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“Please help me persuade South West Trains to better inform customers where they can get off with an Oyster card” – Mike Codling

Description

Mike Codling

There are never any annoucements or notices on the trains, and they raise revenue by routinely fining passengers at Staines. Many travellers to Staines are going to Thorpe Park for a day out and are not familiar with the route, rules or boundaries. A routine announcement at the boundary station, Feltham, would save many people getting fines, but my view as an observer for 18 months is that the train company just want to make money out of the situation.

Problem History

  • 1 Mike Codling reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 12:40 31 Aug 2011
  • 2 Mike Codling wrote to South West Trains close 12:40 31 Aug 2011

    Here is the letter that Mike Codling wrote.

    Oyster boundary is not well publicised

    A common sight at Staines is people getting off having started their journey using an Oyster card and being fined by the revenue protection staff. Many people from London use this station to visit Thorpe Park. It seems like the train staff have actually been advised against telling customers; in 18 months I've never heard an announcement at the boundary station (Feltham) advising passengers to disembark and buy a paper ticket there or risk a fine, although the train guards often use the intercom for other communication. There is also no signage on board raising awareness of this. It's quite clearly used as a revenue raising exercise, and although I have no issue with fare evaders being fined, this seems very underhand.

  • 3 South West Trains responded to Mike Codling close 12:52 31 Aug 2011
  • 4 South West Trains responded to Mike Codling close 12:11 06 Sep 2011
    Fixmytransport.Com
    Customer Service Centre

    Customer Service Centre
    Overline House
    Blechynden Terrace
    Southampton SO15 1GW
    Telephone 0845 6000 650
    Fax 023 8072 8187
    email
    [South West Trains problem reporting email]

    [better inform customers where they can get off with an Oyster card email]

    Our ref:1638429

    06 September 2011
    Dear Sirs

    Thank you for your contact regarding our services. We do welcome
    feedback from our customers and have, in line with our franchise
    and passenger's charter commitments, established a full range of
    agreed channels to contact our customer relations team.

    A webform on our website at www.southwesttrains.co.uk

    By email to [South West Trains problem reporting email]

    By post to –
    South West Trains Customer Relations,
    Overline House, Blechynden Terrace,
    Southampton. SO15 1GW.

    By telephone 0845 6000 650 option 4

    There are also established representative bodies which deal with
    unresolved complaints from our passengers.

    For the London Area the organisation is London Travelwatch
    www.londontravelwatch.org.uk

    For the remainder of our area the organisation is Passenger Focus
    www.passengerfocus.org.uk

    To allow us to follow our agreed processes, would you please
    advise our customer to use one of the established methods of
    contact to obtain a full response to their concerns.

    Regards
    Jan Ledbyrne
    Stagecoach South Western Trains

    The information contained in this email is confidential and intended for the addressee(s) only. If you receive an email in error, please contact the sender or the Service Desk at [email address] +44 (0) 207 620 5602, and permanently remove the email from your systems.

    The opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and not necessarily those of the company.

    While emails are virus checked, the company does not accept any liability in respect of a virus which is not detected

    Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited
    Registered in England and Wales 5599788
    Registered office: Friars Bridge Court
    41-45 Blackfriars Road
    London SE1 8NZ
    A part of the Stagecoach Group
  • 5 Myf Nixon commented close 17:31 06 Sep 2011

    We're aware that some operators are expressing a preference for users to take the conversation offline (and will be in contact to try to persuade them of the benefits of engaging via FixMyTransport!).

    Meanwhile we'd really like to hear any updates and hope you will keep us posted via this page.

    anorak
    admin
  • 6 lyle Torok commented close 10:50 04 Jan 2012

    Having just started working in Staines I fell afoul of this on my first day of work and was charged a full penalty fare, it is not well publicised that it is outside of the oyster zone. In fact they mention that there are “smart card validators” on the station when information, national rail page
    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/sns/details.html

    I checked this prior to leaving, expecting oyster to be valid is that deliberately misleading, or just incompetence I think it’s a bit crazy that you can use your Oyster card on many of the bus routes around Staines. Some from directly in front of the station, but not for the train itself everyone agrees its mad .

    Now my choices are either pay the fare in advance, alongside my tube pass oyster , or get off at Feltham and catch the 117 bus … when considering the 8.80 that the train fare for the trip would be the extra 30 minute to go by bus trip is worth the saving.
    South west trains

    PLEASE either extend the oyster when Staines becomes Staines upon Thames, even if a visitor had to add it as an additional zone it would make so much more reasonable.

    OR stop mentioning smart card validators, and make people aware that you can’t use oyster for this station .

  • 7 Colin Edwards commented close 06:27 08 Jan 2012

    They should make a verbal announcement regarding the last station that an oyster can be used at or where there is one display it on the stop indicator inside the train.

  • 8 Peter Dixon commented close 20:07 10 Jan 2012

    Hi Mike

    Did you get anywhere with South West Trains with regards to this issue?

    anorak
    admin
  • 9 Mike Codling commented close 22:23 10 Jan 2012

    no, they never addressed my original complaint

  • 10 Mike Codling commented close 18:44 15 Jan 2012

    I've reviewed the comments left by other users and would be happy to take this up again with South West Trains, as it does seem to be one of those accidently-on-purpose policies you'd expect from five year olds and carpet-baggers. Can SWT keep secret the amount of money they make in fines at this station? I'd bet that's an interesting figure, but guess that as a private company things like Freedom Of Information requests don't apply. Does anyone have any pointers for persuing this or other info that would back this up?

  • 11 Peter Dixon advised Mike to write to London TravelWatch. close 20:22 15 Jan 2012

    Hi Mike,

    If you complained to them directly and they have not come back to you then I think it is time to query this with London Travelwatch.

    London TravelWatch is the official watchdog organisation representing the interests of transport users in and around the capital. Whilst they mainly deal with complaints that have not been resolved, any issues or suggestions that appear to be dismissed out of hand for no good reason can also fit in that category.

    Good Luck

    anorak
    admin
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  • started 31 August 2011
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Train route between Staines and Vauxhall operated by South West Trains
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