Too little compensation

NARobertson

Member
Joined
17 Apr 2016
Messages
12
Location
Westo-Super-Mare
Shortly before Christmas I went to Berlin by rail. The first train I needed was from Worle (WEston-Super-Mare) to London Paddington. On getting to the station I found my train was cancelled and the next one was late, resulting in a 53 minute late arrival at Paddington. My ticket was an open first return on a senior railcard, cost £214.50. I made my Eurostar connection but only because I had allowed about three hours transfer time.

According to the GWR delay repay rules, I am due for a delay of over 30 minutes a refund of a half the single fare, amounting to £53.62. I put in a claim form with the tickets and today received a cheque from GWR for only £10.73 (20% of £53.62).

I have made a number of claims in the past for small amounts and always found GWR to be satisfactory. But this time on a relatively large amount they have paid out far too little without any explanation.

Is there an national oversight body over delay compensation schemes to whom I can appeal over this or should I go back to GWR even despite some doubts about their honesty in this matter.

I would be grateful for member's advice,

Neil Robertson
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Brissle Girl

Member
Joined
17 Jul 2018
Messages
736
That's 5% of the return fare, whereas the minimum under GWR delay repay is 12.5%. So clearly there has been an error. I'm not sure why are questioning their honesty though, a simple cock-up would appear more likely.

Is there any information with the cheque as to how to complain? There should be a case number that you can quote at the very least.

One initial thought I had was if you delayed purchase of the ticket until shortly before the second train arrived (eg if you went back home or saw in advance of the delay). If they see the time the ticket was purchased is after the first train was due then they could restrict compensation to the delay to the second train. But that wouldn't totally account for it, as the amount claimed isn't a valid amount as far as I can see.

As for the Eurostar connection, to avoid stress, I always buy a London CIV ticket, which is about the same as an off peak return, so if you are delayed on the way to London, Eurostar have to carry you on a later service. You can only get them from ticket offices though, not online or from machines, which is a bit of an inconvenience.
 

gray1404

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2014
Messages
4,980
Location
Merseyside
Did you submit your delay repay claim online? If so, you can use your reference number to log into your claim and appeal it. If not, then you should contact Customer Services asking them to look at it again.

At first I was going to say that maybe they calculated that you could have got a sooner train to somewhere else down the line and arrived in Paddington earlier. But that still wouldn't explain the amount you have received. I would appeal on the basis that you were expecting £53.63 - 25% of the cost of your return ticket for a 30-59 minute delay and you are still owed another £42.90
 

NARobertson

Member
Joined
17 Apr 2016
Messages
12
Location
Westo-Super-Mare
In reply to Brissle Girl I bought my ticket the day before travel. I did say 'doubts about honesty'.

Railway officials often assume that in circumstances where a passenger might be dishonest that they are dishonest, in particular, where a mistake made by the passenger is to the passenger's financial benefit, so they cannot complain too much if others think the same of them in similar circumstances.

In reply to Gray 1404 I sent in a claim form by post. I do have the reference number on their reply so I can take this matter further.

But my question is really about whether there is a higher authority to whom I can appeal. If there is not then I will have to go back to GWR. Maybe it is a mistake and just a coincidence that an unsatisfactory payout is happening on a high ticket price,

Neil Robertson
 
Last edited by a moderator:

gray1404

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2014
Messages
4,980
Location
Merseyside
The procedure is this:
1. Apply for delay repay
2. If you are unhappy you can appeal the claim - this is where you are at now in the process.
3. If they still don't approve the claim for the right amount, you can make a formal complaint to Customer Services
4. If they still don't get it right you can ask for a Manager to look at your complaint
5. You then have the right to take the matter to the Rail Ombudsman if you remain unhappy

So you are up to step 2 above. I had 2 delay repay claims come back last week for the wrong amount, like yourself. I was able to appeal these online and today they have awarded the additional amount due.

So to appeal your claim online go to
https://delayrepay.gwr.com/claim and enter your claim reference number and postcode before clicking view claim. It should then allow you to appeal online.

If that doesn't work. You could phone GWR on 0345 7000 125 (open 0600 to 2300 daily) For delay repay its Option 4, then option 2, then option 2 again. There will then be a recorded message about going online to claim a delay repay claim and then a brief silence. However, it will then say it is transferring you to speak to someone. I am not sure if that will be Customer Service for Delay Repay they actually transfer you to though.

If that fails then you can appeal by post. You should write to them with:

1. Your name and address
2. Your delay repay reference number
3. State clearly that you are writing to appeal their decision as you believe it is wrong
4. Finally, why you believe the decision was wrong. So simply state that the delay to your journey was 53 minutes and you were travelling on a return ticket. Therefore you were expecting 25% of the cost of your ticket. State the amount still owed. You may also wish to re-confirm how the delay occurred so they have all the information. i.e. which train was cancelled and those you had to travel on instead.

Send this to:
FREEPOST GWR Delay Repay

The only email address is for GWR Customer Services rather then the Delay Repay Team. If you send it to Customer Service they might simply pass it to Delay Repay so I think it might be quicker sending the above in the post. For future reference, you can also submit claims online.

Good luck!
 
Last edited:

NARobertson

Member
Joined
17 Apr 2016
Messages
12
Location
Westo-Super-Mare
Thank you very much Gray1404 for going to so much trouble to help me out. I did look at my reference number on the GWR Delay Repay site. The result is the details they give, apart from the ticket price, are completely wrong. They say I had a season ticket (class not stated) bought with a Touch Smartcard! In fact I bought a physical ticket, 1st open return on a railcard, at Bristol Parkway the day before with a debit card. The details they give are not even possible as there is no Season from Worle to Paddington priced 214.50. A weekly standard class season costs £234.80. So now I have a firm basis on which to take my claim further. Once again thank you for your help,

Neil Robertson
 
Last edited:

Kilopylae

Member
Joined
9 Apr 2019
Messages
91
Location
South-West England
Thank you very much Gray1404 for going to so much trouble to help me out. I did look at my reference number on the GWR Delay Repay site. The result is the details they give, apart from the ticket price, are completely wrong. They say I had a season ticket (class not stated) bought with a Touch Smartcard! In fact I bought a physical ticket, 1st open return on a railcard, at Bristol Parkway the day before with a debit card. So now I have a firm basis on which to take my claim further. Once again thank you for your help,

Neil Robertson
From this it sounds to me like a mistake - the wrong form was probably pulled from a pile and you have been paid someone else's compensation. I imagine G.W.R. will be happy to sort things out with you as soon as the problem is brought to their attention. There's no need to be adversarial about it.
 

gray1404

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2014
Messages
4,980
Location
Merseyside
Thank you very much Gray1404 for going to so much trouble to help me out. I did look at my reference number on the GWR Delay Repay site. The result is the details they give, apart from the ticket price, are completely wrong. They say I had a season ticket (class not stated) bought with a Touch Smartcard! In fact I bought a physical ticket, 1st open return on a railcard, at Bristol Parkway the day before with a debit card. So now I have a firm basis on which to take my claim further. Once again thank you for your help,

Neil Robertson
The firm basis of taking your claim further at this point is by appealing it. As you were able to bring up your claim online, I assume you were able to submit an appeal? If so, great and hopefully you will hear back in a matter of days. :)

You are still entitled to complain if you wish about the error. You would do that through customer relations by filling in the contact form https://www.gwr.com/help-and-support/contact/email-us and selecting "Complaint" followed by "Any other feedback" or by writing to FREEPOST GWR Customer Support. However, I would wait until you have settled your appeal first.
 

NARobertson

Member
Joined
17 Apr 2016
Messages
12
Location
Westo-Super-Mare
By some quirk although I could see the claim details I could not fill out an appeal without registering. And once I registered I cannot see the claim, only make new ones. Consequently, I have now written GWR Delay Repay a Letter and will post it tomorrow. It appears they have conflated my claim with somebody else's (they give a Smartcard number). So maybe somebody else has received more compensation than they were expecting ...

I will, of course, let you know the result.

Once more, thanks for helping me to find out the reason for what appeared to be a very odd decision,

Neil Robertson
 

gray1404

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2014
Messages
4,980
Location
Merseyside
@NARobertson I would also suggesting enclosing a photocopy of your ticket if you took one (or even the return portion if you still have this having sent the outward portion off with your inital claim) or a print out of the booking confirmation if you booked online. Given they have a smart card with a season ticket loaded to it linked to your claim already it stands to reason they won't have a record of your actual ticket.

Well done for being persistent. Annoying you had to write a letter rather then apply online but at least you were able to get some additional information so you can be expressly clear in your appeal letter. No excuse for the person reading it not to see straight away what the problem is! Letters sent to "Freepost - COMPANY NAME" tend to be processed as first class mail so they should have it by Wednesday if you post it tomorrow.

I think once they have paid the correct amount you should write a complaint to Customer Service as you have clear evidence on an error on their part (possible data protection issues if you've got someone's else's ticket data) and ask for compensation/goodwill gesture for the error. If you can honestly tell them that you are a regular first class (high value ticket) passenger they might issue you with a free ticket or something similar.
 
Last edited:

Llanigraham

On Moderation
Joined
23 Mar 2013
Messages
4,719
Location
Powys
Well done for being persistent. Annoying you had to write a letter rather then apply online but at least you were able to get some additional information so you can be expressly clear in your appeal letter. No excuse for the person reading it not to see straight away what the problem is! Letters sent to "Freepost - COMPANY NAME" tend to be processed as first class mail so they should have it by Wednesday if you post it tomorrow.
And if the Company does not have a Freepost address the letter is likely to be severely delayed, so not good advice.
 

gray1404

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2014
Messages
4,980
Location
Merseyside
And if the Company does not have a Freepost address the letter is likely to be severely delayed, so not good advice.
I think you have misunderstood my point. I was not saying that every company has such an address, merely those that do (and thus advertise such) this address type are paying for the mail to be treated as First Class once posted. They are using a Royal Mail business service called "Freepost Name". Other examples include Freeport Northern Railway and Freepost West Midlands Rail Delay Repay. See https://www.royalmail.com/business/mail/replies-responses/freepost-name It goes without saying, if a do not send a letter to an address unless the company/person is advertising that address or you have been able to luck it up from a reliable source.
 

NARobertson

Member
Joined
17 Apr 2016
Messages
12
Location
Westo-Super-Mare
I told members I would update them about my claim.

It is now nearly five weeks since I wrote to GWR Delay Repay telling them they had conflated my claim with someone else's and treated my claim as being for a standard class season ticket when it was a first class open return. I looked at their website this morning and there is nothing about the second letter I sent them.

I have now put the second part of my claim into operation as it looks like I am not going to get any further with GWR directly. I have sent a letter to Jill Illsley of The Sunday Times, who has a consumer column which deals with problems like this. She often gets good results, probably because of the bad publicity that recalcitrant firms receive in her column. After looking through my files I have been able to send her copies of the purchase receipt for my ticket, the return ticket, the letter I received from GWR and the erroneous details of my claim given on the GWR DelayRepay website.

I will keep readers informed on what happens next,

Neil Robertson
 

gray1404

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2014
Messages
4,980
Location
Merseyside
So it sounds to me like you have not heard back from your delay repay claim appeal. You could also send a follow up letter to GWR about this to "Freepost GWR Delay Repay" given there isn't a direct email address for the delay repay department. Basically saying I've submitted an appeal 5 weeks ago but still haven't heard back.

Furthermore, given the amount of time that has now passed, I would strongly recommend making a formal complaint with GWR Customer Services. This is because you need to do this first before you can formally take your complaint to the Rail Ombudsman. If you want to make a formal complaint to GWR then this should go to: Freepost GWR Customer Support or https://www.gwr.com/help-and-support/contact/email-us and selecting "Complaint" followed by "Any other feedback".

That way you have set all wheels in motion for now: involved the media, followed up your appeal, make a formal complaint to the company - thus opening the possibility to involve the Rail Ombudsman.

Down the line, if the above (perhaps once the Ombudsman has been involved) isn't successful then you could send a legal Letter Before Action to GWR's registered office. Hopefully you will get a resolution soon though.
 

NARobertson

Member
Joined
17 Apr 2016
Messages
12
Location
Westo-Super-Mare
The time since my initial claim is now two months. I thought that since GWR had made such an obvious and bad mistake that they would rectify their error sooner rather than later. Composing an email today and scanning various documents has taken me about an hour. This is quite a bit of effort and is in addition to my original claim and my second letter to them. GWR have my email address so if they had any questions they could have easily contacted me had they wished to. To me it made little sense to go back to GWR in the first instance when all the evidence I have points to their ignoring my second letter, perhaps also waiting to see if I cash the cheque they sent me so they can then claim that I have accepted their first offer.

However, all the options you have mentioned above are stlll on the table. I am now waiting to see the results, if any, of my email of today and indeed of my second letter to the GWR DelayRepay.

Neil Robertson
 

NARobertson

Member
Joined
17 Apr 2016
Messages
12
Location
Westo-Super-Mare
Not having heard anything else, I have now sent an email plus copies of tickets, receipts, letters, etc. to GWR.feedback. I have received an automated reply saying they will get back to me, probably within five days,

Neil Robertson
 

NARobertson

Member
Joined
17 Apr 2016
Messages
12
Location
Westo-Super-Mare
At last I can report success. Today I received an email from GWRDelayRepay. It said a mistake had been made by their administration and that a cheque for the remaining balance of £42.89 will be sent to me, although it might take several weeks till I receive it. In all, it has taken over three months and at various times it seemed that my case was getting nowhere. But it seems that in the end being persistent has paid off.

I thank the various members of this board who offered me their advice on how to proceed.

Incidentally, they are still calling themselves GWR. My impression was that virtually all railway companies were nationalized a few weeks ago,

Neil Robertson
 

Brissle Girl

Member
Joined
17 Jul 2018
Messages
736
At last I can report success. Today I received an email from GWRDelayRepay. It said a mistake had been made by their administration and that a cheque for the remaining balance of £42.89 will be sent to me, although it might take several weeks till I receive it. In all, it has taken over three months and at various times it seemed that my case was getting nowhere. But it seems that in the end being persistent has paid off.

I thank the various members of this board who offered me their advice on how to proceed.

Incidentally, they are still calling themselves GWR. My impression was that virtually all railway companies were nationalized a few weeks ago,

Neil Robertson
Good news to see that it has now been settled to your satisfaction.

No, the train operating companies are all still in existence and running the services. It’s the nature of their contract with the govt, and in particular the financial aspects which have changed. So not nationalised, although the financial effect of the current emergency arrangements is not dissimilar.
 

RyanOPlasty

New Member
Joined
9 Feb 2020
Messages
4
Location
Nuneaton
At last I can report success. Today I received an email from GWRDelayRepay. It said a mistake had been made by their administration and that a cheque for the remaining balance of £42.89 will be sent to me, although it might take several weeks till I receive it. In all, it has taken over three months and at various times it seemed that my case was getting nowhere. But it seems that in the end being persistent has paid off.

I thank the various members of this board who offered me their advice on how to proceed.

Incidentally, they are still calling themselves GWR. My impression was that virtually all railway companies were nationalized a few weeks ago,

Neil Robertson

I find it amazing that these companies have sophisticated ticketing systems that allow instant payment by many different means, but get away with sending refunds by cheque in a process taking weeks.
 

Darandio

Established Member
Joined
24 Feb 2007
Messages
7,907
Location
Redcar


I find it amazing that these companies have sophisticated ticketing systems that allow instant payment by many different means, but get away with sending refunds by cheque in a process taking weeks.
It seems that the OP requested a cheque given that is how they received the first refund in January, they have just continued with this request. The customer has the option to choose.
 

WesternLancer

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
1,637
At last I can report success. Today I received an email from GWRDelayRepay. It said a mistake had been made by their administration and that a cheque for the remaining balance of £42.89 will be sent to me, although it might take several weeks till I receive it. In all, it has taken over three months and at various times it seemed that my case was getting nowhere. But it seems that in the end being persistent has paid off.

I thank the various members of this board who offered me their advice on how to proceed.

Incidentally, they are still calling themselves GWR. My impression was that virtually all railway companies were nationalized a few weeks ago,

Neil Robertson
well done!
No, it is correct, you are still dealing with GWR. They are just running the service under a different sort of contract where the govt is guaranteeing them an income for the level of service they are required to run (or some such) - in some respects to save them from being nationalised perhaps - as if govt was not doing that they would have walked away from operating the trains, presumably - and told govt to run the largely empty trains themselves...

But anyway - thanks for updating us. I think you might get the cheque rather sooner than their worst case suggestion, lets hope so anyway!
 

paddington

Member
Joined
19 Feb 2013
Messages
964
It seems that the OP requested a cheque given that is how they received the first refund in January, they have just continued with this request. The customer has the option to choose.
I always select something other than cheque but GWR has only ever paid me by cheque.
 

LAX54

Established Member
Joined
15 Jan 2008
Messages
2,329
I find it amazing that these companies have sophisticated ticketing systems that allow instant payment by many different means, but get away with sending refunds by cheque in a process taking weeks.
But that is the same with many 'refunds' lost count of the time I have had to wait 'up to 21 days' for the money to be paid back, when paying by debit card, you would think it was just as simple as when you pay !
 

SteveM70

Member
Joined
11 Jul 2018
Messages
484
It’s pretty rubbish really. I’m in the same boat with Northern, TPE and Aventi over cancelled advances due to coronavirus. All have been “approved” but now take a further up to 28 days to be processed as a credit to my payment card. You’d think in this day and age the very act of approving the application would trigger the credit.

Maybe they see it as good business acumen, dead easy to take payments but very difficult to pay out. Or maybe it’s a guard against fraud, with a second person having to be involved.

Reminds me of my grandad when I was little, telling me not to go in betting shops “because there’s something wrong when there’s three counters for placing bets but only one for getting your winnings”
 

island

Established Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
10,623
Location
0036
Maintaining good cash-flow will inevitably be a contributory factor. No doubt they pay many of their suppliers on 30 or 60 days’ credit.
 

erk

Member
Joined
21 Nov 2012
Messages
68
I have had two sets of Advance tickest refunded by Trainsplit / Raileasy. Both were submitted, approved, and paid in a single day. It can be done! But Raileasy do seem to be an honourable exception.
 

Top