Delay Repay: Compensation or a Refund?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by AM9, 25 Nov 2019.

  1. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Mod Note: Posts #1 - #11 originally in this thread.

    Given that the delay repay schemes give refunds based on the cost of the ticket actually purchased, however often some (including the TOCs) pretend it is, it certainly isn't a compensation payment. Clue: the name of the schemes is Delay Repay, which is why payment is a refund, related to the amount paid in the first case.
    EU261 is a compensation scheme where the payment is related to the delay and the distance travelled to compensate and assist for the inconvenience or delay incurred by a typical passenger. That's why cheapskate low-cost carriers don't like it because they have to compensate the passenger for the passenger's loss, not the fare paid.
     
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  3. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member Associate Staff Events Co-ordinator

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    How many times does this need to be explained????
     
  4. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    You could start by explaining what on earth you are talking about in post #41.
     
  5. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member Associate Staff Events Co-ordinator

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    Oh, sorry.

    I assumeed it was clear: you're wrong.
     
  6. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    In your opinion maybe. My statement is quite clear and uncontraversial, so maybe you could explain why you think it is wrong, - preferably without the multiple question marks which add no value to your comment.
     
  7. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member Associate Staff Events Co-ordinator

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    Because it is wrong.
     
  8. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    No proof or even a reasoned arguments then? It seems like you have a vested interest here.
     
  9. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Associate Staff Senior Fares Advisor

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    There's a quote in post #21 from the TOC involved in the OP that clearly states that it is compensation. What would you regard as proof?

    I don't know who came up with the name "delay repay", but it was clearly chosen to be a catchy memorable name. One of the reasons for that is that its introduction was to combat the low take-up of the previous passenger charter schemes. Just because it uses the catchy rhyming (with delay) word repay does not mean that it is a refund.

    You're entitled to your conspiracy theories, but the simple fact is that DR is COMPENSATION.



    Of course if you'd read the whole thread in one go you'd have seen the exchange with another member on exactly the same issue, then you come along and make the same claim. That might explain the multi question mark exasperation in the challenge.
     
  10. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    That is just what the TOC likes to call it but it is not true compensation, as both Snow1964 in post #6 and Meerkat in post #10 have said.

    Delay-repay implies paying back what the passenger has paid for their ticket. The fact that the seson ticket fare is generally priced as the typical number of working days in a year times a return ticket around the price of an off-peak return and that is the limit of claims in a day is proof that the TOC, despite calling delay-repay a compensation scheme is really a part or full fare refund offering. Ohters have noticed this but you (and Starmill it seems) take the TOC's description as gospel. I suggest that the TOCs are calling it compensation to reduce the number of true claims for compensation (which it notes on the website can be obtained by contacting them). Unless they really couldn't give any excuse for a serious delay, I would imagine that to get anything nearer compensation for the actual impact of a delay, more than a simple refund would involve a Small Claims court case.

    That's a bit childish to call a member's posts a conspiracy theory, but if that's the way you commment on threads then so be it.
    In my view, the claim (by the TOCs) that it is a compensation scheme is misleading and when compared to a eal compensation scheme is indeed a false claim. My reasoning is that is that compensation is a payment to mitigate (in this case) the impact of a delay on the traveller. As an example: compare two travellers both with a ticket for travel on LNER between Kings Cross and York, one an Anytime Single costing £136.50, the other with a Super Off-Peak Single costing £56.75, both of them travelling on the same train. If the train is delayed over 1 hour, the impact of the delay not likely to be significantly different to either traveller, therefore the value of compensation for that impact shoulld be the same. Delay-repay however is not designed to address the impact, rather it is a refund, pure and simple.
    A real compensation scheme recognises that the ticket price is irrelevant to the impact of the delay, such as the EU Regulation 261/2004. A Ryanair cheap ticketholder gets the same compensation as a BA Club Class ticketholder.
     
  11. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Associate Staff Senior Fares Advisor

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    Snow1964 doesn't even mention the word repay. Meerkat, for all I know, is just another forum member making the same assertion as you.
    Perhaps conspiracy theory was too strong, but what I'm saying is that you, and others, have a theory that DR is a refund, whereas the TOCs that actually pay it, presumably backed up by the DfT, call it compensation. Do you have an official document that backs up your claim?

    I don't know whether TOCs are allowed to cap compensation on season tickets at the rate for a days travel. Obviously season tickets are different because they are valid for multiple journeys. It would be ridiculous to refund the whole price for one 2 hour delay. But given that the nominal daily price used for calculating compensation is the same, it does seem unfair to penalise people who suffer two bad delays on one day compared to those who suffer identical delays either side of midnight. Perhaps it's a scenario that the DfT didn't envisage?

    There are some threads on here where people have actually got back more than the price paid for a return journey. Both journeys were seriously delayed and the TOC has paid out twice. Maybe it's the fact that the ticket number is different for OUT and RTN portions and the software can't match them up. This certainly adds weight to the fact that it's a compensation scheme, not simply a refund scheme.
     
  12. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    In plain english and compared to other true 'compensation' schemes, Delay-repay offerings do not qualify as truly compensating the loss of the customer. They are more a creation of a heavily criticised transport industry to appease those who are inconvenienced, with a mechanism that sets out primarily to limit the financial liability for failure. A true compensation scheme for failure would stand up in court as fair and reasonable. I believe that it's only because the sums involved are generally quite low and claimants have been bough-off with a cashback offer, that there hasn't been a legal challenge and the TOCs have been able to get away with calling this refund scheme anything like compensation. Just because a commercial business says something on a website, it doesn't make it true, and given the pseudo-political behaviour of the DfT, I wouldn't regard their tolerance of the scheme as relevant, - rather it's convenient for them that to the casual observer, the 'railway' voluntarily takes the blame. It may even be that it was agreed that way behind closed doors but rather than speculating and engaging in conspiracy theories, I have no evidence of anything like that.
    However, if those on this thread want to grab a refund and buy the TOC's definition of it being a compensation that's up to them. I do however despair at the few forum members whe have engineered in their minds how they can game the system (not necessarily in this thread) to maximise their refunds. However poor at running trains the 'Railway' is, the TOCs are not stupid, and it is clear that they have taken steps to make the Delay-repay scheme as proof against such opportunism and ensure that it fits within the limits that they are prepared to budget for. In doing so, there are some rules designed to address that cynicism which will of course create issues elsewhere, but those who believe that this scheme is 'compensation' will just have to accept that.
    I accept that there is a difference of opinion here, but have not used expressions like "I assumeed it was clear: you're wrong", for the reasons above, but trying to discuss the topic against such comments is pointless, so I'll withdraw and let those who 'know' that they are so right get on with it.
     
  13. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    DfT documentation on the subject confirms that Delay Repay is compensation. One example, of many, here - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/...-delivering-improved-delay-repay-compensation

    Those on here who claim it is not compensation have, unsurprisingly, failed to reference any official documentation to back up their claims. The best they can do seems to be to quote other equally incorrect posters.
     
  14. some bloke

    some bloke Member

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    I can't see why the fact that the word "compensation" is used by companies and government should be taken as proof that delay repay is designed as, or operates as, compensation in a meaningful sense. It seems to me more like a refund for poor service.

    The fact that companies may refund a taxi fare later doesn't really count, as that is reimbursement of expenses. Also, it isn't necessarily clear how that would count as part of an actual delay repay scheme. If it is, then it might be viewed as an add-on to what is fundamentally a refund scheme.

    If that's correct, then @AM9 's other point, about companies and/or government being happy for passengers to be confused or fobbed off, may also be of some significance.

    We can ask, compensation for what? If it's for what you paid, then what is the difference between that and a refund?

    Is there anything in the National Rail Conditions of Travel indicating that formal arrangements for delay repay, or the basic elements of them, are anything different from refunds?

    Sections 33 and 34 use the word "compensation" for delay payments.

    However, the table in s.33 mentions "method of refund".

    More significantly, section 32 is titled "Getting your money back for delays and/or cancellations".

    It refers to claiming back and recovering money.
     
  15. JBuchananGB

    JBuchananGB Member

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    This is an interesting debate. I was “compensated” £3.63 for 45 minute delay on a 3h10m journey earlier this year. This compensation was 50% of the fare I had paid. (£7.25)
    An Anytime single for that journey is £42.50. Should I have been compensated with £21.25?
     
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's both. It's a partial refund (or full refund) of your ticket price in order to compensate for the partial delivery of the contract agreed. (The contract being to transport from A to B at the times specified; the partial delivery being that the transport from A to B was provided but at different times from that in the contract).

    That's why I agree with the principle of capping it at the ticket price as some but not all TOCs do. (I would also agree with the principle of doing the same thing to EU compensation for airlines - I'm with Michael O'Leary on that one - but that's another thread).
     
  17. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    The rail industry has a very clear distinction between 'refunds' and 'compensation' ; this affects not only the amounts, but who you claim from.

    Incidentally, the company you claim from may have only received a tiny proportion of the amount paid in revenue.
     
  18. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    But that proportion is the way that their contract works alongside other TOCs that might carry passengers that they have collected a fare from. The passenger pays the full fare to whichever vendor they choose. The distribution of the proceeds from a sale is not the passenger's concern, - that is the way that the railway has organised it.
    As far as Delay-repay goes, a better method would be a central clearing house for claims to be sent to. Delay attribution is managed centrally, presumably so that where Network Rail is involved, the lump sums can be dished out easily. Maybe the TOCs wouldn't like that if the actual amount claimed by the passengers was way below the automatic payments that they receive from Network Rail.
     
  19. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Agreed, as many train companies clearly cannot be trusted to get it right.
     
  20. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    If O'Leary got his way then the EU scheme would also not be a Compensation based one, just a refund offering. But if a passenger was delayed 24 hours, that can happen for a number of reasons, - some of them entirely down to the airline's behaviour, a passenger could end up with considerable unexpected expenses and other losses through no fault of their own.
    Although I have hardly ever used the low-cost airlines for international travel, the last time was in 2006 when I flew to Nice on Easy Jet. The return flight a week later was over 2 hours late and eventually, a Titan Airways 757 was sent to bring us home. On the outward journey, John Armitt was sitting next to be and his wife was over the gangway to him and by their attire, it was a short break, so given that he was at the time the highest paid public sector employee, htat dispels any ideas that only low-paid people use low-cost carriers. I also imagine that had his trip been seriously affected by Easy-Jet's punctuality, a partial or even full refund of trhe fare he paid wouldn't go very far in assuaging his loss.
    The only time that I have made a claim against an airline under EU261 rules was in 2015 when owing to a severe storm over Iceland, Keflavik airport was closed for 24 hours on the day I expected to land there. We were told to return to LHR the next day but the plane there was overbooked and we were bumped onto a later flight at LGW delaying us a further 8 hours. We put a claim into Icelandair and received 400 Euros each, which was more than the cost of the tickets. But, we had wated one day's rent of an apartment, and lost one day of a 7 day holiday so the compensation was hardly money for old rope. Had we use Ryanair or Easy Jet, our loss would have been the same so a fixed level of compensation is the appropriate way to compensate for situationns where the carrier is responsible for losses.
     
  21. 35B

    35B Member

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    I'd actually argue that the fairest form of recompense would have been based on the actual costs you incurred. Delay Repay and EU261 use different logic to achieve the same basic result - payment of a monetary sum in recognition of the inconvenience suffered, on a no fault basis. When I claimed under EU261 after a delayed flight from India a few months ago, I'd suffered no financial loss (the anti-social scheduled departure time meant that I'd kept my hotel room on anyway), but it did act as acknowledgement of the inconvenience I'd suffered.

    Much of this debate is getting hung up on the semantics of "repayment" vs. "compensation", when the real question is about consequential loss. It's absolutely reasonable for a company to seek to exclude consequential loss from any scheme they run, as those costs may be totally disproportionate to the fare paid. At the same time, as a consumer, it's reasonable to want that company to bear the consequences if they muck us around. The question is how you draw those lines - with Delay Repay and EU261 representing two different approaches to achieving the same objective.

    Going back to the original thread and question, I don't have a problem with there being rules that set out what proportion of a fare may be subject to Delay Repay, and that proportion being greater than 100% in certain circumstances. What should concern us more is the attempt by some companies to take clear rules and then unilaterally reinterpret them in their favour. Which reminds me that I need to get onto LNER about one such...
     
  22. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    As far as a scheme that recompensed actual losses (including an allowance for disappointment/inconvenience/etc.), it would be unmanageable with a mass transport sytem for 100-400 passengers to make individual costed claims, for which the airline would want evidence to avoid fraud. I think that the Depay-repay scheme is in effect a forced return of the fare paid as a consequence other railway's failure to supply the service for which the payment was made. EU261 is a generalised compensation that combined with the airlines obligation to care for delayed passengers (which usually amounts to food, drink and sometimes overnight accomodation) as you say, probably averages out as reasonable compensation. Except for domestic flights, passengers delayed whilst travelling by air are around 50% of the time stranded in a foreign country, so are usually unable to do anything but just wait.

    For reasons described above, I don't agree that Delay-repay is anything but a rebate for poor (contracted) performance, whereas EU261 has it's origins in the way that airlines sometimmes treat passengers disgracefully, even when the delays are effectively caused by their own actions (or lack of them). Aside from the malpractice of overselling seats and the consequential bumping of passengers, airline would regard the passenger's welfare between checking in and actually boarding as somebody else's problem and before the age of public access to flight information, did everything to prevent passengers from finding out what the true causes were.

    That I do agree with on the basis that it is just a rebate/refund. They couldn't rebate more than paid. That also includes the matter of annual season tickets where the purchaser is made fully aware that they are priced on the basis of 232 return journeys per year so it would be unreasonable to expect more than the cost of a return fare per 24hour period.
    TOCs are just commercial profit-seeking organisations and some will, until challenged try every trick in the book, - and a few more! Most rail passengers just do the travel bit and aren't interested in what goes on behind the scenes. Those who frequent this forum (and some others) are far better informed and much more likely to challenge wording of terms and conditions as well as raise the issue if they are not adhered to.
     
  23. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    I’ll just drop this in here, Refunds should be processed by the retailer , delay repay by the service provider.
     

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