Big news! Today I received an email from Southern after I sent them a list of all the delays that I have had over the last two months. Guess what? They’re offering……………… nothing!
Yes the fact of the matter is that I wasn’t allowed anything as a Annual Gold Card holder, and I’m allowed nothing purchasing weekly tickets. Have a read of this…
“It will be apparent that some of the particular trains that you have travelled on may be among the percentage of peak services that do not arrive within 5 minutes of their scheduled time. However, individual delays do not attract compensation in themselves for season ticket holders: such delays will form part of the collated statistics for each month and are eventually reflected in the rolling annual figures, which determine entitlement (or not) to the Passengers’ Charter discount.
While I can appreciate that you personally may feel aggrieved, the Charter policy is the agreed way to compensate season ticket holders and to be fair to all our passengers we do not deviate from this policy.
If however, you had a daily or weekly ticket and the delay was over an hour you may get compensation in travel vouchers, or cash equivalent if you prefer. If this is the case for you, please could you send me the ticket (or proof of purchase if the ticket is unavailable) so I can sort this out for you. Although, we do not compensate for journeys that have been delayed by events such as fatalities which are beyond our control.”
Ah, the Passengers Charter. Do you reckon we can set that for next year?
Oh, and to my comment that people going to London Bridge pay more than people going to Victoria, I got this little gem:
“With reference to the concerns that you have raised relating to the new Victoria-only season ticket which we have introduced this year it is designed to encourage use of that route and ease the pressure on our London Bridge services. “
Hmmm. So you decided to put on extra direct trains too and from Victoria and cancel a train to London Bridge. Then, to stop overcrowding to London Bridge, you charge people going to Victoria LESS? Seriously, you can’t script this. How about putting on a couple of extra trains to London Bridge in the morning instead of cancelling them! That might stop a little overcrowding!
You couldn’t make this up. Seriously, who at Southern is responsible for this farce?
Only a few weeks ago I mentioned that Southern are favouring the route to Victoria and now they have spent a fortune on a direct marketing campaign to drill it home. Design, development and distribution of these leaflets doesn’t come cheap but they would rather waste our money on this, than reducing fares or improving services.
It highlights the fact that you can get £290 off the price of annual tickets to Victoria, and not London Terminals. Also, you can still pay 2008 prices if you go to the station to buy your ticket – to Victoria of course.
So, I sent an email to Southern including a document detailing all the train delays and cancellations that have taken place in the last month. I also copied in The Argus so they could have an account of the problems. Lets see what imaginative excuses they come up with this time. I can hardly wait.
I just bought myself a weekly ticket to London Bridge. It cost £89 without any underground attached to it. The reason why, is because you have more rights than you do if you’re an annual season ticket holder.
If a train is cancelled, I get nothing as an annual holder, unless the service is below certain levels for the whole year. However, if I hold a weekly ticket, I get money back for that day. If it’s delayed I also get money back.
An annual ticket costs approx £3550 but doing it weekly costs less than £500 more! You won’t use the full 52 weeks either. Just think, you’ll take 5 weeks off if you are able to take that much. Plus a couple of business trips a year and you’re down to just 45 weeks.
Now, if you cost up all the refunds on delayed and cancelled trains, you’ll be laughing. Lets see how Southern try and get out of this one. I’ll keep you posted.
I know I have moaned quite a lot on tbhis site about Southern, and it’s not just for people to read, it’s also a way of release for me as I know that Southern do nothing to help me.
However, even the most dubious reader will understamd the pain I go through when they read this.
It’s getting near the time when I renerw my annual ticket and I thought I would check out the prices just one more time. This time I have spotted another fare that I hadn’t seen before. It’s a special fare for commuters who go from Brighton to Victoria! Not only do they get eight direct trains in the morning (compared to the two to London Bridge) they actually get to pay less!
Brighton to London Victoria – £3280
Brighton to London Bridge – £3572
I spoke to Southern about this and they confirmed the price. They said that they have introduced it so that commuters who go to London Bridge who could go to Victoria, might consider just going to Victoria if they reduce the price. How stupid do they think we are? If someone wanted to go to Victoria, why would they go to London Bridge? Victoria have more trains, and the deluxe Gatwick Express service.
What a bunch of jokers
Southern have finally come back to me on the complaint forms I sent away! At last, they will recognise they havent been up to scratch and I’ll get something back for all those delays and failed trains. Surely…
I get a big fat zero for all my troubles. All those forms I have filled out and all those complaints I have sent. Nothing.
Sandra Kerton from the Southern Customer Services team should hang her head in shame. She’s filled a letter with nothing but excuses and then fails to recognise the situation. Southern haven’t fallen beneath their advertised targets and I don’t doubt that. All they need to do is make sure off peak trains run on time and they don’t have to pay out to the peak time users.
My next task is to speak to someone at the Office of Fair Trading or a similar department and get them to split the times when Southern can use this excuse. So, they should have a punctuality and reliability ‘up time’ for commuters (7am-9am and 5pm – 7pm) and another for all other times.
What a sham. What a joke. But I guess this is how they can keep making a profit.
The time has come to renew my season ticket. So it was with some trepidation that I called up Southern to see whether they have made any changes to the annual fee, based upon the complaints I have sent them.
All those hours of filling out their over elaborate Customer Complaint Forms, making sure I fill in all the information correctly so not to give any excuse to disregard them.
The line was answered and my details found. Alas they still hadn’t been dealt with and I was informed that Southern had not fallen below their targets for the year, and for that reason I would be rewarded…. nothing.
For those of you who don’t know, all train companies set themselves targets for trains on time (within 10 minutes) or for cancelled trains. Now, if they do fall under this they will pay you compensation. If they don’t, you get nothing at all. Lovely.
This means that Southern (and in fact any company) can make up the delays during non-peak times, and then tell the commuters, who spend a fortune each year, that they haven’t been impacted enough.
This hurts users from Brighton to London Bridge significantly. They only have two direct rail services in the morning and two in the evening. They don’t care about the rest of the time. Even if those services are cancelled for the whole year, and no others are, then it’s tough luck. No compensation.
So, this has given me the added impetus to make a note of every delay or cancellation by either Southern or First Capital. It’ll be on this site for everyone to see. Then you can judge for yourself who is in the right.