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Buying a bus ticket with a smartphone

can be expensive!

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Female
Aely  Female  Hampshire 10-Oct-2019 20:45 Message #4757337
I've just seen an article on the BBC news. A young lady bought a £1.50 bus ticket using her Smart phone. During the journey a Ticket Inspector got on and wanted to see her ticket. She got out her phone and - the battery had gone flat. The inspector took her details and gave her a notice saying what happened next, with a helpline phone number.

When her phone was recharged she rang the number and explained the situation. They said not to worry, send a bank statement showing the payment and all would be well. There was a bit of a delay with the statement as she was in the process of changing her bank, but when it was available she sent it in.

However, she had been taken to court, unknown to her, and found guilty in her absence. She was given a fine of nearly £500 and details of how to appeal, which she did. In the meantime she went to get her visa for a trip to America. It was refused as she had had a criminal conviction since she had applied. She had already booked the trip. When she won the appeal the conviction was erased and the fine was refunded. However she never got to America and has had to bear the cost of the lost booking herself, several hundred pounds.

So convenient, these phone Apps. I think I will stick to cash.
Male
MrQuiet  Male  Northamptonshire 11-Oct-2019 06:19 Message #4757389
Sometimes things go wrong and it escalates. I still use cash for most everyday purchases.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 11-Oct-2019 10:46 Message #4757416
I wonder how much longer we will be able to use cash for even for simple things like catching a bus or buying a newspaper? Everything seems more and more geared to electronic payments and phone payments in particular, what if you live in an area with poor phone signal or don't have or want a smart phone? People think mobile coverage is universal indoors and out, but it isn't not by a long way, theres still plenty of places where theres no signal at all and very poor broadband and landline too. Not all of them in the the countryside either, bits of big cities like Manchester have poor coverage too indoors and out.
Male
OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 11-Oct-2019 11:13 Message #4757423
This "news" item also appeared in yesterday's FT online (as it involved Jemima Kelly an FT journo) and is actually a bit of old news as it happened in October last year although it didn't get resolved until May this year, when the £476.50 fine & subsequent convicton was quashed.

You don't have to register your contactless card with TfL to be able to use it, but it's advisable to set up an online account with them and register your card (like you do with an Oyster card) because each journey touched in (& out where required) will be recorded & visible by TfL. In this case she admitted that she hadn't registered her contactless card (and presumably the i-pay account linked to that) to a TfL account.

All buses are cashless in London. I know that contactless payment using Apple i-Pay is becoming more popular, especially by the age group that are seemingly surgically attached to their device, but for me I wouldn't use it.
In this case if the battery had died before she boarded the bus, she wouldn't have been able to use it and so presumably would have had to use a debit card for the journey.

A PAYG Oyster card, that can just be topped up manually or automatically from your bank account, is a convenient stand alone secure method of payment for use on buses (& cheaper than cash on trains). Spending on it can be tracked & can be linked to an app too & most importantly if an Inspector requests to check your card for payment, it can be done there and then.
Jemima was pretty unlucky with the chain of events, from the battery failing, the original penalty fine letter allegedly going astray, having already booked the £500 airfares, unfortunately changing bank accounts. But I also wonder why she wasn't all over this when she found out about it in the December.

A smartphone battery is a pretty unreliable thing to be running your life by.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 11-Oct-2019 11:17 Message #4757427
But what if you're just passing through and don't need an oyster card because you wouldn't use it?
Male
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 11-Oct-2019 11:20 Message #4757428
Use a debit card, I did on a recent trip to London and it was a doddle...
Male
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire 11-Oct-2019 15:37 Message #4757469
I've used my credit card with London Transport trains and buses with no problems.
Male
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 11-Oct-2019 17:39 Message #4757490
Can you be taken to court without your knowledge? That's the bit I find rather odd.
Female
wholelottakaren  Female  Lincolnshire 11-Oct-2019 18:20 Message #4757501
It's worth getting one - only a fiver - and you can get your money back if you decide to return it. I rarely go to London but got one. It can save you a lot of money on fares
Male
Colonel_Blink  Male  Buckinghamshire 11-Oct-2019 21:01 Message #4757538
*Can you be taken to court without your knowledge? That's the bit I find rather odd.g

It is possible. The court documents would be sent to your last known address and if you didn’t reply or turn up in court the case could easily go against you.
Male
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 11-Oct-2019 22:44 Message #4757563
But, surely, the documents would be sent recorded delivery?
Male
Colonel_Blink  Male  Buckinghamshire 11-Oct-2019 23:08 Message #4757565
It can work the other way Nigel. If documents are sent recorded delivery they may be deemed as served whether or not actually received.
This happens frequently when private parking companies take “offenders” to court but the “offender” ignores all documents. They can be fined, found liable for expenses and even receive a ccj.
Male
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 12-Oct-2019 05:29 Message #4757574
Recorded delivery requires a signature to prove receipt. Without that there is no proof that the court summons has been received thus removing the person's right to any defence. That is disgraceful!
Male
MrQuiet  Male  Northamptonshire 12-Oct-2019 06:54 Message #4757587
If refusing to sign for a letter prevented you being prosecuted it would be used by guilty parties all the time as a simple get out. Pros and cons.

Male
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 12-Oct-2019 07:13 Message #4757598
Oh right. I didn't realise she had refused to sign for the court notification. Must have missed that bit.
Male
MrQuiet  Male  Northamptonshire 12-Oct-2019 07:21 Message #4757600
I was speaking generally Nigel. Anyone could refuse to sign or pretend the person is not there or just not answer the door. It would mean that all court documents posted could be ignored.
Male
Colonel_Blink  Male  Buckinghamshire 12-Oct-2019 07:59 Message #4757601
Most court documents are sent by first class post.
Female
Aely  Female  Hampshire 12-Oct-2019 21:36 Message #4757759
Are there concessions for OAPs on the Tube? Like a bus pass or wrinkly's rail card?
Male
MrQuiet  Male  Northamptonshire 12-Oct-2019 22:13 Message #4757772
Aely. I think you can only get free tube if you live in London. If you’re travelling regularly I think you can buy a discount card.
Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire 12-Oct-2019 23:58 Message #4757785
Does the senior bus pass not work in London then? the one that gives free travel to over 65's.
Male
MrQuiet  Male  Northamptonshire 13-Oct-2019 07:47 Message #4757799
I think it’s only residents of London who get free travel on trains. Not sure about buses.
Male
OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 13-Oct-2019 11:16 Message #4757852
There's the Freedom Pass in London issued by TfL via the residents local Borough and funded by the London Boroughs, which you ca get when you're 65.
With that you can travel free any time on bus, tram, Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail (e.g. the Elizabeth LIne (aka Crossrail) and travel free after 9:30 weekdays, and any time on weekends and public holidays on most National Rail Services in London.

As far as I know you can use your Freedom Pass outside of London only on local bus services across England (but not Scotland or Wales) during off-peak times - 9.30am to 11pm Monday to Friday and all day at other times.
So I would imagine that the same would apply in reverse.

There's also a 60+ Oyster card which is issued free (other than a registration admin fee) and gives Londoners free travel on all TfL services and some national rail services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from their sixtieth birthday. It also allows holders free travel outside of morning peak hours on other national rail services in the capital. But unlike the Freedom Pass it's only valid for travel with the Greater London area.
Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire 13-Oct-2019 11:25 Message #4757856
Flippin' heck, it's a complicated place is London.
Male
MrQuiet  Male  Northamptonshire 14-Oct-2019 06:29 Message #4758040
Very complicated terry. It’s just as bad when you drive and need to park in London. Some of the signage listing times, areas, locations ABC, residents only etc are difficult to decipher.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 14-Oct-2019 11:01 Message #4758071
I agree Terry, its one reason I don't go there, the other is that people who live there seem to expect everyone else to know how everything there works.

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