Southern online tickets refund problems

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sheff1

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Just thought I would post a warning about the problems I am having getting a refund from Southern for uncollectable tickets.

I opened an account with Southern when they had a special offer and, out of habit, have continued to use their site regularly since.

On 24 May I went to collect 3 tickets for travel that day, but the TVM (at Derby) showed an error message. I tried 2 more TVMs with the same result so went to the booking office. They tried to retrieve the tickets but although they appeared on their screen they could not print them because they were 'held' somehow at Southern's end.

They gave me an 0845 number for Southern which I phoned but, having been put on hold for sometime, was told there was no problem at their end and I should try a different station to collect them :roll:. When I pointed out the tickets were for immediate travel (which should have been clear if they had brought up the booking ref) they advised me to go back to the booking office and, if there was still a problem, to purchase new tickets and they would refund the ones booked via the Southern site. A different booking clerk tried to retrieve them, but the tickets were still 'held' by Southern and so I bought new tickets as advised.

On my return, I completed the contact form on Southern's site with full details. When no acknowledgement or reply had arrived 4 days later, I sent an email. This resulted in an auto acknowledgement suggesting that refund claims should be dealt with in 10 days. Just when the 10 days were up, I received an email telling me to write to an address in Bristol (non-Freepost, unlike most TOCs) which I have now done.

So, it is now over 3 weeks since I was forced to buy new tickets to replace the ones which could not be collected due to some sort of system problem at Southern. I have made a lengthy (paid for) phone call and have now paid for postage. Still no refund though, despite the person I spoke to on the day implying the refund would be a straightforward matter if the paid for tickets could not be collected - no mention was made of the need to write to Bristol.

I trust a refund (only £21, but could have been a lot more with a different journey) will eventually arrive but, needless to say, I doubt I will be booking via Southern in the future.
 
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bb21

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I had a similar problem with a Rainy Day Guarantee refund which took around two months to be processed. I suggest that if you do not hear from them within 28 days then send them a reminder. Keep all your correspondence so that it could be handy should you need to get Passenger Focus involved.

Did you get a note from Derby station stating that the ticket could not be released? (Not really necessary but could be useful.)
 

cjp

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It is annoyingly slow but be patient and your money will be refunded mine always has been even if after a couple of months.

Looking on the positive side other than with Southern there are no free refunds if you don't use the tickets for ANY reason.

Even when there might be a good reason for wanting a refund a £10 admin charge is a pain if it is your reason and not their fault.

I guess it comes down to choice:- a £10 admin charge or slower but free refund (paid for out of their commission.
 

sheff1

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4,835
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I had a similar problem with a Rainy Day Guarantee refund which took around two months to be processed. I suggest that if you do not hear from them within 28 days then send them a reminder. Keep all your correspondence so that it could be handy should you need to get Passenger Focus involved.

Did you get a note from Derby station stating that the ticket could not be released? (Not really necessary but could be useful.)
Thanks for the advice. I didn't get a note from Derby, but will do so if it ever happens again.



Looking on the positive side other than with Southern there are no free refunds if you don't use the tickets for ANY reason.
Rather difficult to use the tickets if neither the TVM nor the booking office can print them out :)
 
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