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LIRR passenger suing over ticket refund policy

February 26, 2011 12:40:44 PM PST
An LIRR passenger is suing the railroad over its new ticket policy.

The tickets have to be used sooner and come with a $10 change fee, more than he paid for his tickets.

He says the fee is impossible to read and being unlawfully enforced.

"It's a betrayal," said Chris Ebel.

Ebel describes his relationship with the Long Island Rail Road like a bitter divorce. After having been a faithful rider for years, he purchased a ticket in January and got a big surprise.

"I found out the tickets had a 14 day window," he said.

That was just the beginning. He was hit with more bad news.

"On the 15th, the day I needed to pay $10 to get a refund, and they were only going to send me $6," he said.

Ebel had no idea there were two major changes in policy. Unused tickets are now valid for 14 days instead of 6 months and getting a refund costs the rider that $10 fee.

"It costs money to refund. People don't think that, but it does," said LIRR spokesman Joe Calerone.

Attorney Ken Mollins say fortunately for the client the railroad made one huge blunder. The writing that says one way peak covered up the fine print that states tickets are subject to rules and regulations.

The LIRR will offer refunds to customers on a case by case business if that fine print is covered up and the customer can prove it.

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