The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint that Transport for London overcharged her for a train journey. Transport for London has refunded Mrs X and any remaining injustice is not significant enough to warrant our continued involvement in the case.
- The complainant, Mrs X, complains Transport for London (TfL) overcharged her for a train journey. She also complains about the Council’s handling of her complaint.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- 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 or continue with an investigation if we believe:
- it is unlikely we would find fault, or
- the fault has not caused injustice to the person who complained, or
- the injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement, or
- the authority has provided a satisfactory remedy.
(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6) and 24A(7), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I reviewed Mrs X’s complaint and TfL’s responses. I shared my draft decision with Mrs X and invited her comments.
What I found
- Mrs X used the London underground in late 2019. She says she was unable to properly tap in/out of the system using her payment card and as a result she paid the daily charge of £8.40 rather than the individual journey charge of £2.80 each way. She complained to TfL and requested a refund but was unhappy with the way TfL dealt with her complaint.
- The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. TfL accepts it overcharged Mrs X for her travel and it has refunded her £2.80. This provides a suitable remedy for Mrs X’s claimed injustice and any remaining injustice is not significant enough to warrant our further involvement.
- Mrs X is also unhappy with the way the Council has dealt with his complaint. But it is not a good use of public resources to look at the Council’s complaints handling if we are not going to look at the substantive issue complained about. We will not therefore investigate this issue separately.
- While we will not investigate this complaint further Mrs X may wish to refer it to London TravelWatch, an independent watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London. London TravelWatch follows its own policies and processes and it may decide to investigate Mrs X’s concerns further.
- The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. This is because TfL has provided a suitable remedy for Mrs X.
Investigator’s decision on behalf of the Ombudsman
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman