Monday, August 06, 2007

Free money from FGW

My diary informs me that it is now 100 days since First Great Western failed to provide a bus replacement service, and left me beside the side of the road in the middle of the night, forcing me to spend £12.00 on a taxi to get home.
Since then I have written three letters of complaint, and received two rail travel vouchers and a free standard-class return trip to the location of my choice.
What I have still not received, sadly, is the £12.00 which was the subject of my original request.
I'm wondering what comes now, as I pen my fourth complaint letter this week. The apologies have become more and more grovelling, the offers of free travel more and more generous, but still no cheque arrives, so what next? Well, my fingers are crossed for a first-class upgrade, as I am thoroughly enjoying my free three-month off-peak upgrade, (see previous post to find out how to get yours, if you haven't already) but I fear that may be beyond the power of even the most senior complaints manager.
Still, it can't hurt to ask. I'll let you know how I get on.
On another note, it seems more and more people are jumping to the defence of FGW, and setting up blogs to answer our questions and explain the problems behind the delays. This is great, and the sort of thing that the FGW management has been too short-sighted to provide so far. So, please visit In Defence of First Great Western and see if you can get your questions answered.


Insider said...

I'm very surprised and more than a little embarassed on the company's behalf that you haven't received your cheque.

If you want to hold off on the complaint letter, then I'll sort it for you tomorrow.

I hate FGW said...

Thank you, it's very kind of you, I haven't written the letter yet, so I'll wait and see what you can find out. It sounds like you've been kept really busy with everyone's questions, but I have just one more for you - is the managing director aware of my blog, does she read it, and what does she think? Sorry, that's three questions!

Insider said...

I am reliably informed that a letter will be sent to you today, although with the promised postal strike, it may not get to you till the end of the week. If my 'suggestions' have been followed, there may be more first class in your future.

I believe the cheque request was also sent today as a priority but again, the postal strike may make things a little slower.

To answer your question, I am not sure if Alison reads your blog but I do know that several higher-ups within the company do, one of them because I showed it to him. I think they appreciate the points you have made, although I think opinion is divided on the badges.

I do have one small favour to ask. Your case was exceptional because it had been going on for so long with no good reason. If this all should work out, and I have reason to believe it will, I would consider it a service if you could pass on to your readers that, while I am happy to answer questions and help in really bad cases, I would prefer if they would still initially take up matters of complaint through the normal channels rather than making requests from me, as I can't guarentee to help every time.

I hate FGW said...

Insider, you are a marvellous human being and I am extremely grateful.
I can understand why FGW managers might not appreciate the badges, but they were a last ditch attempt at getting someone to listen. Now that us frustrated commuters have a kind ear, we can hopefully find out more about why the service we're given isn't what it should be. I'm sure visitors will read your comment about directing complaints through the usual channels, but I will mention it in my next post when I receive the letter you mentioned.
Thanks again, it's so nice to know that at least one person is listening.