North Kent MPs call on Southeastern to speed up Delay Repay scheme

North Kent MPs call on Southeastern to speed up Delay Repay scheme

North Kent MPs call on Southeastern to speed up Delay Repay scheme

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

North Kent MPs have called on "skanky" Southeastern to speed up the refund process for disgruntled commuters.

Under the current legislations commuters have to be delayed for more than half an hour and can only get vouchers back instead of cash.

Commuters also have to scan in copies of their tickets or receipt if an Oyster card was used and scanned images must not be anymore than 1 megabyte each.

Adam Holloway, who represents Gravesham, and Gareth Johnson, who represents Dartford, told News Shopper the Delay Repay system which is currently in place is not good enough.

Mr Holloway said: "I actually wrote to Southeastern about this issue a few months ago and said that the refunds system needs to be better advertised so commuters know about it.

"I have always said they could perhaps make themselves more popular if they show care and just love their customers more.

"I think the staff at the ticket barriers can do more to be helpful and keep people informed of what is going on.

"I have always found Southeastern to be responsive when you complain.

"The high speed service is good and reliable but far too expensive and normal service is skanky and always late." Southeastern was ranked joint bottom in an annual train satisfaction survey last month with only 40 per cent of passengers saying they are satisfied with the service.

The survey by Which? surveyed 7,415 passengers across News Shopper's patch and it was revealed 80 per cent of people think train fares are too high while 53 per cent would pay more if the service improved.

Mr Johnson, who is a regular commuter, called on Southeastern to give out cash refunds instead of train vouchers for delayed services.

He added: "Southeastern need to be more proactive in telling its customers what they can do if they are delayed.

"Southeastern have staff at the stations, why are they not handing out leaflets to customers when they are waiting telling them what they can do to get some money back.

"The other issue is why are commuters not being refunded cash and only rail vouchers?

"We can in cash or on card for our tickets so surely that is right and fair?

"I am a regular commuter on Southeastern to and from London and the service is simply awful."

Tom Hayward, 27, commutes from Dartford to central London everyday and described the system as "underhand".

He said: "The Delay Repay scheme is only ever mentioned on Twitter if directly and explicitly asked by another user.

"Southesastern never suggest it themselves. It's probably just normal business but it's very underhand."

Aaron Nicholson, 27, commutes from Albany Park to London Bridge each day and added: "I use the Delay Repay system at least once a week because the trains on the Southeastern line are just so unreliable.

"I have a season ticket so it doesn't matter too much to me they only refund in vouchers but if I was a one-off traveller and was late I would find it very frustrating."

A spokesman for Southeastern added: "Delay-repay", like all train operating company compensation schemes is approved by the Department for Transport.

"We take the point that some customers might prefer cheques and we are always looking to make the system easier to use and more accessible.

"However, the number of claims received does indicate that our customers are aware of the scheme and how to claim.

"Nor do tickets need to be electronically in order to make a claim. A hard copy of the ticket is sufficient."

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