Rail Users Ireland Forum

Go Back   Rail Users Ireland Forum > Irish Rail Customer Service Issues > General Irish Rail Discussion
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Unread 26-03-2014, 19:16   #21
James Howard
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
James Howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sligo Line
Posts: 1,113
Default

It is difficult to draw a dividing line unless intercity and urban are segregated, but it is not unreasonable to give season-ticket commuters one or two "lives" when it comes to making a genuine mistake and they have ID that proves they are who they say they are. I suspect this mostly happens in practice anyway as it is extremely rare I would be asked for a ticket.

Actually, one thing I've not seen in this case is an explanation of how she got through the barriers at Heuston. I'm not terribly familiar with Heuston but I would expect it is difficult to get through the barriers without a ticket and this in and of itself could be considered evidence of wilful fare evasion.

I am not in the slightest bit in favour of fare evasion. It pushes up the price of tickets for everyone else and it should be prosecuted in most cases. I personally think that the fines are way too small as they are pretty close to the maximum fare on the network. However, being aggressive against a relatively minor loss of revenue and with a fairly reasonable excuse does seem to be counterproductive. Perhaps a ticking-off and collection of the fare difference would be more reasonable if the person can provide ID and can be proven not to have a history of such errors.

A lot of businesses now routinely record customer transactions so as to be able to unambiguously resolve such disputes. If your local Centra can do this, why can't Irish Rail. Ah yes, the union might have a problem.
James Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 26-03-2014, 21:52   #22
grainne whale
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Celbridge
Posts: 259
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Irish Rail not covered by consumer law so its not worth the hassle, land based transport is specifically excluded.

The passenger was sold a return ticket, it was possible to use that ticket to complete a return journey within the tickets validity.

Customer did not specify and Irish Rail staff did not seek clarification, customer did not check ticket at time of purchase, passenger did not check ticket before return journey.

Irish Rail have a legitimate case as customer did not have a valid ticket at time of inspection. That is the one fact that cannot be disputed.

It comes down to basic contract of sale issue, did the customer get what they asked for, were they supplied with what they asked for. We can't answer that
If the customer booked the ticket online they are offered the various return options, the same option should be offered at the ticket office. I have never seen a notice ever at any ticket office stating that 'the customer should check their ticket and change'.
Just being 'devils advocate' how do we know that this is not a scam (ticket office issues the incorrect ticket) - are the ticket checkers paid on commission or do the get a bonus depending on the number of fines they issue.
I'm going to check as to whether Irish Rail complies with Consumer Law in Ireland , this is very unfair to the passenger (consumer), as they have no protection in law. Irish Rail are providing a service and should comply.
As regards being treated badly by Irish Rail staff - write (registered post) to HR in Irish Rail and complain about the attitude (name is on fine notice), it will go on his file.

Last edited by grainne whale : 27-03-2014 at 08:02.
grainne whale is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 26-03-2014, 23:12   #23
Jamie2k9
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,146
Default

Quote:
If the customer booked the ticket online they are offered the various return options, the same option should be offered at the ticket office. I have never seen a notice ever at any ticket office stating that 'the customer should check their ticket and change'.
Just being 'devils advocate' how do we know that this is not a scam (ticket office issues the incorrect ticket) - are the ticket checkers paid on commission or do the get a bonus depending on the number of fines they issue.
I'm going to check as to whether Irish Rail complies with Consumer Law in Ireland , this is very unfair to the passenger (consumer), as they have no protection in law. Irish Rail are providing a service and should comply.
As regards being treated badly by Irish Rail staff - write to HR in Irish Rail and complain about the attitude (name is on fine notice), it will go on his file.
Seriously?

If a customer buys cloths online they are given a choice, should a person at the check out in a shop confirm with the customer they picked the right size?

The person is in the wrong, no if and's or but's, however IE are being a little harsh.
Jamie2k9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 08:01   #24
grainne whale
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Celbridge
Posts: 259
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie2k9 View Post
Seriously?

If a customer buys cloths online they are given a choice, should a person at the check out in a shop confirm with the customer they picked the right size?

The person is in the wrong, no if and's or but's, however IE are being a little harsh.
We are talking about a service here, not clothes shopping, there is no similarity. If various return options are offered online they should be offered in the Ticket Office as well. What would happen if the passenger in this case had sight problems, would they be fined as well, because they had neglected to check their ticket was valid.

Last edited by grainne whale : 27-03-2014 at 08:26.
grainne whale is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 08:25   #25
markpb
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 541
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by berneyarms View Post
the OP should have checked the ticket, as it is (legally) their responsibility to have the correct ticket for their journey.
The OP has said that they don't travel by train very often. Given that, how are they meant to know that different type of return tickets exist? Irish Rail were selling the ticket, they should have made that information available.

This is a very simple mistake by an IR employee turned into yet another PR mess because of their corporate intransigence and hapless idea about how customer relations work.
markpb is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 08:28   #26
grainne whale
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Celbridge
Posts: 259
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by markpb View Post
The OP has said that they don't travel by train very often. Given that, how are they meant to know that different type of return tickets exist? Irish Rail were selling the ticket, they should have made that information available.

This is a very simple mistake by an IR employee turned into yet another PR mess because of their corporate intransigence and hapless idea about how customer relations work.
Well said, you have 'hit the nail on the head'. It's a pity that they run their business this way, the customer frequently ends up disgruntled.
Have a look at this, personally I would have thought that this passenger's case would be of less merit:

http://www.rte.ie/tv/theconsumershow/irishrail.html

Last edited by grainne whale : 27-03-2014 at 09:44.
grainne whale is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 08:56   #27
James Howard
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
James Howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sligo Line
Posts: 1,113
Default

To be honest, intransigence is a bit of a national trail but especially so in public service. Changing one's mind is taken as a sign of weakness. There is no need to make a big PR mess out of a 5 euro error. If this person was seriously trying to fare dodge she would not have bought a ticket at all or would have just bought a ticket to the next station.

There were several ways in which Irish Rail failed this customer and they have lost her (and probably several members of her family) for ever as a willing customer. A successful competitive business learns from their failures, makes it right and implements changes to stop it happening again. Irish Rail is not a successful competitive business.
James Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 13:22   #28
Jamie2k9
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,146
Default

Quote:
We are talking about a service here, not clothes shopping, there is no similarity. If various return options are offered online they should be offered in the Ticket Office as well. What would happen if the passenger in this case had sight problems, would they be fined as well, because they had neglected to check their ticket was valid.
Of course it's different but the principal is similar. If the passenger has sight problems they would of had a pass. It still doesn't take away from the fact that person didn't check her tickets.

Quote:
The OP has said that they don't travel by train very often. Given that, how are they meant to know that different type of return tickets exist? Irish Rail were selling the ticket, they should have made that information available.

This is a very simple mistake by an IR employee turned into yet another PR mess because of their corporate intransigence and hapless idea about how customer relations work.
All she had to do was look at the dates on the ticket, nor rocket science. Lots of people do things not that often but made it our business to check.
Jamie2k9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 13:51   #29
grainne whale
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Celbridge
Posts: 259
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie2k9 View Post
Of course it's different but the principal is similar. If the passenger has sight problems they would of had a pass. It still doesn't take away from the fact that person didn't check her tickets.



All she had to do was look at the dates on the ticket, nor rocket science. Lots of people do things not that often but made it our business to check.
A lot of people don't check things, for example, people not checking the spelling on posting that they make.
grainne whale is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 15:34   #30
berneyarms
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 599
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by markpb View Post
The OP has said that they don't travel by train very often. Given that, how are they meant to know that different type of return tickets exist? Irish Rail were selling the ticket, they should have made that information available.

This is a very simple mistake by an IR employee turned into yet another PR mess because of their corporate intransigence and hapless idea about how customer relations work.
As I said above - some common sense on both sides is needed.

The clerk should have asked when the OP was returning, something I've always found to be an automatic question, but apparently (and I have to say bizarrely) was not asked on this occasion.

The OP should have checked the ticket - the dates of travel are printed on it. It's not particularly unreasonable to expect someone to check something they just purchased.

Either way, I don't think that Intercity services should necessarily be a full penalty fares area. It's becoming too rigid. Such a system is fine for commuter services, but extending it across the country and applying zero tolerance is really taking things too far.

Personally, I still think that every Intercity service (by that I mean trains between Dublin and Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Tralee, Sligo, Belfast and Rosslare, and the regional routes) should still all have a checker on them, and he/she should then make sure everyone has the right ticket. I've no problem with commuter services being subject to the penalty fare principle, but by and large you will encounter people who are unfamiliar with rules when travelling longer distances.

Last edited by berneyarms : 27-03-2014 at 15:42.
berneyarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 15:47   #31
grainne whale
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Celbridge
Posts: 259
Default

We don't know the actual circumstances, perhaps the train was due shortly, the passenger asked for the return ticket, the clerk issued a return ticket. Possibly the clerk had to go an attend to the train as well, I can understand a passenger just grabbing the ticket and going to catch the train, just human error, not an attempted fare evasion.
This situation has done no favours for Irish Rail, it has put them (customer services) in a very bad light as another poster has stated.

Last edited by grainne whale : 27-03-2014 at 16:00.
grainne whale is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 16:08   #32
animaal
New to the board
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 9
Default

Irish Rail have blindly followed the letter of the law, with the total absence of common sense.

On the other side of the coin, if I ask at the counter for "a one-way ticket for a train at 10:30", and the train leaves fifteen minutes late, did I get what I asked for? Could I demand a refund? I'm sure the company would deny any refund, and common sense would support them. But if all that matters is the transaction at the counter, and the customer getting what they asked for, there would be a case. The person at the counter hasn't indicated that the train wouldn't actually leave at 10:30, in the same way that the OP didn't indicate that the return journey would be required on the same day.
animaal is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 16:28   #33
Mark Gleeson
Technical Officer
 
Mark Gleeson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Coach C, Seat 33
Posts: 12,661
Default

You are entitled to a full refund no questions asked at point of purchase if you do not travel.

Irish Rail is under contractual obligation to enforce zero tolerance on fare evasion by the NTA.
Mark Gleeson is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 17:02   #34
berneyarms
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 599
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
You are entitled to a full refund no questions asked at point of purchase if you do not travel.

Irish Rail is under contractual obligation to enforce zero tolerance on fare evasion by the NTA.
That's all well and good in theory, but frankly there are better ways of doing this.
berneyarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 17:08   #35
Mark Gleeson
Technical Officer
 
Mark Gleeson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Coach C, Seat 33
Posts: 12,661
Default

NTA are paying for the service, continuation of Irish Rail's funding depends on demonstration and application of a firm fare evasion policy

In this case no valid ticket was held, the background is not important

The passenger has reasonable grounds to complain that at purchase Irish Rail failed to sell the ticket to meet the customers expressed needs
Mark Gleeson is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 17:17   #36
berneyarms
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 599
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
NTA are paying for the service, continuation of Irish Rail's funding depends on demonstration and application of a firm fare evasion policy

In this case no valid ticket was held, the background is not important

The passenger has reasonable grounds to complain that at purchase Irish Rail failed to sell the ticket to meet the customers expressed needs
I don't dispute that a firm policy is needed, but so is some common sense.

As I said above - I think applying zero tolerance and penalty fares on Intercity services is the wrong approach - far better to have on board checkers who do ensure everyone has a valid ticket, and act as a point of information for customers, something sadly lacking on many Interciy trains in Ireland.

Last edited by berneyarms : 27-03-2014 at 17:19.
berneyarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 17:31   #37
berneyarms
Really Regular Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 599
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
You are entitled to a full refund no questions asked at point of purchase if you do not travel.

Irish Rail is under contractual obligation to enforce zero tolerance on fare evasion by the NTA.
Can you point me to the clause in the PSO contract that states this please?
berneyarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 27-03-2014, 20:01   #38
ocian
New to the board
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 17
Default

I have to agree with some of the guys here, zero tolerance is ok for DART and Commuter services, but for Intercity a different approach is needed. Take the Rosslare train for instance, genuine cases like this do not get fines as the ticket checker can exchange the ticket for the correct one the customer was looking for, while fare evaders get caught and forced to buy the correct ticket they tried to avoid buying or face the fine. Same policy in most of Europe. Simple but works brilliantly, I've never seen or heard of any problems on the Rosslare line.

Ticket checker:

Fare evaders = none, all passengers have tickets
customers with correct ticket/incorrect ticket exchanged for a new one = all
loss of revenue to the company as a result of this policy = none
customers receiving a good customer service with a staff member who fixes problems rather then penalising people for them = all
bad pr for the company as a result of genuine cases like this = none
number of people (and their family & friends) who will never travel by train again = none

Overall: satisfied customers with correct ticket type and all revenue accounted for.

RPU zero tolerance policy:

Fare evaders = some, not caught as not all trains inspected
customers with correct ticket/incorrect ticket exchanged for a new one = most people have correct ticket, but no tickets exchanged in genuine cases like this (fine issued instead in a "you have no ticket you pay a fine" attitude)
loss of revenue to the company as a result of this policy = some
customers receiving a good customer service with a staff member who fixes problems rather then penalising people for them = none, all passengers penalised rather then helped to resolve problems, and some RPU won't even answer customers questions
bad pr for the company as a result of genuine cases like this = many cases
number of people (and their family & friends) who will never travel by train again = many cases

Overall: many intimidated and pissed off customers, and some loss of revenue to the company. Some revenue coming from fines to genuine cases rather then fare evaders.

Need I say any more?


P.S. I'm using the words "fare evader" for someone who intends to defraud the company, and "genuine cases" for cases such as this where a mistake was made on the company's behalf or the customer's behalf.
ocian is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 28-03-2014, 00:46   #39
haddockman
Regular Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 113
Default

I was in Norway last weekend and took many trains both intercity and local. All trains have a conductor/ticket inspector so fare evasion is zero. Also the inspector can sell you a ticket on board regardless of where you are going.

This is in addition to ticket machines on the platforms/stations and booking offices in major stations. Also online tickets can be collected from the inspector on board.

Works very well for the Norwegians. Just means having a member of staff on each train.
haddockman is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 28-03-2014, 07:27   #40
James Howard
Really Really Regluar Poster
 
James Howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sligo Line
Posts: 1,113
Default

The other advantage of having staff on board is that it helps enormously on cutting down on anti-social behaviour which can ruin a journey and make people seek other modes of transport due to feeling unsafe. It can prevent low-level stuff like drinking and playing music escalating to violence as people get more drunk.

While there is a cost, this should be largely covered by a reduction in fare evasion and in the longer term by more passengers due to improved service. Once you are inside the area covered by station barriers, there is no excuse for not having a ticket.

However, all of the rights and wrongs are irrelevant. If the NTA contract states zero tolerance, then Irish Rail have no choice but to fine anybody not in possession of a valid ticket.
James Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:52.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.