Delay Repay claim rejected

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Michael1968, 13 May 2015.

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  1. Michael1968

    Michael1968 New Member

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    Hi there

    A couple of weeks ago Southern had major problems across the network, especially at Clapham Junction. It was all over the news - for a long time there were large numbers of cancellations, huge delays, barely any trains on my route, and they were advising people not to travel.

    Not wanting to spend hours travelling in to work I heeded their advice and worked from home that day - and then contacted them afterwards for compensation. Their reply:

    --
    Unfortunately as you haven't travelled on the 30 April 2015, you are unable to claim for compensation for your journey, as when we process a claim we will need to see proof of travel and this information is shown via your Key Card scanning history.
    --

    I have an annual card loaded on the Southern Key card.

    To me this seems completely unreasonable - if they are having major problems on their network surely it is reasonable for me not to travel and still be able to claim compensation?

    Any thoughts on this? I think they owe people their money back if people can't get in to work within a reasonable time frame without them having to spend all day on a station trying? By their logic, they could close down the entire network and not pay anyone compensation!

    I suppose people could abuse the system and pretend they were planning on travelling when they weren't - but for annual card holders this should be rare and if they operated a reliable service there wouldn't be any compensation to pay anyway!

    Thanks
     
  2. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    I think many on here will agree that this is quite unreasonable. Technically speaking they are correct and you are not due any compensation if you didn't actually travel.
     
  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That certainly seems a hole in the Delay Repay system which is generally quite good. Perhaps the concept of a void day needs to return, so you could have your ticket extended by one (working) day to compensate for the non-provision of any service.
     
  4. ian959

    ian959 Member

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    I know that many will disagree but exactly what delay did you suffer? You chose not to travel so you were not delayed by anyone. Now whether or not your annual card should be extended by a day is another, separate matter although presumably there is a discount factor in the annual card as opposed to buying a ticket everyday?
     
  5. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I disagree with the need to actually travel if there are major advertised delays. They said not to travel, so the OP abandoned the journey before touching in. If the journey history shows the OP travelling most days around that time, then it would be fair to say he probably isn't trying to game the system here.
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I would say it is reasonable that if I had a season ticket and was unable to travel on the desired day, I should get a pro-rata refund for that day, as by paying for it I am paying for the right to travel on whichever day I choose within its validity. If I'd bought a daily ticket I would have got a refund on the one I couldn't use if I indeed *couldn't* use it (rather than chose not to because I didn't need to make the journey).

    Quite a big hole in Delay Repay, IMO.
     
  7. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I agree.

    For daily tickets, if the train you choose to travel on is severely delayed or cancelled and you choose not to travel, you can get a full refund. I would hope that the OP at least be entitled to a pro-rata percentage back as compensation.

    It is also worth checking if the day was declared 'void'. This is one of those mythical things that I've never heard of actually happening, but does exist.
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I thought the move to Delay Repay for seasons abolished the void day concept (it used to be the case that a void day would get an automatic extension on the next renewal). Maybe wrong though.
     
  9. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    I suppose they could say that it's one of your 12 weeks free.

    However, I don't see that NRCOC assists us:

    YOUR REFUND RIGHTS 26. Refunds on tickets that have not been used. If you decide not to use a ticket (other than a Season Ticket - see Condition 36) to make.....

    Then clause 36 just talks about refunds of the whole ticket.

    Could a kind person link to the delay repay rules of the TOC please
     
  10. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I'm not too sure. I still see posters up at stations in the NW (granted, not at CLJ) laying out PPM percentages, Void days/year etc.
     
  11. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    It depends on the TOC. Those that run Delay Repay schemes do not have void days. Those who still have Passengers' Charter schemes do have void days.
     
  12. iphone76

    iphone76 Member

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    When I've not been able to travel on my season ticket with Greater Anglia due to major delays I've always used the paper claim forms and wrote abandoned journey on the form. I've then received vouchers worth 2 x 60 min + delays, effectively giving me the day back. I'm not sure how it works with smart cards, but this is one of the reasons I'd never switch from a paper ticket.
     
  13. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    If the train company have advised against travel they should give a pro-rate refund for that day.

    I would write to Southern and ask them to have another go. Perhaps the media would be interested if they don't respond favourably.
     
  14. Chrisgr31

    Chrisgr31 Established Member

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    If they were recommending not to travel, which with so many services cancelled is likely to then say you cant have compensation for not trying to travel is ridiculous.

    After all they were telling people not to travel to reduce congestion, having all commuters trying to travel in order to get delay repay claims would just be daft.

    Incidentally due to way delay repay is calculated it would cost them less to give a full delay repay than it would to add an extra day on the ticket!
     
  15. Via Bank

    Via Bank Member

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    I would be aiming to kick up as much of a stink as possible over this. While they are technically correct, God knows there's enough (justified) anger already about SN's performance on that day, and refusing to compensate for an abandoned journey (when they advised passengers not to travel) is painfully poor customer service, particularly if your journey history shows you usually touch in at a certain time to make the same journey each day.

    Unfortunately there's not much more I can advise over "keep pushing and complaining." You haven't told us where your journey starts and ends, but I suspect you usually start outside London and commute into London, yes? I'm sure your local MP would be interested in hearing about your problems. It might be worth getting Transport Focus involved too, but I have no idea how successful they normally are.
     
  16. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    What would they say to a weekly season ticket holder?
     
  17. Michael1968

    Michael1968 New Member

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    Thank you for the replies - I do indeed travel from Surrey in to London. I contacted Transport Focus who passed me on to London Travel Watch who said:

    --
    Thank you for your enquiry, which has been forwarded to London TravelWatch, as it falls within our remit for the London area.

    I was sorry to learn that you were unable to travel on 30 April and of Southern RailwayÂ’s subsequent rejection of your request for a refund. This was obviously a frustrating and disappointing response to receive from the operator.

    Regrettably, however, London TravelWatch cannot be of any assistance to you in this matter. As the terms and conditions of season tickets do not allow for refunds to be made on journeys that were not, for whatever reason, undertaken. Nor do we have any power to compel train operators to make refunds they are not obliged to make under the National Rail Conditions of Carriage or their customer charter.
    --

    So no joy there! I know I wasn't technically delayed but I am paying for a service they didn't provide (at least not to an acceptable level) on that day so I think a refund or added day is in order. Having said that it's more about the principle than the money.

    I didn't keep a record of their communications on the day but was following on twitter and the news and searching those now I see things like

    "Passengers are advised NOT to travel to Victoria" https://twitter.com/southernrailuk/status/593690535958818816

    and more info on this tweet https://twitter.com/southernrailuk/status/593798033059504129 where they recommend avoiding Victoria and taking other routes. In fairness I probably could have got in to London Bridge and travelled across London although there were long delays that way too and long delays predicted for the evening return - and I bet they wouldn't have covered the tube journey!

    I'll keep complaining, maybe they will give some "good will" voucher or similar, although the system does seem to be broken in this case. My MP Crispin Blunt is already campaigning for compensation due to the disruption resulting from the London Bridge work, but doesn't seem to have anything to show for it yet.
     
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