16 October 2011 Attitude is the biggest barrier: Part 3
Hope everyone is well
So, I am writing this as an update to these previous blogs:
I wrote back to London Midland with all the points I mentioned that I wasn’t happy with in my previous blog. Here is the reply I received:
15 August 2011
Dear Miss Kaur Sehmbi
Thank you for your letter which was received by us on 12 August 2011.
I am so sorry to hear of that you were disappointed with our earlier response.
Our, as other Train Operating Companies, Assisted Travel Department co-ordinates and arranges any help passengers need. They notify staff at the relevant stations of a passenger requirements and travel arrangements.
It is normal practice, when a passenger is to be assisted on board a train for the staff at the relevant station who are helping that person to board the train, to inform the Conductor on board that there is a person to be assisted in boarding the service. Thereafter information is provided to the Conductor as to where the person in question is located on the train. The Conductor on board is then aware of the situation and ensures that arrangements have been made for the person to disembark at the relevant station and that additional time is allocated for this to occur.
If however, information is not conveyed to the Conductor on board that a person requiring assistance is either to board or has boarded, it is assumed by the Conductor that all passengers on board are able to board and disembark themselves from the train.
When a Train Dispatcher informs the Conductor that the path is clear for the train to leave, the Conductor must take the appropriate steps for the doors of the train to be closed. Once the door closing operation has commenced, it is not possible for this to be stopped.
Whilst it is noted that you indicate that our 1813 service left London Euston earlier than schedule, I have checked our Train Data System, which records details of the times of a train arriving and departing from every station which they are scheduled to call, this has shown that our train left London Euston on time, in accordance with the printed timetable.
When situations such as those experienced by you on this day occur, investigations are undertaken as to why this occurred, and if necessary the appropriate steps are taken to ensure that such a situation does not arise again.
As indicated previously, the policy we have adopted concerning our complaints and disciplinary procedure does not allow information on the result of any enquiry to be passed on to customers. The detailed results of any enquiry remains confidential between the company and its employee.
Having regard to the difficulties which you experienced, and bearing in mind the delay which both you and your mother encountered of some 36 minutes, I enclose rail travel vouchers to the value of £26.00 being the assessed amount of compensation due to you both under our Delay Repay Scheme. These vouchers are valid for 12 months and can be used towards your next journey either with ourselves or another train company.
Once again, I would like to express my regret and apologise further to you both for the difficulties which you encountered.
Firstly, they say they ‘have checked our Train Data System, which records details of the times of a train arriving and departing from every station which they are scheduled to call, this has shown that our train left London Euston on time, in accordance with the printed timetable.’ This just proves my point that there was time for me to board the train. The ramp was in place at 18:10 but the Train Dispatcher was signaling for the doors to close and the train to leave. He started shouting at us that we were too late and to move out the way. The Assistance staff questioned him and asked what he was doing as there was still time left. He kept repeating to move the ramp out of the way which was still being slammed by the doors. In the end the Assistance staff reluctantly moved the ramp and the train left. The train departure time was 18:13, so these last 2-3 minutes consisted of a bizarre scenario of slamming doors on a ramp, shouting and confusion, instead of just letting me get on the train!
Secondly, they have only reimbursed £26.00 instead of the total it cost me £51.60, but better than nothing I guess!
I have to say I think they are just talking around the point but I don’t think I can be bothered anymore!
So what does everyone think of their latest reply?
Catherine Gillies replied on 17 Oct 2011 at 13:30Report abuse
How do you know the staff member is being enquired about?
They only gave you half? Did you have to buy another ticket or did u just use the one you had?
It might be the fault of the assistant whatever they are, maybe they didnt inform the conductor. The train shouldn't have left early, i mean surely they can see there's still a person getting on? There's a reason why you have train times...you're not meant to just go when you please.
I think they're trying to make excuses for this guy. The main point was his rudeness and lack of respect to you as a person. Now a lot of people are dependent on trains and you got there early and there shouldn't have been any problem.
I would write to them and suggest to them that there's a reason why they have train times saying such and such a train is leaving at 6.30 not 6.25 and if someone is getting on the train at 6.25, you don't shut the doors. They're a bunch of eedjits.
Jon Hastie replied on 18 Oct 2011 at 18:57Report abuse
The assistance you received seems to have been an absolute shambles. I can't believe how even with you arriving 40 minutes early they managed to mess up!
They havent really seemed to address many of the points you raise. I would take it further, their complaints policy says you can contact Passenger Focus or London TravelWatch - which I googled and it looks like it's worth contacting them at least. They should be to give you an idea of whether it's worth taking further. Don't let London Midland off the hook!