Latest Rail News

10.08.12

East Coast complaints rise by 80%

Passenger complaints about train companies have risen by over 30% in the last year, new statistics show. Rail watchdog Passenger Focus took up 3,000 complaints with train companies, with East Coast highlighted as the worst offender by some distance.

In the past year, a total of 14,687 passengers contacted Passenger Focus to complain about a train operator. Of these 3,069 were deemed worthy of being taken up with the operator. 

Out of 3,069 complaints, 774 pertained to East Coast trains, and 277 were against Virgin. The East Coast figure has increased 80% from the previous years’ 429 appeals. 

The majority of complaints involve ticketing problems, penalty fares and complaints about staff treatment of passengers. 

Passenger Focus chief executive, Anthony Smith, said: “A large part of our work involves working with train operators to help them improve the quality of their complaint handling and thereby reducing the number of complaints they receive converting to appeals received by us.” 

An East Coast spokesperson says it has since satisfactorily resolved all the complaints referred to in the report.

He said: “We are heavily promoting to customers how they can make a complaint, and how they can get in touch with Passenger Focus, but we must also ensure that we are robust when we investigate claims, as we have a duty to the taxpayer.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

(Image courtesy Phil Champion)

Comments

Clive Langman   10/08/2012 at 18:50

Whilst it is good, to know that East Coast are heavily promoting their complaints procedure, it would be even more reassuring to know that they are working hard to avoid such complaints being made in the first place.

Rotciv Werdlem   12/08/2012 at 17:42

I guess you waited and waited for a picture of a late running East Coast train, but ran out of time and settled on a picture of other operators' trains instead!

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