Complaints regarding previous franchisees

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slipdigby

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Last month a couple of friends were recently turned back from the barriers at Manchester Victoria with the outward portion of a Duo ticket en route to Leeds, being told that it was not valid between 1600 and 1800. As such they ended up buying a replacement set of returns to complete their journey on time.

I've checked the fares manual and the evening peak restriction only applies to the return half of a Duo ticket. "New" Northern have accepted that this is the case by twitter and email, and that this was (another) cock-up by the barrier staff (who to be fair are probably only used to seeing the return half of Duo's being used heading out of Manchester).

The issue is that "New" Northern refuse to accept that this is something they can do anything about as it happened prior to the 1st April, and have referred us to the vendor (in this case The Trainline-not my choice by the way!). I'm still waiting to hear back from them, but I suspect as this cock up had nothing to do with them they are going to just bounce it back to Northern. What are the rules/protocol surrounding situations such as this?

Cheers!
Slip
 
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30907

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The amount that should be refunded is the cost of the second set (which were presumably more expensive), not the first.

Those are the tickets that have been used, so I don't see how the trainline could agree to refund them (even if they had issued them, which would surprise me).

It is therefore a matter for the train operator.

The changeover of franchisee is IMO irrelevant from the customer's viewpoint and Northern should honour the obligation - just as when a business is bought as a going concern.
 

Haywain

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30907 is correct that the TOC cannot skip their obligations because of a franchise change. Refunds can be claimed and complaints submitted regardless of that change, and the new operator of the franchise should deal with them.
 

swt_passenger

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We were discussing in a different thread a few days ago that they don't cancel all outstanding ticketless travel cases on franchise change, so it stands to reason that any refund or compensation issues must roll over as well.
 

100andthirty

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As I understand it a company that operates trains was soled (for a nominal amount) by the previous franchisee to the new one. The obligations and liabilities - your second ticket - lie with the transferred company. Virtually all the staff, including the managing director are the same. Formally complain to them and if that fails, escalate to Passenger Focus
 

reb0118

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...... was soled.....

Tell me more. Did they get their heels done too?

Notwithstanding the above the liabilities of the previous franchise will transfer to the new undertaking with regard to the OP's complaint. You just have to get that complaint to someone high enough up the food chain to realise this.
 

100andthirty

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Tell me more. Did they get their heels done too?

Notwithstanding the above the liabilities of the previous franchise will transfer to the new undertaking with regard to the OP's complaint. You just have to get that complaint to someone high enough up the food chain to realise this.

Oh dear - fingers not connected to brain!
 

jwos

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Doesn't help matters now that since the franchise change the customer relations department has been disbanded and outsourced from Northern to Carillion. None of the staff in the Carillion office in Sheffield who now receive the the complaints have any experience of working for the former Northern Rail!
 

jwos

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Thanks to fantastic representations from the RMT, all bar one managed to secure positions in various other roles within the new Arriva Rail North. The only one who didn't accepted a severance arrangement.
 

ian959

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I would have thought that if the representations from the RMT were fantastic, the jobs would not have been outsourced in the first place... Outsourcing might mean a degree of independence in the complaints process if done right, but not if it was purely a cost cutting measure as no doubt it was. How is an outsourcing mob like Carillion going to deal with something they don't know, even more so if the matter was pre-franchise change would be an interesting question to raise with the Arriva Rail North/DfT.
 

talldave

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I would have thought that if the representations from the RMT were fantastic, the jobs would not have been outsourced in the first place... Outsourcing might mean a degree of independence in the complaints process if done right, but not if it was purely a cost cutting measure as no doubt it was. How is an outsourcing mob like Carillion going to deal with something they don't know, even more so if the matter was pre-franchise change would be an interesting question to raise with the Arriva Rail North/DfT.

I would suspect no different to the in-house staff at Southern/GTR customer services who are utterly incompetent.
 

Haywain

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I would suspect no different to the in-house morons at Southern/GTR customer services who are utterly incompetent.
You might feel they are incompetent, but I think your reference to the staff as 'morons' is offensive.
 

talldave

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You might feel they are incompetent, but I think your reference to the staff as 'morons' is offensive.

Ok, substitute another word for people who cannot read/understand basic English sentences and fail to answer the question asked (or in one case, send me the answer to someone else's email). Their incompetence damages the brand.

And, as far as ticketing goes, I have "gone away" as they never did answer/resolve my problem with their new website. I feel better; they don't care; that's life.
 

185

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I was under the impression all franchise agreements generally had a minor 'legacy' clause - in which a seamless transfer is guaranteed by placing certain obligations on the new franchisee to handle matters caused by the previous 'occupant'.
 

talltim

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Hmm, Carrilion? I wonder if I can see into the the complaints office from my office. There's certainly been a lot more staff their recently
 

jwos

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I would have thought that if the representations from the RMT were fantastic, the jobs would not have been outsourced in the first place... Outsourcing might mean a degree of independence in the complaints process if done right, but not if it was purely a cost cutting measure as no doubt it was. How is an outsourcing mob like Carillion going to deal with something they don't know, even more so if the matter was pre-franchise change would be an interesting question to raise with the Arriva Rail North/DfT.

No union could have had any input in whether the work was outsourced - it was a part of the re-franchising process, and one which was kept extremely quiet until being sprung on people very late in the day indeed, during the TUPE talks themselves, just a few weeks before the franchise hand over. It was then revealed that all Northern Rail staff were to be TUPE transferred to Arriva.... Except... Those in Customer Relations, who were to be TUPE transferred to Carillion instead.

The fantastic part was in getting Northern to agree to freeze vacancies and facilitate those staff being able to remain within the TOC itself within an extremely tight time frame, because PTR&R would not apply as it was not a redundancy situation.
 
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