Rail compensation descends into farce
COMPENSATING passengers whose 70-minute train journey degenerated into a six-hour nightmare has turned out to be as farcical as the trip itself.That's the claim from day trippers who endured an overnight train journey from hell – a London train due to arrive in Ipswich at 12.
By Georgina James
COMPENSATING passengers whose 70-minute train journey degenerated into a six-hour nightmare has turned out to be as farcical as the trip itself.
That's the claim from day trippers who endured an overnight train journey from hell – a London train due to arrive in Ipswich at 12.40am which arrived at 5.45am.
Ten days after Kathy Taylor arrived in Ipswich with her daughters Lucy and Colleen – cold, hungry and bleary-eyed – they each received a letter from Anglia Railways telling them they were entitled to £15 compensation.
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The offer, which amounts to just £2.50 per hour left on a freezing platform in the early hours was "laughable", said Mrs Taylor.
Horrified at train bosses stinginess she contacted Anglia Railways customer service department.
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Mrs Taylor said: "It was an insult to offer us that amount. It's as if they were laughing at us. We're not after making money, we just want someone to say they were in the wrong and acknowledge our suffering."
She said: "The customer relations woman asked me what I thought would be an appropriate amount. Then she told me because we weren't originally booked on the 11.30 we weren't really entitled to anything – even though we had paid extra to change our tickets."
But when the Evening Star contacted Anglia Railways we were told the correct compensation was £50.
Kathy and both her daughters had received letters with "typing errors".
Spokesman Peter Meades said: "The correct amount of compensation due to passengers on the delayed 11.30 train is £50 and a complete refund on the ticket price."
He apologised to Mrs Taylor and her daughters for the cock up.
He also conformed the family was due for compensation no matter what train she had been booked on. According to Mrs Taylor, and her son Ken Taylor also caught up in the nightmare, the lack of communication is typical of company.
Mrs Taylor said: "It was the final straw. It was just like it was on the night of the delay. Nobody told us a thing and what they did say was at odds with someone else had told us."
Her son added: "They could have put things right if they wanted to. This just makes us think no one really cares about customers."
Kathy Taylor's happy family day trip turned to nightmare when the blighted 24.30 train from Liverpool St limped out of London at 00.15.
The train got as far as Shenfield before passengers were ordered off for the train at the start of the first freezing three-hour delay.
Another train took them as far as Chelmsford where passengers faced another hour-long wait before buses arrived to complete the onward journey to Ipswich.
Anglia Railways faces a possible compensation claims from up to 300 passengers caught up in the nightmare which could total £15,000.