16th February 2015
The latest train satisfaction survey from consumer watchdog group Which? has revealed once again that commuters are bearing the brunt of poor service.
The group worryingly concluded that rail operators are not doing enough to let delayed passengers know their rights on compensation.
The organisation scored train companies based on the responses of over 7,300 train travellers when asked about their journeys over the last 12 months.
Three in 10, at 29%, of rail passengers said they had suffered a delay when they last travelled while three quarters of those held up for more than an hour said they were not told that this meant they qualified for a full refund.
Southern was the worst for delays with four in 10, or 39%, of those questioned saying they were held up the last time they travelled.
In contrast, C2C was the least delayed with around one in 10, or 14% of passengers reporting a delay on their last journey.
The survey found the best operator for letting passengers know their rights on delays was London Overground, which told four in 10, or 38% of customers when they were entitled to a full refund on their last journey.
It was followed by South West Trains, at 33%, SouthEastern with 31%, First Great Western, at 27% and lastly Southern, where only two in 10, or 19% of those entitled to claim compensation said they were informed about their rights on their last journey.
Thameslink & Great Northern/First Capital Connect scored the lowest on overall satisfaction with a score of 43%. All of the six lowest scoring train operators are also some of the biggest, covering commuter networks in the South East network around London. Five of these were also at the bottom of its table in last year’s survey. Yet again none of these have scored above 50% and all are rated poor value for money.
Thameslink & Great Northern/First Capital Connect, Southeastern, Southern, South West Trains and Northern also all scored low for the cleanliness of their toilets.
Grand Central topped the table with a score of 76%, the highest ever score in the history of the survey. However, disappointingly, it found only a third of companies it looked at have improved their place in the table from last year.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said: “Long delays and consistently low levels of customer service are driving commuters to distraction.
“Passengers often have little or no choice as to the rail companies they travel with, so as ticket prices continue to rocket, more must be done to improve customers’ satisfaction and to inform people of their right to a refund as a result of delays.”