CrossCountry Customer Relations

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Starmill, 18 Aug 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member Associate Staff Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    14,145
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    I recently recieved an email from XC Customer Relations that's so obnoxious it borders on the hilarious. The background is a journey from Milton Keynes to Bolton changing at Birmingham International and Manchester Piccadilly. I missed the last train of the night to Bolton and had to be taxied from Manchester Piccadilly. I arrived at Manchester Piccadilly little after midnight and had to wait for over an hour for a taxi to arrive, my final arrival at the final destination well over 2 hours late. I had an Any Permitted ticket from MK to Birmingham, a Birmingham Int - Manchester XC ONLY Advance and a single for the final section.

    I contacted both Virgin Trains and CrossCountry to explain what had happened and how unsatisfactory it was that I'd been dumped to deal with the situation by myself in the early hours of the morning at Manchester Piccadilly (no staff around, Network Rail reception unmanned). I didn't apply for compensation from Virgin Trains but did hint at it in my email to CrossCountry as they caused the key part of the delay.

    Their response is very telling and absolutely laughable.

    Call yourself professionals!? "We won't 'fork the bill' for your taxi - ha!". What on earth do they mean about it being the 'ownership' of another TOC? And I did not confirm it was anything to do with Virgin Trains, their train was not exactly on time but that did not mean I would have missed the XC train, so my interpretation of that was that it is XC's fault I missed the final train, and as they are clearly admitting they didn't care to pay for the taxi! They also mention that Network Rail should have paid for it, which is clearly nonsense as this sort of thing is not their responsibility.

    I suppose it does a good job of showing their attitude 'we will pass the buck to anyone we can and shirk whatever responsibilities we might have' either to another TOC or onto the customer.

    The grammar is also pretty shocking and doesn't appear to have been proof-read even once. Someone in Year 7 would be expected to produce work with fewer errors.

    VT are yet to reply, but I doubt they will want to offer the full 2 hour delay compensation or make any apologies for not bothering to help me out in the small hours of the morning, just because CrossCountry couldn't be bothered to! And a part of me says why should they....
     
    Last edited: 18 Aug 2015
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

    Messages:
    4,359
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2013
    There appears to be some suggestion that they were at fault, but you have chosen not to provide any details. In the circumstances how could we answer?
     
  4. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    21,159
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    I assumed the post was just a rant at the walls...
     
  5. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,112
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2012
    Location:
    Leicester/Sheffield
    Did the Virgin train arrive at International at least the minimum connection time before the XC service was due to leave?
    If so I agree XC should be liable, if not under the current system it would be Virgin at fault.
     
  6. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

    Messages:
    7,942
    Joined:
    4 Jun 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    In what universe is formal communication with the words 'We would not fork the bill of another operators delay.' ever acceptable? Either in tone, wordage and not withstanding grammar issues?!
     
  7. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,112
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2012
    Location:
    Leicester/Sheffield
    I thought it was commonly accepted that XC don't care about the standard of writing in their responses, and if your issue isn't covered by one of the stock responses that the response will be littered with spelling and grammar errors.
     
  8. 185

    185 Established Member

    Messages:
    3,746
    Joined:
    29 Aug 2010
    Not the first time XC have dumped people at Man Picc then expected staff from other, unrelated TOCs to sort their mess out. Had several shouting matches over the years with their retail control staff who suggested I as a non-XC TOC employee should not be 'bothering them on this important line'. (......with their passengers, their problems).
     
  9. 185143

    185143 Established Member

    Messages:
    3,117
    Joined:
    3 Mar 2013
    People in my team on the last West Midlands challenge may remember my tale of my VT advances to Stafford due to Watford blockade that weekend which was cancelled due to chiltern landslide and the hassle I had from multiple XC Train Managers despite having email conformation from VT saying I could use XC and even got hassle from one TM with an endorsed ticket!!
     
  10. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    21,159
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    I agree that XC's communication leaves a lot to be desired, however the OP contained no question, hence my assumption that it required neither discussion nor advice. Unless, of course, the purpose of the Disputes & Prosecutions sub-forum is to provide literary critique?
     
  11. Camden

    Camden Established Member

    Messages:
    1,717
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2014
    Seconded. It sounds like the OP wasn't clear in their letter as to what their complaint was about or who caused the problem or what they wanted to happen next (and also still isn't really clear in their initial post here). If Cross Country aren't offering anything it's clearly because they don't understand (if that is the case) that it is their responsibility.

    If you have a delay and need to claim/complain you write to, and only to, the company who has responsibility to sort it out with a clear and concise account and claim. I don't see anything too shocking in the letter excerpt provided, the information in it is plain enough to comprehend.

    Perhaps this thread should be deleted, or perhaps the OP might post some clearer information about their journey and where they need advice.
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2015
  12. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member Associate Staff Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    14,145
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    Yes. And it was a good looong time before the XC train turned up too, it left there nearly 40 minutes late.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I'm very sorry if I caused offence. Some of us have quite high standards when it comes to this sort of thing.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I was perfectly clear, giving both a full account of what happened and explained how unsatisfactory it was. It's not my responsibility to attribute the causes of delays, so to a) make things easier for them and b) avoid accusations of fraud I sent them both correspondence and mentioned that I'd done so to each. If XC have checked the timetable data they would have no issues finding the train in question and acting more accordingly. I did think that Virgin Trains and CrossCountry might then discuss between themselves who is going to reply and how they will resolve the case.
     
  13. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    21,159
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    No offence caused, I just couldn't tell from your post what the Dispute or Prosecution was. To be honest, with your mention of high standards, I'm still not sure if you are taking issue with the form of the response, the information it conveys or both.
    I was always taught that a letter of complaint should contain three things: a brief summary of the facts, a statement of the impact it had, and what I expect by way of resolution. It sounds like your letter may only have contained the first two.
     
  14. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

    Messages:
    3,044
    Joined:
    21 Dec 2011
    Location:
    Groningen
    CrossCountry's reply sounds a lot like they understood very clearly that the OP's expectation was delay compensation. Without the facts of the train times we're not in a position to guess whether XC or VT owe this compensation.
     
  15. Camden

    Camden Established Member

    Messages:
    1,717
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2014
    If your complaint has nothing to do with a company (or if they think it has nothing to do with them) then the limit of their involvement will be simply to tell you so.
     
  16. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Joined:
    26 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Anywhere B link goes
    I am struggling to see what in that reply has caused you to call it "obnoxious"

    Don't worry though I'm sure VT will save the day with some RTVs

    You really must be the unluckiest rail traveller in the country.
     
  17. razor89

    razor89 Member

    Messages:
    175
    Joined:
    15 Nov 2012
    Perhaps, or perhaps not. If you read RailUK exclusively (and in particular the Disputes and Prosecutions sub-forum) you might be tempted to think that this sort of situation and apparent lack of customer service is endemic throughout the rail industry. Of course the reality is that the majority of passenger journeys end with the passenger arriving at their destination on time with no issues at all. Clearly the industry is not perfect however and there are many issues or "cracks" in the surface which can cause problems for passengers. You have to wonder sometimes though whether certain posters are actively seeking out those cracks just to see what happens.

    I'm not necessarily accusing you of this, starmill, but when I compare my "history" of using the national rail network with the many issues you seem to have had I can't help but wonder how someone can really be so unlucky.
     
  18. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Joined:
    26 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Anywhere B link goes
    Which is the point I was trying to make. I do approx 100k miles a year on the rails and I don't have anywhere near the amount of incidents. Maybe I'm just lucky :D
     
  19. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

    Messages:
    3,135
    Joined:
    14 Jan 2010
    It really is a case of what routes you are lucky or unlucky enough to use really.
    Certainly my experience of travelling between Bath to London the last 8 months to visit my girlfriend has been worse in terms of number of delays than my experience of travelling between Bath and Leicester last year to visit my ex, simply because at the moment the GWML seems to be having almost continuous issues between Reading and London, so anyone using that route will probably get delayed more (or be more "unlucky") than someone using a different line.
     
  20. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

    Messages:
    7,942
    Joined:
    4 Jun 2009
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Maybe it is a little different when at the pointy end of the train :P
     
  21. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Joined:
    26 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Anywhere B link goes
    Only around half is working. And we have our fair share of cock ups. But I haven't had a single train this year more than 25 mins late. Like I said maybe I'm just lucky
     
  22. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member Associate Staff Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    14,145
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    Yeah, because trains in the UK are well-known for punctuality and reliability, aren't they? Don't let that get in the way of your judgement though :p
     
  23. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

    Messages:
    3,403
    Joined:
    2 Mar 2015
    Location:
    No.664 - Next door to the Beast
    That's certainly been my experience.
     
  24. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Joined:
    26 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Anywhere B link goes
    Well mine, in the main, tend to be. Anyway no judgement just an observation that you appear to be very unlucky on your travels
     
  25. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

    Messages:
    10,597
    Joined:
    28 Jun 2010
    Well PPM is just under 90% and Northern is above that(your local services) but I think more people were making the point that out of everyone who posts here you seem to be the one poster who has more issues with travelling on the railway then anyone else? Unless others just realise its not perfect and dont moan as much.
     
  26. crehld

    crehld Established Member Associate Staff Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    1,994
    Joined:
    1 Nov 2014
    Location:
    Norfolk
    I would suggest if you're after a true reflection of the railway industry's customer service and performance record, then focusing one's attention on the disputes and prosecutions sub-forum probably isn't a good idea, given the sub-forum by definition will attract a disproportionate number of dissatisfied posters. Reading the trip reports section is probably far more likely to give a balanced account, highlighting both he successes and failures of the railway industry.

    For the record I find this sub-forum primarily serves those who take delight in other people's misfortune (guilty or not) and those with legitimate complaints are often hounded or met with a hostile reception. Indeed it's for this reason I've never felt comfortable posting my own disputes here; I want advice not to be insulted.

    But hey. I guess the fact both perceptions are held by readers of this forum confirms it is probably far more balanced than many give it credit for.

    As for starmill's bad luck, perhaps it is just bad luck? I fail to see why anyone would go out of their way to be inconvenienced by the railway industry. I only travelled 8000ish miles last year but nevertheless qualified for over £250 in delay repay and had the misfortune to meet staff failing the attitude test on numerous occasions. A very unlucky year! Conversely this year I've already travelled over 10000 miles, yet only been substantially delayed once and have nothing but praise for the dedicated staff I've come across (well apart from a bloke a Euston). Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
     
  27. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member Associate Staff Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    14,145
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    Would you like to guess what CrossCountry's annual moving average to July 2015 was for right time arrivals? Yeah, did you gues 41.8%? And West Coast? 52.4%. If you consider a 60% chance that you won't be on time somehow squares as good service then that beats me.

    That these are two operators have a atrocious punctuality and reliability isn't exactly up for debate.
     
  28. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Joined:
    26 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Anywhere B link goes
    But PPM is in the high 80s
    There are lies, damn lies and statistics
     
  29. crehld

    crehld Established Member Associate Staff Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    1,994
    Joined:
    1 Nov 2014
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Now I'm just confused. Do I base my expectations of when my train will depart / arrive on the published timetable or the PPM figures?
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    48,790
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    In my experience, by and large, they are indeed, except for the odd loss of a minute or two here and there.

    That the heavily overcrowded (in terms of train movements) south WCML actually works reasonably well is quite impressive.
     
  31. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Joined:
    26 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Anywhere B link goes
    Neither. Just take pot luck :D
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page