Friday, January 18, 2008

Slight disappointment re: the free money

I was very excited last night to find a letter had come from First Great Western. I was slightly less excited to find that the rail voucher enclosed was for the grand sum of £4.00.
Yes, you read that right. 400 of our British pence. This is Andrew Haines' compensation for the less-than-excellent service throughout December. Although, to be fair, that will buy 5.12 copies of my favourite Take a Break magazine, which provides much needed opportunities to laugh at other people's misfortunes during train delays.
For example, this week's edition, bought as compensation when I missed a connection last night, had finished my book, and found myself with nothing to read, contains the following headlines - Child with a Junkie Father - "wake up daddy, I'm scared"
They Were Burnt Alive - "Yobs murdered my pets"
Amazing! - I became pregnant - and shrank!
Britain's Got Love Rats - "You can run, John...but you can't hide!"
Quality entertainment I'm sure you'll agree. However, I can't help but be slightly concerned that the cost of sending out all these £4.00 vouchers may be more than the value of the vouchers themselves.
Still, I am now armed with four rail vouchers, as a result of all my careful complaining last year. Sadly, they add up to a mere £34.00 at the last count. Which probably won't even cover the recent fare rise. Still, it's something. As various celebrities continue to say annoyingly in Tesco adverts, "every little helps".


Lord Hutton said...

My colleague and I wrote them an official letter today (from the Council) pointing out we had spotted them missing a stop with the (only one at a decent hour) morning commuter train because it had happened to leave the depot late, stranding 50 or so commuters school kids and students with over an hour to wait for the next. Copies to TravelWatch, ORR etc.
*stands back to watch

Grahame said...

And I note that Lord Hutton lists his job as a "Transport Planner" so he's going to be speaking with some authority there.

Pity us, the poor travellers on the Swindon to Westbury service - cancellations up in to double figure percentages routinely. We've even got a special "rail replacement services" bus stop at Trowbridge station, as we have a regular train service that runs every 12 hours. Even First don't expect us to wait for the next one!

I envy Lord Hutton and his wait for just one hour. And we don't get compensation after all they DO get us there are are well practised at doing so within the hour!

Anonymous said...

The going rate is 2 days pro-rata or 6.78% of the value of your (one month) season ticket. Don't settle for anything less.