SWR delay repay on strike action

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Muzer, 10 Oct 2018.

  1. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Should SWR offer delay repay for trains cancelled as a result of a strike? Does the answer depend on whether the ticket was bought before or after the strike was announced? Does the answer depend on whether or not you have an itinerary?

    I bought a ticket on the day of the strike, but delay repay was denied. I understand this probably falls foul of the "you knew about the delay when you bought the ticket" clause, but I'm curious as to the specific edge cases since I feel (as a season ticket holder) I'm likely to come up against some of them in the future.
     
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  3. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Delay Repay is based on what you are informed of when buying your ticket. If the timetable subsequently changes, or you are not sufficiently informed of the strike action modifying the normal timetable, then Delay Repay is not affected.

    If you were aware of the revised strike timetable at the time of buying your ticket, you can only claim against the strike timetable. If you were not made aware of it - for example because you bought your ticket at an unstaffed station's TVM, and there were no posters or announcements for whatever reason - then the normal timetable must be used as the basis for calculating "delays".

    If you are a season ticket holder then I would argue the timetable that is planned at the time of you buying your season ticket is what counts. If there is subsequently a modification to the timetable that is not relevant to the validity of your Delay Repay claim.
     
  4. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Cheers, I kind of thought that was the case. Though for reasons I've specified in other threads I'm a bit wary of "if the timetable subsequently changes", since for an annual season (for instance) the rail industry doesn't produce engineering works timetables for anywhere near that long a timespan, and (to me) it'd be absurd to suggest all season ticket holders could request delay repay for engineering works as a result! To me, "normal" timetable changes due to engineering works shouldn't count for delay repay, but things like late-notice strike timetables and emergency timetables due to other disruption should count — but I don't know of any particular rule that would make this the case; this is just how I *think* it *should* work.

    But what piqued my curiosity is that when I claimed delay repay for the day when I'd bought a return ticket on the day (obviously off the route of my season!), I received the following response:

     
  5. Silverdale

    Silverdale Member

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    Delay repay was to some degree a political sop to the constant complaints and angry letters to MPs that train companies were being compensated by NR for delays due to track signalling, etc, but none of that was being passed-on to customers.

    But the 'knee-jerk' way that delay repay was implemented went beyond addressing that particular perceived unfairness. It appears to give customers an expectation of compensation for arrivals later than those advertised at the time the purchase was made. That includes arrivals which are later due to timetabling changes for which the train company doesn't receive any compensation from NR.

    If compensation is payable when delays are due to timetabling changes rather than failing to perform according to the timetable, it creates the perverse situation where there is a disincentive for the industry to introduce timetabling changes, even when those changes would benefit customers as a whole. e.g by getting infrastructure maintenance and route improvements done in a more timely/cost effective manner or recasting a service to provide better connections, journey time reductions etc.
     
  6. 35B

    35B Member

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    I don’t care why my train is late - I have purchased a ticket to travel based on the timetable that is offered. If that train is delayed, I have a contract with that operator, and it is for them to address the underlying cause, whether it is directly within their control, or due to the failure of a subcontractor to deliver their bit of the service.

    At the moment, there are circumstances where that’s a bit hard on the TOCs. At other times, it may work in their favour. As a customer, I regard Delay Repay as a broadly fair approach that acknowledges the experience of customers in a no fault way. It saves them from receiving and having to pay staff to process stroppy letters, many of which will now cite (rightly or wrongly) the Consumer Rights Act, and leaves them space to deal with the genuine exceptions that need special treatment.

    From what I see on here, it seems that some are better than others at doing this; my experience has broadly been positive and even the one tricky case (split journey involving XC) was paid quickly and painlessly - though I did take care to make sure my scanned ticket also had a letter setting out, simply, my planned and actual journey.
     
  7. kristiang85

    kristiang85 Member

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    On Twitter, there was a guy who's home station is not served during strikes, and assuming the same timetable applies next week, he will have a whole week without a practical means of getting to work. He says that this portion of his season ticket should be refunded, but SWR say no.

    I personally think they should, given he's not getting a service he's paid for. What do those in the know here think?
     
  8. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I think there is a strong argument for a pro-rata refund being the very least remedy that should be provided!
     
  9. 35B

    35B Member

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    I seem to recall a story where a Brighton line customer achieved a refund by getting his credit card provider (American Express?) to give him a refund, using his Section 75 rights, on the basis that he hadn't had what he'd paid for.
     
  10. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    If the season ticket is from a station that isn't being served then yes, he is entitled to a pro-rata refund.
     

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