Great Western Coffee Shop

Journey by Journey => London to Swindon and Bristol => Topic started by: grahame on October 23, 2018, 07:22:09 pm



Title: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: grahame on October 23, 2018, 07:22:09 pm
From the BBC - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-45952442

Quote
Autistic boy 'mocked' by Great Western Railway staff

An autistic boy was "mocked" by Great Western Railway (GWR) staff at Paddington station, his mother claims.

Crime writer Sarah Hilary said two GWR help desk staff "jeered" at her and her 17-year-old son when she asked if they could be put on another train.

She was "humiliated" when staff accused her of "trying it on" and was "made to feel like a criminal", she said.

Apologising, GWR said it was "totally unacceptable" and that it had launched an investigation.

Ms Hilary, an award-winning crime writer who lives in Bath, made a formal complaint about what happened on Sunday evening.
She said they had arrived two hours early for their train and asked staff at the help desk if they could be transferred to an earlier one because her son was "so overwhelmed" by the station environment.

"I tried to explain how difficult it was for my son but they spoke to us both rudely, accused me of 'trying it on' and humiliated us in front of other passengers."

Article continues


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: rogerw on October 23, 2018, 07:30:35 pm
Clearly some serious training required


Title: Autistic boy mocked by GWR staff
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 23, 2018, 10:06:36 pm
....another shining example of how not to deal with disabled people from GWR...

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-45952442


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: CMRail on October 23, 2018, 10:13:54 pm
Clearly some serious training required

I have to disagree. Generally, when traveling with less accessible passengers I find staff helpfull and very welcoming when it comes to helping me out. I believe from what a Train Manager (of which I chat with often) explains is that serious Customer Service is worked on within the training that GWR provides.

https://youtu.be/cXoAaxjeNm0

Here, on GWR’s very own youtube channel, is a video about the company rolling out Autisum awareness training. Had this/these member of staff received the correct training or not, GWR show that they train individuals well despite their lack of customer service when it comes internal issues.

Quote
In July, GWR were criticised after comedian Tanyalee Davis was threatened by a guard on a GWR train who said he would call the police if she did not move her mobility scooter from a disabled space.
GWR said at the time that staff who saw a video of the incident were "collectively horrified".

Since when is this incident involving accesibilty and wheelchair rights applicable to the customer service towards an individual is the issue of concern. Ultimately, the member of staff is in the wrong of whom should be trained more efficiently and should have a word with their line manager about this incident and how to work around it in the future.


Title: Re: Autistic boy mocked by GWR staff
Post by: a-driver on October 23, 2018, 10:27:30 pm
Honestly, aside from her claim about how she was spoken to I don’t really agree with, or find it fair, to use a condition in order to get on an earlier train. Unless you’re willing to pay the difference you’re making a financial gain.
I accept sometimes there’s genuine reasons but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s people who exploit it.


Title: Re: Autistic boy mocked by GWR staff
Post by: bignosemac on October 24, 2018, 12:03:43 am
Honestly, aside from her claim about how she was spoken to I don’t really agree with, or find it fair, to use a condition in order to get on an earlier train. Unless you’re willing to pay the difference you’re making a financial gain.
I accept sometimes there’s genuine reasons but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s people who exploit it.

And that justifies the shockingly poor customer service does it?


Title: Re: Autistic boy mocked by GWR staff
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 24, 2018, 05:54:25 am
Honestly, aside from her claim about how she was spoken to I don’t really agree with, or find it fair, to use a condition in order to get on an earlier train. Unless you’re willing to pay the difference you’re making a financial gain.
I accept sometimes there’s genuine reasons but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s people who exploit it.

Whenever these (not infrequent) incidents occur involving GWR and disabled people, I have to pinch myself and remind myself that's it's 2018 and they are a customer facing business so how can this happen? How can their Customer service employees have such an appalling attitude? What sort of organisational culture allows it to happen?

Then I read posts like this one and it all becomes clear.

To be fair at least on this occasion GWR have come out swiftly, apologised and admitted that it is totally unacceptable - be interesting to hear the outcome of the investigation.


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 24, 2018, 06:03:58 am
Clearly some serious training required

I have to disagree. Generally, when traveling with less accessible passengers I find staff helpfull and very welcoming when it comes to helping me out. I believe from what a Train Manager (of which I chat with often) explains is that serious Customer Service is worked on within the training that GWR provides.

https://youtu.be/cXoAaxjeNm0

Here, on GWR’s very own youtube channel, is a video about the company rolling out Autisum awareness training. Had this/these member of staff received the correct training or not, GWR show that they train individuals well despite their lack of customer service when it comes internal issues.

Quote
In July, GWR were criticised after comedian Tanyalee Davis was threatened by a guard on a GWR train who said he would call the police if she did not move her mobility scooter from a disabled space.
GWR said at the time that staff who saw a video of the incident were "collectively horrified".

Since when is this incident involving accesibilty and wheelchair rights applicable to the customer service towards an individual is the issue of concern. Ultimately, the member of staff is in the wrong of whom should be trained more efficiently and should have a word with their line manager about this incident and how to work around it in the future.

…...just to be clear, you don't think that "helpdesk" staff who jeer at customers and the disabled, humiliate them and accuse them of "trying it on" in respect of a disabled child need more training?

It could quite easily be argued that they are in need of dismissal for gross misconduct.


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: grahame on October 24, 2018, 07:31:19 am
I have merged the two topics running on the same subject

Two issues:

a) The treatment of a customer group by GWR staff which, as reported, sounds very much out of order.

b) The request to be transferred to an earlier train on what sounds like it was an advanced ticket.  Nothing to stop you askng ... but (taking an example) booking at £17.50 for specific a later train and then looking to travel on a train where the lowest cost service on offer was £34.30 at the time you booked is cheeky and a polite request to top up or replace the ticket would be reasonable.

Should someone take offense at a request to upgrade (b), I can quite see the staff who have been 'approached' and then have an offended customer stepping over the mark and loosing their cool.

But we should be careful not to jump to conclusions with only media evidence and discussion.


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: Bob_Blakey on October 24, 2018, 07:59:10 am
Previous Post Spelling Alert: Offense Offence, Loosing Losing  ;D

As per usual with reports of this nature I doubt we have yet been presented with the full story and certainly not with both sides of it. But if the customer was requesting transfer to a different service than that booked at no additional cost when holding an Advance ticket then the response should have been a polite 'No' regardless of the circumstances.


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: ChrisB on October 24, 2018, 09:44:38 am
Or asking her to upgrade to a (super, if there is one) off-peak walk-up maybe? Rather than the response given?


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: CMRail on October 24, 2018, 09:53:05 am
Clearly some serious training required

I have to disagree. Generally, when traveling with less accessible passengers I find staff helpfull and very welcoming when it comes to helping me out. I believe from what a Train Manager (of which I chat with often) explains is that serious Customer Service is worked on within the training that GWR provides.

https://youtu.be/cXoAaxjeNm0

Here, on GWR’s very own youtube channel, is a video about the company rolling out Autisum awareness training. Had this/these member of staff received the correct training or not, GWR show that they train individuals well despite their lack of customer service when it comes internal issues.

Quote
In July, GWR were criticised after comedian Tanyalee Davis was threatened by a guard on a GWR train who said he would call the police if she did not move her mobility scooter from a disabled space.
GWR said at the time that staff who saw a video of the incident were "collectively horrified".

Since when is this incident involving accesibilty and wheelchair rights applicable to the customer service towards an individual is the issue of concern. Ultimately, the member of staff is in the wrong of whom should be trained more efficiently and should have a word with their line manager about this incident and how to work around it in the future.

…...just to be clear, you don't think that "helpdesk" staff who jeer at customers and the disabled, humiliate them and accuse them of "trying it on" in respect of a disabled child need more training?

It could quite easily be argued that they are in need of dismissal for gross misconduct.

I absolutely agree that she was spoken to in an appalling manner. Although the comment saying that serious training was required was the point I argued with as said in my message. She was treated in a disgusting way and it shouldn’t happen again, however you can not say that training is required when two individual staff members on separate occasions have been in the news.

I also disagree with the need to publicise, I would formally complain until I am satisfied with my reply and then I would go on twitter, to the news etc. It takes an age for GWR to respond so she certainly have not heard from then yet, personally I think she is seeking for a faster reply from GWR.


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 24, 2018, 11:40:53 am
I have merged the two topics running on the same subject

Two issues:

a) The treatment of a customer group by GWR staff which, as reported, sounds very much out of order.

b) The request to be transferred to an earlier train on what sounds like it was an advanced ticket.  Nothing to stop you askng ... but (taking an example) booking at £17.50 for specific a later train and then looking to travel on a train where the lowest cost service on offer was £34.30 at the time you booked is cheeky and a polite request to top up or replace the ticket would be reasonable.

Should someone take offense at a request to upgrade (b), I can quite see the staff who have been 'approached' and then have an offended customer stepping over the mark and loosing their cool.

But we should be careful not to jump to conclusions with only media evidence and discussion.

I'm sorry, but there is never, ever a justification for someone who has chosen a customer facing role to mock, jeer at, ridicule or otherwise humiliate a Mother and her disabled child, whether or not you are susceptible to "losing your cool" when confronted with someone making a far from unreasonable request in the circumstances ......if you're capable of such crass behaviour, you're in the wrong job...


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: grahame on October 24, 2018, 12:00:25 pm
I'm sorry, but there is never, ever a justification for someone who has chosen a customer facing role to mock, jeer at, ridicule or otherwise humiliate a Mother and her disabled child, whether or not you are susceptible to "losing your cool" when confronted with someone making a far from unreasonable request in the circumstances ......if you're capable of such crass behaviour, you're in the wrong job...

Not sure why you should be "sorry" ... I never mentioned justification.  I suggested how it might have come about.


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 24, 2018, 12:11:33 pm
I'm sorry, but there is never, ever a justification for someone who has chosen a customer facing role to mock, jeer at, ridicule or otherwise humiliate a Mother and her disabled child, whether or not you are susceptible to "losing your cool" when confronted with someone making a far from unreasonable request in the circumstances ......if you're capable of such crass behaviour, you're in the wrong job...

Not sure why you should be "sorry" ... I never mentioned justification.  I suggested how it might have come about.


At point (b) you seemed to be attempting to find mitigation in circumstances where this clearly did not and could not exist. If that was not your intention I apologise. I am sure you are as revolted by the behaviour of the GWR staff concerned as any other right thinking person would be.


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: broadgage on October 24, 2018, 01:02:27 pm
One point not mentioned, is that IME customers who don't get the outcome they desire will almost always complain that the person giving them the unwanted news was rude, insulting, mocking or otherwise unsatisfactory.

Has any customer ever admitted that a railway worker who declined their request was polite?



Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 24, 2018, 03:16:18 pm
One point not mentioned, is that IME customers who don't get the outcome they desire will almost always complain that the person giving them the unwanted news was rude, insulting, mocking or otherwise unsatisfactory.

Has any customer ever admitted that a railway worker who declined their request was polite?



Being able to decline a request whilst still being helpful & not causing offence is a communication skill which should be part of any customer service operatives toolbox.

As we all know from long experience, communication is not an area in which GWR excels.

It's often the way the song is sung as well as the lyrics which are important.


Title: Re: Autistic boy mocked by GWR staff
Post by: a-driver on October 24, 2018, 11:28:51 pm
Honestly, aside from her claim about how she was spoken to I don’t really agree with, or find it fair, to use a condition in order to get on an earlier train. Unless you’re willing to pay the difference you’re making a financial gain.
I accept sometimes there’s genuine reasons but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s people who exploit it.

Whenever these (not infrequent) incidents occur involving GWR and disabled people, I have to pinch myself and remind myself that's it's 2018 and they are a customer facing business so how can this happen? How can their Customer service employees have such an appalling attitude? What sort of organisational culture allows it to happen?

Then I read posts like this one and it all becomes clear.

To be fair at least on this occasion GWR have come out swiftly, apologised and admitted that it is totally unacceptable - be interesting to hear the outcome of the investigation.

I did say aside from the way she claimed she was spoken to, i say claimed because we only have one side of the story.  A side some people seem very quick to accept as the gospel truth. 

The only answer to her question to travel earlier would that she would need to pay the difference.  There would be no reason to decline their request outright.  There’s no reason to mock, jeer, be rude etc etc, it’s a straightforward standard answer.  The problem comes when the customer doesn’t like the response, is constantly met with the same answer and then they resort to abuse.  This happens daily. 


Title: Re: Autistic boy mocked by GWR staff
Post by: bignosemac on October 25, 2018, 06:28:39 pm
A side some people seem very quick to accept as the gospel truth. 

Until such time as evidence to the contrary is forthcoming I'll chose to believe the reports from reputable media sources. Backed up by the swift corporate apology.

I have personal experience of some very questionable attitudes from staff at Paddington. And I've heard of the experiences of many other passengers there. Treated with disdain, contempt, refused travel with valid tickets, falsely accused of being abusive. This happens daily.


Title: Re: Autistic boy mocked by GWR staff
Post by: a-driver on October 25, 2018, 09:29:03 pm
A side some people seem very quick to accept as the gospel truth. 

Until such time as evidence to the contrary is forthcoming I'll chose to believe the reports from reputable media sources. Backed up by the swift corporate apology.

I have personal experience of some very questionable attitudes from staff at Paddington. And I've heard of the experiences of many other passengers there. Treated with disdain, contempt, refused travel with valid tickets, falsely accused of being abusive. This happens daily.

Reputable media sources.... there isn’t such a thing!  They’ve got a one sided account of events. Should these be proven to be untrue they don’t print retractions.  The “swift corporate apology” is standard practice.  If you don’t it’s bad PR, see recent events on RyanAir. 

Can’t really comment on what you allege as I’ve never witnessed anything.


Title: Re: Autistic boy mocked by GWR staff
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 25, 2018, 10:26:54 pm
A side some people seem very quick to accept as the gospel truth. 

Until such time as evidence to the contrary is forthcoming I'll chose to believe the reports from reputable media sources. Backed up by the swift corporate apology.

I have personal experience of some very questionable attitudes from staff at Paddington. And I've heard of the experiences of many other passengers there. Treated with disdain, contempt, refused travel with valid tickets, falsely accused of being abusive. This happens daily.

Reputable media sources.... there isn’t such a thing!  They’ve got a one sided account of events. Should these be proven to be untrue they don’t print retractions.  The “swift corporate apology” is standard practice.  If you don’t it’s bad PR, see recent events on RyanAir. 

Can’t really comment on what you allege as I’ve never witnessed anything.

Basically then your position is that the customers honesty is questionable, the fulsome apology (and presumably the refund too?) from GWR is meaningless, the media can't be trusted and because you've never personally seen something you can't comment on whether it exists or not.......the lengths some people will go to in order to defend a narrative are incredible. I hope you get the staff loyalty award, you certainly deserve it!


Title: Re: Autistic boy mocked by GWR staff
Post by: a-driver on October 26, 2018, 02:01:20 am
A side some people seem very quick to accept as the gospel truth. 

Until such time as evidence to the contrary is forthcoming I'll chose to believe the reports from reputable media sources. Backed up by the swift corporate apology.

I have personal experience of some very questionable attitudes from staff at Paddington. And I've heard of the experiences of many other passengers there. Treated with disdain, contempt, refused travel with valid tickets, falsely accused of being abusive. This happens daily.

Reputable media sources.... there isn’t such a thing!  They’ve got a one sided account of events. Should these be proven to be untrue they don’t print retractions.  The “swift corporate apology” is standard practice.  If you don’t it’s bad PR, see recent events on RyanAir. 

Can’t really comment on what you allege as I’ve never witnessed anything.

Basically then your position is that the customers honesty is questionable, the fulsome apology (and presumably the refund too?) from GWR is meaningless, the media can't be trusted and because you've never personally seen something you can't comment on whether it exists or not.......the lengths some people will go to in order to defend a narrative are incredible. I hope you get the staff loyalty award, you certainly deserve it!

Pretty much, yes and that’s not a position restricted just to GWR. 
1.  Yes, the customers honesty is questionable.  We’ve had staff, not necessarily GWR, who have been accused of assault, sexual assault, abuse etc however, the complainants quickly withdraw there complaints once they are told there is CCTV of the incident.  One particular incident recently whereby a passenger claimed a member of staff physically pushed them off a train and they fell out onto the platform causing injury.  CCTV showed another passenger opening the door the complainant was actually leaning against.  No staff member in the vicinity.  I suppose working in public services, not always the railway has taught me what customers can be like.
2.  I don’t believe apologies made by any company are all genuine.  It’s a public relations excercise to be seen to do the right thing.  The refund costs pennies to a company in the grand scheme of things and everyone loves a refund right.  In this particular incident, the allegation was made and the apology was pretty much instant, done before a significant furore built. No investigation required.  PR success. 
Look at the recent incident on RyanAir.  They failed to apologise for the racist incident onboard one of their flights and the backlash was huge. 
3.  I have never trusted the media, there’s always a bias. These days they will run with any story without any research or evidence. Twitter journalism. 
4.  If I haven’t seen something then I can’t comment. Pretty standard really.  I’m not gullible or naïve. No staff loyalty award required. Just a bit more clued up on the way the world works than some. Let’s hope you guys don’t end up on jury service!
In my book, if you want to talk to someone in an abrupt, rude, obnoxious manner than expect a reply to follow suit with limited information.


Title: Re: Sunday, Paddington to Bath - request to transfer to earlier train & consequence
Post by: grahame on October 26, 2018, 07:51:32 am
Taking a general view and not looking at this specific case

There's an element of the travelling public who will get upset (and more) if things don't run as they would wish

There's an element of staff who will reach in a very poor way indeed if confronted with what they find a difficult situation

Both behaviour patterns are very much worth attention with a view to reducing them - as the travelling public is a general anyone category, many of whom are rarely travellers, and staff are there on a daily basis, the forms of attention differ.  Train service providers do go to some lengths to address the issues, very much aware that if the elements mix there can be an explosion, and indeed that the threat of possible explosion can sometimes (a general comment, remember) be a very effective tactic.   Hasn't someone commented that attack is the best form of defence.

Current case?  I'm not coming up with a verdict.   As reported, shocking.  But then I have been shocked at the level of misreporting of so many things where I have known the full(er) story. 


Title: Re: Autistic boy mocked by GWR staff
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 26, 2018, 04:11:56 pm
A side some people seem very quick to accept as the gospel truth. 

Until such time as evidence to the contrary is forthcoming I'll chose to believe the reports from reputable media sources. Backed up by the swift corporate apology.

I have personal experience of some very questionable attitudes from staff at Paddington. And I've heard of the experiences of many other passengers there. Treated with disdain, contempt, refused travel with valid tickets, falsely accused of being abusive. This happens daily.

Reputable media sources.... there isn’t such a thing!  They’ve got a one sided account of events. Should these be proven to be untrue they don’t print retractions.  The “swift corporate apology” is standard practice.  If you don’t it’s bad PR, see recent events on RyanAir. 

Can’t really comment on what you allege as I’ve never witnessed anything.

Basically then your position is that the customers honesty is questionable, the fulsome apology (and presumably the refund too?) from GWR is meaningless, the media can't be trusted and because you've never personally seen something you can't comment on whether it exists or not.......the lengths some people will go to in order to defend a narrative are incredible. I hope you get the staff loyalty award, you certainly deserve it!

Pretty much, yes and that’s not a position restricted just to GWR. 
1.  Yes, the customers honesty is questionable.  We’ve had staff, not necessarily GWR, who have been accused of assault, sexual assault, abuse etc however, the complainants quickly withdraw there complaints once they are told there is CCTV of the incident.  One particular incident recently whereby a passenger claimed a member of staff physically pushed them off a train and they fell out onto the platform causing injury.  CCTV showed another passenger opening the door the complainant was actually leaning against.  No staff member in the vicinity.  I suppose working in public services, not always the railway has taught me what customers can be like.
2.  I don’t believe apologies made by any company are all genuine.  It’s a public relations excercise to be seen to do the right thing.  The refund costs pennies to a company in the grand scheme of things and everyone loves a refund right.  In this particular incident, the allegation was made and the apology was pretty much instant, done before a significant furore built. No investigation required.  PR success. 
Look at the recent incident on RyanAir.  They failed to apologise for the racist incident onboard one of their flights and the backlash was huge. 
3.  I have never trusted the media, there’s always a bias. These days they will run with any story without any research or evidence. Twitter journalism. 
4.  If I haven’t seen something then I can’t comment. Pretty standard really.  I’m not gullible or naïve. No staff loyalty award required. Just a bit more clued up on the way the world works than some. Let’s hope you guys don’t end up on jury service!
In my book, if you want to talk to someone in an abrupt, rude, obnoxious manner than expect a reply to follow suit with limited information.

Cynicism stems from disappointment. Cynical and faithless people were not always like that. They were filled with possibilities and hope as kids. But they tried and perhaps failed".



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