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Trains: aggressive ticket inspectors

(103 Posts)
ShesGottaTicket2Ride Sat 23-Jul-16 12:52:07

I know that the ticket inspectors at major stations have a tough time with people who want to 'ride for free'.. as well as drunks, injuries, bad pay etc...(and I am VERY sympathetic) .. HOWEVER, my dd just had a really difficult time with the local ticket inspectors (we are in a big city). She'd forgotten her 16-25 railcard (had never forgotten it before)... and was travelling a long distance. It's her fault (and we told her so) but the ticket inspectors apparently reduced her to tears while 5 other ticket chaps stood there staring. The chap in question told her that she would get a criminal record, stood intimidatingly close to her, wanted to know her height (?... what was THAT about), and apparently said: well I don't know how you'll get home!.....' it's just that dd is a timid sort and the treatment seemed a bit heavy-handed. I don't know if any other parents have similar stories (I would be interested to know). I was talking to the local police (on another matter) and mentioned this incident... kind police lady said: yes - we've been getting a lot of reports about this sort of behaviour... do let us know if you have a problem like this again...

Ed1tY0urPr0f1le Sat 23-Jul-16 14:01:34

Probably not a great deal of use as this happened about 20 years ago, however...

I was on a train sat opposite a young girl whose railcard was out of date by a few days. She hadn't realised (her fault I know) but neither had the person who sold her the ticket at the station. The inspector picked it up, she was shocked, apologetic and quite obviously genuine and offered to get off at the next station and renew it. He, however, was utterly vile to her and treated her like a criminal, making her buy a new single ticket (not just pay the difference) and ripping up her return ticket too (which just seemd spiteful as she could have used it once she'd renewed her railcard). It was a long journey so cost her a fortune for a youngster. Nasty, nasty man.

I was only a young girl myself at the time and didn't know what to do other than give him an evil look when he checked my ticket. I was too shy and unsure of myself to even go and ask her if she was OK afterwards. I'd like to think, if I saw the same situation unfolding now, I'd step in at least give the young person moral support.

Hope your DD is OK - mine would have been devastated.

AnotherTimeMaybe Sat 23-Jul-16 14:04:24

Track down who he is and report him.....

AnotherTimeMaybe Sat 23-Jul-16 14:04:57

I mean "find out who he is" hmm

SmilingButClueless Sat 23-Jul-16 15:56:20

I'm sure some ticket inspectors just enjoy the sense of power.

I had an interesting experience with one of them having a go at me for travelling on a non-valid ticket. Threatened to throw me off the train, call the police etc. Didn't seem happy until I started crying.

My ticket was actually valid (a season ticket I used on the same route most days); but he was utterly convinced he was right and just wouldn't listen to the explanation. But even if I'd made a genuine mistake, there was no call for him to speak to me that way.

And train company was absolutely useless when I complained to them. Won't use them any more when I have a choice.

In contrast, some of the ticket inspectors I've seen in action on my current route are fantastic. So it's obviously possible to charge people any additional fare without being a complete tosser... Maybe the others just missed that part of the training course.

Hope your DD is OK now.

harderandharder2breathe Sat 23-Jul-16 15:56:30

I'm not sure from your OP whether this was at a station, I assume so from there being 6 ticket inspectors in one place. All they needed to do was say "oh well without your card you have to pay full price" and sell her the correct ticket.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sat 23-Jul-16 16:01:35

Ive never actually experienced this but I live in a small village, first stop on a train line out a city. And over the past two months I would say there's nearly a person a week thrown off the train and dumped in our village.

In 30 years ive never known it happen until the last couple of months.

Longlost10 Sat 23-Jul-16 16:04:34

unfortunately she will get a criminal record

SanityClause Sat 23-Jul-16 16:09:04

We recently were in a train, and the conductor checked the ticket of the young woman behind us. She didn't have it, and had no proof of purchase, as her mother had bought the ticket, and given her a printout.

She did have an itinerary, and I think she was actually also on the wrong train. (There were spare seats, though.)

He gave her a bit of a telling off, but didn't make her pay for another ticket, or make her get off the train.

It was a bit uncomfortable, TBH, and I was pleased he wasn't unkind to her.

CuboidalSlipshoddy Sat 23-Jul-16 16:21:15

You don't need to show a 16-25 to buy a 16-25 ticket (machine, online, etc). You don't need to be 16-25 to have a 16-25 (I legitimately held one at 50). Being 16-25 is not proof of holding a 16-25 (for obvious reasons). Travelling on 16-25 tickets without holding a 16-25 card is one of the most popular frauds. It doesn't excuse shitty behaviour, but a very common reason for someone travelling on a 16-25 without the card is because they don't have a card and are on the fiddle.

It's also very easy to illegitimately get a 16-25 when you are older. But that is another issue (and inspectors are not usually interested in the issue).

MabelFurball Sat 23-Jul-16 16:21:21

I do sometimes wonder if these ticket inspectors would be so harsh and intimidating if it was a man they were dealing with.

thisisafakename Sat 23-Jul-16 16:22:37

unfortunately she will get a criminal record

Sorry, but a fixed penalty notice (did she even get one or was she just refused travel?) is NOT a criminal record. I would also try to pursue a complaint on her behalf against the ticket inspector. That's really out of order of him to treat her like that.

mrsfuzzy Sat 23-Jul-16 16:24:31

mabe probably have hit it on the head, some of these idiots must be seriously lacking, and it gives an ego trip to 'bully' people

yaaasqueen Sat 23-Jul-16 16:25:00

They're mostly wankers and always off sick

thisisafakename Sat 23-Jul-16 16:25:24

It's also very easy to illegitimately get a 16-25 when you are older

In most places, there's no point in doing this as you can just buy a network rail card for the same price and save the same amount as with a YP card.

ExitPursuedByABear Sat 23-Jul-16 16:27:41

I was thrown off the tram to Manchester for not having a ticket. It was my first time and I didn't realise you couldn't buy on the tram. The inspector was vile. We had quite a stand off. He threatened me with the police. I am 57. Twat.

wheatchief Sat 23-Jul-16 16:28:00

It's incredibly unlikely that she'll get a criminal record. Incredibly. It's not a given that she'll get anything, in fact, although she may do.

CuboidalSlipshoddy Sat 23-Jul-16 16:29:04

Indeed Mabel. A friend of mine who is a leading geek expert on ticketing commuted for some years from Cambridge to London on a Finsbury Park to Liverpool St season. This was, owing to a mistake in the routing guide, entirely legitimate and saved him about ten grand. He had a pile of correspondence with ATOC which backed it up, too. Inspectors expressed surprise but were polite until he got arrested

CuboidalSlipshoddy Sat 23-Jul-16 16:30:57

n most places, there's no point in doing this as you can just buy a network rail card

Where "most places" means "the south east of England".

specialsubject Sat 23-Jul-16 16:34:16

yes, love those 'most places'.

in the rest of the UK if you are travelling alone and are between 25 and 60 you pay full price.

thisisafakename Sat 23-Jul-16 16:39:02

Where "most places" means "the south east of England"

Well, it's a bit of a larger area than just the SE. It can be used to get to Exeter for example which is West. Also places like Worcester. But yeah, it's a smaller area than I originally thought when I wrote the post. However, there are some other regional cards that offer similar discounts in other parts of the country, Wales for instance.

Woodhill Sat 23-Jul-16 16:39:46

When I was 18 I remember the bus driver humiliating me in front of everyone as my travelcard was not valid in the zone I was going to ( slightly out of zone 6 possibly) but the chap at the station had sold me it and I had told him where I needed to go. I paid the excess.

I went back to the station later and we still couldn't work it out

GoadyMcFuckFace Sat 23-Jul-16 16:44:49

About 8 years ago when I looked much younger an inspector reduced me to tears when I HAD A VALID TICKET. He claimed to recognise me as a repeat offender (when I rarely got the train) and wouldn't let it go. I'm still angry about it now. I had a fucking ticket! You don't know me I normally drive! Arghhhh old jobsworth cunt.

CuboidalSlipshoddy Sat 23-Jul-16 16:45:33

E. It can be used to get to Exeter for example

From the south east.

thisisafakename Sat 23-Jul-16 16:53:05

OK, OK I said I didn't realise how small the area was when I typed it. It still covers a large part of the country and many northern cities have very cheap inter-city fares that are cheaper than for an equivalent distance in the South. I lived in the north for a number of years. Leeds to Manchester is £16 for example.
Also, you could (for arguments sake) use the Network Rail card to travel within the west country- you don't have to come from the south east.

ANYWAY, the point of the original post was not to offend anyone (I am not from this country anyway so I am neither a northerner nor a southerner) but to say that I don't think YP railcard fraud is as widespread as someone said. They do ask you for ID before they sell it to you (passport or drivers licence). Sure, you could get fake ID I guess but I don't think it's hugely widespread.

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