79; 18-01-2015 at 10:55 AM.
    • Glasseye
    • By Glasseye 18th Jan 15, 12:04 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Glasseye
    Thanks for your post. I'm passionate about living in a society in which everyone has an opportunity to help create the rules that govern them. I am so glad we have trains. I want to help keep them running. I don't need to be punished because I've not caused a problem. A problem was created by a train company and a legal Austen because they didn't know how better to deal with the situation. I will spend a lot of my life working to create ways for people who are subject to rules to have real opportunities to help create them. I know this works because I know why I respect shared resources like trains, and why many don't. I've devoted myself to exploring self-governing communities. There is always so much left to learn, but along the way, I won't accept falling prey to needless bad design. For me in situations like this it is oppressive and yes I question rules with no hesitation, it's how I live. It ultimately works toward what I'm able to contribute. Yes, I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks again


    Welcome to the real world Glasseye. I can accept that you accidently left your railcard at home but I have some serious misgivings about how you've handled the aftermath and how you've handled yourself.

    When I make a mistake, just like you have, there are only three people I can turn to for help: me, myself and I. I cannot give my mother's address because as soon as I say that it's xxxx care home they'd get suspicious. I am single (currently) so have no husband nor boyfriend to sort things out for me.

    If this had been me, I would have put my hands up and paid the excess charge/penalty fare there and the and apologised for the trouble. This isn't because I'm a nice person but it is because fare evasion is a criminal offence. I am in my 50s now and over the years I have learnt that in cases such as this where you are in the wrong it is best to put your hand up to it because not doing so is worse.

    I have no love for officialdom or any corporate entity that can [or thinks it can] impose a penalty or fine but it doesn't matter what the circumstances are in this case, you are clearly in the wrong. Whether you made a deliberate attempt to defraud the railway company (which is doubtful if, as you say, you have a railcard) or whether you honestly left your card at home, you are banged to rights I'm afraid.

    As everyone else has said, you should pay the 53 as a full and final settlement and put it down to experience. You may be asked to pay the other 53.50 too. If so, you should pay that as well. If you go to court they will chuck the book at you. Not because you dodged a fare but because you didn't show any remorse for it, had you done so you would have paid the penalty fare as soon as you could after the offence. The fact that you're talking about making it a campaign is further evidence that you don't consider yourself to be in the wrong.

    High Court Judges, Magistrates and Justices Of The Peace take three points into account: The degree of the offence(s), a timely guilty plea and the degree of remorse. In this case, assuming a first time offence, the degree of offence is low. it isn't the amount of the ticket it's the number of the offences and the pesistance of the offender in offending. If you had put your hands up and gone to the penalty fare counter with a sheepish smile and paid it then that's a timely guilty plea, In your case the level is very high as you still don't believe that you're in the wrong. This is why defendants entering a not guilty plea get heavier penalties on conviction. The fact that you are (or were) planning a campaign proves no remorse whatsoever which will also attract a more severe penalty.

    If judges attach the same importance to the three points of justice as outlined above, you will be looking at 100 or so for the offence, 300 or so for not entering a guilty plea soon enough and another 330 for not having remorse. However, different judges apply the law differently so this is not by any means a prediction.
    Originally posted by Dr. Shoe
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 18th Jan 15, 1:43 PM
    • 5,169 Posts
    • 3,399 Thanks
    Robin9
    OP ...... don't forget to give them your new address.
    • benjus
    • By benjus 18th Jan 15, 2:47 PM
    • 5,323 Posts
    • 3,275 Thanks
    benjus
    I'm passionate about living in a society in which everyone has an opportunity to help create the rules that govern them. I am so glad we have trains. I want to help keep them running. I don't need to be punished because I've not caused a problem.
    Originally posted by Glasseye
    I think that most people, in this country at least, want people that do things by the rules to be defended. You broke a rule by travelling without your railcard. Unintentional I know, but you still broke the rule. If ticket inspectors start allowing people that cannot produce their railcards to get away with it, they open a loophole for less scrupulous people to intentionally travel without a railcard but still claim the discount - for example by lending their railcard to a friend while travelling without it, so two people get the discount at the same time. Why do you think this rule is unfair?
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
    • Blackbeard of Perranporth
    • By Blackbeard of Perranporth 18th Jan 15, 4:53 PM
    • 6,419 Posts
    • 37,471 Thanks
    Blackbeard of Perranporth
    I'm going to let you take a moment to think about what you're saying to someone you've never met, let alone the people who I might support who would be without help if I was locked up.
    Originally posted by Glasseye
    One does not become a martyr, because of a week in jail, however much OP is thinking about it!



    BoP now gives his advice.

    Ignorance of the Law will not bode well in front of the beak.

    Unless you guys can convince me otherwise very soon, I'll be resisting payment and making a campaign out of this which I intend to go national.
    I'll spend the best part of a month getting people involved because it's not fair, and I don't care about rules as much as I care about what's fair. That's how I work, not sure about you?
    Originally posted by Glasseye

    My Buck of Face has yet to see the charms of this social media campaign.
    Cardiac Arrest - Electrical - Patient unconscious! Heart Attack - Plumbing - Patient conscious!
    Defibrillators Cannot Cure a Heart Attack!
    • Reece_
    • By Reece_ 18th Jan 15, 5:57 PM
    • 267 Posts
    • 122 Thanks
    Reece_
    Your outlook upon life is somewhat admiral, however in this regard is also rather naive and nonsensical , yes it seems an honest mistake on your behalf but perhaps now you'll think to check you have your railcard BEFORE leaving to catch the train.
    You've received helpful advice as to just paying the 53 for now, if I were you I'd be jumping at that, after all your first post said you can't afford the full fine, but you think that ignoring this fine, protesting it at court will end up any cheaper?? Your pride will cost you dearly on this if you don't swallow it now and pay up.
    and abiding by the rules on a train is hardly comparable at all to hitler and auschwitz...
    • London50
    • By London50 18th Jan 15, 6:11 PM
    • 1,721 Posts
    • 1,694 Thanks
    London50
    Can we take a breath and just check - you believe I should go to prison as well as pay this fine, because I was in to much of a cluster to double check that I had my Railcard when I left my house? I'm going to let you take a moment to think about what you're saying to someone you've never met, let alone the people who I might support who would be without help if I was locked up.

    "Rules are rules..." I wonder if Hitler said that to someone who expressed concern about driving Jews to Auschwitz?

    Rules are somewhere on a scale of fair and unfair. I'm willing to be open minded to them sometimes being unfair. This may not be one of those times in your mind, but I'm thankful for people in this works who do something about rules that aren't fair.
    Originally posted by Glasseye

    - you believe I should go to prison as well as pay this fine, because I was in to much of a cluster to double check that I had my Railcard when I left my house?.......YES I DO,you can say what you like but in one way you were fare dodging {ie not having all the correct paperwork with you to travel}.
    Taking the stupid examples you choose to give to try and make something clearly wrong but in your eyes right would you tell a cashier at a till " sorry I was in a rush and forgot my money but will still take this basket of goods, no you would not and there is no excuse for not checking that you had everything you needed before you left home {I would be willing to be you checked you had your keys, wallet and the train ticket so why not the card to go with it?
    As for people you might {or might not}support, they would have to learn to manage without you {as many prisoners families have to do when a member is locked up for breaking the law}

    Rules are rules..." I wonder if Hitler said that to someone who expressed concern about driving Jews to Auschwitz?

    Not IMO the best answer you could give but OK so in your opinion if the rules are unfair do not follow them just do what YOU believe is the better/right way?? I think you will find the was JUST WHAT HITLER DID and we all know the outcome of that don't we!!!!!
    • London50
    • By London50 18th Jan 15, 6:26 PM
    • 1,721 Posts
    • 1,694 Thanks
    London50
    "Rules are rules..." I wonder if Hitler said that to someone who expressed concern about driving Jews to Auschwitz?


    I was wondering how long it would be before Godwin's law would take to come up..Thank you for keeping my faith in the status quo

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 18th Jan 15, 6:42 PM
    • 7,265 Posts
    • 8,104 Thanks
    p00hsticks
    Would people here feel differently about this situation if it was discovered that train companies could have used a different discount system for tickets, in which this didn't happen? I bet every one of us here use (or have used) a discount CODE, rather than inventing a piece of plastic which we can get fined and arrested for not carrying everywhere with us when we travel.
    Originally posted by Glasseye
    So are you implying that if you not only had forgotten your railcard, but also forgotten your ticket as well, you'd still expect to be let off ?

    I'm not aged 16-24, or over 60. I have no opportunity to get reduced price tickets. If you don't want to carry a "piece of plastic" around with you, then just pay the full price.
    Last edited by p00hsticks; 18-01-2015 at 6:45 PM.
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