Two posts in one day, I must have a bee in my bonnet.
Further to my annoyance at the letter I received in response to my complaint, I settled down and actually read FGW's Conditions of Carriage, and most interesting they were too.
Apparently, if the company leaves you stranded, it should provide you with alternative transport home, or put you up in a hotel. Cue another complaint letter, asking exactly how I could report the fact that I was stranded, since the FGW customer service line shuts at 22:00, and I was left by the side of the road at 00:30 on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. Since they were clearly unable to help at this time, I'm suggesting that they do, after all, refund the £12.00 taxi fare I incurred making my own way home. The good news is that the Customer Service address is a Freepost one, so I think I could pursue this one for quite a while. I've asked that they clarify what to do when one is stranded in a situation such as mine, as I'm sure it will happen again soon, so I'll let you know.
A blog visitor has also kindly passed on the First Group final report, which was released this morning, and my goodness, aren't they smug? If you believe what they write, they're running the best public transport service ever in the whole wide world. I quote you the following:
"All of our businesses have delivered a very strong performance. Our UK Rail division continues to go from strength to strength."
"Our successful rail division has delivered its best ever year of growth. We are committed to the long-term development of railways in the UK and are investing to deliver improved services for passengers. We are the only operator to run every type of overground rail service in the UK, from high speed intercity trains and overnight sleepers to local branch lines, regional and commuter services and open access, light rail and freight operations. We will continue to build on our reputation of investment, innovation and customer service."
"During the past 12 months we have consolidated depots, introduced a new management structure and common systems, brought together 4,400 staff, introduced new amalgamated timetables, commenced a substantial fleet refurbishment programme and started the many major improvements which we committed to as part of our franchise. Despite our best efforts to ensure a seamless transition we faced some operational challenges principally as a result of changing the rolling stock maintenance depot and the introduction of a new consolidated timetable. We made great efforts to swiftly rectify those issues, the majority of which we have now overcome. The new timetables which will be introduced in May and December this year will further improve services."
I mean, for goodness sake, I know this is a spiel for the investors, who incidentally are doing pretty well out of our misery, but do they have to sound so bleeding cheerful about it all? Don't they know how much we hate them? Maybe if you all wore a badge, they might get the message. Read the full final report at:
and if it gets you annoyed, order a badge today!