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VE Day and TfL jobsworth: help?

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VE Day and TfL jobsworth: help?

Old 12th Apr 2015, 21:32
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Question VE Day and TfL jobsworth: help?

I hope someone here may be able to point me in the right direction to help my 92 year old ex RAF/RAAF father get around the intransigence of Transport for London jobsworths? He will be going to London later this month for the VE Day celebrations and is attempting to get a Veterans Oyster photocard for his travel whilst in London.

Unfortunately he has encountered a degree of resistance from Transport for London when attempting to sort this out on the phone, including "you're not entitled, it won't reach you in time, it's not worth the effort, we must send it snail mail", etc etc. He receives a UK pension and meets all the requirement criteria. (FWIW, night fighter pilot, North Africa Beaufighter pilot, POW escaped twice, many tales you couldn't believe and an Order of Australia Medal)

I'm looking for someone to contact to cut through the TfL bullshit and get this sorted: can anyone help please?
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Old 12th Apr 2015, 21:46
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Start by sending the whole story to the Daily Mail.
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Old 12th Apr 2015, 22:05
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1. Ask Boris Johnson via his Twitter account... He is a tad busy campaigning, but it might produce results. He might even enjoy the publicity (if Purdah permits it), or alternatively set one of his minions on the task.

2. As CM says - contact the Sun, Daily Mail & Daily Telegraph One will almost certainly pick up the story, use the word 'fury' (in capitals) and TfL will at least be compelled to get off their backsides to do something about it. ISTR that there was a similar outbreak of intransigent 'and what makes you think that you deserve some extra consideration, then?' from them around the time of another significant anniversary which concluded with white flags being waved from TfL HQ after the press went for them with all the finesse of a barely house-trained honey badger.

Indeed, given that the Mail seems only to source its military stories from here, Arrse and various other websites (Proper research? Wassat?), someone may be on it already...

[email protected] - (will take stories)

The Sun (link on page)

About us - Telegraph (gives link to editorial team and journalists, NB this one:

Ben Farmer - Telegraph (defence correspondent; Twitter account given on page)

Good luck.
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Old 12th Apr 2015, 22:07
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Suggest he contacts the Luftwaffe and tells them they can have a free run this time
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Old 12th Apr 2015, 22:39
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Fox3, love it!

Thanks for all the links, and the Twitter sent already to Boris; I knew you chaps would have the answers. I confess I was thinking along the lines of someone able to email and receive the application to save a few weeks, but if the media pick up on it instead then who am I to say no?

Dad would be thrilled to know of your support, he's having a very rough time after Mum's death last November and VE Day was very significant as that was when they met. She went to a VE Day party with an RN Petty Officer and came home with a RAF pilot, who was promptly b0llocked by her RAF LAC father for bringing her home late. Some things never change
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Old 12th Apr 2015, 22:45
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To receive a TfL Veterans Oyster Card he must be in receipt of payments under the War Pension Scheme for injuries sustained during service. Simply being an ex serviceman in receipt of a military pension is not enough to qualify. Is your father in receipt of a War Pension for injury as well as his service pension?
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Old 12th Apr 2015, 22:55
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Veterans Oyster card

It strikes me that it is either a veterans card or its a war pensioners card! They cant surely have it both ways! I do hope you get it sorted out and let us all know?

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Old 12th Apr 2015, 22:58
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Eligibility is here:

Veterans Oyster photocard - Transport for London
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Old 12th Apr 2015, 23:27
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RAF Association may be able to exert some pressure (they have Australian branches, I believe), as there may well be other old RAF veterans coming this year who may meet the same difficulty.

Or possibly the Australian High Commisson in London (Defence Attache).

Both available on "Google".

Just stabs in the dark. Good luck,

Old 13th Apr 2015, 00:12
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Again, thanks for the responses. Dad fully qualifies as he meets all the criteria required by TfL, including the War Pension for injury.

I think that the jobsworth (initially) implying that he wouldn't qualify was what got his goat, and the conversation on the phone at his expense from Australia seems to have remained on those lines of someone trying to avoid being helpful
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 10:33
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Call & Name

Hi John
Suggest you call them, speak to a supervisor and get his name. If still encountering a bad attitude after demonstrating your father qualifies, then let him know that you will not be letting it drop out of principle and expect to read his name in the Daily Mail.
Hopefully that would result in a attitude adjustment.
If they hide behind the cost of delivery; I'll happily receive at my UK address and get it to you.
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 13:31
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After all the slagging off that "journalists" get on these forum pages, the irony isn't lost on me that all of a sudden, they might actually be deemed useful!

When it suits, eh?
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 15:47
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As your Dad is 92, and may not have been in London for some time ('45 ?), and he was a bit younger then, I hope he will be accompanied when he attempts the London buses.

Am a year older, have given up my bus pass a while ago as I can barely crawl after a bus, never mind run for it !

Old 13th Apr 2015, 17:02
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Mine arrived very quickly, within two weeks of applying. Make sure you get the app in ASAP, then start making waves. It will go one of two ways, instant action or filed under B for Bin.
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Old 13th Apr 2015, 19:12
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Or possibly the Australian High Commisson in London (Defence Attache).
Just to add, that the reverse of this might also be worth a try, that is the Air Adviser at the British High Commission in Canberra.

(Embassies have Attache's, High Commissions have Adviser's)
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 05:41
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I know it's not really the best way - BUT - if it were my Dad. I'd stump up the money to give him the best day out I possibly could.

Now is not the time to agonise over whose rules are right, wrong or plain daft. Give the man something to hold dear for his remaining days and s0d the expense.

Old Duffer
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 06:44
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Just a thought, a RAFA branch could probably pitch up with someone to help him round London
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 07:07
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Dad will be accompanied by one of his grandsons (my nephew) for the trip to and from the UK, and they will look after each other since the youngster has a lower leg prosthesis! He will be in London for a few weeks, and the Oyster card is something that will just help whilst he gets around. If we can't get one in time then we'll obviously pay, I wouldn't see it any other way.

The response from those willing to help circumvent the narrow minded attitude of the office at TfL is humbling, and I thank those who have been in touch. Yes, we should have addressed this earlier but free travel in London is not something we were aware of from Australia and the refusal to employ modern email by the TfL office will build in delays that guarantee no card by Dad's arrival in UK. Even those from PPRuNe who are helping must have the required forms sent by post within London, no pick up, no email, just jobsworth mentality at its finest.

Thanks again
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 08:49
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I'm sure you will sort him out regardless, however it's the principle. Jobsworth people who have no idea of what is involved here. Instead of looking for reasons why he isn't eligible, they should be looking for ways to get around criteria; when they put the phone down, it should be thinking 'Yes! I really helped a veteran out there'.
Hint: In the USA (whilst not perfect), people go out of their way to find discounts for serving and veteran personnel.

Go to the Daily Mail or Sun, using the words 'outraged and angry', they will hijack your story a little and Boris will probably get involved as well. Its important to all serving and veteran personnel that these London Transport PUBLIC SERVANTS get to know their real place in life.

Question: Why have a ticket available and make it difficult to obtain???????
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Old 14th Apr 2015, 09:04
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JTT - In 1970 when starting a 10 year local government career (at Cambridge City Council, with wonderful Jean Barker, now Baroness Trumpington as Mayor), I wondered if I had made the wrong choice when the guy showing me round said "And don't give your name on the phone then they won't know who to come back to", advice I studiously avoided through 10 years with3 different authorities. Unfortunately the public service is stuffed with jobsworths who don't give their name. On the other hand there are many very, very good people in the public sector. Just a huge pain when you come up against the former sort.
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