Travel to Essex: Writtle student says Greater Anglia staff ‘intimidated’ her when she forgot her ticket

A veterinarian student who forgot her phone with her train ticket claimed she was “harassed” by ticket inspectors when she tried to explain her situation.

Maddie Woodhouse is studying veterinary physiotherapy at Writtle University and on Thursday, December 16, was traveling from Ingatestone to Chelmsford for an exam which was due to start at 9 a.m.

The 18-year-old sadly left her phone behind before boarding the train, which contained her ticket on the TheTrainline app.

Read more: The latest travel news through Essex

The teenager said that once she found out, she tried to approach ticket inspectors to show the ticket receipt on her laptop or purchase a new one.

However, she claimed that the Greater Anglia ticket inspectors she approached were “blunt” and “rude” to her, and asked her to hand over the only money she had – less than £ 6 – for the payment of a fine as well as a new ticket. .

Maddie said this left her vulnerable and eventually broke down in tears at the train station.

Greater Anglia apologized for the distress caused and vowed to investigate the situation after a formal complaint was filed by Maddie’s mother, Kelly.

Maddie said: “I went to the inspectors and said very politely that I had a train ticket on my phone with the Trainline app and could pay for one now and so on.

“Right away, they just said we were going to have to fine you.”

“I thought, I have proof and I didn’t complain that I already paid, I shouldn’t be fined for it, but it was immediately shot down, saying” anyone could make it up this excuse “.

“I’m not the type of person to get in trouble for things like that.

“I had a test to do and still have to take the bus and I wondered how can I pay for the bus when I don’t have my phone.

“I cried in front of the inspectors as they chatted and laughed. Everyone walked past me on their way to work and I was sitting there crying.

“They said I have to pay the fine now and I said I have about £ 5-6 and I have to go home and take the bus. They said if you give us that now you can pay the rest later. “

Maddie was able to contact someone to drive her to and from Writtle and was able to take her exam.

She still feels disappointed with the inspectors and says she was “perfectly” prepared to pay another rate before they reject her explanation.

She added: “I feel like they put in the work before they have any sense of compassion.

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“I think they’re somewhere I can go for help, but to be refused and almost bullied and cash out, that wasn’t a good experience. I know they are. there to keep people from breaking the law, but I was cooperative. “

A spokesperson for Greater Anglia said: “We are very sorry for the distress caused to the customer. We will fully investigate this incident.

“Customers are reminded to always have a valid ticket when traveling. Anyone without a valid ticket will be charged a penalty fare.

“Anyone can appeal a penalty fare if they believe it was issued incorrectly and have proof that they purchased a valid ticket. Appeals are handled by an independent body called IRCAS.

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