Thameslink Delay Repay

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Thameslink Delay Repay

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Review of "Thameslink Delay Repay"

published 07/03/2016 | Pointress
Member since : 19/03/2014
Reviews : 236
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Excellent
Pro Some recompense for delayed service
Cons The delay in the first place
very helpful
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"For when the train doesn't take the strain"

Thameslink Delay Repay

Thameslink Delay Repay

I feel that this is more of a public service announcement than a review but I’d like to share my experience of Thameslink Delay Repay.

Delay Repay is a national scheme that train companies use to compensate travellers for delays and cancellations. You can claim if you're delayed arriving at your destination by 30 minutes or more (except when delays are caused by planned engineering work).

=== ~~~ The daily grind
Although readers of my recent reviews will know that I spend a fair amount of time travelling around the country, my office base is London which means a commute on Thameslink services.

Thameslink is predominantly a commuter service ferrying workers in and out of London from Bedford to the north and Brighton to the south. There is a huge scheme currently underway to extend the service and to increase its capacity with longer more frequent trains. However, its current performance is not that great. Thameslink has recently come bottom in a recent Which consumer survey with an overall satisfaction score of just 46%.

It was listening to the results of that survey on a Radio 4 as I drove to the station a couple of weeks ago, that prompted me to write this piece. It’s not often that I feel the need to praise Thameslink but on this occasion, I wanted to let other rail passengers know that about Delay Repay.

=== ~~~ We pay how much??
Rail passengers in the south east of England are the least satisfied in the UK. Southeastern trains also came bottom of the ratings. Delays, overcrowding, and dirty trains were all cited as reasons for dissatisfaction, let alone poor value for moneh - we pay thousands of pounds per year for the privilege. My monthly ticket (which does not include the underground) costs £440 from Bedford to London. I’m lucky, getting on Bedford in the morning I am guaranteed a seat; on the return journey I expect to stand for at least half of the one hour journey. However, until one awful week in January the trains normally ran on time.
~~~ One week of hell ~~~
I don’t know what happened mid January – there were no leaves on the line – but for three days there were ‘technical’ faults that meant disrupted services. I was on one train that broke down. We sat at a station for 30 minutes before being transferred on to another train. That train got us a couple of stops further up the line and then decided to disgorge all its passengers. The driver seemed just as perplexed as the passengers as to why he had been instructed to halt the train but out we piled and waited a further 20 minutes for another train to take us finally on. I eventually arrived over an hour late. I won’t bother you with the fine details of my other journeys that week, but suffice it to say there were of the same ilk. In their defence, the drivers did try to keep passengers informed but were clearly often just as much in the dark as ourselves.

Complaining to the long suffering Mr P, he suggested that I seek compensation. My initial thought was that it would be a waste of time but then I remembered seeing a notice at the station about the Delay Replay scheme and without very high expectations, I decided to give it a whirl.

~~~ Delay repay - What are you entitled to? ~~~
If you are delayed by 30-59 minutes, Thameslink will reimburse 50% of the of the cost of a single journey. For those with a season ticket, the calculation is based on an annual ticket covering 464 single journeys, 1 6 monthly ticket covering 240, a quarterly cover 120, a monthly covering 40 and a weekly covering 10. It’s not as complicated as it sounds! Honest!

For a delay of an hour up to 119 minutes, you get the full cost of a single journey reimbursed and if you are unlucky enough to be delayed for two hours or more, you get the cost of a return journey.

Compensation is paid in National Rail Vouchers which can be used as payment (or part payment) towards any National Rail ticket, including season tickets.

~~~ Delay Repay - Applying ~~~
It really is incredibly easy. You can apply by post and you can download the form from the website. I assume that you can also get them at the train station but I’ve not checked this out.

I applied on line and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was. You need to apply within 28 days of the delay and you will need to remember the train departure and eventual arrival time. You do need to supply proof of travel – you can scan an image in and attach to the application. The whole process took me about 5 minutes and that’s with fiddling about with the scanner.

They promise to get back to you within 20 days and low and behold in a little over two weeks, my vouchers arrived.

~~~ Overall ~~~
It seems to recommend a complaints service but credit where credit’s due. Of course I’d rather not be delayed in the first place but I have to give Thameslink 5 out of 5 for Repay Delay. I’m not sure how the system works with other train operators but this something that Thameslink have got right!

http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/contact-us/delay-repay/

[the specific criteria aren't really appropriate so ignore my gradings!]

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Comments on this review

  • jb0077 published 25/03/2016
    vh
  • mikemelmak published 22/03/2016
    That is so useful to know! Thanks for the tip.
  • Ailran published 17/03/2016
    I don't commute but do go fairly regularly to London from Bedford for fun and have to say I must be lucky as I have very very rarely had any problems with Thameslink. Useful to know about this though just in case!
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Product Information : Thameslink Delay Repay

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