Transport User Voice – January 2017 – Case study

21 December 2016

Mr W held a season ticket with Northern Rail and wanted to claim for compensation due to a number of delays and cancellations. His ticket was valid from August 2015 meaning it was purchased under the old franchise. The old franchise had a different compensation scheme to the current one which started in April 2016.

Under the old scheme, if Northern failed to meet its punctuality targets for the year, passengers holding season tickets lasting one month or more would be entitled to a discount of up to 10 per cent when renewing their season ticket. The new Delay Repay scheme is based on individual journeys and passengers must claim within 28 days of the disrupted service.

Mr W sent in a renewal claim expecting to receive compensation. However, when processing the claim, there was miscommunication from Northern regarding whether Mr W was entitled to claim under the new or the old compensation scheme. Mr W’s claim was declined on the basis that he was not eligible for any delay compensation.

Mr W asked Transport Focus for help. He was unhappy with the performance statistics that Northern quoted. He wanted to check they were correct as he had experienced significant delays throughout the course of the year.

It was difficult to calculate the exact amount that Mr W was owed due to him being caught between the two schemes. It was particularly difficult to calculate the number of times he would have been entitled to Delay Repay.

We asked Northern for compensation outside the normal terms as a gesture of goodwill. The total cost of Mr W’s season ticket was £928.60 so based on the annual compensation the maximum he would have been entitled to was £92.86. Northern made an offer for £40 but Mr W felt this was too low.

We went back to Northern to see if they would make a better offer. After some negotiation Northern agreed to offer Mr W a cheque for £100 as a gesture of good will. Mr W was happy to accept this offer.

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