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 Passenger 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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For up to date information see All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights/ and other forms for travel

Beware of Warning Labels!

Remember Millie? She had a problem with Kelloggs.  Well a little time before that her mother had a problem with Lakeland Plastics.

Laura purchased their “Blitz that Mould” mould and algae stain killer to tackle the mouldy patches around her house. Upon reading the label on the front & back she duly made sure the rooms were well ventilated and tested on an inconspicuous area (as advised). Upon finding no adverse reactions she continued spraying the affected areas, returning 30 minutes later to see amazing results!

She decided to spray the damp patch inside her wardrobe which is an alcove in the bedroom with a door on (so not a standalone piece of furniture). The damp patch was on the sloping ceiling part so after checking the instructions again, she opened the windows and lightly sprayed the black area. She returned 30 minutes later and the spray had stained her clothing (which she did not remove prior to spraying as the label did not stipulate it was unsuitable for fabrics) – in total the spray ruined 4 jackets, 3 shirts, 1 cardigan and a top! Ummm!

Beware the warnings!

She re-read the labels which merely stated it was not to be used on enamel, marble, aluminium wood and granite, it did not mention anywhere that it should be kept away from fabrics or that it contained bleach – only “Contains: Less than 5% Anionic Surfactants, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Hypochlorite” – which means very little to the general public.

So, step forth The Complaining Cow. I wrote up the above and added in that Under the Sale of Goods and Services Act (From October 1st 2015 use the Consumer Rights Act.)  the product was not fit for purpose, not of satisfactory quality and misleading which also falls under the Consumer Regulations 2008. (Misleading omissions Part 2 Prohibitions). Ah you didn’t know that one did you? Always do your research to throw everything you can at them – there’s another tip to the other 20! 🙂

Photos were sent with the email with a breakdown of the costs of the damaged clothes totalling £365 and photos.

Off went the email and Laura got quite a speedy response back. They wanted her to ‘phone her. HATE that. So off went another email saying No! Everything in writing, always. Eileen came back asking for Laura to return the bottle. Now, you have to be careful here too, what if it gets lost in the post? What if they test it and say it’s ok when clearly it wasn’t? You ask for them to pay postage and you tell them that you are keeping some in case you need to do your own tests if you take the matter further, that’s what you do.

Well, she got an email back saying that the product had actually been recalled and it now has a warning about a bleaching action. She offered £400. My guess was that their insurance kicks in at £500 so we tried to up it. Asked for a further £100 and got £50. So not a bad result. I have to say they were pretty good in the way they dealt with the matter. But why is it that all the high pay out complaints I do are for other people?!