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Rail passenger complaint backlogs: lessons for the future – Great Western Railway (GWR)

Over much of the second half of 2016 and early 2017, Great Western Railway (GWR) had problems with their ability to respond to passenger inquiries, claims and complaints. We became aware of the issue when our contact team, who handle rail passenger complaint appeals, saw unprecedented numbers of people contacting them with complaints linked to GWR’s backlog. We raised our concerns with GWR and First Group, monitoring progress of the recovery plan and urging improvements for passengers. The problem was caused by the transition to a new supplier for their contact centre service, which coincided with an incident on the network creating yet more pressure on their customer service team.

This report sets out the background to the problem and some key learning points for other rail companies.

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