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Author Topic: Compensation Advice?  (Read 2642 times)
Celestial
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2019, 07:31:34 pm »

Good plan..anything not big enough to see and brake to avoid, shouldn't cause your train to fall to pieces. We wouldn't be having this argument if it had been a cow.. (they're just VERY good at avoiding paying out..I just have to amp up my 'Annoying' levels clearly. Smiley


Though trains can take up to 2 miles to stop from top speed, even in an emergency, so just because a driver has seen something doesn't mean he can do anything to avoid an impact.  In fact, at 125mph, it's very unlikely that a driver will  have time to stop once he or she has seen an obstruction of any size. 
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grahame
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2019, 03:48:41 pm »

Thanks for having me! This forum is such a great place to access the 'We-Hate-GWR' Hive Mind...

It's more nuanced than that here. Honest. More of a love/hate relationship for some of us!  Wink


Follow up on that (you folks got me to put pen to paper - or rather fingers to keyboard) [[here]] on a "news and assistance" thread
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Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
BlondeAmbition
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2019, 03:09:16 pm »

Latest uodate! GWR Customer service can't tell me what the obstruction was..apparently the report just says 'obstruction'...so this could either be 'a tree branch' (so not their fault at all), or a hammer with 'Property of Network Rail' (not their fault,but definitely someone's fault) How to proceed from here?A fair rail company would refund me given that they can't prove what it was either way,but Customer service seem to be enjoying my emails a bit too much to lose me.. Sad

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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2019, 04:34:49 pm »

Latest uodate! GWR Customer service can't tell me what the obstruction was..apparently the report just says 'obstruction'...so this could either be 'a tree branch' (so not their fault at all), or a hammer with 'Property of Network Rail' (not their fault,but definitely someone's fault) How to proceed from here?A fair rail company would refund me given that they can't prove what it was either way,but Customer service seem to be enjoying my emails a bit too much to lose me.. Sad




In other words "we can't be bothered to find out" - try emailing Hopwood (GWR MD) direct, emphasising fairness - Mark.Hopwood@gwr.com
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martyjon
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2019, 05:12:08 pm »

BlondAmbition  :-

Look on GOV.UK for Small Claims Court and consider whether it would be to your advantage to make a claim which if successful will also reimburse you the court fees. In their defence GWR will have to make a full disclosure of the facts which caused the delay to the service you were on. If it was the case of a tree branch knocking a braking system bleed tap open then you could argue that this IS within the control or the rail industry as they failed to ensure that a foreign object hitting the bleed tap to the open position. Of course if it was a 20 ton boulder which had rolled down a nearby mountainside then that WOULD be beyond the control of the rail industry, Don't know facts about your case to make further comment.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2019, 05:27:58 pm »

Before making a money claim online I would suggest that you get a final response from GWR (a 'deadlock letter'). Once that is received you can take your complaint to the independent Rail Ombudsman. You can also take your complaint to them if you've not received a satisfactory response from GWR 40 working days after first making the compensation claim.

If the Rail Ombudsman doesn't rule in your favour then you are still free to take your claim to court. A Rail Ombudsman decision is only binding on the train operater.

https://www.railombudsman.org

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BlondeAmbition
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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2019, 08:54:18 pm »

Once again, massive thanks to you all for giving me alternatives other than 'cry until you get your own way'*
It's dragged on so long now that it's not even about the money anymore, and more about the principle.
(but given that I paid £98 to stare at an empty field for an hour, it's also about the money..)

*also known as 'how I got my first BMX age 6'..
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stuving
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« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2019, 09:05:35 pm »

I don't understand why you're being told GWR only compensate for delays that are their own fault. While the CRA may be limited in that way, the rail industry system isn't - it excludes only causes outside the rail industry as a whole. GWR's passenger charter isn't easy to find (it's not even on the site map - there's a link near the bottom of the full terms and conditions page), but it says the same:

Quote
If your journey is delayed because of something outside the control of the rail industry, we donít normally offer any compensation. This might be things like trespassing, vandalism, someone being hit by a train, severe weather or a security alert.

Note that while the current version is dated November 2018, that text was there in 2015, so should be quite familiar.

You may also like to check in the National Rail Conditions of Travel. There are several links to the PDF on the NR site, but this page provides some extra text about it:

Quote
Your Rights
Whilst these National Rail Conditions of Travel set out your rights and any restrictions of those rights, the Train Companies may give you more extensive rights than those set out here. However they may not give you less, unless a Condition specifically allows for this, such as in the case of some types of reduced and discounted fare tickets eg. Advance Tickets. The National Rail Conditions of Travel therefore set out the minimum level of service you are entitled to expect.

It may not offer anything different, but if it does you can pick whichever you prefer.

On that basis, an object placed on the track by trespassers might be excluded, but something left by NR or falling from an embankment or part of their infrastructure cannot. As to tree branches, I can see scope for for wriggling if it's a neighbour's tree, but not if it's NR's - though in the absence of proof it may be hard to get that accepted.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2019, 09:07:31 pm »

How long was your total delay? An hour only 'earns' you a 50% value compensation payment
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BlondeAmbition
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« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2019, 08:44:11 am »

I spent 104 mins staring at an empty field..(not even any livestock to improve the view..)..but the whole time I was assuming that given the length of the delay, I'd be refunded..(the interesting fact being that there were actually a team of Network Rail engineers working on the track next to us the whole delay..which is why I surmised that they may have accidentally left something on the track..because there weren't any trees for MILES,so a tree branch would be unlikely..)
How will I know when I have the 'deadlock' reply? Will it just be a blatant refusal to refund or look into the claim any further? Will it come with flashing red lights and a klaxon? Smiley
I'm just sticking with the 'unless you can PROVE what the obstruction was (and that it was something of your control, like a very small lost cow), then a refund should be forthcoming for that leg of the journey'.
(doesn't help that each email response takes over a week each time..)
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martyjon
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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2019, 09:33:19 am »

BlondeAmbition ;-

READ the DOV.UK site for the small claims court procedure and as I assume you now have correspondence from GWR and send them a "LETTER BEFORE ACTION" which is in effect YOUR deadlock letter and if GWR reply that will be their deadlock letter.

If you are frightened at the thought of court action, don't be, a small claims court action is usually done by correspondence and would rarely end up in a court itself.

Have you tried using the route of approaching Transport Focus. I think that's what they call themselves, to take up your case, Google 'Transport Focus' or their former name 'Transport Focus' or I have heard that there is, or will be set up, a Rail Ombudsman to take up cases like yours.

Keep posting progress or rather lack of it and I am sure the Coffee Shop members will steer you to a resolution one way or another.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2019, 03:24:56 pm »

An issue with delay compensation is best dealt with by the Rail Ombudsman rather than Transport Focus.
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BlondeAmbition
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« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2019, 12:16:26 pm »

So just in case any of you were spending sleepless nights worrying about the cliffhanger finale episode, here it is..
-GWR Customer Service continually refused to help in a delightfully 'passive-aggressive' manner reminisce of living in a house-share, even refusing to provide a Deadlock letter in order for me to take to the rail ombudsmen
-Took the sage advice on here about emailing Mark Hopwood (MD) direct.
- Had a reply within a day,offering me the refund for that leg of the journey and an apology for how badly & incorrectly CS had dealt with it all.
- Bless his cotton socks ('gold plated'? Tickets ARE quite pricey..), he had the refund processed the same day, and was polite and fair to deal with, so he's totally won me over. Smiley
- Moral of the story? CS not so great with 'grey' cases and like to shoehorn them into black/white..Also get a bit pissy if you don't give up and leave them alone.But Mark is sensible and helpful.And this board is INVALUABLE for getting advice on what to do.. thanks to you all, and see you for Season 2! Wink

..and they lived happily ever after. Cheesy
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ellendune
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« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2019, 09:14:06 pm »

- Moral of the story? CS not so great with 'grey' cases and like to shoehorn them into black/white..Also get a bit pissy if you don't give up and leave them alone.But Mark is sensible and helpful.And this board is INVALUABLE for getting advice on what to do.. thanks to you all, and see you for Season 2! Wink

This is my experience of any outsourced operation.  The outsourcing company feels that they can only apply a strict set of rules and so everything is black and white.  When the task is done in house then almost all staff staff seem to be able to work flexibly to be sensible.  Outsourcing contracts might be written to exclude all delegated authority, but I suspect it's just policy the small number of companies who do this sort of work. 

Someone I work with get exasperated by professional advisers who come and ask the client what they should do in a particular situation. The response they get is "you are my adviser - advise me!"
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2019, 05:58:48 pm »

- Moral of the story? CS not so great with 'grey' cases and like to shoehorn them into black/white..Also get a bit pissy if you don't give up and leave them alone.But Mark is sensible and helpful.And this board is INVALUABLE for getting advice on what to do.. thanks to you all, and see you for Season 2! Wink

This is my experience of any outsourced operation.  The outsourcing company feels that they can only apply a strict set of rules and so everything is black and white.  When the task is done in house then almost all staff staff seem to be able to work flexibly to be sensible.  Outsourcing contracts might be written to exclude all delegated authority, but I suspect it's just policy the small number of companies who do this sort of work. 

Someone I work with get exasperated by professional advisers who come and ask the client what they should do in a particular situation. The response they get is "you are my adviser - advise me!"

Outsourcing delegates responsibility but not accountability - GWR are still 100% accountable.

In my experience outsourced operations vary vastly, some are very good, some hopeless. the major factors being the motivation for outsourcing the function, the ability of those doing the outsourcing to accurately specify exactly what they want from the contractor (and being prepared to pay for it - you always get what you pay for), and a rigorous procurement and ongoing service/performance management regime - public/quasi public sector organisations are generally pretty awful at understanding any of this, and see it merely as a cheap way of getting rid of the "non sexy" areas of work, and cutting headcount. GWR is a perfect example of this outcome in this respect.
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