Rail industry response to one click compensation announcement
Responding to today's announcement about government plans to introduce one click compensation, Jacqueline Starr, managing director for customer experience for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the railway industry, said:
“While rail companies are working together to improve customer satisfaction, sometimes things go wrong. When they do, we’re doing more to encourage people to claim the compensation they are due - payouts have increased by 80% in the last two years to £81m a year.
“To meet our commitment to improving for customers as part of our long term plan, we are also introducing an independent ombudsman and we would welcome these further changes to franchise agreements to make claiming compensation even easier.”
Notes to editors
As part of our plan for a changing and improving railway, train companies have committed to root and branch reform of the fares system and creating a new independent railway ombudsman to rule on complaints and build confidence in our services.
Train companies offer compensation for delays and cancellations and, in exceptional circumstances, will consider payments that are more than the price of the ticket. Covering necessary out of pocket expenses like unavoidable taxi fares or overnight accommodation is already offered in the conditions of travel.
c2c, Virgin Trains, Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink and Northern are among the train companies to offer some form of automatic compensation.
Train operators are doing more to inform passengers about when they are entitled to claim and how, including more announcements on trains, handing out claim forms or using Twitter, and sending email reminders to people who booked online.
The Consumer Rights Act gives a customer the right to claim additional, consequential losses over and above the price of their train ticket if they can show that a train service has not been provided with reasonable skill and care. The customer would need to set out their case to the train company.
Rail companies are seeking root and branch reform of rail regulation and this summer ran the first ever public consultation for easier fares. The outcomes of the consultation will feed into a final report in the autumn which will make proposals to governments with options for fares reform and how to implement them.