Advice Only for Greater Anglia - Delay Repay Fraud

35B

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In all probability, GA would have kept more exhaustive records than a passenger would have. GA would retain all its records for 6 years or more; a passenger claiming DR would probably dispose of any 'evidence' as soon as the claim is paid.

Having said that, how can a passenger prove which train they travelled on? There can be circumstantial evidence, such as work time sheets, but that does not prove you were on a specific train.
How can an ordinary passenger - some of us do keep logs, but for reasons that mark us out from the normal run of commuters.
 
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Tazi Hupefi

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I'm unsure why we are even discussing logs. Greater Anglia don't seem to have asked anyone to do so, or asked for any copies.

The only reason to keep logs is for your own benefit.

It is for GA to prove their criminal case, not for you to disprove it. Having your own evidence obviously makes that easier and simpler.

My advice to future claimants of Delay Repay is obviously to retain relevant information for as long as possible. Easy enough electronically! Even just a few lines of text per claim for you to refer back to. Incidentally my mobile phone likes to remind me invariably where I was on this date X years ago etc. So people probably have more information stored somewhere than they might have realised. Pictures with GPS tags, location data enabled, a social media post, old bank statement showing you'd bought something at a shop and so on.
 

SteveM70

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In all probability, GA would have kept more exhaustive records than a passenger would have. GA would retain all its records for 6 years or more; a passenger claiming DR would probably dispose of any 'evidence' as soon as the claim is paid.

Of course they would - it’s normal for businesses to do that, and whatever the law says it just isn’t normal for joe public to do so.
 

43096

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Having said that, how can a passenger prove which train they travelled on? There can be circumstantial evidence, such as work time sheets, but that does not prove you were on a specific train.
That's a very good point. Out of this it would be good to know what the TOC think proof actually is.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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That's a very good point. Out of this it would be good to know what the TOC think proof actually is.
I don't think Greater Anglia has asked anyone for proof. People are looking for proof because they want to counter the accusations, but I think Greater Anglia have simply asked for comments on the accusation.
 

43096

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I don't think Greater Anglia has asked anyone for proof. People are looking for proof because they want to counter the accusations, but I think Greater Anglia have simply asked for comments on the accusation.
OK, fair comment. Widening it a bit, it would be good to know what records people should keep to counter any accusation in the future.
 

Haywain

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OK, fair comment. Widening it a bit, it would be good to know what records people should keep to counter any accusation in the future.
No records are needed - just absolute certainty that all claims are 100% genuine in accordance with the scheme rules.
 

MotCO

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No records are needed - just absolute certainty that all claims are 100% genuine in accordance with the scheme rules.

I don't think Greater Anglia has asked anyone for proof. People are looking for proof because they want to counter the accusations, but I think Greater Anglia have simply asked for comments on the accusation.

How do the above quotes square with @robbeech 's friend's experience:
They have work records dating back to the time in question and their shift patterns match up with the trains they would have been on. They can prove they were booked to be at work and this makes sense but with the exception of a few photographs with time stamps here and there which barely proves a handful of journeys (and even fewer were actually delayed ones) they cannot prove they were on those trains, which I suspect nobody can.

On contact, GA say that if they cannot prove they were on those trains then they will be passing their details on to the police as they’ve made an above average number of claims.
they’ve offered a settlement of around £1100 which is just under twice the total claimed.

What constitutes acceptable proof?
 

ainsworth74

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As a reminder there is a thread to discuss what people think should (or shouldn't) be kept as evidence here. So if you wish to discuss the generalities of that people do so in that thread. Thanks :)
 

Fawkes Cat

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How do the above quotes square with @robbeech 's friend's experience:


What constitutes acceptable proof?
A reminder not to take everything said or claimed in the Disputes section of this forum at face value may be in order.
And even if GA have said this, then it's not a point that they can enforce: should the matter go to court then it's for GA to prove their point - it's for the person accused to cast enough doubt on GA's case such that they don't prove their assertion.

So as has been said a number of times here, if someone is innocent of the accusation, they should be robust and explain this to GA.


I see that I have the dubious privilege (unless someone else has sneaked in while I was writing this) of making the 1,000th reply in this thread to the OP. We're beginning to go round in circles and aren't really adding much that will help anyone who gets the letter from GA. Is it time to close this thread so that any new cases of someone getting the letter go in a new thread where we can give specific advice to that poster?
 
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Horizon22

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How do the above quotes square with @robbeech 's friend's experience:


What constitutes acceptable proof?

Being cynical, this is now a 3rd hand account and that might not have been exactly what GA said...

I see that I have the dubious privilege (unless someone else has sneaked in while I was writing this) of making the 1,000th reply in this thread to the OP. We're beginning to go round in circles and aren't really adding much that will help anyone who gets the letter from GA. Is it time to close this thread so that any new cases of someone getting the letter go in a new thread where we can give specific advise to that poster?

I agree - I think everything that can be said has been said, and there appear to have been no significant updates from either the OP or other posters who were directly involved.
 

ashkeba

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I think it would be better to leave this open for continuations of the cases already posted, if mods are willing to shunt further non case posts to a more willing track.
 

talltim

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Anyone in doubt about these delay repay letters from Greater Anglia, I received a letter from the British transport police asking for me to make contact. I ignored the letter from Greater Anglia and now the police are involved. Beware guys!!
You'd have though that the PC would have proof read it before sending.
by means of voluntary attender (sic) at a police station

Indeed, by picking up some innocent people - presumably unintentionally - it allows GA or any TOC to refine their model better and improve the targeting of the genuine fraudulent claims.
I'm not sure that innocent people paying up because its easier than dealing with court would help make the targetting more accurate.
 
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Horizon22

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You'd have though that the PC would have proof read it before sending.



I'm not sure that innocent people paying up because its easier than dealing with court would help make the targetting more accurate.
If they pay up and they are innocent that is entirely their choice. It’s not something I would do.

GA has not said they’d be taking people to court in the first letter because they want explanations. Again, with the exception of 2 people (and we’ve only heard part stories or 3rd hand from these two ) everyone who’s posted here has accepted some degree of Delay Repay fraud or, at the very least, misinterpretation.
 

R2244

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So I've just received a letter and email stating I have made too many claims so therefore some must be fraudulent. Before COVID I travelled into London every day and believe that none of my claims were false - it is not my fault GA's service is so appalling that I have to claim this repay to pay for the petrol used when my husband has had to use to collect me late at night from a random station. I have always had a paper ticket and although I did subscribe to a delay site I have always submitted my own claims. I can work through the spreadsheet they have provided but as has been said on this site I am cautious about providing information. Can anyone help, please?
 

WesternLancer

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So I've just received a letter and email stating I have made too many claims so therefore some must be fraudulent. Before COVID I travelled into London every day and believe that none of my claims were false - it is not my fault GA's service is so appalling that I have to claim this repay to pay for the petrol used when my husband has had to use to collect me late at night from a random station. I have always had a paper ticket and although I did subscribe to a delay site I have always submitted my own claims. I can work through the spreadsheet they have provided but as has been said on this site I am cautious about providing information. Can anyone help, please?
Welcome to the forum. Hopefully people will be able to help you @R2244

This is a long thread of course, so not sure how much of it you will have been able to read. But I think you do need to engage with them - are you confident all your claims were legit in that you were delayed and claimed accordingly? You say that you believe they are. If so you should tell them that - but I suspect you need to start working through the list they have provided and cross referencing with eg a work or personal diary to see if you can support that claim should they not believe you.

As an aside, you don't need to have a 'secondary reason' to have claimed (such as to pay for petrol as you state) you are entitled to a repayment under the scheme so long as you have been delayed and claimed within the rules (T&C's) of the scheme. That is what you need to be confident of. If you are then I can't see why it would be a problem to reply and state that in the 1st instance (without providing evidence at the initial stage to prove it in every case of a long list of claims they have sent to you). Or you could reply along lines of 'I believe all my claims to have been correctly made following delays to trains I had travelled on, you will appreciate that these claims were made some time ago but I will check my diary to see if I have any records relating to my travels on the dates you have supplied' and see what they say....

But it may be worth you waiting a bit to see what other regular and well informed posters on this thread suggest you do as next course of action, as others may suggest a different course of action.

EDIT - see also my post below #1,012
 
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Horizon22

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So I've just received a letter and email stating I have made too many claims so therefore some must be fraudulent. Before COVID I travelled into London every day and believe that none of my claims were false - it is not my fault GA's service is so appalling that I have to claim this repay to pay for the petrol used when my husband has had to use to collect me late at night from a random station. I have always had a paper ticket and although I did subscribe to a delay site I have always submitted my own claims. I can work through the spreadsheet they have provided but as has been said on this site I am cautious about providing information. Can anyone help, please?

Could you elaborate on this bit? You'd be claiming against the ticket cost (and the 12.5-100% refund depending on level of delay) not any fuel charges based on your husband driving to pick you up. And when you say a "random station" I am presuming this is not your normal one (Rayleigh?) because of some sort of disruption?
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Could you elaborate on this bit? You'd be claiming against the ticket cost (and the 12.5-100% refund depending on level of delay) not any fuel charges based on your husband driving to pick you up. And when you say a "random station" I am presuming this is not your normal one (Rayleigh?) because of some sort of disruption?

Again, like the others, I think there's more to this than being initially let on.

If the ticket was London to Colchester (as an example), and you alighted at (say) Chelmsford and got a lift, it would be fraudulent / dishonest to claim for a London to Colchester journey, (but not a London to Chelmsford journey) as you were never delayed at the destination specified.

My understanding is that you have the choice:

1) Make your journey, incur the delay and claim compensation as a result;
2) Make your own arrangements (without the consent of the operator), but forfeit your right to compensation under this scheme.
 

Horizon22

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1) Make your journey, incur the delay and claim compensation as a result;
2) Make your own arrangements (without the consent of the operator), but forfeit your right to compensation under this scheme.

Yes this is what I was getting at. It appears that option #2 was taken that instead of waiting X time or taking the agreed taxis/coaches or whatever was eventually laid on by GA and then claiming, the user bailed out at another station and opted to get a lift instead.

Without knowing the full extent of claims and time of day (was it near the last train of the day?), making your own arrangements would make that void, I believe. The only vaguely relevant section on the GA website - which doesn't cover this scenario:

Where things go wrong on our Greater Anglia network, or where we cause you to change your journey plans, and if you are not happy with the service you had then we want to hear from you. We think that it is important that you have the chance to tell us when things haven't gone smoothly. Give us the chance to put things right. We will make every effort to provide you with answers and where it is appropriate we will provide reasonable compensation. When we look through or hear about a complaint we consider it on it's own merits.

NRCOC section 33.5:

33.5. Please note that if you have decided not to travel and claim a full refund in accordance with Condition 30, you cannot then also claim compensation for delay under this clause through a Train Company’s Passenger’s Charter.

NRCOC section 28.2 & 28.3:

28.2. Where disruption prevents you from completing the journey for which your Ticket is valid and is being used, any Train Company will, where it reasonably can, provide you with alternative means of travel to your destination, or if necessary, provide overnight accommodation for you.

28.3. Where your train is likely to be delayed for more than 60 minutes, you may use your Ticket to make your journey at a later date subject to comparable restrictions on your Ticket. Please refer to your Train Company’s website or contact them directly for details on how to obtain a replacement Ticket.


I don't want to presume anything but maybe GA have some records of your ticket being used A-B, yet you've claimed for A-C. As a very rough example let's say it was a 60 minute claim, you bailed out after 20 minutes, but then a train did turn up after 30 minutes that may raise suspicions, I'm not sure.
 
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Tazi Hupefi

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I wouldn't be sharing your comments on the spreadsheet etc with the operator without first obtaining proper legal advice that's for sure, (although it is good to know that they have provided a list of claims they think are suspicious, and not just a random letter).

My view is that the operator can likely prove fraud/dishonesty if you made a claim for a full journey, rather than declaring that you only made a partial journey. Clearly, you never made the journey being claimed for, if that was the case by your own admission.

If you claimed Delay Repay for the partial journey only, then whether you are entitled to it or not, it would likely not be considered fraudulent.

Initial feeling (with very little to go on) is that reaching an out of court settlement would be a good idea, wait for some time to pass, and then contact whoever you like to make your discontent known, e.g. MP, media, customer services etc. I'm pretty sure that if you don't reach a settlement, the British Transport Police are going to get involved one way or another, rightly or wrongly.
 

WesternLancer

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So I've just received a letter and email stating I have made too many claims so therefore some must be fraudulent. Before COVID I travelled into London every day and believe that none of my claims were false - it is not my fault GA's service is so appalling that I have to claim this repay to pay for the petrol used when my husband has had to use to collect me late at night from a random station. I have always had a paper ticket and although I did subscribe to a delay site I have always submitted my own claims. I can work through the spreadsheet they have provided but as has been said on this site I am cautious about providing information. Can anyone help, please?
In the light of posts made by @Tazi Hupefi and @Horizon22 in last few posts I think @R2244 you may need to post more clearly the details of the stations you would have planned to travel to and from and examples of the random stations your husband collected you from on occasions of delay.

IE if you could get to Chelmsford (to use the example) and decided yourself to get collected at Chelmsford by car, whist not waiting for the delayed train to Colchester say, I do not think you can claim D-R to Colchester. But you could have claimed D-R to Chelmsford if the train to Chelmsford was itself late (even if this meant you were delayed getting home overall). Just stating this in case this is where you may have unwittingly breached the D-R claim terms, believing you were acting honestly when claiming.

Hopefully you can see the logic of the example, but if you opt to post the journey details and what you typically did when trains were delayed / cancelled, it may help people give the most appropriate advice to your circumstances.
 

Fawkes Cat

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So I've just received a letter and email stating I have made too many claims so therefore some must be fraudulent. Before COVID I travelled into London every day and believe that none of my claims were false - it is not my fault GA's service is so appalling that I have to claim this repay to pay for the petrol used when my husband has had to use to collect me late at night from a random station. I have always had a paper ticket and although I did subscribe to a delay site I have always submitted my own claims. I can work through the spreadsheet they have provided but as has been said on this site I am cautious about providing information. Can anyone help, please?
To try and focus on what matters to you:

Greater Anglia (GA) have written to you because they think that the Delay Repay (DR) claims that you have made aren't in line with the rules. They might be right about this, or they might be wrong.

Broadly there are two issues which could mean that your claims are wrong:
- you never made the journeys that you claimed for. As you've said, if you can show that you were on the trains that you claimed for, then there's probably no problem: we'd expect GA to stop arguing.
- in some other way, you didn't follow the rules that GA give for claiming DR. As far as I can make out, these are explained (not particularly well) on GA's website at https://www.greateranglia.co.uk/about-us/our-performance/delay-repay. In particular, you might want to look at what the website says here:
Compensation – get it with our Delay Repay scheme.

If you are delayed by 15 minutes or more, you can get compensation.

If you hold a valid ticket for your journey and you have been delayed by 15 minutes or longer when travelling with us you can claim delay repay compensation, no matter what the reason for the delay.
My italics - but my understanding is that this means the journey that you actually made, rather than the journey that you planned to make.

And

Other refunds and the Consumer Rights Act 2015

When our train services are disrupted our customers may be entitled to claim Delay Repay compensation under our Delay Repay scheme.
If you choose not to travel because of disruption on our network then you may hand your ticket in for a refund ( subject to terms and conditions of ticket issue) at your nearest staffed station or by following the procedure for refund set out when you purchased your ticket online.

My italics again. So if you chose not to travel then DR isn't the way to get compensation - you should have returned your ticket for a refund.

Before going on to what this means for you, you probably want to know what happens to other people after they have received this first letter from GA. Most of the people who have posted here for advice have decided that the best thing to do is to agree a financial settlement with GA. This settlement seems to be to agree to repay all the DR claimed (even claims which aren't mentioned in this first letter) plus a fee of some hundreds of pounds to cover the costs of GA's investigations. We have also seen a case where a settlement wasn't agreed because the person involved ignored GA's letters. That case has now been passed to British Transport Police who are investigating it under the Fraud Act. It's also my understanding (but I can't off the top of my head remember where I get this idea from) that in some cases where someone has made a lot of claims and can show that they were all genuine then GA have not taken further action.

So where does this leave you? If you can show that all your claims were genuine and for journeys that you made, then I think we would say that you should contact GA telling them this - and we would hope that GA would respond to confirm that they're dropping the matter. At the other extreme, if your claims aren't all genuine, we would recommend seeking a settlement: so far, GA does not seem to have refused a settlement when the terms of it are to their liking. And while that may be expensive, it brings matters to a conclusion.

But what if you are in between these extremes? From your comment about claiming DR to pay for the petrol when your husband has to collect you from a random station, it would seem that you were seeking compensation for disrupted journeys - but mistakenly claiming through the DR process. This takes you into something of a grey area: the consensus here seems to be that mistakenly claiming through the wrong process is not fraudulent (because fraud involves intending to obtain something that you weren't entitled to, instead of doing it by accident), but it seems to me that to demonstrate that a claim was not fraudulent would be hard work.

So if you're in this grey area, then a lot depends on your appetite for risk. If you can face the fight, then it may be worth arguing with GA: in my understanding they would not be able to prosecute you for fraud, but you would have to fight hard to get them to understand this. Or you may decide that it's simpler to pay an out of court settlement to make the issue go away. And that must be a decision for you, rather than for us.
 

R2244

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Could you elaborate on this bit? You'd be claiming against the ticket cost (and the 12.5-100% refund depending on level of delay) not any fuel charges based on your husband driving to pick you up. And when you say a "random station" I am presuming this is not your normal one (Rayleigh?) because of some sort of disruption?
Sorry all, that part of my message was a bit misleading and was more of me having a rant than connected to the claims. When I am delayed by 15 or 30 minutes (which is very often) I make a claim and I put that money towards petrol or taxi fares when my husband, friends or family need to pick me up. Yes I have been turfed off at random stations. One night it was Chadwell Heath where my train isn't even supposed to stop!
 

WesternLancer

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My italics again. So if you chose not to travel then DR isn't the way to get compensation - you should have returned your ticket for a refund.
A very good summary. Of course the problem for the commuter is they probably hold a season ticket and need to do so for their travel patterns, so returning a ticket for a for a refund when there is disruption on one day (and you hope there will not be the next) is not something you are likely to do - and this inevitably pushes people towards D-R claims - esp with the plentiful adverts highlighting D-R as a route for compensation for delays, which a reasonable person will notice and interpret as an invitation to claim.

Not easy to do either if you have commenced your journey home on a train before a delay becomes apparent.

Still this is what the railway offers as you say, even if it is not helpful in these circs.
 

R2244

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I wouldn't be sharing your comments on the spreadsheet etc with the operator without first obtaining proper legal advice that's for sure, (although it is good to know that they have provided a list of claims they think are suspicious, and not just a random letter).

My view is that the operator can likely prove fraud/dishonesty if you made a claim for a full journey, rather than declaring that you only made a partial journey. Clearly, you never made the journey being claimed for, if that was the case by your own admission.

If you claimed Delay Repay for the partial journey only, then whether you are entitled to it or not, it would likely not be considered fraudulent.

Initial feeling (with very little to go on) is that reaching an out of court settlement would be a good idea, wait for some time to pass, and then contact whoever you like to make your discontent known, e.g. MP, media, customer services etc. I'm pretty sure that if you don't reach a settlement, the British Transport Police are going to get involved one way or another, rightly or wrongly.
Thanks Tazi, it did start out with a random letter until i challenged it and asked what "evidence" they had of the fraud. I will work through the spreadsheet they've attached which just appears to be a list of claims I've made over that period and keep to myself for now. I can easily work out when I've worked late or have been out for an evening meal or leaving drinks but doubt if I have receipts over a year after the last claim.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Sorry all, that part of my message was a bit misleading and was more of me having a rant than connected to the claims. When I am delayed by 15 or 30 minutes (which is very often) I make a claim and I put that money towards petrol or taxi fares when my husband, friends or family need to pick me up. Yes I have been turfed off at random stations. One night it was Chadwell Heath where my train isn't even supposed to stop!
You need to tell us whether you have been claiming for your actual journey, i.e. to the random station (which is fine, albeit probably not eligible for delay repay, but another means of refund), or for a journey you never finished (which is definitely not fine and may be constituted as fraud as you'd have to have deliberately provided a false destination).

Compensation is based on your actual journey, not the one you theoretically might have or originally intended to make.
 

WesternLancer

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Sorry all, that part of my message was a bit misleading and was more of me having a rant than connected to the claims. When I am delayed by 15 or 30 minutes (which is very often) I make a claim and I put that money towards petrol or taxi fares when my husband, friends or family need to pick me up. Yes I have been turfed off at random stations. One night it was Chadwell Heath where my train isn't even supposed to stop!
Thanks - understood. What I fear this means (as far as the railway is concerned) is that you have opted yourself to terminate your journey at (say) Chadwell Heath), and to claim with D-R for a delayed arrival at Rayleigh is only permitted if you had waited at Chadwell Heath for as long as it took Greater Anglia to actually get you to Rayleigh and then carried on to Rayleigh by train. This is because you have opted to 'make your own travel arrangements' in the event of the delay to get home from this point.

Clearly unfair from your point of view but I think this is how the rules work. I will stand corrected by others of course if I have this wrong.

Of course being turfed off is a total pain but I assume that the railway had some advice as to how you were expected to proceed and that advice was not to 'phone a friend for a lift'? Not that you (or I) would have hung about to listen to GA's advice if I had a better option, like phoning a friend for a lift and paying them some petrol money, after a long days work.
 

R2244

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Thanks - understood. What I fear this means (as far as the railway is concerned) is that you have opted yourself to terminate your journey at (say) Chadwell Heath), and to claim with D-R for a delayed arrival at Rayleigh is only permitted if you had waited at Chadwell Heath for as long as it took Greater Anglia to actually get you to Rayleigh and then carried on to Rayleigh by train. This is because you have opted to 'make your own travel arrangements' in the event of the delay to get home from this point.

Clearly unfair from your point of view but I think this is how the rules work. I will stand corrected by others of course if I have this wrong.

Of course being turfed off is a total pain but I assume that the railway had some advice as to how you were expected to proceed and that advice was not to 'phone a friend for a lift'? Not that you (or I) would have hung about to listen to GA's advice if I had a better option, like phoning a friend for a lift and paying them some petrol money, after a long days work.
Hi WesternLancer, sorry that was an old example - I did wait with the other passengers at Chadwell Heath for GA to resolve the situation, GA then stopped a train to get us to Romford, where we then had to wait until we could get on another train which made me well over 30 mins late arriving at Rayleigh - hence the claim on that occasion. The ones on this spreadsheet at first glance appear to be trains that have been delayed for one reason or another before or during the journey to Rayleigh or Liverpool Street depending on the time of day.

You need to tell us whether you have been claiming for your actual journey, i.e. to the random station (which is fine, albeit probably not eligible for delay repay, but another means of refund), or for a journey you never finished (which is definitely not fine and may be constituted as fraud as you'd have to have deliberately provided a false destination).

Compensation is based on your actual journey, not the one you theoretically might have or originally intended to make.
Hi Tazi, All claims I have made have been made for arriving late at Rayleigh or London Liverpool Street depending on the time of day and which way I was travelling. Also apologies for replying to the poster rather than editing - this is my first time on this site and I'm still learning!!
 

WesternLancer

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Hi WesternLancer, sorry that was an old example - I did wait with the other passengers at Chadwell Heath for GA to resolve the situation, GA then stopped a train to get us to Romford, where we then had to wait until we could get on another train which made me well over 30 mins late arriving at Rayleigh - hence the claim on that occasion. The ones on this spreadsheet at first glance appear to be trains that have been delayed for one reason or another before or during the journey to Rayleigh or Liverpool Street depending on the time of day.


Hi Tazi, All claims I have made have been made for arriving late at Rayleigh or London Liverpool Street depending on the time of day and which way I was travelling. Also apologies for replying to the poster rather than editing - this is my first time on this site and I'm still learning!!
Thanks - understood, and perfectly good example for you to illustrate things with IMHO - anyway, it starts to sound like you have legit claims and you can support that with some proof or evidence that you have - and that importantly you stuck with the train despite the delay. I would then say you should politely dispute what GA are suggesting, that your claims were not legit. But I suspect you do need to be confident. I am sure people on here will give advice to you regarding particular delay claim examples if you are not sure about them, so long as you are clear about what you did or claimed, or as clear as you can reasonably be.

Good luck with this.
 

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