Bluebell Railway - Credit Card Scam at East Grinstead?


C

CJB

To whom do I complain about the below? Many thanks.

We were somewhat horrified at East Grinstead last weekend when we tried to purchase tickets for the Bluebell Railway to travel on the newly restored link to National Rail.

The ticket office is not very obvious being entirely separate from the carriage-based so-called Travel Centre. In fact the Ticket Office is a small 'portakabin' with two small elevated windows way higher than head-height. Butit is not immediately obvious that it is the Ticket Office and no-one, least of all the ticket clerk inside, offered us any help. A small slit at thebase of one window allows money or a card to be passed to the clerk insidebut only with some difficulty and only by reaching up high (for us).

Quite why they have installed such a stupid arrangement for purchasing tickets is a moot point. If this is for security then this is well compromised by the side door propped open allowing anyone to see inside the ticket office and on the level - as I found when I went to the door to see where my credit card had disappeared to.

I digress.

We wanted to pay by credit card. The clerk swiftly took my card through theslot in the window and disappeared with it into the depths of the office -and he kept it for some considerable time. That's when I discovered the open door at the side - I went looking for my card. He told me to go back to the window. He then returned the card with a receipt that stated "Customer Not Present" and two cardboard tickets.

Now this was not good.

Firstly he disappeared with the card and could easily have scanned it for cloning. I don't like losing sight of my credit card; there are more than enough such cloning scams in restaurants in London - AND I NEVER ALLOW ANYONETO TAKE MY CARD OUT OF MY SIGHT. But the ticket clerk did - WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.

Secondly it should NOT have been processed by the "Customer Not Present" process - when I WAS actually present.

Thirdly I should have had to sign a credit card payment authorisation slip.This was not offered to me.

This is an appalling and unprofessional way of selling tickets and compromises the security of all credit card transactions.

CJB.
 
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D

David Woolley

[Excessively long lines repaired.]
CJB said:
To whom do I complain about the below? Many thanks.

We were somewhat horrified at East Grinstead last weekend when we
+ tried to purchase tickets for the Bluebell Railway to travel on the
+ newly restored link to National Rail. The ticket office is not very
+ obvious being entirely separate from the carriage-based so-called
+ Travel Centre. In fact the Ticket Office is a

That sounds like a commercial failing, as they will be losing honest
customers who give up because they can't find how to pay for a ticket.
I'd complain to the directors of the company.

+ small 'portakabin' with two small elevated windows way higher than
+ head-height. But it is not immediately obvious that it is the Ticket
+ Office and no-one, least of all the ticket clerk inside, offered us any
+ help. A small slit at the base of one window allows money or a card to
+ be passed to the clerk inside but only with some difficulty and only by
+ reaching up high (for us).

You might be able to report this to the council on the basis of
disability discrimination, although it would be better if someone with a
registered disability failed.
We wanted to pay by credit card. The clerk swiftly took my card
+ through the slot in the window and disappeared with it into the depths
+ of the office - and he kept it for some considerable time. That's when I
+ discovered the open door at the side - I went looking for my card. He
+ told me to go back to the window. He then returned the card with a
+ receipt that stated "Customer Not Present" and two cardboard tickets.

I would assume that the payment processor is identified on the receipt.
You should probably complain to them, as this sounds like a flagrant
breach of their terms of service. I guess they are abusing a system set
up to allow telephone orders to be collected against sight of the card,
on the basis that stolen cards are not a high risk for their tickets.
It's possibly because they weren't prepared to pay for a proper credit
card terminal.
 
M

mechanic

I guess they are abusing a system set up to allow telephone orders
to be collected against sight of the card, on the basis that
stolen cards are not a high risk for their tickets. It's possibly
because they weren't prepared to pay for a proper credit card
terminal.
Of course not, they're a bunch of well-meaning amateurs recreating a
period feel. Credit cards were unknown before the 1960s (or
thereabouts) so one is lucky if they are accepted at all.
 
C

Cliff Frisby

CJB wrote:

Firstly he disappeared with the card and could easily have scanned it for
cloning. I don't like losing sight of my credit card; there are more than
enough such cloning scams in restaurants in London - AND I NEVER ALLOW
ANYONE TO TAKE MY CARD OUT OF MY SIGHT. But the ticket clerk did - WITHOUT
MY PERMISSION.
Fair point. (Although, if you passed it to him through a slot, surely you
did allow such a thing.)
Secondly it should NOT have been processed by the "Customer Not Present"
process - when I WAS actually present.

Thirdly I should have had to sign a credit card payment authorisation
slip. This was not offered to me.
I don't know why you're worried about that side of it. If a merchant doesn't
get your authorisation for a transaction, that's a potential problem for
them, not for you. They're going to be out of pocket if and when a
cardholder disputes the transaction.
This is an appalling and unprofessional way of selling tickets
I'd say it sounds a bit unusual
and
compromises the security of all credit card transactions.
I don't see how.
 
S

Sheila Page

Cliff Frisby said:
CJB wrote:


Fair point. (Although, if you passed it to him through a slot, surely you
did allow such a thing.)


I don't know why you're worried about that side of it. If a merchant doesn't
get your authorisation for a transaction, that's a potential problem for
them, not for you. They're going to be out of pocket if and when a
cardholder disputes the transaction.


I'd say it sounds a bit unusual


I don't see how.
Have you complained? It would be interesting to know the answer, and to
know if it was just one person being careless (or worse) or a problem
with the organisation.

Sheila
 
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O

Optimist

Have you complained? It would be interesting to know the answer, and to
know if it was just one person being careless (or worse) or a problem
with the organisation.

Sheila
I wonder if anyone on uk.railway would like to comment?
 
G

Graeme Wall

I wonder if anyone on uk.railway would like to comment?
What are we going to say? None of us were there and no-one else has
reported a similar problem. Also the OP has a history of being somewhat
hysterical about problems with the railways.
 
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A

alan

Of course not, they're a bunch of well-meaning amateurs
Probably all with credit cards who wouldn't tolerate such actions if it
happened to them in other establishments.
 

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