Consumer watchdog Which? files super-complaint against rail industry on passenger refunds

21st December 2015


Consumer group Which? is making a super-complaint to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) urging for an investigation into rail delay refunds and calling for action to make the process clearer and easier for consumers.

The consumer group believes train companies are making it far too difficult for passengers to get compensation for a rail delay or cancellation, or even find out they are eligible.

As a result on Monday, 21 December, Which? is asking the rail regulator to take action.

The organisation highlighted that the latest figures show that some 47m passenger journeys were either cancelled or significantly late in one year.

Most train companies’ passengers are entitled to compensation if they are delayed by half an hour or more but Which?’s survey of nearly 7,000 rail passengers found only a third, at 34%, who may have been entitled to compensation said they actually made a claim.

The survey also concluded that just 36% of passengers remembered being informed of their rights after their last delay.

The group mystery shopped 102 train stations and asked basic questions on rail delay refunds. Which? claims that the results show that not enough is being doing to remove the unnecessary barriers to claiming compensation for passengers. It found:

As a result Which? is launching its campaign to Make Rail Refunds Easier, where it is calling for clearer information on how to get a refund for delays and for all train companies to offer cash as default.

It also wants to see train companies held to account if they fail to encourage passengers to claim refunds for delays.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said: “Current proposals to improve compensation for passengers are too far down the track. Even if an automatic compensation system was included in all new franchises from tomorrow, it would take until at least 2025 to cover the whole network.

“Millions of passengers are left out of pocket each year, so train companies must do more to put their passengers first and make rail refunds easier.”

Passengers can text RAIL to 80057 to support the campaign.

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