Today I have received a letter from FGW regarding their lack of compensation for a 30 minute delay I suffered, and their total incompetence in dealing with it, I previously summed it up here.
Firstly Sue Smith the team manager apologises;
I have now had the opportunity to review your case and agree we did make mistakes for which I apologise.
Well that’s something I suppose. Though there’s an automated voice at every station that apologises for delays, so actually apologies from FGW are pretty frequent, but rarely feel meant.
We did record the wrong journey and having checked our records these show that the delay to your connecting service at Bristol Temple Meads was due to a mechanical problem. [they had previously stated that it was due to driver illness] John is a relatively new member of staff and I will ensure that he has the necessary training to prevent this happening again.
Presumably this training is to look at a database of delays and read off what caused my delay. That’s pretty simple training, which makes me believe that he’d had no training at all. She continues;
He was however correct not to compensate for a delay under an hour. I appreciate that this contradicts Alison Forster’s [FGW Managing Director] letter. I have spoken to her office and I regret that an error was made in her reply. The 30 minute delay compensation period relates to previous Thames trains services and not to previous Wessex Trains. We adopted the policy that the companies had in place when we took on the areas they covered previously.
So my questions to my fellow commuters is thus: Is this true? Was Wessex trains compensation policy to pay out for delays of 30 minutes or of 1 hour? I don’t know, I was only commuting with Wessex trains for about two weeks before FGW took over. Also if you’re a former Thames Trains commuter do you get compensation for delays over 30 minutes? Sounds like many of you in the Maidenhead area are experiencing these kind of delays every day. Are you getting your money back? Or is this FGW trying to explain the cock-up with yet another lie? If you want a copy of my letter to post off with your complaint forms let me know.
Finally, Sue finishes with;
In view of the error, and the mistakes in our response, Alison has asked that we forward Rail Vouchers to the full cost of this journey leg as a goodwill gesture and these are included.
Except that this is another mistake. She actually sent me rail vouchers for the full return price. Twice the amount I was asking for. Idiots.
The basic gist of this is that no-one at FGW knows what’s going on, and someone has been telling lies. The Managing Director doesn’t know when compensation should be paid. The man in the office makes up the reason that trains are delayed. Basically it’s just a big farce, and it is clear to everyone with the exception of the DfT that FGW is not fit for purpose.