London, 27th February 2019 - A claim on behalf of millions of rail passengers has been filed in the Competition Appeal Tribunal by Hausfeld & Co LLP and co-counsel Charles Lyndon against the operators of the South Western and Southeastern rail franchises. The opt-out, collective action is being led by Justin Gutmann, formerly of Citizens Advice and an experienced campaigner on consumer issues.
Stagecoach South Western Trains Ltd, First MTR South Western Trains Ltd and London & South Eastern Railway Ltd are alleged not to have made so-called “boundary fares” readily available for purchase to TFL Travelcard holders, nor to have made passengers aware of their existence. The failure to do so has led to customers unnecessarily paying twice for the part of their journey on Southeastern and South Western routes, which would have already been covered by their Travelcard.
The claim alleges that the companies’ behaviour constitutes an abuse of their dominant position and a breach of UK and EU competition laws. The claim is the first standalone collective action to be filed in the UK.
Justin Gutmann said: “Following extensive research, we have found that some passengers are paying twice for parts of their rail journeys. We are launching this legal action to ensure that the money that South Western and Southeastern have made from this is returned to those train users. Millions of rail passengers could be eligible for compensation.”
Anthony Maton, Managing Partner at Hausfeld & Co LLP said: “This claim is about rail passengers being able to recover what is rightfully due to them. This is only the fifth collective action in the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the first brought without the benefit of an underlying regulatory decision. We’re very pleased to be co-counsel for Mr Gutmann on this ground-breaking case.”
The Tribunal will now determine whether or not Mr Gutmann’s claim is allowed to proceed. Affected passengers who live in the UK will be automatically included in the claim although they can choose to opt-out in due course. Affected passengers who do not live in the UK will also be eligible to join the claim but must proactively opt-in.
Anyone who would like to receive further information about the claim, can visit www.BoundaryFares.com and sign up for updates.