With the summer holidays starting in the last couple of weeks, passengers are already being warned about potential disruption due to engineering work and line upgrades. These works will undoubtedly place additional pressure on the already stretched network; amplifying the impact of delays and disruption. With Customer Service and experience being a key competitive advantage for Train Operating Companies (TOCs), these delays can hugely impact reputation and profitability.
Since 2016 TOCs have been required by Delay Repay 15 DfT regulation to provide delayed passengers with the ability to claim a refund on journeys delayed by 15 minutes or more. The regulation provides a seemingly simple way to claim back for the inconvenience of delays, however, The Telegraph has recently reported that only 35% of the 8 million passengers delayed last year actually claimed. There are various reasons thought to be the cause including people thinking that the process is too complicated or not even knowing that they are eligible to claim.
In responses to increasing concerns over this statistic, a Watchdog campaign has been launched by Transport Focus Chief Executive Mr Anthony Smith. Mr Smith is an advocate for Delay Repay and explained the following to the Telegraph in a recent article “Train Operators must do more to make it easy to claim and to automate this process (delay compensation claims) whenever possible.” Whilst the TOCs have complied with the Delay Repay regulation, in Mr Smith’s opinion more can be done to improve communication about eligibility and how to apply, as well as utilising technology to improve the speed at which a claim is processed.