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Ticket machine – failure. How to file a complaint? When can you get a ticket?

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I saw that the ticket machine was out of order. Unfortunately, there was an inspection on the tram at the same time – describes Joanna Knapik, a passenger from Poznań, in an interview with the business editorial office of tvn24.pl. – The passenger is not responsible for the lack of a ticket if it is caused by a failure of the ticket machine. This is what the court in Krakow ruled – comments Oskar Litwin, vice-president of the Law of Profit Foundation.

– I got on the tram without a ticket. I saw that the ticket machine was out of order. The bad luck was that there was an inspection on the tram at the same time. I received a fine from the controller in the amount of over PLN 300 – says Joanna Knapik to the business editorial office of tvn24.pl.

The passenger tried to explain to the controller why she could not purchase a ticket. – I even showed him a photo of a broken ticket machine, with its number, date and time visible. He commented that the ticket machine is the last resort in purchasing tickets. He explained that I should be prepared for the fact that it might not work. Either way, I should always have a ticket. And if I go without a valid ticket, he gives me a ticket – he describes.

The inspector advised her to write a complaint to the Poznań Public Transport Authority. She was to add a ticket, photos of the ticket machine and a detailed description of the situation to the complaint application.

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– The complaint has been accepted. I was even apologized for the inconvenience, he smiles.

Precedent court judgments in Kraków and Wrocław

Oskar Litwin, vice-president of the Law of Profit Foundation, which deals with financial education, estimates that a passenger is not responsible for missing a ticket if it is caused by a failure of the ticket machine. – This is what the court in Krakow ruled – he explains. As he adds, it is a judgment with “reference number: IC1735/21/K, which is certainly a precedent judgment.”

– The court stated that the passenger is not responsible for the lack of a ticket if he could not buy it due to a failure of the ticket machine. However, the situation in the cited judgment is special because the passenger was a foreigner and could not communicate with the ticket inspectors, who also forbade her to get off at the destination stop and forced her to travel all the way to the bus terminus. They also offered her that she could pay the “fine” in cash and they would even take her to an ATM – describes Oskar Litwin. At the same time, he points out that the term “fine” is colloquial here, because it is an additional fee.

As he explains, “the special circumstances of this situation could have influenced the verdict.” – The failure of the ticket machine in the case in question prevented the passenger from purchasing a ticket. The commune, not the passenger, is responsible for a ticket machine failure. This is, among other things, part of the risk of running a business. Of course, it should be remembered that this does not apply to situations where, for example, the machine only accepts cash, which the passenger does not have with him.

A court in Wrocław ruled on a similar case a few years ago. – A passenger of Wrocław public transport also could not buy a ticket from the machine. The inspectors imposed a fine of PLN 150 on him plus a refund of the ticket value. The court ruled that the passenger does not have to pay an additional fee, but only refund the cost of the ticket. In the Krakow case, the court ruled that the passenger did not have to pay either an additional penalty or reimburse the cost of the ticket. It is clear that the case law is moving in favor of consumers, says Litwin.

He adds that ZTP in Krakow stated that when a fine is imposed for not having a ticket and the ticket machine actually had a failure, complaints are taken into account. – Therefore, the ticket issued by the controller is subject to cancellation. The passenger should accept the ticket and then file a complaint; if it is not accepted, the case can be taken to court – advises Oskar Litwin.

Reasons for complaints reported by passengers

We contact Tomasz Kunert, spokesman for the Public Transport Authority in Warsaw. We ask whether a passenger who could not buy a ticket because the ticket machine was closed can get a ticket?

– Yes, maybe – replies the spokesman. – Mobile ticket machines complement the sales network. If a passenger does not agree with the controller's decision, he or she may file a complaint – he said during an interview with tvn24.pl, enumerating that last year 90 complaints were found to be justified.

He adds that annual ticket sales from mobile ticket machines amount to approximately 24 million. In landlines it's 35 million.

What is the most common reason for complaints filed by passengers? – They buy a ticket from a ticket machine and claim that the machine didn't sell it to them. In turn, machine operation reports show that in these cases the fee was most often not paid due to lack of funds, for example on the card – says the spokesman.

Tomasz Kunert reminds that tickets can also be purchased in several mobile applications. They are deleted by scanning QR codes from stickers in vehicles.

Therefore, we ask, what if someone does not have the application on their phone? Tomasz Kunert refers to the regulations on transport by means of local public transport in the capital city of Warsaw. In Warsaw.

“A passenger who does not have a valid ticket or document entitling him to free travel is obliged, first of all, after entering the vehicle or entering the metro ticket zone, to validate/activate the ticket and make sure that the ticket validator has confirmed the fact of validating/activating the ticket with a green light signal and a short sound signal. The exception are tickets in the form of a vehicle ticket or another medium accepted by the ZTM, which do not require validation in a validator,” we read in the regulations. – The regulations are clear. After entering the vehicle, the passenger must first validate or activate the ticket, he notes.

Read also: She used artificial intelligence to cancel the ticket

Want to share an important topic? Contact the author of the text: joanna.rubin@wbd.com

Author:Joanna Rubin/ToL

Main photo source: travellifestyle/Shutterstock

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