Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 25 Jan 2021
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: Mr X complained about being charged twice for a bus journey when he was told his first electronic payment had failed. We should not investigate this complaint. This is because there is insufficient evidence of significant injustice which would warrant an investigation.
- Mr X complained that he was required to pay twice when a bus driver told him his first oyster card payment had not registered. He says he later found he had paid twice and wants the bus provider to compensate him for his inconvenience.
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 injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement
(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered all the information which Mr X submitted with his complaint. I have also considered the authority’s response. Mr X has been given an opportunity to comment on a draft copy of my decision.
What I found
- Mr X says a bus driver shouted to him to return because the payment he made had not registered. He used a different card but later found he had been charged £1.50 twice. He complained to the authority and it subsequently refunded him the £1.50. Mr X claimed that it should pay him compensation for the inconvenience. The authority later credited £10 to his account for the delay in dealing with his complaint.
- Mr X was dissatisfied and claimed a higher amount. The authority told him this was not appropriate in these circumstances.
- The Local Government Act 1974 allows the Ombudsman to investigate complaints where fault by an authority has resulted in a significant injustice to the complainant. The authority refunded the £1.50 and also gave Mr X £10 credit which it had no statutory requirement to do. In this case I do not consider that the claimed injustice caused is sufficient to warrant the public expense of an investigation by the Ombudsman.
- We should not investigate this complaint. This is because there is insufficient evidence of significant injustice which would warrant an investigation.
Investigator’s decision on behalf of the Ombudsman
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman