Do you know your rights when a train is delayed or cancelled?
The results of a recent rail survey suggest that around 75% of people using Britain’s railways are ill-informed with regards to ticket cost refunding.
Most rail passengers are oblivious to the right for compensation after service cancellations or delays, the rail regulator has announced.
For instance, commuters who choose not to travel on a delayed or cancelled train are entitled to a full refund.
In light of the recent study for the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), MM took to the streets of Piccadilly to ask:
Did you know you could claim a refund if your train is delayed?
Mike Williams, 24, a shop assistant from Bolton, said: “I’d never thought about it. I usually just stand there and wait until it turns up. The train service tend to think they can treat us how they like.
“It doesn’t feel like we have much power or say to do anything about it. You get to work when they feel like getting you there.”
Sarah Partridge, 55, the Managing Director of a social enterprise, said: “I wasn’t aware about the legislation. It makes a lot of sense.
“I think for me, I would have to travel on a delayed train anyway because there’s no other option. How else would I get around?”
Annie Dryden, 68, who is retired, said: “I was aware of the fact that we are entitled to a refund, but the train companies don’t do enough to promote the availability of it.
“I only knew because a friend of mine happened to tell me.”
Kenneth Thompson, 73, retired, from Cheetham Hill, said: “I would hope so. If you don’t get what you pay for then of course a refund is essential. But I bet getting it is another matter!”
The research itself has highlighted that 74% of customers thought train operators did not do enough to inform people about how to claim compensation.
A member of the Northern Rail crew gave MM an insight into the customer service of his company and spoke of his pride.
He said: “Compensation is a failure to us. It shows us that the correct level of service hasn’t been given to our passengers.
“I am really proud of what we actually do. We try to promote good customer service for our customers.”
He also insisted that the customers are the company’s main priority, as well as understanding the necessity to provide services to schedule.
“The customers are our bread and butter,” he said. “so it’s important to give them optimal satisfaction.
“It’s important to get our trains out on the correct time for our customers.
“There are improvements that we need to make.
“We are truly focused on giving satisfaction and value for money,” he added.
The staff member also provided some statistics to support his viewpoint.
“We now have more trains arrive on time than ever before, despite a 35% passenger increase that we have witnessed in the last couple of years,” he argued.
“It could even be touching above that figure. However, as I have said, we need to work with the passengers. They need to be at the station on time too, even if our services are to schedule
The man was adamant that the company do their utmost to provide the best possible experience for their customers.
“We need to give the right information to the customers so that they can play a part as well.
“We try to talk to customers as much as possible and provide customer services to receive their feedback.
“The customers have to talk to us. We have set up social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to allow people to contact us with queries or for more information.
“It has been very positive.”
The service provided has received a good response in recent times. He added: “Passengers have been very satisfied and have praised our company.
“Some people have said things like ‘Can you say thanks to the driver please?’ or ‘Can you say thanks to the staff please?’ It’s been very good.”
Picture courtesy of Hugh Llewelyn, with thanks.