Here is the letter I received from the LIRR today along with some of my as-I'm-reading reactions.
The MTA Long Island Railroad's Ticket Refunds Department has forwarded your request for a refund for the four remaining trips from your original Ten Trip Webticket, two of which were incorrectly punched by a crewmember.
[no--they were not incorrectly punched. He wrote over them in big angry handwriting EXPIRED when they were not expired.]
I regret the added expense this matter has caused for you. While we are unable to offer you monetary reimubursement
[why the hell not?]
based on circumstances and the documentation provided
[which included my receipt of when I bought the ticket which matches the date of purchase on the ticket which the ticket puncher man thought was the expiration date]
as a one-time exception
[oh. wow. really. we're going there. let me get my kneepads so I can fall on my knees in appreciation]
I have enclosed four complimentary One-Way tickets for your future use.
(Long list of rules and regulations on how and when to use the tickets. I can't sell them. I can't get a refund for them, which is not surprising considering I couldn't get a refund for the tickets I actually paid for either).
In the future, if you beliefe an error was made in servicing your ticket, please alert the conductor immediately and ask him/her to provide you with a note and their badge number to verify an error was made.
[What the? I went back and forth with ticket puncher man about how he was wrong and I was right and I was supposed to then ask him for a note? You want me to ask him to write a note that verifies he made an error? If he knows he's making an error, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. So it's my fault for not getting a note? A fucking NOTE? Seriously? A NOTE?????]
[oh, and by the way, I gave you the train line and time of the ride--you know who was working on that train. you could ferret him out. here's a description: he is an asshole. Go!]
The LIRR is a state agency, funded in part through tax subsidies
[and funded in the other part through attempting to rip off ticket holders by writing EXPIRED across valid tickets and then blaming them for not getting a NOTE and not giving them money back for tickets they paid for]
and subject to audit by state authorities. As such, we must adhere to the policies set in place for us regarding the issuance of refunds.
[I need to write to the state to get them to set up a policy that states: If the ticket puncher man is an asshole who doesn't know what a web ticket looks like and writes EXPIRED across a valid ticket, GIVE THE CUSTOMERS BACK THEIR MONEY!]
[Ooh, here's my favorite part coming up]
Thank you for choosing to ride the LIRR.
Thanks, Kev. What a guy!
A more serious thanks to Danielle who kept on top of this from the day I called and asked for a refund and kept saying, Unbelievable!, every time I relayed the story.