Fares, rail policy and DfT news

26.11.18

Rail Ombudsman launch a ‘wake-up call’ to train companies over complaint services

The first-ever Rail Ombudsman has been launched today, giving rail passengers a free, independent service which will help them claim refunds and compensation by appealing unresolved complaints.

The official body will have the power to investigate and rule on passenger complaints and make decisions which are binding to rail firms, and will be able to award passengers up to £2,500 in compensation.

Rail minister Andrew Jones said the new ombudsman would “make sure passengers are heard and that they get a fair deal when train companies fall short.”

The ORR welcomed the launch of the free and impartial service, which will “provide assurance to all passengers who have a complaint that it will have independent scrutiny.”

It said that this is a “necessary measure” to improve passenger trust and increase satisfaction regarding the complaint handling procedure, and said it would monitor the ombudsman’s progress closely.

Figures from the ORR show that just 28% of people who made a complaint to a train company in 2017-18 were satisfied with the outcome.

The Dispute Resolution Ombudsman will look at passenger cases and weigh up evidence from the dissatisfied passenger and train company before deciding whether compensation, a refund or even an apology is due.

Starting today, passengers can bring complaints to the ombudsman regarding train delays and cancellations, customer service, safety issues, availability and station access, passenger assistance, and discrimination issues.

Alex Hayman, managing director of public markets at Which? said: “The launch of the independent rail ombudsman is a positive step for passengers, who have felt for too long like their complaints are not being taken seriously.

“It should be a wake-up call for train companies to step up and start delivering good customer service when things go wrong. Then passengers will have no need to escalate their complaints.”

In a recent investigation, Which? found that less than half of passengers were satisfied with how their complaints were dealt with by companies, and that 71% felt more negative about their train company following their complaint.

The managing director of the Rail Delivery Group, Jacqueline Starr, said the scheme would bring “even greater confidence that we're doing as much as we can to get to a fair outcome.”

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit -  Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Rail North Partnership review sets out recommendations

19/07/2019Rail North Partnership review sets out recommendations

A review of the Rail North Partnership, headed by Leeds Council leader cllr Judith Blake and rail minister Andrew Jones, has set out recommendati... more >
TfL announces 4G for London Underground in 2020

19/07/2019TfL announces 4G for London Underground in 2020

Transport for London (TfL) have announced that 4G will be available on parts of the London Underground from March 2020. The eastern half of ... more >
Study of light rail finds Manchester Metrolink one of best in the world

19/07/2019Study of light rail finds Manchester Metrolink one of best in the world

An international study of light rail systems has identified Metrolink as one of the best in the world. The system was rated as fifth best in... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >