EXCLUSIVE: ABC presents…The Great Gibb Giveaway! What’s your Magic Loophole Station?!

We’ve discovered discounts and savings for South Coast – London Victoria passengers! Find out how to get yours in this easy ABC guide…

The Gibb report has given us a wealth of material about the failures of ‘system resilience’ on the Southern Rail network – and over the next few weeks, ABC will be following many of these up in depth. However, we wanted to start with an exclusive tip-off that will benefit commuters right here, right now. And so we present the first Magic Loophole Station; a technique inspired by section 3.2 of the Gibb Report, and from which several of our commuter campaigners are already enjoying great savings.

Before proceeding, please note: this is still a work in progress that we invite you to try, and investigate further. We do not guarantee success and all of these methods are to be used at the individual’s sole discretion and responsibility.

Important: we are still urgently raising funds to pay our lawyers for our recent court victory, which has forced Chris Grayling to finally make a decision on Southern Rail’s contractual breaches. There could be no better use for the money saved through the #GreatGibbaway than donating some to help us pay our lawyers!

How to use the Camden Road Magic Loophole:

Inspired by the “fare anomalies and split-ticketing opportunities” highlighted by Chris Gibb in section 3.2 of his report, members of ABC have been looking at other routes and trying to identify similar “Magic Loophole Stations” to the Eastbourne – Aldershot example that Gibb describes.

We have since discovered that Camden Road Station is the “Magic Loophole Station” for South Coast – London Victoria routes, and now invite all our supporters to join the investigation and find similar loopholes for other routes.

GIBBAWAY-FINAL2.jpg

The Camden Road “Magic Loophole” works for:

  • Passengers on the South Coast going to London Victoria
  • All peak day tickets
  • Some off-peak tickets
  • Some walk up fares, e.g. 7 day return tickets (peak and off peak)

The Camden Road “Magic Loophole” won’t work for:

  • Season ticket holders (7 days and upwards) – unfortunately it turns into the same ‘travelcard’ ticket type for both scenarios at that point
  • Anyone travelling from Haywards Heath or further north

The best thing about this technique is that the saving on day return peak tickets will really help whose who are self-employed or part-time – i.e. those who are already penalised most by the current fare system.

These types of passengers will be able to save money on every journey using the “Magic Loophole” technique. ABC members have explicitly asked Southern Rail ticket staff if Victoria is a valid route for Camden Road, and it has been confirmed that it is (i.e. one can take all usual direct peak/off-peak trains and there is no need for this to be specified on the ticket.)

Examples of how much you could save on a peak day ticket:

Worthing: £41.70 instead of £56.70 saving £15 or 26% discount

Eastbourne: £44.20 instead of £60.40 saving £16.20 or 26% discount

Brighton: £43.60 instead of 50.10 saving £6.50 or 13% discount

Lewes: £39.30 instead of £51.10 saving £11.80 or 23% discount

Shoreham: £40.50 instead of £54.20 saving £14.70 or 27% discount

How you can help our investigation:

  1. Write and tell us about your success and any further “Magic Loophole Stations” you uncover. You can email us at contact@associationofbritishcommuters.com, or contact us through Twitter. Please note that we are volunteer-run and extremely busy, so Twitter is always best for a quick response.
  2. Donate to our legal crowdfunder – we need your help more than ever if we are to pay our lawyers for their work on our recent high court decision and keep ABC alive!
  3. Keep following our campaign and thinking outside the box! We must all join together to insist upon a better quality of investigative journalism; and much more action from MPs/Ministers, if we are to ever bring the Southern Rail crisis to a end!

Donate to our legal crowdfunder here.

Follow ABC on Twitter and Facebook for all our news, exposes, and updates!

Please note, The Great Gibbaway was inspired by section 3.2 of the Gibb report:

Gibb 3.2

The Credit Card Challenge continues: claiming under chargeback against Southern Rail…

Since breaking the news of Sean’s successful credit card claim two weeks ago, we’ve been looking at every possible avenue to help passengers with their own claim. For those who have been unsuccessful with a section 75 claim, or who purchased their ticket on a debit card or credit card where section 75 does not apply (such as pre-paid cards) – we now present a whole new approach to claiming back.

Neither ABC nor the national press have been able to determine whether Sean’s refund went through under section 75 or a similar process called ‘chargeback’. Both American Express and Southern Rail have been (unsurprisingly) tight-lipped about the basis on which Sean’s claim was awarded. In order to cover all bases in helping passengers make a similar claim, we now launch a second guide to the ‘Credit Card Challenge’. The best news of all is that ‘chargeback’ claims can cover purchases made on a debit card too.

It is impossible to guarantee success through either of these methods, but the fact that Sean’s claim was successful may mean that there is still a chance to set a important precedent. Such a precedent would not only be game-changing for consumer rights over rail, but could also leave you thousands of pounds richer after a whole year of suffering Southern Rail’s service.

Step One: read our guide to using chargeback:

chargeback-read-me-first

Step Two: use our template letter to start our own claim:

chargeback-letter

Step Three: attach evidence to support your claim (example here):

southern-rail-performance-dec-jan-2017

Please write to us at contact@associationofbritishcommuters.com to let us know if your claim was successful. Please note that we are a volunteer-run campaign and do not have the resources to advise individuals on the specifics of their claim.

DISCLAIMER:

ABC is providing this information to assist a person in making a claim under their bank or credit card company’s chargeback scheme, in connection with services provided by Southern Rail.

The sample letter provided is a template only. Any person using it does so at their own risk and accepts full responsibility for the content and accuracy of his or her claim.  ABC is not a party to any such claim and accepts no responsibility or liability for the accuracy of any information provided.

ABC does not guarantee the outcome of any claim and accepts no liability whatsoever in the event of any claim being unsuccessful.

 

Commuters, join the Credit Card Challenge! How to claim under section 75 against Southern Rail…

Since ABC broke Sean’s story on Sunday, his successful £2,400 claim to Amex has been headline news. If further claims are successful, a clear precedent will be set and we’ll be looking at no less than a revolution in consumer rights for passengers!

Our busy team of commuter campaigners has been on the case and we have now produced a complete guide to claiming back from your credit card provider. We encourage all credit card users for any amount over £100 to take this forward – help us create a whole new era of passenger rights after our year of suffering on Southern Rail!

Each of the following documents has been prepared under the guidance of a qualified solicitor, and should provide all you need to make your own claim. Remember, if your claim is rejected you will have the right of appeal to the financial ombudsman – we will also be preparing model letters for anyone who needs to appeal.

Read our guide to claiming under section 75:

the-abc-guide-to-claiming-under-section-75

Download our template letter to make it easy for you to initiate your own claim:

abc-template-letter-for-section-75-claims

View a sample of supporting evidence here:

southern-rail-performance-figures-example-evidence

To refresh your memory of Sean’s story and the letter he sent, click here.

Please write to us at contact@associationofbritishcommuters.com to let us know if you have been successful. Good luck, and we hope to hear your success stories soon!

Disclaimer:

  1. ABC is providing this information to assist you in making a claim under s75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 against your credit card company in connection with services provided by Southern Rail.
  1. In relation to goods or services paid for by credit card, s75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 allows you to claim for breach of contract or misrepresentation against one or both of the retailer (in this case, the train operating company which sold you the ticket) and the credit card company, either simultaneously or separately.
  1. Please note that you cannot recover the same loss from both parties.
  1. The sample letter provided by ABC is a template only. Any person using it does so at their own risk and is responsible for the content and the accuracy of the claim.
  1. ABC is not a party to any claim made in accordance with this guide or otherwise, and accepts no responsibility or liability for the content and/or the accuracy of any information included in any such claim.
  1. ABC does not guarantee the outcome of any claim and accepts no liability whatsoever in the event of a claim being unsuccessful.

Compensation – looking for more than an ’empty gesture’? If you bought your season ticket on a credit card, you might be quids in!

The problem of compensation for Southern Rail’s failure to provide promised services has been an issue for thousands of commuters throughout 2016. ABC have now set up a whole new team to look at other avenues for compensation, and will be letting you know our recommendations soon. In the meantime, we wanted to share the story of a commuter who got in touch with us to share his compensation triumph.

Sean, a yearly season-ticket holder, told us that he had applied to American Express to dispute the sale, based on the non-delivery of goods and services. He then provided evidence to support his claim, using Southern Rail’s own punctuality statistics,  and the fact that they reduced their timetable by 15% last summer. He estimated that 50% of his journeys were cancelled or disrupted and requested 50% of his money back.

American Express granted his claim and Sean is now £2,400 richer because of it.

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Credit card companies are bound under the Consumer Credit Act, meaning they are jointly liable for the provision of goods and services until they have been delivered. So, if you have used your credit card to purchase any kind of ticket above £100, you might be able to benefit from this too.

Based on Sean’s advice, start by calling your credit card provider and requesting to initiate a ‘dispute process’, perhaps in the form of a section 75 claim. If your credit card provider allows the claim, it’s then a matter of providing the relevant evidence/performance statistics and a letter including an estimate of the percentage you feel you are owed back. Sean’s quite reasonable estimate in his own case was 50%, but there is no reason why this shouldn’t be more (or less) depending on the extent to which you have been affected.

*Since the time of publishing, Amex will not confirm whether Sean’s successful claim was the outcome of a section 75 claim, chargeback or a ‘dispute process’. We encourage commuters to put their application in the form of a section 75 claim as a first step and provide a model letter here. Please be aware that you will have recourse to the financial ombudsman if rejected, and we will soon provide a model letter for this too.

Sean used the following performance statistics, from the period 29th May – 25th June 2016, to support his letter (featured below):

southern-rail-performance-may-jun-2016

 

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-15-53-40

“Sean” was happy to share his story on the condition of anonymity. Please address press inquiries to: contact@associationofbritishcommuters.com

For further details on section 75 protections for credit card holders, click here.

Please write to us at contact@associationofbritishcommuters.com to let us know if you are successful with a credit card claim.