Virgin Trains has made significant improvements to the way it offers compensation for delayed journeys.
From today, all Virgin Trains customers across both its east and west coast routes who apply for compensation after experiencing delays of at least 30 minutes will be offered a cash payment (in the form of a cheque) as the default option. Customers can still opt for rail vouchers if they prefer.
Virgin Trains was the first train operator to make automatic bank payments to eligible delayed customers who use the west coast route and buy their ticket on the VirginTrains.co.uk web-site. These customers don’t need to fill out any forms or notify the company – their money will automatically arrive back in their bank accounts within 3 working days.
The company is also working on ways to offer compensation payments directly into the bank accounts of even more passengers.
Which? Executive Director Richard Lloyd, said: “Passengers are rightly frustrated by the significant barriers that exist when claiming compensation for train delays and cancellations, so it is good to see Virgin Trains setting the pace by offering cash as the default option for compensation. We would urge all train operating companies to act quickly to implement this, and further changes, to improve the process for their customers.”
Graham Leech, Group Commercial Director at Virgin Trains said: “We always want to be on the side of passengers. That’s why we wholly support the move to offer cash compensation as a first option to customers and why we were the first operator to introduce Automatic Delay Repay. We’re committed to making claiming compensation simpler and clearer for customers. We never want passengers to suffer delays or disruption but when things do go wrong we want to put it right.Automatic Delay Repay means eligible customers have the compensation automatically paid into their bank account. We are looking at introducing this on our east coast route too.”
About Virgin Trains
Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.
The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.
Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.
On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. This includes a major fleet revamp, smarter stations and exciting new routes. From May 2016, there will be 42 additional services (22,000 extra seats) per week between Edinburgh and London. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.
The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.
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