Friday, 22 October 2021

£93million Claim Over Hidden Fares by Southeastern and South Western

The rail companies that run the Southeastern and South Western networks are alleged to have overcharged millions of customers who bought tickets for travel beyond the zones covered by their Travelcards.

The claim, lodged with the Competition Appeal Tribunal argues that they should have been offered the chance to pay “boundary fares” for the “gap” between the outer limit of their Travelcard zone coverage and their final destination.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal, has ordered that the claims, issued on behalf of millions of rail passengers, can now proceed to trial.

The operators are alleged to have not made ‘boundary’ fares readily available for Travelcard holders to purchase, nor making passengers aware of their existence. 
The rail companies’ failures have left customers with little option but to buy a higher fare than they would have needed because their Travelcard already entitled them to travel for part of their journey.

Boundary fares allow passengers who own a Travelcard to travel beyond the zones covered by their Travelcard without doubling up on payment. Independent research has shown that boundary fares are not readily available through online platforms or over the telephone from South Western or Southeastern. Also they are rarely offered at ticket counters unless expressly requested by passengers.

This alleged imposition of an unfair price for fares is an abuse of the companies’ dominant position and in breach of UK and EU competition laws.

A claim was filed in the Competition Appeal Tribunal by Justin Gutmann on behalf of millions of rail passengers who have paid twice for part of their journeys on South Western and Southeastern routes.

Justin Gutmann, a commuter of 40 years on these services, say that not making the tickets easier to buy is an abuse of the train operators' 'virtual monopolies' and effectively breaks competition law.

A group of passengers have been given permission by a London court to sue two of London's biggest train operators as they believe cheaper fares available to them were effectively hidden.

The claim figure of £93million results from independent research commissioned by the legal firm Mr Gutmann is working with (Charles Lyndon). It found that around 3 million people would have likely purchased more expensive fares for their journeys than they actually needed since 2015.

Anyone wanting to receive updates on the progress of the claim, and other pertinent information related to the Boundary Fares Claim, should click here