Fares, rail policy and DfT news

20.11.18

ORR launches review into Delay Repay claims companies

The ORR has today launched a review into the role of Delay Repay claims companies in assisting customers with compensation claims when their rail journeys have been delayed, and TOCs in helping them deal with claims more efficiently.

More than 3.6 million hours were lost from the seven million rail journeys delayed by 30 minutes or more in 2016-17, and recent research has revealed that only 35% of passengers who are eligible have claimed compensation for this – amounting to a total of £81m.

Last month, it was revealed that almost a third of passengers failed to claim compensation because it was not worth the hassle. Additionally, an FoI request from Liberal Democrat Daisy Cooper revealed that the DfT tried to keep GTR’s compensation scheme “low key.”

The ORR’s review of Delay Repay claims companies will assess whether not they face berries to entering and expanding the market; the impact they have on TOCs and how they can and should interact with them; how they operate and whether they require greater transparency; and the extent to which they can encourage innovation and introduce new tech that benefits passngers and business.

Tom Cole, the regulator's head of competition, said: “We are absolutely committed to protecting the interests of passengers and promoting competition on the railways. This includes exploring and understanding ways in which innovative third party businesses can introduce new technology to improve the passenger experience.

“This review will assess whether or not Delay Repay claims companies are working well for passengers and businesses, and, the likely impact of increasing their role.”

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of Customer Experience at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We want to make it simple and easy for customers to claim compensation if they’ve experienced a delay. Train companies like c2c, Virgin Trains and Southern have introduced automatic refunds, helping claims to increase by 80% over the last two years.

“Third party refund services can make it easier for people but right now, they often take a cut of any refund and the rail industry has to guard against people using them to make fraudulent claims. Ensuring compensation is fair and easy to claim for honest passengers who pay their way should be front of mind during this review.”

Top image: Gareth Fuller via PA Wire

 

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