A father whose son tried to pay a train fare to Northampton three times - but was still fined for not holding a valid ticket - says he would rather go to jail than pay the fine.
Carl Pryce dropped his 19-year-old son off at Long Buckby station on Friday June 12 as his son had a job interview in Northampton. He had already bought a ticket online.
But with the kiosk shut and the ticket machine out of order, his son was forced to board the train and pay on arrival in Northampton.
It sparked an infuriating chain reaction for the family, which now sees them being threatened with a £50 bill or possible court proceedings.
But Mr Pryce, said: “I’m going to say to them I would rather go to prison for this rather than pay the fine, on principal alone.”
“It’s amazing how these big companies can walk all over people.”
Not being able to collect his ticket at Long Buckby, Mr Pryce’s son then tried to pay for his travel at the unpaid fares desk of Northampton train station using his Visa Electron card.
But Mr Pryce, a business owner from Lichfield in Staffordshire, said the attendant could not accept the card, even though the family have used the card in train stations many times.
His son was issued a fixed penalty notice of £25 and Mr Pryce immediately called train operating company London Midland to question why, when his son had made every effort to pay for the ticket.
He was told a supervisor would call him back, but the call never came, he claims.
Two days later Mr Pryce typed in the penalty notice reference number into the ‘Pay a Fine’ section of the Independent Penalty Fairs Appeals Service (IPFAS) website - but it revealed no match.
“I thought that was the end of it,” he said.
“But then this week I have received a letter from IPFAS saying I owe them another £25.
“What’s more, because it is 21 days after the incident I can’t even appeal.
“I’m absolutely furious.”
Mr Pryce says he will not be paying the ticket.
London Midland head of corporate affairs Francis Thomas, said that Visa Electron cards may be accepted within railway station concourses, but are not accepted by the mobile card payment machines like those used on the unpaid fares desk.
He added: “We are really sorry that the ticket office and ticket machines were not working.
“He was issued a penalty notice in the correct way. His only recourse now is to take this up with IPFAS.