Thursday, February 15, 2007

Customer Service Operators

What's the PC name for the men and women who go around booking the travelling public for various infringements? I think somebody called them customer service operators, and I suspect there's the odd less flattering name used from time to time too!

If you've browsed the comments on the previous post you'll see a bit of discussion about these guys. Now I'm on record as not being a fan of people running in front of an oncoming train, but clearly that's not what happened here. The train is stopped at the station and the gates are closed. Noisy girl has a look and sees that not only is the train stopped, but the driver is out of the cabin assisting a passenger. So as a mature adult, she assesses the situation, makes the judgement that the chances of this train running her over are pretty slim. Added to that she knows the trains are still prone to cancellation so doesn't have confidence when the next one will show. She has a good look around and carefully decides to cross. (I didn't just conclude all this from her posts here, by the way.)

So despite all of that the customer service officer decides to book her. And a guy on a pushbike, and by the sound of it a few others. Why? Safety or revenue raising? If it was about saftey, surely the starting point is educating the broader public about the risks, not leap straight into a handful of people with the ticket book? And what genius decided it was a good time to launch this when Connex and the state government's stocks are already at their lowest in years?

I doubt there's many people who cross against a red light as a pedestrian from time to time. It's all about risk assessment and having your wits about you when cross a road or a rail line.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree that someone needs to enforce the law, I am still waiting to see until those Customer Service Officer clamp down on anti social behavior that one can regularly notice around the train network, eg many still smoke on the sheltered part of the platforms.
I agree however, that this should not be the role of a customer service officer and the revenue raised through fees should not go to Connex (I don't even know if that is that is the case).
While Noisy Girl may have been grown up enough to assess the situation but where do we draw the line in the sand. She broke the rules and and admits it.

15 February, 2007 13:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the correct term is:

Customer UNiformed Ticket Surveyors.....

15 February, 2007 21:57  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Not unrelated to this issue, I was down the end of Flinders Street yesterday and snapped this pic.

Now what on earth is that all about? I can't enter the "platform" of the new tram superstop from that end, otherwise the CSOs will be all over me with their infringement books, yet I can enter the opposite platform and cross over no worries. If somebody can explain how this is meant to work and the rationale behind this, I'd love to hear it.

I'm going down there every day now and entering illegally to see if I can get a ticket!

16 February, 2007 07:04  
Blogger noisy girl said...

Yes, I admit and understand I committed an "offence", but I have never heard of a person being fined for crossing while the gates were down, nor are there any warnings that fines apply to such behaviour, when there are copious amounts of warnings plastered all over the station relating to other fines. This is what shits me - there was no way I could have known. And the fact that it was purely about revenue raising!!! And the conduct of these people in general. They really are horrid slugs who get off on being able to lecture and belittle people. End rant!

16 February, 2007 08:19  
Anonymous Steve said...


it says "Entering Platform is strictly forbidden"! Having said that it could mean that even if you entered from the other side, you entered the platform (which is forbidden) and get booked.

16 February, 2007 10:36  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

That's the whole stupidity of that sign - there is nothing to indicate where risking life and limb with associated penalties stops and perfect safety and an attaboy sticker starts. Perhaps we should campaign to get some additional signage and maybe some appropriate painting of kerbs to really clarify things!

17 February, 2007 06:02  
Blogger noisy girl said...

Another related thing to do with signage - I caught a train at Burwood station yesterday, and had to cross the tracks to get to the station. The tracks aren't on a road there, and there are no electronic gates stopping pedestrians from crossing at whatever time they choose, and no warnings whatsoever to not cross if a train is approaching. In contrast, there are electronic gates on most other crossings in Melbourne, and warnings not to cross, whereas this one just had a sign up stating "stop, look for trains". The lack of consistency is really starting to bug me. If I were to cross in front of a train at Burwood, would I get a fine? Probably not, because of the signage, but in theory isn't it just as dangerous, if not more so? Again, if Connex were truly worried about people's safety, wouldn't they put in electronic gates that SHUT at this station?

17 February, 2007 09:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they just want ur money

18 February, 2007 15:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evidently the punsihment for fair evasion and crossing tracks is a lot harder than if I was to take a set of bolt cutters, some spay cans and go to town on a few trains...,21985,21253785-661,00.html

20 February, 2007 10:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you there, next time in melb i'll bring the bolt cutters and council issue flouro vest, fine wont cost me much (good to the legal system in Victoria is still crap). The last idiot that spraypainted a Transperth Train got himself a nice 1000 fine and then the Government sent his folks a bill to.

I'd rather make the toads get out there and scrub the whole body and throw in 23,000 volts just for a buzz!.

22 February, 2007 02:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regards to the original post.

Basically your saying it's OK to jump in front of danger.

Maybe Connex shouldn't even bother with gates, and just leave it to people's 'mature' decisions.

Not everyone is 'mature.'

12 March, 2007 18:34  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

No, I am basically saying what I said - "Now I'm on record as not being a fan of people running in front of an oncoming train, but clearly that's not what happened here" and "So as a mature adult, she assesses the situation, makes the judgement that the chances of this train running her over are pretty slim".

Even our esteemed pollies on both sides of the political divide would struggle to draw your inference from my comments!

13 March, 2007 05:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for Connex. I've seen people cross at level crossing thinking that the train is stopped at the station and that's it ok to cross, but then get hit by the train coming in the other direction. What example does it set to our younger community? They see an adult do that and think, oh, it's ok to do that. They aren't 'mature' enough to tell the difference.

16 April, 2007 13:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch this video and let me know about "stationary" trains


24 April, 2007 10:15  

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