All delayed passengers on the east and west coast on Virgin Trains are to receive compensation in the form of money back rather than as travel vouchers.
Payouts are to be made automatically by cheque. Virgin are the first operators to compensate passengers using this method. All rail passengers since July will be entitled to request money back. This move has been welcomed by consumer groups.
The director of Which? explained that Virgin trains are setting the pace by offering cash as compensation and recommended that all competing train companies should act quickly and adapt the same method for their customers.
Cash compensation is a system that was launched last October. This allows travelers from the west coast who buy tickets in advanced through the Virgin Train’s Website to automatically receive money onto their payments cards if they are entitled to compensation. The latest update means that all other delayed travelers are entitled to compensation in the form of a cheque.
Virgin trains have a system called the ‘Delay Repay’. There levels of compensation vary;
- up to 50% refund on a single ticket for delays of between 30 minutes and an hour
- up to 100% refund on a single ticket for delays of between one and two hours
- up to 100% refund on the cost of a return ticket for delays of more than two hours
According to Network Rail figures, 5% of trains run by Virgin Trains were either cancelled, 30 minutes late or missed a scheduled stop in the past year. Average rail firms across England is usually only 3% so this method should definitely help with customer satisfaction.
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