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Bexley commuter keeps online photo diary in a bid to 'shame' Southeastern
AN EXASPERATED commuter is keeping an online photo diary in a bid to "shame" Southeastern into improving its service.
David Eckhoff, a writer from Bexley who has been commuting for more than 25 years, claims the operator's trains are worse than those offered in the USSR when Communism was crumbling.
The 51-year-old has documented his personal experiences with the rail operator for nearly a year on his blog with pictures - from ripped out seats and graffittied trains to staff members who have run away in response to pleas for information.
Mr Eckhoff told News Shopper: "I went on the Trans-Siberian Express in the Communist days in 1988 when everything was a complete mess in the USSR. It was better and more reliable then.
"That’s the real issue. There is no reliability. You have no idea whether there’s going to be a train or not. The information is incorrect.
"If you ask the staff, they are either rude or don't know anything or they say "We think they are rubbish too".
He decided to start his blog after Southeastern services came to a standstill after a sprinkling of snow.
He said: "About three years ago, it was so bad, some MPs were involved.
"Southeastern said ‘we’ll never let this happen again.’ Then last year, it hardly snowed at all - but I couldn’t get home for hours.
"I’m unable to see, as most passengers are, what investments they have made.
"The company isn’t able to provide any correct information."
On his blog, The Royal Factor, Mr Eckhoff has four detailed posts documenting his experience with Southeastern - which he has dubbed "a demon revenue-collecting machine" after paying £1,800 for a season ticket this year.
He asked News Shopper not be pictured, so he can continue his blog without reprisals from Southeastern.
A Southeastern spokesman said: "We work hard to provide a reliable service each and every day, so it’s disappointing and frustrating when things do go wrong.
"We appreciate rush hour commuter services are busy and do our best to make sure our 2,000 daily trains run on time for passengers. Our daily punctuality is usually above 90 per cent."
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