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New ombudsman launches for unhappy rail passengers

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Dissatisfied rail passengers unhappy with how their complaints have been handled can now appeal to a new ombudsman service.

The free-to-use Rail Ombudsman, which launches today, is being funded by rail companies who will have to take action if failings are identified.

According to figures from the Office of Rail and Road, just 28% of train passengers were satisfied with the process when they made a complaint to a rail firm.

Andrew Jones, the Rail Minister, said: “This is a significant step forward for passengers’ rights. This independent ombudsman will make sure passengers are heard and that they get a fair deal when train companies fall short.

“Rail firms must take this opportunity to improve their complaints process and to increase customer satisfaction.”

Customers can use the new ombudsman if they are unhappy with the final response from a rail company (sometimes called a ‘deadlock letter’) or if their complaint has not been resolved within 40 working days of the rail company receiving it.

The service will be provided by the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman.

Alex Hayman, managing director of public markets at Which?, said: “The launch of the independent rail ombudsman is a positive step for passengers, who have felt for too long like their complaints are not being taken seriously.

“It should be a wake-up call for train companies to step up and start delivering good customer service when things go wrong. Then passengers will have no need to escalate their complaints.”