Train delayed? Don’t forget your refund…
26/09/16 The Government is reported to be planning to make train firms tell passengers that they are entitled to refunds when delays occur – rather than travellers needing to apply off their own backs.
Our founder James Walker (@resolverjames on Twitter – give him a follow) believes this does not go far enough because the current system is so confusing with each train operator having their own rules and timings around what a ‘delay’ is.
But whatever the state of their systems, if you experience a delay of at least 30 minutes, then depending on your operator you may be entitled to some money back. Here’s our quick five-step guide to claiming.
Check your operator’s scheme
Most of the UK’s national train operators are part of a scheme called Delay Repay. Never heard of it? Well, you’re not alone. Currently, those in the scheme are Abellio Greater Anglia, c2c, CrossCountry, East Midlands, TransPennine Express, Great Northern, London Midland, Northern, ScotRail, Southeastern, Southern, Thameslink and Virgin.
But don’t worry if your train operator is not on this list, they will have their own compensation scheme. Search online for their Passengers’ Charter – this should contain details of it.
Do you qualify?
Delays of more than 30 minutes should generally get you compensation. This could be as much as 50% of the price of that journey under the Delay Repay scheme. Delays of more than an hour should get you 100% back with extra compensation available for two hours or more of delays.
It’s also worth checking out the other rules of each train operator as some may offer additional refunds for season ticket holders encountering regular problems.
Once you know what you should be entitled to, now’s the time to complain.
Keep your tickets
Don’t bin those tickets or receipts. If you can’t prove you made the journey, you can’t claim money back for it. You need proof of travel and often just a snap of the ticket taken on your phone is enough to confirm you were on the delayed train. Remember, though, you must apply within 28 days of the delay.
You do that through the train company’s website, by post using a form from the station or using Resolver.co.uk where you can track all stages of your issue and attach scans or photos of your ticket too. It’s so easy.
It’s your money!
Never forget, that you have paid for the train journey and the delay was not your fault. So that means you are entitled to compensation. Why just ignore it. You paid for it. It’s your hard-earned cash. You’re owed it in either a cheque, rail voucher or straight into your bank account or PayPal. Some companies may also automatically give it back to you if you’ve booked through their website or app. They deserve our applause. More should act like them.
However, there will be some circumstances when a delay was out of the hands of the train operators themselves so check the terms and conditions carefully.
Complain for greater change
There is talk of making refunds available for all delays of 15 minutes or more. If you’ve had a bad passenger experience, make sure to use resolver.co.uk to get your voice heard by your train operator. You can also write to your MP and ask that they campaign for the 15-minute limit.
Whether it’s overcrowding, bad service or lack of facilities, never just accept it. Our users complain through Resolver about their train experiences all the time. It’s quick and easy and gets results and compensation.