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  • FIRST POST
    • Timothea
    • By Timothea 2nd Mar 18, 11:49 PM
    • 161Posts
    • 313Thanks
    Timothea
    West Midlands Railway - Delay Repay
    • #1
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:49 PM
    West Midlands Railway - Delay Repay 2nd Mar 18 at 11:49 PM
    I recently submitted a Delay Repay cancellation claim, using West Midlands Railway's online system, for a journey yesterday (Thursday) from Stafford to London Euston. This is what happened:

    My train left Stafford on time. At Rugby, no driver could be found, and the train was eventually cancelled. After waiting for a while, we were told to go to another platform and take a different train to London Euston, via Northampton, Milton Keynes and Watford Junction. This train was then delayed at Northampton for about 20 minutes and it arrived at London Euston over an hour late.

    I made my claim later that evening, and it was logged at 08:11 the next morning (today). At 16:58 today, I received the following response by email:

    Thank you for your delay repay claim for your journey between Stafford and London Euston on 01/03/2018 at 16:55.

    Our Delay Repay scheme applies to journeys where there has been a delay of 15 minutes or more. We have checked your journey and on this occasion, we could not find a delay of 15 minutes or more.

    We accept any delay is frustrating, and we are sorry for any disruption caused to your journey on this day.

    If you believe we have miscalculated your delay or you have further information to support your claim then please submit an appeal by logging on to your https://westmidlandsrailway.delayrepaycompensation.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=history.index.

    When we have received this information we will review your claim within 10 working days.

    Regards,

    Delay Repay Team
    West Midlands Railway
    This doesn't make any sense. The 16:55 from Stafford was withdrawn from service at Rugby, so it never arrived at London Euston. Clearly, they didn't check for this possibility. I am pretty sure I know what actually happened.

    West Midlands Railway (WMR) recently took over the franchise from London Midland, which managed all Delay Repay claims itself. However, WMR uses Travel Compensation Services (TCS) to manage all of its Delay Repay claims. TCS uses an automated system to attempt to validate each claim, and if a claim is not validated by the system then an email is automatically sent to the claimant.

    This is done without any human intervention, which means that any claim that is not a simple delay is rejected with the status Decision Made. The appeal process is the first time a claimant can explain what actually happened and a human will look at the claim. This process is, I suggest, deliberately designed to put people off from continuing with their claims.

    When I made my claim, I had to choose the type of claim I was making from a few basic types. I classified my claim as a cancellation, rather than a delay, but there was nowhere to explain what had happened. At the very least, WMR needs to allow customers to enter an explanation with their claim when the circumstances are complex, and not automatically reject complex claims.

    Has anyone had similar problems with other TOCs?
Page 1
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 3rd Mar 18, 12:13 AM
    • 12,151 Posts
    • 8,268 Thanks
    Voyager2002
    • #2
    • 3rd Mar 18, 12:13 AM
    • #2
    • 3rd Mar 18, 12:13 AM
    I suggest that you say all that to the Office of the Rail Regulator.
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 3rd Mar 18, 9:39 AM
    • 7,536 Posts
    • 6,031 Thanks
    daveyjp
    • #3
    • 3rd Mar 18, 9:39 AM
    • #3
    • 3rd Mar 18, 9:39 AM
    Many use computer says no, its cheaper as many won!!!8217;t bother with the time to resubmit.

    If you go to realtimetrains website you will be able to find your services and actually provide evidence for them to see sense.
    • Timothea
    • By Timothea 3rd Mar 18, 4:19 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 313 Thanks
    Timothea
    • #4
    • 3rd Mar 18, 4:19 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Mar 18, 4:19 PM
    I suggest that you say all that to the Office of the Rail Regulator.
    Originally posted by Voyager2002
    I have to complain to WMR before I can complain to ORR.

    This is the complaint I sent:
    My train left Stafford on time. At Rugby, no driver could be found, and the train was eventually withdrawn from service. After a further wait, we were told to go to another platform and take a different train to London Euston, via Northampton, Milton Keynes and Watford Junction. This train was then delayed at Northampton for about 20 minutes and it arrived at London Euston more an hour after my scheduled arrival time.

    However, I am not complaining about these unfortunate events. My complaint is about what happened when I submitted a Delay Repay compensation claim. I made my claim later that evening, and it was logged at 08:11 the next morning (02/03/2018). At 16:58 on the same day, I received the following response by email:

    "Thank you for your delay repay claim for your journey between Stafford and London Euston on 01/03/2018 at 16:55.

    "Our Delay Repay scheme applies to journeys where there has been a delay of 15 minutes or more. We have checked your journey and on this occasion, we could not find a delay of 15 minutes or more.

    "We accept any delay is frustrating, and we are sorry for any disruption caused to your journey on this day.

    "If you believe we have miscalculated your delay or you have further information to support your claim then please submit an appeal by logging on to your https://westmidlandsrailway.delayrepaycompensation.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=history.index.

    "When we have received this information we will review your claim within 10 working days.

    "Regards,

    "Delay Repay Team

    "West Midlands Railway"

    I have, of course, appealed this decision. However, the way my claim has been handled and determined so far is fundamentally unfair for the following reasons:

    1) My claim was rejected without proper consideration

    It is clear from the speed of the response that your travel compensation service provider uses an automated system to validate Delay Repay compensation claims. Using an automated system is acceptable provided it consistently produces reliable decisions.

    In this case, the decision is clearly nonsensical. Whatever checks the automated system made, they were inadequate, and an incorrect decision was made. An automated system that is fit for purpose should have checked when my original train arrived at London Euston, which was never. At that point, my claim should have been escalated to a real person to consider, but it was not.

    2) Your online Delay Repay claim form does not collect all the information needed to make a proper determination

    There are two problems with your online Delay Repay claim form. The first is that a claim can only be categorised in four ways: Delayed, Cancelled, Didn’t Stop and Couldn’t Board. These are all single events but, in my experience, long delays are often caused by multiple events. Such claims are not suitable for automatic determination because the system is unable to validate them. A fifth category is needed for complex (multi-event) claims.

    The second problem with your online Delay Repay claim form is that the claimant is unable to provide any explanation of what happened. This wouldn’t help an automated system, but it would allow claims that the system cannot determine to be escalated to a real person to consider.

    3) Claims that cannot be automatically validated are automatically rejected

    A binary decision (either to accept or reject a claim) from the automated system is fundamentally unfair because no automated system can produce reliable decisions in all circumstances. Although the rejection email provides a way to appeal, the fact that a decision has been made is likely to put off many claimants from appealing. This is reinforced by the claim status being Decision Made, which sounds final. An appeal option should only be offered after the claim has been properly considered.

    I would not be surprised if this tactic was deliberately designed to frustrate claimants and thereby reduce the number of successful claims. I am aware of other industries where suppliers offer a “more efficient service” that, in reality, is based on making it more difficult for consumers to exercise their rights.

    Whilst this is a single complaint from me, I have made it to highlight systemic deficiencies in your Delay Repay process on behalf of thousands of claimants who are likely to be treated unfairly by it. I hope you will provide a full response to all my concerns. I should remind you that your franchise and consumer obligations cannot be outsourced, and you remain responsible for the conduct of Travel Compensation Services Limited.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 4th Mar 18, 5:05 PM
    • 12,151 Posts
    • 8,268 Thanks
    Voyager2002
    • #5
    • 4th Mar 18, 5:05 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Mar 18, 5:05 PM
    Thanks for quoting your complaint...

    I recently found (with Virgin) that my complaint was ignored. After the required time had elapsed I contacted the ORR with a copy to Virgin... and this time there was a result (I received a cheque for the amount due to me under delay-repay).
    • nightsky224
    • By nightsky224 4th Mar 18, 10:08 PM
    • 827 Posts
    • 544 Thanks
    nightsky224
    • #6
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:08 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Mar 18, 10:08 PM
    Hi, can reccomend checking http://www.recenttraintimes.co.uk to see what they have recorded for your train.
    Recently married and loving it x
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