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Taking rail complaints further

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.

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 complained to the train company but not received a response?

Please wait until you have received a final response from the train company – the train company must be given an opportunity to respond to you first, before Transport Focus or The Rail Ombudsman can get involved.

If you haven’t received a response from the train company, it is worth checking that they received your complaint. If there is a delay in their response this may be due to a backlog of complaints. However, if you have chased for a response but still haven’t received one after 40 working days, you can contact The Rail Ombudsman to raise your complaint with them.

Have you received a ‘deadlock letter’ from the train company or remain dissatisfied?

If you have received a response from the train company and remain unhappy, you can contact The Rail Ombudsman to raise your complaint with them.

What will happen next?

The Rail Ombudsman will review your complaint and contact you within three working days to explain how they will progress your case.

If your complaint falls outside the scope or eligibility criteria for The Rail Ombudsman, your complaint may be passed to another organisation that may be better placed to deal with it for you.

Please note that The Rail Ombudsman is not empowered to investigate disputes relating to parking fines or the circumstances that may have led to the issuing of a penalty fare. This is because different independent appeal bodies already exist for these matters. Should your complaint relate to either of these topics, please contact the appeal body specified on your Penalty Notice. If you feel that the process has not been correctly followed by the relevant appeal body, please contact Transport Focus.

Our commitment to passengers

We will always do our best to help resolve your complaint or enquiry to your satisfaction, even if that means we pass it on to where we believe it can be resolved more effectively.

Transport Focus follows three key principles:

  • aim high and seek the best possible outcome for a passenger’s complaint
  • clarify the role Transport Focus can play and help the passenger to understand what can be realistically achieved
  • be empathetic; we will always put ourselves in your place to understand your concerns

Further details can be found in Transport Focus’s Customer Complaints Handling Procedure and Privacy Policy.

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