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Luas Fare due to not tagged off. Machine didnt get my payment. Worth going to court?

  • 09-03-2023 3:13am
    Registered Users Posts: 21

    I read all other cases in the forum, and since my case is little bit stronger I like to hear some advice from you.

    I tagged on and made over 1 hour trip from Spencer Dock to Saggart. I left without tagging off.

    After I am done, I came back and tried to tag again - But instead of charging, the device tagged me off instead.

    I tried few more times, and also 4 minutes later, so the device should know I am trying to board. It still rejected and didnt take the money.

    So in short, I couldn't pay because: "THE MACHINE DOES NOT PROVIDED ME THAT OPTION."

    My situation is no different than the machine is broken. (And needless to say, blocking people who forgot to tag-off and charge them since they are unable to pay is not fair.)

    So I boarded, and Luas inspector came in and I explained the situation. She simply said she sees that I have no ticket and I can appeal.

    I, as a good citizen, gave her my address, even showed my ID, although I know I don't have to.

    I appealed explaining above - I simply couldn't pay.

    And in return my appeal was rejected and I received the famous threat letter: that I can have the criminal record.

    The letter written in suck childish manner, and even with the google map of the four courts at the back.

    In my opinion it's obvious that they charging the good citizens because they cant mess with bad ones - I simply feel foolish to obey the rules.

    Is there anyone who took this matter to the court before? What are my odds?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭howiya

    I'd imagine your odds are fairly slim. Two reasons;

    1) When your leap card didn't work you could have bought a ticket for your journey; and

    2) If you didn't have the option to buy a ticket you could have waited for the next tram by which time the "just validated" error message would have ceased and you could have tagged on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,056 ✭✭✭mikeybhoy

    You might have a case but you have to ask yourself the question is it worth the hassle for the sake of 45€

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    Actually, you didn't obey rules. You haven't purchased a ticket. Even if a validator would be broken, there is another one nearby and even if that would be down, it wouldn't give you the right to travel without a valid ticket. Also, you could simply have purchased a regular ticket from the ticket machine... Not paying a fine is not a part of the process. You should pay and then appeal. Otherwise, you risk with more serious troubles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    What happens if you just don't pay? Either they'll have to take you to court, at significant cost, or they'll just drop it?... You can't get a criminal record without being in court. If they take it that far, you can argue your case.

    Just keep sending them letters reaffirming that their machine was broken and, despite your efforts to pay, you were unable to.

    It cannot be reasonably expected that you carry extra cash around or have money on your phone....just in case the Leap card machine breaks. Seriously like? You couldn't wait for the next tram, so you had no choice. They are at fault by refusing to accept your Leap card, which is essentially legal tender.

    It would help if your Leap card history shows a consistent regular behaviour of tagging on and off, which would suggest you're not a fare dodger.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,208 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    You might have validity on your case if it did get to court, but judges can be intolerant of small stuff and don’t take kindly to what they might consider time-wasting. So it could go either way, and the thing is is it worth the hassle to you.

    Can I get away with anything if I pay the piper, so to speak?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    One would hope they would consider TransDev as the time wasting party in that case.

    The Leap Card history of the user shows use of that card, plus a balance, just prior to the trip in question. This does not allude to a fare dodger.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    Did you read the OP? Machine in fact wasn't broken. And he could have bought a ticket from the ticket machine. As an adult human being, we're responsible to think through the possibilities that something can go wrong and we should be ready for this. So travelling with a Leap card only is not sufficient - need cash or a bank card as a back up. Similarly, if a bank card wouldn't work in a shop and you still had to pay using a different method of payment. He hasn't purchased a ticket meaning he has used a service without paying for it. In a shop in such cases gardai would have been called for stealing. But instead, you're defending such irresponsibility and promoting the attitude of 'not my problem' as if someone else should be responsible for your own actions. That doesn't sound reasonable. We are adults and we should think what we do. If we make a mistake and don't follow the rules, we need to accept the responsibility instead of trying to slip away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    It's unfair to compare purchasing something in a shop to a trip on the Luas. Accusing the OP of being a criminal in this case is farcical.

    Based on the information I have, the OP is a responsible citizen who follows the law. They were honest, open and obliging to the inspectors. They received no sympathy or understanding of their situation and attempts to pay. And now they are being accused of being a petty criminal thief.

    The cash fare costs more than Leap. It's unreasonable to expect the OP to pay a higher charge because of an operator issue.

    If the Leap card machine on a bus was broken, do you think the bus driver should refuse entry to everyone who doesn't have change? No, the bus driver would accept responsibility for their issue and let people board. Public Transport is a publicly subsided service and shouldn't exclude the public due to operator issues.

  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 5,022 Mod ✭✭✭✭G_R

    The machine was broken.

    OP forgot to tag off for the previous trip, so when they went to tag on, they actually tagged off. They were then unable to tag on again until the "Just Validated" time period had passed.

    This is a feature, not an error.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    The OP claims to have tried several times and waited 4minutes and tried again. How long exactly does this "feature" last?

    This is not a feature I'm aware of. It's unreasonable to expect customers to be aware of this.

    It doesn't make any sense if it stops you using the service. You're basically saying you're not allowed to switch from one service to another in less than 5 minutes???....

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  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 5,022 Mod ✭✭✭✭G_R

    There's no time limit switching from one service to another, it's only when using the same luas stop that you have just tagged off from.

    The reason behind it is to stop you tagging back on by accident after you tag off.

    I had it in my head that it was 2 mins, but I've found a tweet from luas saying it is 3

  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 5,022 Mod ✭✭✭✭G_R

    And sorry, to be clear I'm not saying I agree with the feature (I think 30 seconds would be fine) but the point I'm making is the validator wasn't broken, so that arguement won't work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    Something not adding up then. OP claims to have waited 4minutes on top of the original time it took to attempt tagging on.

    Let's be honest though, as a previous poster says it's 45euro... it's probably not worth the stress of fighting for most people. Unfortunate if the poster is genuine - I take them at their word that they are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    It is not the inspectors' job to be sympathetic. The fact that there was no valid ticket is enough to say the OP has not paid for service. Criminal or not, it's up to you however you want to name it. I'm simply repeating the facts of what's been disclosed. The system is absolutely far from being ideal, but I suppose there's nothing perfect in Ireland, including a lack of respect of rules and all the possible attempts trying to sympathise to the one who didn't follow them, but rather trying to make excuses and find the exceptions.

    It wasn't an operator issue. The OP is the one who didn't follow the process and didn't tag on/off as requested.

    Again, just because the system is imperfect (as many other things here), it doesn't mean the OP was entitled to a free service. It was their bad decision to make.

    If both validators on the bus don't work, a driver contacts the garage for a decision to make. They weight the cons and pros and decide what to do.

    In this case, the OP is not the one to make such decision to ride for free.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    Reading compression. OP didn't say that the machine was broken, but rather compared the situation, to their view, that it's similar to that the machine would have been broken.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 Proceedings

    Hi guys,

    Sorry to leave the topic unattended - I thought I will receive notifications for new posts.

    So there are two sides:

    1. If you were unable to pay, you shouldn't take the ride. Plus there was a machine there.
    2. You were guaranteed to be able to use your card, yet you couldn't. And you act honest the whole process.

    This is a case to the court, and courst can make conflicting decisions, although I obviously think 2nd point was the stronger one.

    @Citrus_8 I think your post was the most helpful one - First I need to pay the fee. And decide to sue them later on.

    I heard even for huge electricity bills needs to be paid, even if there is an error.

    I believe they set the cost as 45 euro, so its not high enough to pay for, yet not low enough not to care.

    And their letter is absolutely ridiculous spam mail, so eventually the court will become annoyed.

    Anyway thanks for all the help! I will post the results if I sue them.

    And I will ride free until I get my €45 back.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,514 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    You will have zero grounds to "sue" them over. If you pay the standard fare you are admitting you didn't have a valid fare and its all over.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    Are you sure about that? Need to read the fine print to make sure... However, I don't like the idea to not pay for fares until 45 Eur is back. It doesn't sound like a civilised way to sort this out, but rather slightly childish (?).

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,495 ✭✭✭Raichu

    Can the OP sue the luas because he got fined for travelling without a ticket?

    no, I don’t think he can. It’s like saying he can sue them cos his debit card wouldn’t go through. If you can’t buy a ticket; walk.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,429 ✭✭✭thinkabouit

    Not the worth the oxygen, I personally wouldn’t bother with the hassle.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,495 ✭✭✭Raichu

    If the OP doesn’t mind me asking as well I got a letter a few days ago from Luas about not paying a fare but the name on it was not someone I know. I assume they gave a fake address/it was picked up wrong.

    im planning to basically just ignore it because as far as I’m aware even if they send a summons it’s for the individual named so I can safely ignore it.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,582 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull

    Do you think that fare evading until you get your money back will help your case?

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    It's not the same thing as walking into a shop and taking a bar of chocolate without paying. It's a publicly subsided Public Transport service paid for by our taxes. If, as OP claims, the ticket validator wouldn't validate their ticket (Leap Card), then it's not unreasonable to decide to use the service anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,495 ✭✭✭Raichu

    Did I say it was? I said not paying for your fare because leap card isn’t going to fly anymore than if your debit card wouldn’t work or you left your wallet in your other pants.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    No you didn't say that, sorry didn't mean to misrepresent your comment. There just seems to be a general sense, from many posters, that this is equivalent to stealing. I think this is grossly unfair.

    Personally I consider my auto-topped up Leap Card to be a quasi pre-paid ticket. If there is an issue with the ticket validator, then I don't consider that to be my problem. I certainly wouldn't walk.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    If the person's name is written on the envelope is not yours, according to the Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act it is illegal to open a letter which doesn't belong to you. Rather you should write 'Not at this address' if the person with such name doesn't live at your home, and return to the post box and the closes post collection point, of the post office.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    A user didn't validate the ticket because they didn't follow the instructions and process properly. Machine are dumb and you get what you are asking only if you use it as instructed. It is none of your concern if the service is subsidised or not. Roads are also subsidised, but you wouldn't get away without paying M50 toll, not the accumulated penalties.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,161 ✭✭✭Citrus_8

    That's the main problem with our society - many think whatever happens is not their problem nor a responsibility. People just do what they please and when they get fines, they cry and make excuses. Wouldn't be easier to avoid problems and think before we do mad stuff?

  • Registered Users Posts: 879 ✭✭✭Get Real

    Op, do not go to court for this. Pay the 45quid and be done.

    You knowingly boarded the tram having not paid. Everything else behind it, blaming the machine etc is fluff.

    And in fact, it's not even the machines fault because you were the one who made the error in forgetting to tag off on your initial journey.

    Knowing you weren't charged, you then got on the tram.

    You could have bought a printed ticket with cash or debit card.

    Or you could have waited a few mins to the next tram and tried tapping. You took a chance and lost.

    Even if somehow despite all that, you think you have a case, is it worth 45 quid to you to be sending emails, waiting on a court date, going to court and maybe being fined anyway?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,495 ✭✭✭Raichu

    did you actually plan to answer my question then or just tell me what I can and can’t do with letters sent to my house?

    they’re welcome to lodge a complaint if they want, though I can’t say I feel bad about opening a letter that was sent here because a fare dodger gave my address.