Passenger Voice December 2015: Case study

27 November 2015

Mr P applied for a Two Together Railcard on 23 May 2015, which arrived in the post on 21 July – nearly two months after sending off the application. Railcards are usually expected to arrive within 5 working days. As a result, Mr P missed out on two months’ worth of discounts out of a possible 12.

Initially Mr P complained to the national railcards team at the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). It stated that customers have to submit a complaint within 30 days of the Railcard application. Due to the fact that Mr P had contacted it outside of the 30 day period it rejected his request for a refund.

Unhappy with this response, Mr P contacted Transport Focus in the hope that we would look into the matter further. We spoke with ATOC to see if a refund or a free extension to the Railcard would be possible. We were disappointed to learn that once again it was not willing to issue any compensation because Mr P complained outside of the 30 day period.

When it became clear that we would not achieve a suitable outcome at this stage, we escalated the appeal to management level. We made it clear that, although ATOC is technically not obligated to issue any refund under these circumstances, we felt that it needed to take some accountability for the fact that the Railcard never arrived.

As a result ATOC agreed to provide Mr P with a voucher that would allow him a 50 per cent discount on the renewal of his Railcard. This would therefore cover his first six months of travel. Mr P told us that he was satisfied with this outcome and the service he received from Transport Focus.


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