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Southeastern Trains
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# 1
Tabby
Old 06-01-2008, 2:42 PM
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Default Southeastern Trains

Arrrggghhh! I have had it up to here with Southeastern trains (SET)...
In November 2007 I travelled 1st class to a wedding as I was taking cakes and did not want them squished. The train got stuck behind a broken down train and we were stranded for around 2 hours which meant I missed the wedding. If that was not bad enough, the driver allowed a passenger to smoke a cigarette in his cab. Then the train terminated at the next stop where we had to wait for another train to take us a few more stops before terminating. Then at the main station, I wanted to catch a train one stop to the village station, and was told by a station assistant the train stopped at the village station but it didn't and I ended up going past it. As you can imagine, I was very upset.

I wrote to SET and sent copies of the tickets and wedding invite asked for a refund and said I wanted to know what SET's policy was on allowing passengers into the driver's cab (surely a security breach in light of the current climate) and then allowing someone to smoke since the Health Act 2006 ban on smoking in public places was brought in.

Well I heard nothing so I called them in December. Sorry, they said, we sent you a letter and a cheque, we'll send them again.

I eventually received a cheque for HALF the cost of the outward journey that was affected (according to their charter I should have got a 100% refund) and some stupid leisure vouchers 'as a goodwill gesture'. They also managed to misspell my surname even though I had sent them a typed letter. The letter they claimed was enclosed was not enclosed.

I called them again and said, where is the letter? And please spell my name correctly.

Sorry, they said and eventually I got a letter back. The letter did not mention the smoking on the train. I called and said I wanted a full refund and that I would be taking it further as I was not satisfied with their response and the incompetence of the muppets in the customer services team. I said I would write to Govia Ltd (the parent company of SET who allow them to run the franchise). The woman on the phone had not heard of Govia Ltd but suggested I could write to their MD at SET.

So I emailed Govia Ltd (fed up of spending postage on getting SET to deal with my complaint effectively) and asked them to forward my complaint to the MD at SET and told them I had reported them to the borough council regarding the smoking.

Then I get a letter from the same muppets at SET saying sorry, we will speak to the driver concerned about the smoking on the train.

Now the council have left me a voicemail saying 'not a lot we can do unless you know the name and address of the passenger'
This is RIDICULOUS - the company should be fined as it was the driver who invited the passenger to smoke in his cab.

I am at my wits end with this!!!!!!!!!!!!
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# 2
dmg24
Old 06-01-2008, 3:37 PM
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What do you actually want them to do?
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# 3
Tabby
Old 06-01-2008, 3:58 PM
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I wanted them to deal with my complaint effectively the first time and be refunded the amount I am owed

Instead, I had to go online, call and email them during work time chasing them to do their job properly. I may not have informed Environmental Health about the smoking if they had addressed it the first time round.

My rant was essentially about how frustrating it is complaining when customer service is poor and how some people would get 'complaint fatigue' and just let them off because they are fed up trying to get a reasonable resolution.
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# 4
Tabby
Old 06-01-2008, 4:00 PM
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...and it is not as if I can just boycott Southeastern as they run the franchise on my train line - I have to use their crappy service whether I like it or not - that is annoying as consumer power doesn't apply to train services
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# 5
uktim29
Old 06-01-2008, 4:19 PM
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Whats with the smoking complaint, it was in a private area not a public one, looks like your just looking for things to complain about which is why you won't be satisfied because you'll then just look for things to complain about with any response you get.
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# 6
Blacksheep1979
Old 06-01-2008, 5:10 PM
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erm it's a place of work so you're not allowed to smoke there...
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# 7
dmg24
Old 06-01-2008, 5:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacksheep1979 View Post
erm it's a place of work so you're not allowed to smoke there...
But did it actually have any negative effect on the OP?
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# 8
Blacksheep1979
Old 06-01-2008, 5:33 PM
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probably not, but they seem to be determined to moan about something - thought I might as well help
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# 9
womble100
Old 06-01-2008, 6:11 PM
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things happen trains break down,you got a refund for the delayed part of your journey and extra vouchers,what more do you want?set have more than helped you plus.and good on the driver for letting a smoker have a crafty ciggie while the train was delayed,he deserves employer of the month.stop moaning and move on.tut tut.
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# 10
pinkshoes
Old 07-01-2008, 9:49 AM
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Actually, I sympathise with the OP, as I feel customer service has gone seriously downhill for alot of companies recently, and even though you pay through the nose for a service which is shocking, and take the time to complain (you'd think a company would be interested in its customers!), all you seem to get is generic replies, sometimes so inaccurate and odd, you're not sure if they actually bothered reading your letter!

ideally, if you get a lousy service from a company, you'd shop elsewhere, but that's not always easy with train companies, as there IS no reasonable alternative other than driving.
It's a shame when the right to freedom of speech is not honoured...
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# 11
JohalaReewi
Old 07-01-2008, 1:11 PM
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You should try southern trains! If your train gets slightly delayed it gets cancelled and turned around before it reaches its final station. Any passengers are just dumped to fend for themselves. You get the impression that southern just want trains to arrive at stations on time so they don't get penalised for running late. If a train is running late, they take the hit for that one but stop the train short so it isn't late for the next journey. They don't really care about getting passengers to where they want to go.

If you complain they say that they are not responsible for delays and won't refund (although they have once after being delayed for over 2 hours because they cancelled 3 consecutive trains).
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# 12
uktim29
Old 07-01-2008, 1:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacksheep1979 View Post
erm it's a place of work so you're not allowed to smoke there...
The drivers cabin is a place of work for one person, the driver. Why should do-gooders get involved?
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