Man stopped by cops over false claims he exploited rail loophole
A man was met by police at London Euston after being wrongly accused of exploiting a loophole in the Virgin Trains fare system.
Steven Morrissey, 33 from Blackpool, was held because Virgin suspected he had boarded the train at Preston rather than Lancaster.
The cost of a train from Preston is £351, compared with £93 from Lancaster, despite the fact the journey is 25 miles further from Lancaster.
Mr Morrissey outlined his dissatisfaction with a series of tweets as the journey unfolded.
He said: “Tickets? I show ticket. Where did you board? Lancaster. No you didn’t. I didn’t see you!
“Update … my choice is buy a new ticket or give my name and address for unpaid fare!!! lol I have a ticket!
“Update … I’m not doing either – apparently I will be met by the police! @VirginTrains @richardbranson horrendous service!
“Held for over 30 minutes against my will by @VirginTrains over a complete #jobsworth! Aaaggghhhhh”
The result was that the man held at Euston missed his meeting. They checked CCTV and confirmed that he has boarded the train at Lancaster rather than Preston.
Virgin Trains apologised for his treatment and offered two free first class return journey tickets.
A statement from the operator said: “Virgin Trains has an excellent reputation for customer service and we want everyone to have the best experience possible.
“Our teams make sure people have the right ticket for their journey in order to protect the majority of our customers from the actions of a small minority who try to avoid paying their way.
“However it’s clear that our people made a mistake in this case and we are sorry for Mr Morrissey’s experience.
“We have been in touch to apologise and offer him a gesture of goodwill which he has accepted.”