Category: Customer Service

Customer Service #Fail

Dear Rich,

Thank you for contacting us on 20/01/16 providing us with detailed feedback of your experiences using our services.  Please accept my apologies for the delay in our response.

Given the points you’ve raised, I do understand why you’d have a vested interested in knowing how this will be pursued. While this is entirely understandable, I regret that we cannot follow up such suggestions with individual customers.

Customer feedback is very important to us, as we know the future of the industry rests on our retaining an open and on-going discussion with the people who use our services on a day-to-day basis.

I can therefore assure you that your concerns and suggestions have appropriately been reported. While an individual customer very well may have raised an entirely valid concern or legitimate suggestion, we cannot promise that it’ll be actioned straight away.

Individual customer feedback has to be taken into consideration as part of our wider commitments. This includes other, sometimes conflicting, customer feedback as well as the demands of other industry agencies and our overall business strategies.

Such a detailed insight into your experience and completely legitimate suggestions for improvements are warmly welcomed and we really appreciate your feedback.

Kind Regards,


Customer Service Advisor




First name

Departure Station

here’s my feedback of my customer journey today.

1. Need to get a return ticket Hassocks to Paddington today at short notice. I need to arrive by 9:45. I want to leave Hassocks as late as possible in the morning.

2. I go on National Rail website. It tells me all tickets at this time cost the same. Around £52 a return. I note there are various timings options. I note the are some trains with less connections. I note some trains leave later.

3. The latest train I can get is the 07:59. The website tells me I have to change at Farringdon. I decide to buy my ticket at the station machine.

4. I arrive at the Hassocks station machine. London Paddington is not a train station listed where I can buy a return ticket to. It says “London Victoria, Kings Cross etc”. Well, what does etc mean? Which stations are included in that? Searching for Paddington or London Paddington doesn’t return a result. So I decide I should go to the counter and buy my ticket face to face.

5. At the counter I expect to ask for a return to London Paddington and that it will cost around £52 as that was the universal price at this time of day. The ticket is cheaper, at around £39. This is a pleasant surprise. I don’t ask any further questions.

6. However, The adviser at the counter asks whether I’m getting the 07:55 to Victoria. I say no (as I had wanted to get the latest train possible from Hassocks). However, as I’m in time for the 07:55 I ask if I can catch that one. I’m told no and that my ticket is Thameslink only. I’m not informed that I need to change at Farringdon at that point but i believe I’ve already got this info from my web search so i don’t ask further questions. There’s a queue behind me and I assume the train is direct to Farringdon.

7. After paying for my ticket, I wait on the platform and decide to double check my route on the National Rail app. This now says that if I get the 07:59 To Paddington, that I should change at Haywards Heath and go to Victoria, I assume because this is the fastest route. But I know that this can’t be right because I know this faster route is not a Thameslink only train, I think it’s southern. However, if I had bought my £39 ticket at the machine (somehow), I would not have known not to get the 07:55 southern train, Nor would i have known not to change at Haywards Heath and get the slightly faster train if I’d got the 07:59 as planned.

All of this feels over complicated to me.

As a customer i want to get a train from A to B and know the price.

I can handle more expensive at certain times but what annoys me is the misinformation or inaccessibility or inconsistency of information out there and the fact that alternative routes to the same places come with different prices and train provider restrictions. Especially when both train providers are owned by the same company.

I could have paid £13 more for a train that got me into Paddington no sooner than the cheaper one, or a negligible time difference.

Southern Rail and Thameslink are now both owned by Go Ahead group. So stop messing around with us as customers and consolidate the pricing structure and these ridiculous route restrictions.

From a customer perspective, London is London. Sort your information systems out so its easy to plan trips.

Make this work across all platforms, mobile devices and apps including third party apps like National Rail and The Trainline.

Ensure that stations appear listed on ticket machines.

Be more customer centric I’m a relatively tech savvy internet savvy person. i found this difficult. My mum would find it impossible.

That’s my feedback. Rich.

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