Southeastern Trains 56 day wait for refunds - Advice needed

Is there any law around the length of time a train company should issue a refund?  I'm being told that what was once a 10 day process is now 56 days (five times as long). 

I submitted my refund to South Eastern train company on the 7th April, at the time they were projecting a 20 day response time up from 10 days.  I contacted them around 22nd April and they informed me they had calculated the amount that I'm owed, confirming the figure.  

I contacted them this week and have now been informed that my refund will take up to the 56 days to process which is the 2nd June.   I understand the increase in refund requests but this does not seem reasonable. 

I've issued a complaint and received an email reconfirming the amount and the 56 day processing time.

I'm now being told that I have to wait a further five days for a manager to contact me - again unacceptable.  

Are there any additional steps I can take to escalate this further.  It shouldn't take until June to process a refund request made in April. 

Comments

  • Browntoa
    Browntoa Posts: 49,270
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    Skeleton staff at the customer service centres , very unlikely that you can do anything but wait
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  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,379
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    My first observation is only 56 days.
    60-90 is typical for claims I have made with Northern in 'normal' times.
    .
  • bagand96
    bagand96 Posts: 6,021
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    There's an astronomical increase in refund requests.  There's less capacity than usual to deal with them due to working from home, self isolating etc.

    Complaining and escalating is only adding to their workload at a time when they could be working at getting through the back log.  Yes, stamping your feet and demanding might get you your refund quicker, but everyone is in the same boat, and patience is a virtue now more than ever.
  • pinkladyvenus
    pinkladyvenus Posts: 371
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    edited 29 April 2020 at 8:01PM

    Is there any law around the length of time a train company should issue a refund?  I'm being told that what was once a 10 day process is now 56 days (five times as long).


    The current National Rail Conditions of Travel is available to read or download here (PDF).

    go to page 22 part F 29.3


    Sealed pot challenge member 437
  • I have the same problem with Southern. My claim went in on March 18. I am due several thousand pounds refund. The rail companies are sitting on millions of pounds of refunds, but this is not attracting the same press coverage as other travel operators. Why not? 
  • Browntoa
    Browntoa Posts: 49,270
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    Because it's not a scandal , it's a backlog.

    Before this maybe 100 refunds a month , now 20,000.

    System was never ever going to cope
    I'm a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Shopping and Freebies, Phones and TV and Over 50s boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing . All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • MrUU
    MrUU Posts: 5
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    Southeastern have calculated the amount I am owed, at this point its an administrative process which is largely automated.   Why should this take a further month to complete?

    I'm owed a couple thousand which I need to pay bills as I'm furloughed and taking less than 80% salary.   

    The likelihood is that they take so long the refund is going to be unnecessary as we all return to work. Meanwhile I'll need to borrow and plunge further into debt. The only one that benefits from that is Southeastern, so let's not victim blame. 
  • MrUU
    MrUU Posts: 5
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    Furthermore, every train company is projecting 56 days. Not every train company has the same level of demand so this figure is not calculated on factual figures but a industry decision.   
  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,049
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    @MrUU, what does your MP have to say about this?
  • MrUU
    MrUU Posts: 5
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    My Tory MP would probably tell me to eat a cake.   Can't afford it though, South Eastern is withholding £3k.
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