It’s been a pretty good week. I got an apology from Kent Police and now this one from Southeastern Railways in relation to our experience on their Hi Speed train last Sunday. I posted about it here: South Eastern Railways Ruined Our Family Day Out
Kent Police could learn a bit from them about how to deal with complaints.
Southeastern Railways Reply:
Thank you for your website comment dated 21 November.
I am very sorry about the difficulties that you encountered during your journey. I recognise that this occurred as a result of the ticket that you were sold. I realise how disappointing this must have been. I also regret the problems that resulted.
Our ticket office staff should try to sell passengers the most appropriate ticket for their journey. Considering this I am very sorry if this was not the case. So I have brought your experience to the attention of Caroline Wilson, the local Station Manager who will arrange further training for the ticket office staff to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. So I do hope that we don’t let you down again.
Of course this doesn’t excuse the fact that you were badly inconvenienced and I would certainly want to restore your faith in us at the earliest opportunity. Therefore, I will see to it that £10 in National Rail Travel Vouchers are sent to you under separate cover, as a gesture of goodwill. The vouchers are valid for 12 months and I hope you will use them towards a more successful journey experience with us.
I will also add that our staff were correct in not allowing you to travel home that evening (as unsympathetic as that sounds). The fact of the matter is that it is a requirement of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, that passengers must hold a valid ticket or authority to travel (i.e. Permit to Travel) before boarding any train, where the facilities exist. Otherwise, they may be liable to receive a Penalty Fare. Of course, this is a complex issue and, for our part, we have tried to be sensitive to all the nuances. However, we must treat all passengers alike. The last thing that our staff in such a situation would want is to allow anybody to travel and then for them receive a Penalty Fare, either during the journey or at the destination station.
Thank you for taking the time to bring your experience to our attention, and I’m very sorry you needed to do so.
Customer Relations Officer