beantwoord

Feel passengers holding group return tickets are discriminated by a few train inspector sometimes

  • 22 november 2017
  • 38 reacties
  • 773 Bekeken

This had happened to me and other friends too.
Train inspector saying our ticket is not valid because the whole group is not traveling together, also, quote her "it is not right to travel this far with 7 euro", and passenger is asked to leave the train or receive fine. Last Sunday when I showed the inspector it's mentioned on NS website that the group do NOT need to travel together, the inspector said "its not possible to travel to my destination anymore at that hour", except that it was still possible because of course I would check NS planner for train possibilities before I departure.

I understand that sometimes we are wrong if we're not traveling within the route, or did not print the ticket, or did not save it in our NS app. And the train inspectors are just doing their jobs and they're right.

But clearly disregarding the rules on the website saying the group does not need to travel together is deliberate, that feels like discrimination to me. I always like to just be safe and obey the rule. I wouldn't do this if the rules say otherwise and the inspector should know the real rules too, not whatever he/she believes is right and ask passenger to get off or get fine.

I have traveled many times with NS and met many very nice, kind train inspectors who helped me with directions and treat me just like other passengers when I hold a group return ticket as long as I am doing it within the rules. But recently the incidents I have heard and experienced make me think some train inspectors intimidate passenger, or they did not, and it was just what I felt.

Anyway, with all respects, I also understand if the group ticket is more expensive next year depends on how far you travel, and more rules are added in to prevent misconduct. As passengers I would still pay attention to the new rules, and I resent anyone who play with group return to make profit via facebook. Although I also hope some of the train inspectors will start respect the rules too, not abusing their respectable power.
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Beste antwoord door Thomas NS 22 november 2017, 19:42

I think that the most important point have been discussed already. Still, Eslind, I understand your point of view: it's not right that this option is even there, because for foreigners it's nearly impossible to know that this way of travelling is not legitimate. The conductor could have approached you with a little bit more understanding, but from her point of view: this way of traveling is unfair to other travelers. She lectured you, which is within her role description as a conductor, and I am very pleased that you did not receive a fine for this. Next time you'll know that the right way to use a Groepsretour ticket is through our website with a group of people you assembled yourselves. That is the purpose of this ticket.

Edit: As it turned out later, I understand Eslind did receive a fine. In general, if it's the first time you've ever received a fine, it's recommended to contact our Customer Service. You might be able to get the €50 increase removed out of leniency, although this is not always possible. In the case of Eslind, we weren't able to do this unfortunately.
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You probably need to be more specific.
What was the starting station and your end destination on your ticket?
Where did you get off?
And when you travelled back did you do this by using your original route or did you select the station you got off and then put in your end destination?
If that's the case you are doing a different route and that's why most likely the inspector said you were on the wrong route.
Thank you for getting back to me,
I was on the train intercity Den Haag to Groningen, my ticket was checked between Lieden and Schipol. My ticket was Vlissingen to Buitenpost, I checked the NS planner before I departed, it's right to transfer via Groningen. So I stayed on the train and didn't get off. I received a fine at the stop Schipol.
but my point was actually that inspector using the reason "you're not traveling with the group" to invalid my ticket, instead of telling me if I'm off the route. And this is a wrong reason, and they know it is not a right reason but still tell the passenger to get off. I'm sure there is only very few circumstances like this, but still that doesn't make anyone's day good
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Probably the inspector suspected that you had bought your ticket via a faceboook group and that is not allowed. Commercial reselling grouptickets to another person is against the rules for this ticket.
Hello Tamzin, thank you for getting back to me. I did not resell tickets. And all I was saying is it's wrong to use the power of an officer and invent rules. By the way can you show me the terms it says it is not allowed to buy ticket via facebook? I can read the documents and learn better about it
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A groepsretour (group return) Vlissingen - Buitenpost is typically a ticket bought via Facebook, where 'group travelling' discounts are heavily misused/abused/violated.

Although it's not obligatory for the group members to travel together, the start and destination need to be respected.

The conductor was right to signal that, especially if there was no way that you could reach the group's destination (Buitenpost, which would be your destination according to your ticket) anymore on that day!

So you were clearly NOT travelling from Vlissingen to Buitenpost (or return),which is wat the ticket was meant for.
I was able to travel to my destination yes, it was not even the last train. I never saw from NS website saying that facebook is the wrong to buy tickets together though, if you could kindly point out where I can find this rule, I will very much appreciate that and kind that in mind
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You are correct that buying tickets via Marktplaats, Facebook etc. is not specifically stated (and not necessarily illegal), but the seller on Facebook is clearly violating the terms, and according to the law you (as a buyer) may not cooperate in that, which makes you liable too.

Similar to buying/receiving stolen goods ('heling') if you well know those goods come from theft.
You are correct that buying tickets via Marktplaats, Facebook etc. is not specifically stated (and not necessarily illegal, but the seller on Facebook is clearly violating the terms, and according to the law you (as a buyer) may not cooperate in that, which makes you liable, too.

Similar to buying stolen goods ('heling') if you well know those goods come from theft.


I don't understand because we don't resell the tickets, nor steal tickets, we just meet people who also want to go to a place and we buy tickets together like a group
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The word group is the culprit. In this case there is no group or common destination.

It's just a bunch of random people that want/need to travel anywhere on a (very long) route individually, getting in and out of trains at intermediate stations at the time they feel fit, for a bargain!

That is not clearly the intention of group tickets. The group is completely fictional, as the conductor rightly noticed.
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Selling grouptickets is not allowed by mediation.
You need a common goal to travel as a group.

It is against the law. You hardly do meet someone of your group. Pure coincidence. Buying tickets together does not make a group.

It is not prosecuted and that is what holds you together. There is nothing social using these tickets. Individuals are able to travel at low cost, that is the goal, it is just improper use of a sympathetic offer of NS.

With Facebook you have tot face problems. The train-conductors even more. Cheaper travel means more trouble.

The goal is selfish, it is not social at all and you take seats of people who really pay.
The word group is the culprit. In this case there is no group or common destination.

It's just a bunch of random people that want to travel on a (very long) route individually, getting in and out of trains at intermediate stations at the time they feel fit, for a bargain!
That is not clearly the intention of group tickets. The group is completely fictional, as
the conductor rightly noticed.




Yeah I guess you have your point and conductor can have same opinions too although I do not agree, still I will just do whatever the Ns terms say specifically now, and anything other than that doesn't really make sense to me
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Feel free to continue travelling this way (for now) but please do observe:

- A 'group' travelling from Vlissingen to Buitenpost (and back same day) is extremely unlikely.
- The group's destination (Buitenpost) could not even be reached at your time of travel.
- The conductor had every right to assume you bought this ticket through mediation, which is not allowed.
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@Eslind
You are not reselling a ticket but the person you buy the ticket from is reselling the ticket to you for commercial reason.
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Did you have a valid ID? A lot of Facebooktravellers do not know who they are and are even not capable to prove it. A lack of ID is often a lack of payment or being willing to pay. Fines are normal in this situation.
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I think that the most important point have been discussed already. Still, Eslind, I understand your point of view: it's not right that this option is even there, because for foreigners it's nearly impossible to know that this way of travelling is not legitimate. The conductor could have approached you with a little bit more understanding, but from her point of view: this way of traveling is unfair to other travelers. She lectured you, which is within her role description as a conductor, and I am very pleased that you did not receive a fine for this. Next time you'll know that the right way to use a Groepsretour ticket is through our website with a group of people you assembled yourselves. That is the purpose of this ticket.

Edit: As it turned out later, I understand Eslind did receive a fine. In general, if it's the first time you've ever received a fine, it's recommended to contact our Customer Service. You might be able to get the €50 increase removed out of leniency, although this is not always possible. In the case of Eslind, we weren't able to do this unfortunately.
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@Robert: So you were clearly NOT travelling from Vlissingen to Buitenpost (or return),which is wat the ticket was meant for.

With this card you can travel to and from Leeuwarden and Groningen as well, because Buitenpost is in between and both routes are allowed. Buitenpost is a village, about 5600 inhabitants. Traveling from and to Vlissingen is possible, but it is not likely for a lot of this amount.

It is a preconceived construction to make ordinary fraudulent behaviour possible.

Train-conductors are intimidating Facebook travellers, well I guess cognitive dissonance.

Stop selling group-tickets as e-ticket or mobile ticket.

It is that easy.
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With this card you can travel to and from Leeuwarden and Groningen as well, because Buitenpost is in between and both routes are allowed. Buitenpost is a village.

Obviously a 'forced longest possible route' then (extra suspicious)! 😃
I think that the most important point have been discussed already. Still, Eslind, I understand your point of view: it's not right that this option is even there, because for foreigners it's nearly impossible to know that this way of travelling is not legitimate. The conductor could have approached you with a little bit more understanding, but from her point of view: this way of traveling is unfair to other travelers. She lectured you, which is within her role description as a conductor, and I am very pleased that you did not receive a fine for this. Next time you'll know that the right way to use a Groepsretour ticket is through our website with a group of people you assembled yourselves. That is the purpose of this ticket.

Thank you for getting back to me.
I did received a fine, between getting out in the night = risk reaching my destination and pay a fine, I chose to stay on the train because the outside was cold and I don't know how long before there is the next train. This is the first time I ever received a fine. I think I didn't really have another choice.

But thank you for answering my question.If I was told before that this way of purchasing is not allowed I would have known what to do.
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I never saw from NS website saying that facebook is the wrong to buy tickets together though, if you could kindly point out where I can find this rule, I will very much appreciate that and kind that in mind

Then you clearly did not read the conditions. You can find them on:
https://www.ns.nl/binaries/_ht_20170328/content/assets/ns-nl/voorwaarden-folders/2017/voorwaarden-ns-groepsretour-april-2017.pdf

Under 6 you find:
Het is niet toegestaan te reizen op het NS Groepsretour als de Groep bijeen is
gebracht door middel van bemiddeling door een derde, tenzij NS hiervoor
toestemming verleent.


In case you do not understand dutch: It is not allowed to travel with a NS Groupreturn if the Group was formed by means of negotiating by a third party, unless authorized by NS.
And if you had bought your ticket on the NS website you could have seen these conditions.

If you saw these conditions before you bought the ticket and did not understand them then, you could have asked NS to explain them to you.

But to play devil's advocate, I must agree with you about the fact that you do not have tot travel together as a group. So the train conducteur was not correct using that as a reason.
You can find that at the frequently asked questions.

Do all the people in the group have to travel together?

No, the members of a group do not have to travel together at the same time. However, the departure and destination stations do have to be identical.


For train conducteurs it should be clear to see it a ticket is a valid ticket that complies with the conditions, and this clearly is not the case with such tickets that are bought using Facebook.

So I think it is now up to NS to change the conditions (again) or not sell group tickets at all anymore to stop the abuse, as individual train conducteurs can not prove a group return ticket was bought using Facebook. He or she can suspect this by exprerience though.
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I think a technical solution (mandatory 'check in/out' at departure/destination stations, as listed on the ticket) would be a good start.

Of course, that is impossible now because many stations do not even have gates or facilities to scan/validate printed or loaded in NS app e-tickets.

The conductor's 'suspicion by experience' was clear. Who the *** travels from Vlissingen to Buitenpost as a group, ever!?
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Perhaps everybody traveling on a ticket Vlissingen - Buitenpost should be asked to name 3 streets in this village or provide the name of the person he or she is going to visit :$
Although those Facebook groups will probably find way around this too.
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Yes, and they have to pronounce the Frisian language correctly doing that. I cannot be the judge, I am biased.:D
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Did you actually start your trip in Vlissingen and did you really have the intention to travel 5 hours and 22 minutes to the final stop, which was mentioned on your -personal- ticket, Buitenpost?
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And they should be able to point it out on map

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