3 Simple Steps to Gain Compensation for Train Delays

Last week, it was in the media that people don’t complain about train delays and don’t get the compensation to which they are due. Is that you? You WALLY! I always get money back for journeys which are delayed and frankly don’t write up the stories on here ‘cos it’s so simple and boring! All you have to do is fill out a form! So, because I’m a nice person. Ok, I’m not. Well for whatever reason, if only to annoy the train companies so that they spend their ridiculous income on improvements instead of payouts, I’m here to make things really easy for you. You’re welcome.

The rail companies all have a passenger charter. They abide by that which links to the National Rail Network guidelines. From July 2015 amendments were made to the National Rail Conditions of Carriage meaning you can now ask for monetary compensation and you should get it. Companies may still try and give you vouchers but you should refuse and demand money.

Payouts vary on how long the journey needs to be delayed. Most, if not all, would have you believe that you are only entitled to part of full refund and no other costs. Wrong. If the delay was in the train company’s control and you are left stranded for example the company is responsible for putting you up in accommodation so keep all receipts but stay somewhere with reasonable costs! The Rail Passenger’s Rights and Obligations Regulations 2010 gives more protection. So, if you think have a case, go for it and remember my Tips if you do. A “Would The Complaining Cow go for it question” is always a good one. If I would then and if you write it right you’ll get a decent payback.

Train companies are listed here. On that page are links to all the train companies including the underground. (Incidentally, tube refunds take two minutes to request, used to do them on a regular basis when daily using the Victoria line).  Click on the link of the company you need, then click on the website on that page and from that page do a search for “complaints” or “refunds”. Some say form, email etc. so you will need to go through whatever process it details and each will pay differently.

There is more information in the National Rail Conditions Of Carriage, look up that too and use that too!

If you think the response is unsatisfactory you can take the matter further. If your journey was outside London or the National Rail Enquiries Service then go through Transport Focus.  For London and surrounding areas (including those on London Underground or London Overground) contact the London Travel Watch. If you’re unhappy with the response of either of these organisations get in touch again and raise a complaint with them about how your complaint has been dealt with! (See Tips on complaining) If you’re still unhappy with the way your complaint has been handled, you can take it to the Parliamentary Ombudsman (for Passenger Focus), or the London TravelWatch Chief Executive and, if you are still unhappy with London TravelWatch, the Local Government Ombudsman.

Information about complaining about buses here.

Most recent information on delays and vouchers from Which?

Update 07/09/16 Win! New rail passenger rights announced rail will be covered by the Consumer Rights Act from 1st October 2016. From the Which? post:

“This is good news for rail passengers. In a little over three weeks all rail passengers will be entitled to have their compensation paid within 14 days. Compensation will be issued by the same method the passenger paid with, rather than with vouchers that some train companies currently use.

Passengers will also be entitled to payment for additional consequential losses, such as missed connections, and will be able to claim for any length of delay.”

Good luck and please share your success stories with us here!

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How to Win When EasyJet’s Customer Service Fails

If you are looking for how to complain about delays, cancellations and your rights see All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights

The Complaining Cow jumped half heartedly over the moon eventually…

So airlines difficult to get money back from? Yes, on the whole, mainly I think because it’s the same old complaints and they know just how to put people off, the same old excuses churned out and they can afford to lose customers. But I’m here to show you that if you keep to my tips (many of them in this case!) and persevere you can do it! (Added to the fact of course that now, with Social Media and Review sites etc., it is much easier to spread the word about bad customer service).

A friend of mine used EasyJet for a holiday with her family. Whilst there, her mother in Law became seriously ill and they had to fly home. EasyJet wanted to charge £1000 for the flight home. In fact they got it for £700 from an Internet cafe. That was for 4 of them one way on top of what they had paid! They, like I thought that was exploiting the fact that they needed to get home before her Mother in Law died. Bear in mind of course that EasyJet would have sold their existing tickets on for more profit. Had her Mother in Law died whilst they were on holiday they would have had their money refunded. Even I am stuck to put a light hearted spin on that state of affairs!

When they got back Jo complained. As you would expect they got some standard rubbish back about prices and their Price Policy. They did say they would pay back the tax. Generous huh? No. Because they then backtracked on that saying it was a transfer. I disagreed. I also disagreed with them that my friend and her family should have to trawl the Internet with no help from the EasyJet Customer Representative. I disagreed that EasyJet should make a profit on the situation. I disagreed that they should not be compensated for the inconvenience and misinformation they were given. So, being quite a disagreeable soul I took to work.

I would have liked to have made this complaint so many people could see but unfortunately the rather brilliant Dave Carroll got there first in shaming an airline by performing the song that went viral

United Breaks Guitars

Anyway, I can’t sing. So out came the hooves and I reverted to type. Did you see what I did there? Clever pun huh? No? Okay back to complaining.

Now, Jo won’t mind me telling you that her written English is rubbish, her emails informal (kisses I tell you KISSES – is there a sighing emoticon one can use? Insert it here!) and well let’s just say when I sent her my version of a complaint to send to the CEO she said it scared the poo out of her! She may have put it less eloquently…

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, pointing out the error of EasyJet’s ways. I wrote an email for her to the CEO (you can get contact details for any CEO at ceoemail.com) and pointed out the following:

1)    I am fully aware that one takes a risk in flying with a budget airline and can expect to pay more if changes need to be made. However, charging such an extortionate amount more for a different flight I believe is profiteering.

2)    The customer services representative stated that “Sometimes if a flight is not selling as well as expected we would reduce the fare to encourage people to book.” They booked at about 6.00pm for a 10.15am flight the next day. This contradicts what the representative says. There was little time left for people to book and to have 4 tickets available (and there were more) then clearly there was scope for these flights to be cheaper!

3)    The original tickets were approximately £550 including the extras. The actual flights were about £90. They then had to pay an additional £675 (£1000 if booked directly at the desk). Easyjet would presumably have sold the original flight on for at least £675. That makes an additional approximate £1300 profit for Easyjet on top of the original acceptable profit. Nearly 250%! Stunning profiteering I believe!

4)    Easyjet needs to treat all customers equally, so, does that mean it takes advantage of every customer who finds themselves in a difficult situation?

5)    Why should it be cheaper at an Internet cafe trawling through flights than just transferring the flight dates directly with EasyJet!

6)    The representative had offered to refund the tax and this offer was withdrawn as he said that they had transferred the tickets! More contradiction! This is incorrect, they bought new tickets and so they are entitled to at least the tax back. EasyJet even charged again for speedy boarding and baggage – how is THAT is a transfer?!

7)    The correspondence to date was forwarded and the point made that the last email hadn’t even gained a response. (The one of pointing out their contradiction..)

8)    EasyJet’s guidelines on “Refunds and Cancellation fees” state that “In exceptional circumstances, however, EasyJet will consider issuing a credit in the event of the bereavement of an immediate family member provided that the claim and a copy of the death certificate are submitted by post to the EasyJet Customer Services Department.” Not only were they not advised of this by the EasyJet representative, they were not advised of it by any Customer Representative on holiday or in correspondence. With a charge of £30 per customer, totalling £120 I should be refunded the £675 minus £120. A total of £555.

She got her £550 in EasyJet vouchers….

Have you had dealings with EasyJet and other airlines? What’s your experience of their customer service?

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