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Taking rail complaints further

If you have a complaint which the train company has not resolved to your satisfaction then we will try to help. Here are some case studies of passengers we have helped previously. You can explore all our data on complaint appeals using our tool here.

What are your next steps?

Have you complained to the train company?

If not, in the first instance you must complain directly to the train company involved (see our advice on how to do this).

Alternatively, you can consider making an initial complaint to the train company using the disputes resolution service Resolver (with whom Transport Focus works in partnership).

Have you received a full response ?

If not, please wait until you have received a full response from the train company – we must give the train company an opportunity to respond to you first, before we can get involved.

If you haven’t received a response it is worth checking that they received your complaint and also their response times. If there is a delay in them responding to you this may be because they are experiencing a backlog of complaints. However, if you have chased for a response but still haven’t received one we can look into this further for you. Click here to ask for our help with this – please make sure you give all the details of the action you have taken so far.

Have you received a full response and are unsatisfied?

If you have received a response and remain unhappy, please ask for this to be reviewed again and follow the train company’s internal escalation process.

Have you gone through the train company’s internal escalation process, and still remain unsatisfied?

If the response is still not satisfactory, or you are unhappy with the way that your complaint was handled, please call us on 0300 123 2350* or use our webform to log your complaint with us. Please provide as much supporting information as possible, including scans of any tickets or letters – this helps us build up evidence to pursue your case.

What will we do next?

Once you have contacted us we aim to respond to you within 5 working days. We will review your case and decide if we can escalate your complaint within the train company. If we can, we aim to resolve your case within 35 working days.

Our current average handling time for appeals is 30 working days and in March 2017 passengers we had helped rated their satisfaction at 70 per cent.

Wherever possible your complaint will be dealt with by the same advisor throughout. Our senior advisors will negotiate with the train company, seeking the best possible outcome for your case, based on the merits of your complaint.

We will undertake a full and fair investigation into your comments and complaint.  We will consider whether the response you received from the train company met the following criteria:

  • answered all of the issues that you raised in your complaint
  • was factual and contained accurate information
  • explained how the train company will attempt to prevent a recurrence of your complaint, or how they are working to tackle the problem
  • was a personalised reply to your own concerns
  • offered, where appropriate, a level of redress/reimbursement that was appropriate to your complaint and within industry national guidelines
  • was clear and easy to understand
  • was handled within the timescales set by the train company.

If we do not think that the train company has handled your complaint appropriately then we will ask for it to be reconsidered. If necessary we will raise the issue with the management of the train company. Click here to see our Customer Complaints Handling Procedure (CCHP).

Click here to  see what our passenger advisors do, or here to see a typical week for a passenger manager.

Our commitment

We will always do our best to help resolve your complaint or enquiry to your satisfaction and we follow four key principles:

  • we will aim high and seek the best possible outcome for your complaint
  • we will escalate your expectations to the train company
  • we will clarify our role and help you to understand what we can achieve, and
  • we will try to put ourselves in your place to help us understand your concerns.

For further details on how we work please see our Customer Complaints Handling Procedure (CCHP).

* 03 numbers cost the same to call as geographic landline numbers (starting 01 and 02), even from a mobile phone.

Contact Us

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