First Southern’s Twitter team gave out incorrect Penalty Fare advice. Then Great Northern followed suit and got told by the Department of Transport to retrain their social media team, following a formal complaint by Penalty Fare Support.
Now Southeastern is at it, incorrectly suggesting that where they have failed to provide facilities to buy a ticket at the station, it is the duty of the passenger to go hunting for the guard (see Twitter conversation).
If there are no facilities (ticket offices, working ticket machine) at the station where you board, you are under no obligation to actively seek out a member of staff. You may buy a ticket on board when a member of staff passes through to sell tickets or carry out a ticket check, or at an interchange station if there is time and facilities are available, or you may buy a ticket at you destination.
Revenue protection staff are not allowed to issue a Penalty Fare under these circumstances and doing so may constitute fraud (read more…)
Perhaps it is time for British Transport Police to investigate whether Revenue Protection Officers are topping up their salaries by fraudulently issuing Penalty Fares in breach of the rules – and prosecute anyone found to be doing so.