Delay Compensation - A "secret" of the rail network?

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bb21

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Interesting that there's no mention of "didn't think it was worth the effort". For small delays (which probably account for the vast majority of entitlements to claim?) on relatively low-cost journeys, you're not actually going to receive much money for your time. Lop-off the cost of an envelope/stamp, the aggro of diverting via a pillar box, the need to wait several weeks for anything to happen and the enthusiasm wanes further!
I think these are all quite valid points. With the average journey cost being quite low, I can imagine that a lot of people don't bother. How many people would really bother spending time filling out a form, etc, to claim for a few quid? My threshold is normally £3, but of course some people will claim for every penny they are entitled to, whereas I also know some who will not bother with even £5.

What a quick reply from PF, with a take-up rate of 12%, I think there is a lot more that TOCs ought do to publicise this!
Why not push the government to do something? It is no surprise that the industry will drag their heels over making passengers more aware of their compensation entitlements. If awareness really is unacceptably low then surely it would take much less effort to get the government to do something than to get the industry to do something.
 
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455driver

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Maybe some people are just happy that the railways get them to where they want to be unlike the airlines!
 

Chrisgr31

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Not all delays entitle passengers to a refund. As it states in the Conditions of Carriage, it is only those where the railway is at fault. Those caused by outside factors (e.g. suicide, adverse weather, lineside fires, etc) do not require the TOCs to refund passengers delayed. So the platform staff were actually entirely correct.

But them you already knew that because you've read the Conditions of Carriage, haven't you...?
I haven't read the Conditions of Carriage however I have read Southers passenger charter http://www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/passengers-charter/ which states:-

"If you arrive more than 30 minutes late at your destination because of a delay to one of our services we will
give compensation irrespective of what caused the delay, cancellation or missed connection that affected you."

So Southern and I believe other ToCs that run the Delay Repay scheme will give compensation irrespective of the cause for that. Personally I try and claim for every qualifying delay I suffer from purely because even the £2.80's or £5's build up to a nice sum. Last year I collected £280 in delay repay compensation which more than offset the increase in my annual season ticket. Most of it was from a couple of journeys on East Coast and Cross Country but Southern contributed over £100.
 

Catkin

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I am trying to understand the FGW season ticket policy - haven't really got to the bottom of it through the website or a visit to the ticket office at reading so hopefully someone on here can help!

I note that the website says the following:

Season ticket holders

For details of compensation for Season Ticket holders if levels of service performance fall below the set standards, please see our “Passenger Charter” results or “Compensation Claim” leaflets. This information is to help you get the most out of your Season Ticket. It does not modify or replace, in any way, the National Rail Conditions of Carriage relating to Season Tickets. Copies of the Conditions of Carriage and compensation claim forms are available at all First Great Western stations.


However, when I read the compensation claim and the passenger charter neither explained how season ticket holders can claim compensation. What it does provide, however, is a link to a "performance" page, which contains the following information (although, again, no real information!):

The following discounts are currently being offered to holders of season tickets valid for one month or more.

HSS No void days apply. Punctuality is below trigger, 5% discounts apply.
LTV No void days apply. Punctuality is below trigger, 5% discounts apply.
Bristol SB No void days apply.
Devon No void days apply
Plymouth/Cornwall No void days apply
SW & SC No void days apply

Updated Thursday 09 January 2014. Discounts apply from 12 January 2014 to 08 February 2014 inclusive.


What does this actually mean!? Can I claim a monthly 5% refund (my season ticket is a reading to london paddington annual)? Or does the discount only apply if my season ticket expires between 12 January and 08 February? I would be grateful for a proper explanation of this!!
 
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westv

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Or does the discount only apply if my season ticket expires between 12 January and 08 February?
I think that might be the case. I vaguely remember Great Eastern having something similar and I missed out because my season ticket didn't renew at the correct time to qualify.
 

talldave

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I think these are all quite valid points. With the average journey cost being quite low, I can imagine that a lot of people don't bother. How many people would really bother spending time filling out a form, etc, to claim for a few quid? My threshold is normally £3, but of course some people will claim for every penny they are entitled to, whereas I also know some who will not bother with even £5.
In the case of Southern, I find it rather surreal that they go to the trouble (and cost) of sending a letter indicating that they've received your form. However, weeks later when they actually get around to processing it, they send an email - with a totally different reference number - to tell you that your account has been credited with some small amount. By this time, you can't even remember the month the delayed journey happened in, never mind the cost of the ticket (to work out if the amount is correct).

So for a £2-3 refund, they've probably run up costs of £50 or more processing it. That money would actually be better spent improving the maintenance of the infrastructure and rolling stock so that failures were reduced, leading to fewer delays.
 

orpine

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I think these are all quite valid points. With the average journey cost being quite low, I can imagine that a lot of people don't bother. How many people would really bother spending time filling out a form, etc, to claim for a few quid? My threshold is normally £3, but of course some people will claim for every penny they are entitled to, whereas I also know some who will not bother with even £5.
Prime example. Just yesterday I got a refund of a whopping £3.68. The delay was 35minutes (doubling the journey time) on a return fare of £14.70. I'm wondering why I even bothered filling in the paperwork.
Sure it adds up as Chrisgr31 clearly shows (£280? Wow!), but I don't really travel that much.

I've also been looking at those nice useful information posters TOC's have on the trains and stations about the company and how to get in contact and their bike policy etc. None of them mention delay repay. The closest is "if you have a complaint..."
 

Deerfold

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I caught a train from Penrith to Euston last night.

We were 68 minutes late.

About 5 minutes before arrival the guard announced (after apologising for the delay) that we would all be eligible for compensation and forms were available at Euston and other staffed station.

There was a large (but very quick-moving) queue for the leaflets at the information point at Euston (I'd nearly picked one up in Penrith just in case (where they were also on clear display) but the train was only 1 minute late there.

That's a welcome £63 I should be getting.
 

bb21

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Perhaps he should have advised that claims can also be made online through their website. It would be an easier process for many and would help reduce queue times at Euston.
 

Deerfold

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Perhaps he should have advised that claims can also be made online through their website. It would be an easier process for many and would help reduce queue times at Euston.
Perhaps she should but the leaflet mentions that a couple of times (and has a QR code to take you straight there).
 

orpine

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Sounds good Deerfold!

Yesterday I was delayed at Oxford for an hour. Of course despite what so many here have said about the forms "being available", it was 10pm and the counter was unstaffed. I had to keep an eye out for the elusive staff member (mostly hiding away in his hole the entire time) and ask him.

Ever single person at the station was eligible for compensation because they were all waiting for the same last, heavily delayed train. There were no announcements, either on the train, or the platform.

Bonus points - when I was on the train itself I asked for another form (I'd given the previous one away) - they don't have them on the train (this is XC) and told me to get one at my destination (unmanned at 11pm on a Sunday night except security). *sigh*

As to doing it online - when I tried that with Chiltern they kept telling me to send them the ticket! I wish the TOC's would be consistent. :(
 

jbb

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I've noticed more than once that they've announced that my train is arriving 29 minutes late, when it appears to be 30 or 31 minutes to me.
I'm not putting this down to a deliberate attempt to discourage people from claiming delay repay because I don't think it is. But I think they do need to be more careful as there is probably quite some liability issue as potentially on a full train it could be, I don't know, £20000 total compensation at stake.
 

Cletus

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The BBC have been doing pieces on the TV news and Radio Kent this morning, plus:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26275394

Most train passengers are unaware of their rights to compensation after cancellations or delays, the rail regulator has said.

As many as 75% of those using Britain's railways do not know enough about claiming money back, said the study for the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).

For example, passengers choosing not to travel after a delay or cancellation are entitled to a full refund.

In response, the industry admitted that more needed to be done.

In addition to being unaware of their rights, the study found that 74% of passengers thought train operators did not do enough to inform people about how to claim compensation.

Some passengers said such information should be displayed more prominently on websites or posters.

"We want to see that passengers are treated fairly, receive the quality of service they pay for, and when this is not the case, can hold their service providers to account," said Anna Walker, the chairperson of the ORR.

Rebates
But the industry defended its record.

"Compensation has become increasingly generous and easier to apply for in recent years," said Michael Roberts, the director general of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

He said the amount of money paid out in compensation to passengers for train delays rose by £3m in one year alone, and that punctuality was improving.

In 2012-13, the RDG said more than 90% of trains arrived on time.

But it admitted that more could be done to help passengers know their rights.

Among them is the right to claim a refund when a train is cancelled or delayed. If you decide not to travel in such circumstances, you are entitled to all your money back.

If you decide to go ahead with the journey, and the train arrives late, you are still entitled to compensation.

Each operator sets its own rates, but passengers arriving one hour late are entitled to a minimum 20% rebate.

Code of practice
Earlier this week, the consumer group Which? found that customer satisfaction with Britain's train network was "shockingly low".

The survey of 7,000 passengers found that 11 of the 19 train companies it investigated had customer satisfaction rates of less than 50%.

The poorest operators were Greater Anglia and Southeastern, both of which scored just 40%.

The best operator was Merseyrail.

The ORR said that later this year, it would introduce a new code of practice on ticket information.

The code will clarify information about fares and restrictions, as well as compensation and refund rights.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) has also developed a "toolkit" to help train companies make passengers more aware of how they can claim compensation.

At the moment, each train operator also publishes its own separate customer charter..
 

Greenback

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Yes, I saw a bit on BBC Breakfast about it. They showed footage of travellers at Kings Cross saying they weren't aware of compensation.

Tony Miles was on after the report and stated that it wasn't difficult to find details or submit a claim online.
 

MKB

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Apparently Jeremy Vine's covering this today on his Radio 2 show.

He just trailed it with "Did you know that, if your train is 30 minutes late, you can get a full refund?"

If only.
 

tsr

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Apparently Jeremy Vine's covering this today on his Radio 2 show.

He just trailed it with "Did you know that, if your train is 30 minutes late, you can get a full refund?"

If only.
Well, he's right. You can.

You just mustn't travel anywhere.

However, many people would still expect to travel, despite that particular length of delay. And that's where he might have misled by oversimplification. But, of course, presumably the show would go into a little more detail, which you couldn't properly fit in one sentence.
 

swt_passenger

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Apparently Jeremy Vine's covering this today on his Radio 2 show.

He just trailed it with "Did you know that, if your train is 30 minutes late, you can get a full refund?"

If only.
I think if you have to watch Jeremy Vine witter on for more than 30 mins you should get your licence fee back...
 

306024

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I caught a train from Penrith to Euston last night.

We were 68 minutes late.

About 5 minutes before arrival the guard announced (after apologising for the delay) that we would all be eligible for compensation and forms were available at Euston and other staffed station.
Ditto here where our East Coast guard has just announced as a result of our 30+ late arrival into Kings Cross delay repay applies. Points failure York for anyone that cares.
 

Bushy

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I haven't listened to it yet but, following the ORR comments, delay compensation was discussed on Wake Up to Money on Radio 5 this morning. You can be download as a podcast or listen online.

Regards

Bushy
 

Welshman

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I too saw the report on the BBC 24-hour News programme this afternoon, and it seemed to me to be making generalised and sweeping statements.

For example, and I could be wrong, but I thought circumstances outside the railway's control were excluded from delay repay. Can First Great Western really claim money back from Railtrack because the line is washed-away at Dawlish in order to pay-out to delayed passengers?

[Perhaps they are claiming Mr Brunel and the original builders did a shoddy job in the first place, for it has only lasted some 162 years or so!].

In the case of more "normal" disruption I have only experienced a conductor advising passengers to claim a refund in one case. That was on a Sunday service along the North Wales Coast, where the train was formed of a single 175/0 instead of the more usual 175/0 + 175/1.

Even then it was not a case of the conductor calmly advising passengers of their rights, but an understandably increasingly frustrated gentleman, being abused by the numbers he had to turn away, having packed the unit to the gunwhales, coming over the PA and shouting something on the lines of:
"Don't blame me - it's not my fault. Write to ATW and ask for your money back!"


EDIT - P.S. - I've just noticed bb21's comment on an earlier thread about the availability of delay repay. Thank-you.
 
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Goatboy

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For example, and I could be wrong, but I thought circumstances outside the railway's control were excluded from delay repay.
Nope, they are not.

Only TOC's which don't operate delay repay (FGW are one such TOC) have the exclusion for events outside of the railways control.
 

orpine

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Further to this, my XC to Oxford has been delayed by >30 mins for the last two weeks.

The first week I asked for a refund form, got one, and then asked why they weren't actively handing them out to all customers.
"The customer needs to ask for them"
and
"We have other things to do" (There were 3 of them doing nothing behind customer service desk.

No-one else appeared to get a form.

--
The second week I asked for a form and asked the same question. This time the guy tried to fob me off claiming that only 2hrs got a refund; he abbrasively adament until I showed him the text.
No-one else got a form this time either (many dozens who got off each time).

So I asked to speak to the station manager, but instead got a very nice supervisor chap.
During a pleasant chat I discovered the following:

  • XC have asked them not to have their refund forms on public display (they used to be).
  • XC told them they want people to use the online system.
  • XC have asked them not to make announcements!!! (They used to)
  • XC haven't provided any posters to raise awareness of the online system.

Oxford is a FGW station - the chap said they make announcements for their own delayed trains (1 or 2 hours though, not 30mins). And they do have their own forms out. No posters though.

So it certainly seems like XC are trying to minimise awareness. The fact their own website doesn't have their online refund thing as easy-to-find (it's not on the sitemap) doesn't help my opinion.

Do other stations that XC stop at have the forms out? They're certainly not at Leamington or Birmingham New Street.
 

bb21

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Wolverhampton had them the last time I was there. Leicester also have them on display.

I can understand them wanting to minimise processing costs by trying to get people to use the online forms, but yes, I would expect them to make it less awkward to access information on compensation. The information is actually contained in the general Contact Us page, which I find slightly odd, as really it should be on a separate page.
 

orpine

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The information is actually contained in the general Contact Us page, which I find slightly odd, as really it should be on a separate page.
Yep. I'm going to email them and ask them to make their website clearer. :)

It's a shame really. If I had East Coast I probably wouldn't feel compelled to seek refunds for the small sums I am getting back currently (because East Coast sound really good about passenger awareness for delay repay) - certainly not for 77p in the other thread.
But as XC appear to be intentionally trying to restrict awareness, and even within that limit payments, I feel compelled to call them to task for it.
 
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