Rail service improvements and disruptions

08.03.18

Operators hit by clampdown on ‘misleading’ compensation rules

Train operators are set to rewrite the rules around compensation after a flurry of complaints about “misleading” terms and conditions.

The changes surround the issue of ‘consequential loss,’ a term which refers to additional costs above the price of a ticket, and which TOCs currently argue is not available through their compensation systems despite it being included in the Consumer Rights Act (CRA).

The act came into force in the rail industry in 2016, although consumer group Which? said operators have not updated their terms accordingly, meaning passengers looking to claim were receiving clearly misleading information.

“Train companies can now no longer hide behind misleading terms to avoid paying passengers,” said Alex Hayman, Which? managing director of public markets.

“They need to go further and proactively inform passengers about their compensation rights. If they fail to uphold these rights, they should be held to account by the government and the regulator.”

In response, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents operators, said companies were “sorry whenever journeys are disrupted” and were happily working with the DfT and the ORR to improve the situation.

However, a spokesperson for the organisation added: “It is important for our customers to understand that it is very unlikely they will be entitled to compensation for additional losses.”

They also pointed to the development of the new rail ombudsman – which operators committed to in February – and the rising cost of these complaints across the industry.

“Compensation is becoming increasingly generous and easy to claim, which is why payments have increased fivefold in five years to £74m,” the spokesperson explained.

“As part of our plan for a changing and improving railway, train companies have committed to creating a new independent railway ombudsman to rule on complaints and build confidence in our services.”

Issues of compensation and the delay repay have been particularly prevalent in recent weeks, with the freezing temperatures of the ‘beast from the east’, coupled with Storm Emma, causing extreme weather conditions across the country leading to large numbers of cancelled services.

Top image: Gareth Fuller PA Wire

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

ORR report: ‘No one took charge’ in May timetable chaos, ‘everyone made mistakes’

20/09/2018ORR report: ‘No one took charge’ in May timetable chaos, ‘everyone made mistakes’

A scathing report into the May timetable chaos has blasted transport secretary Chris Grayling, Network Rail, and the DfT... more >
Government rejects claims of transport spending ‘regional imbalance’

20/09/2018Government rejects claims of transport spending ‘regional imbalance’

The Transport Committee has urged the DfT to “be more specific about the economic rebalancing effects it... more >
DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

20/09/2018DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

The government has decided to pull the plug on the CrossCountry franchise competition as a result of its rail review ann... 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

The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

18/09/2018The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

RTM's Jack Donnelly assesses what the Transport Committee's latest report on the VTEC franchise means for the industry as a whole “Even now, there is no concrete plan, nor timescales, for the interim operator of this franchise. From our inquiry, we cannot be sure, and cannot reassure passengers or public, that the arrangements ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

18/09/2018Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) will be transformational for the north – it will change the way people live, work, and play. It will rebalan... more >
Innovation through people and technology

18/09/2018Innovation through people and technology

Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways and director of railway safety at the ORR, picks out the key industry challenges to focus on based on... more >
Why we all must mind the gap

18/09/2018Why we all must mind the gap

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR), explains how we can all ensure the UK’s next generation... more >
3D printing: from virtual to real

11/09/20183D printing: from virtual to real

Like so many other technological advancements, 3D printing has moved from being the stuff of science fiction, through niche industrial applicatio... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

29/08/2018Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

RTM’s Jack Donnelly sat down with one of the leading minds behind Network Rail’s most advanced and innovative rail maintenance techno... more >