Latest Rail News

06.04.16

Virgin becomes first TOC to fulfil obligation to pay compensation in money

Virgin is the first train operating company (TOC) to fulfil a new legal obligation to offer passengers who have experienced delays compensation in the form of money instead of vouchers.

From today, Virgin passengers claiming compensation for delays of 30 minutes or more will be offered a cheque, although they can receive vouchers if they prefer.

In its response to a super-complaint by consumer group Which?, the Office of Rail and Road said that TOCs will be legally obliged under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to offer money instead of vouchers.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: “Passengers are rightly frustrated by the significant barriers that exist when claiming compensation for train delays and cancellations, so it is good to see Virgin Trains setting the pace by offering cash as the default option for compensation. We would urge all train operating companies to act quickly to implement this, and further changes, to improve the process for their customers.”

A recent Which? survey found that Southeastern and Thameslink were ranked as the worst companies for passenger satisfaction.

Virgin have previously introduced an automatic delay repay scheme for West Coast passengers who bought their ticket through the Virgin website, winning the Service Innovation prize at the 2016 UK Rail Industry Awards.

They are now seeking to expand the scheme to more customers.

Graham Leech, group commercial director at Virgin Trains, said: “We always want to be on the side of passengers. That’s why we wholly support the move to offer cash compensation as a first option to customers and why we were the first operator to introduce automatic delay repay.

“We’re committed to making claiming compensation simpler and clearer for customers. We never want passengers to suffer delays or disruption but when things do go wrong we want to put it right.”

Virgin were among the train companies experiencing mass cancellations and delays yesterday after more than 100m of overhead wires collapsed near Birmingham International station.

(Image c. Virgin)

Comments

Dave H   08/04/2016 at 13:49

I'll believe it when I see it.

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