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Transport for London (18 019 331)

Category : Transport and highways > Public transport

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 30 Apr 2019

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about a refund because the Authority has offered to pay the money to the complainant.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I refer to as Ms X, says the Authority has not provided a refund after she incurred extra travel costs of £6.80 due to strikes.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start an investigation if we believe:
  • the Authority has provided a proportionate response, or
  • the injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement.

(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I read the complaint and the replies from the Authority. I received a refund offer from the Authority. I considered comments Ms X made in response to a draft of this decision.

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What I found

  1. Ms X says she incurred extra costs of £6.80 after rail strikes forced her to take an alternative route. She asked the Authority for a refund. The Authority referred her to National Rail who then referred her back to the Authority. The Authority again referred her back to National Rail.
  2. The Authority says it tried to call Ms X in January but was unable to do so. Ms X denies receiving a call and asks why the Authority did not call back or leave a message.
  3. In response to my enquiries the Authority says it has established that Ms X was unable to make her journey due to an obstruction on the track. The Authority says it is responsible for the refund and it has apologised for signposting Ms X to National Rail. The Authority will issue the refund if Ms X registers her payment card and the Authority is able to verify the journey. Ms X says she has registered the card via the Authority’s website.

Assessment

  1. I will not start an investigation because the Authority has provided a proportionate response. It has apologised and will make the refund now that Ms X has registered her payment card.
  2. Ms X has also requested compensation. However, while I appreciate Ms X’s claim for a refund has not been straightforward, there is not enough remaining injustice to require an investigation or compensation.

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Final decision

  1. I will not start am investigation because the Authority has agreed to make a refund.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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