Easington MP Grahame Morris is working with Which? to lead a cross-party effort to protect consumers from being charged twice for the same good or service.

On Tuesday (25 January), the cross-party Consumer Protection (Double Charging) Bill will have its first reading in the House of Commons. The Bill will prevent individuals from getting a fine, penalty, or need to pay if they can prove they have already paid for the same transaction. The Chair of the Transport Select Committee, Huw Merriman MP, is sponsoring the Bill.

Which? have several ongoing cases where their members are being double charged despite there being no loss suffered by the penalty-giving organisation. Examples include a man who used the wrong parking area code on a parking app but paid the same amount to the same council as he would have done with the correct area code, yet he still received a PCN. This case was successfully appealed.

Similarly, another member is facing proceedings because her ticket fell from the dashboard, despite the company having evidence that she paid for her ticket and therefore there is no loss.

In the sponsoring MP’s area, a woman was handed a penalty-fare for not printing out her train ticket for a journey completed with e-tickets up until the final train. She was handed a penalty-fare mere metres away from the ticket printing machine, despite being able to show proof of purchase and the card used to buy the tickets.

Grahame Morris MP said:

“The issue of double charging clearly needs addressing through legislation. For too long my constituents have been subjected to this sharp practice from receiving a penalty fare for not printing their train ticket despite them having proof of purchase, to being fined for not displaying a parking season ticket on their dashboard. It is simply unfair.

” I very much hope that this Bill will push companies to embrace technology that prevents consumers from being penalised for genuine mistakes.”

Tuesday’s Ten-Minute Rule Bill is being supported by MPs from all four nations in the United Kingdom.

Adam French, Which? Consumer Rights Expert, said:

“Which? has heard from people who have been fined for not having a parking ticket when they have already paid but have made an honest mistake entering their number plate.

“These fines cause unnecessary stress if you face being left out of pocket or having to contest the charges. We support measures that could stop you getting charged twice or fined for a service when you can prove that you have already paid for it.”


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