Saturday, February 09, 2008

The System Sux

Last night I took the train out of Waterloo out down to have dinner with Danni, Tory, Mari and Barns at Danni's place in Surbiton - all good no dramas with that at all except that I got fined 20 quid for fare evasion!!! Ugh

Ok so here your probably thinking, oh Lisa what have you done wrong. Well you know what, absolutely nothing!! I have a monthly travel card for Zone 1 and 2 on my Oyster card, and I have extra cash on it for pre-pay should I got outside of Zone 2, which is exactly what pre-pay is for, so you don't - or rather should not - have to buy a paper ticket for the difference.

Surbiton is in Zone 6 South and apparently despite the fact that they have Oyster machines at the gates exiting the station, pre pay is not valid to be used (it will be in 2009!!) and I have to purchase a paper ticket for the Zone 3-6 part of my trip.

The thing with that is, that one; it's more expensive to buy paper tickets (this is because they are trying to encourage people to use Oyster instead of paper tickets...bit ironic really) and two, it's just unfair, as if I was in the North of London where the tube actually extends all the way to Zone 6, my prepay on the Oyster card would have kicked in. So if you live South your penalised for having Oyster, even though the facility to use it is there and working.

It's also unfair that they use such a sneaky tactic to boost their fare evasion percentage of people caught numbers and it is really all about profits. It is easy for them to guard the gates at a nice area like Surbiton and catch someone like myself as an easy target, who is only out of line because of a stupid loophole in the system. I couldn't even persuade them to let me off from the fine, even when it was clear to see that I was trying to do the right thing, after all i am not a hoody jumping over barriers for a free ride, between Dalston Kingsland and Staines!!!

The ticket inspector who I dealt with was very good really, I had no grouch with him, just the system. He agreed also and encourgaged me to dispute my fine, for which I have 21 days to appeal (thought Danni has already logged and appealed for me - thanks hon!) as he said the more people who dispute such a stupid and discrimanatory loophole the better chance that the rules will be changed sooner rather than later, or not all all. That is all fine, but my purse is still 20 pounds lighter for it.

Anyway, that is my London grouch for the day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All this being forced to buy paper tickets doesn't sound very environmentally or tree friendly!

Got done in Prague for a similar thing a few years ago, while looking for the ticket machine got nabbed by an ticket inspector man who was very quick to get a policeman with a gun (at which point the fine went up and so we paid) I pointed out we shouldn't have to pay as we hadn't even set foot on a train!

Go figure