“Please help me persuade Southern to dEAL WITH CUSTOMERS!! MONEY GRABBERS” – mark lawrence

Description

mark lawrence

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to raise a formal complaint following the humiliating and unnecessary experience I was forced to endure this morning at Victoria Rail station initially caused by the lack of training your staff clearly have in respect of valid rail tickets, but also the appalling way I was subsequently treated by the station manager who failed to even have the courtesy to apologise for the incident.

On 21/02/2012 at 4.45am I attempted to board the 05.02am southern train with a valid day save season ticket and was refused. Knowing this to be a valid ticket for which there are no restrictions to travel on any Southern service I went to the ticket office as advised where I was told my ticket was not valid from London Victoria. The reason I was given for this was due to the fact the ticket states that it is valid between East Croydon and any southern train station. As London Victoria is operated by Southern and I was attempting to travel on one of your services I simply cannot understand why this was an issue which was made worse when I was made to feel like I was attempting to dodge the fare.

For the past 6 weeks I have been purchasing the day save season ticket online and pick the ticket up on departure from Brighton station. Until this morning I have never had any issue, either on the train when checked or at the barriers at both Brighton and Victoria. I should add that when I first collected my ticket 6 weeks ago I did question that it said East Croydon and was told that there is no problem and this is how they are printed.

At 05.00am I spoke to Marilyn at the ticket office In London Victoria and asked her to look up the ticket and it’s validity on the southern website which she did. She advised me that there was no problem with this season ticket but I would have to buy a new ticket because the staff at the barrier are different from southern staff. I refused to do this as I had a valid ticket and failed to see why I should spend more money, but also as I did not have sufficient funds in my bank account to buy another. I did not see why I should have to share this information. I said this was not accepatable and asked to speak to a manger.

I was advised the ticket office manager would be in at 7am. I was told to sit and wait in the cold and he would come out to see me. I waited until 07.25am and when no one approached me I went back up to the ticket office where I was advised the manager was not available and they couldn’t find him. Is this the way Southern treat all customers who wish to make a complaint, simply ignoring the issue and hoping they will just go away which was how I felt?

At 07.35am the ticket office manager (Christian Deneraz) finally came to see me. I explained what had happened and he said there is no problem with the ticket and gave me a printout to show this. He then advised me the station manager (Chris Burtshaw) would come to see me in 5 minutes (approx 07.45am) I waited and was by now unsurprised when he did not come to see me. I returned again to the ticket office and was advised to go to the southern office. I was disgusted that having been kept waiting again I was the one who now had to go somewhere else to be seen. None the less, I did and was advised that the station manager had been on duty from 7am and was now doing a team briefing and would be with me afterwards. Clearly briefing your staff is seen to be much more of a priority than having to face a customer who had by now been waiting at the station attempting to board a train to go home with a valid ticket for almost 3 hours!

Finally at 8.00am the station manager (Chris Burtshaw) came to see me and I again had to repeat my story, as he had not even been made aware of the circumstances of my complaint. I was truly astounded that having repeated myself for what was now the third time not a single offer of apology was made. He simply seemed to think that informing me the staff have not been trained on these new season tickets was justification for me being made to wait in the cold, feeling humiliated, tired hungry was justification for this fiasco. Accountability is obviously not a value or behaviour you deem necessary in your management teams.

I stressed to him as I had done all morning that I have an underlying health issue for which I am required to take medication strictly at 06.30am every day. Chris seemed to think the most appropriate response to this was to call an ambulance to see if they would have medication. I do not feel it necessary or appropriate to have to share with any member of your team the type of medication I am required to take or my medical condition however I felt my integrity was being questioned and did share with him the condition I have and medication required. With hindsight I wish I had not as I felt it was a real breach of my dignity.

On arriving the medics advised that it was there belief that there was minimal risk of me not having taken my medication and that taking it slightly later was advisable. I was best off trying to get home as quickly as I could, as this medication may not be available in the hospital. This could have been avoided entirely if I had simply been allowed to travel, as I should have been in the first place. When the medics left Chris Burtshaw commented that “The medics had said I didn’t need my medication” which infact they did not say.

I have to take this medication every day of my life without fail at the same time to keep my medical condition in check, and keep me well. Without it my health and life can be put at risk. Furthermore the level of stress this incident has caused me can also have a potential impact on my medical condition that I have been advised to avoid. Again not something that anyone at Southern really seemed to take seriously. There is already sufficient stigma around my condition without having to disclose it to people I would have chosen to never do so with.

Chris did walk me to my train to ensure the barrier staff let me board the 8:36am service, some 3 ½ hours later than I had intended to travel. Still no offer of an apology was made and I was simply given a customer comment card if I wished to make a complaint. I found this ironic, as it was exactly what I was trying to do but again clearly not something he felt was part of his job description in terms of dealing with it.

I finally got home at 9:45 am nearly 4 hours later than I had planned meaning that today I have been unable to work. Not only due to my lack of sleep but also as a result waiting in the cold for 4 hours and taking my medication late. The consequences of which has caused me nausea, Dizziness and diarrhoea, all typical side effects of my medication, made worse when the time between taking them is affected. This is why I am required to take it at the same time every day so as the side effects are minimised before my day begins. I also now have a cold after being left in the cold for 3 ½ hours. Again not something I like to have given my condition.

Today I have tried contacting southern customer services and having left 4 messages for a call back am still further shocked that you have failed to take my complaint seriously by not returning a single one. Is this how Southern operate and deal with customers? It seems that at every level there is a real lack of care or interest in your customers from the people you employee at your ticket desks, your barrier staff, managers at the station and your customer service phone line? How dare you call it customer service?

I expect a response from you to all the points I have raised in this complaint within 20 days, as I believe is required of you by the office of rail regulation. If you fail to do so in a way that I consider to appropriately recompense me, I feel it only appropriate to advise you that I will be taking this further if necessary taking legal advice and will pursue this complaint to the highest authorities.

I am a paying customer who was refused travel with a valid ticket.

I have been treated with disrespect, disregard and complete contempt. Your actions or lack of were totally inappropriate, putting my health, well-being and job at risk.

I await your comments.

Yours sincerely

Mark Lawrence

Problem History

  • 1 mark lawrence reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 00:03 22 Mar 2012
  • 2 mark lawrence wrote to Southern close 00:03 22 Mar 2012

    Here is the letter that mark lawrence wrote.

    No response to complaints,

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I wish to raise a formal complaint following the humiliating and unnecessary experience I was forced to endure this morning at Victoria Rail station initially caused by the lack of training your staff clearly have in respect of valid rail tickets, but also the appalling way I was subsequently treated by the station manager who failed to even have the courtesy to apologise for the incident.

    On 21/02/2012 at 4.45am I attempted to board the 05.02am southern train with a valid day save season ticket and was refused. Knowing this to be a valid ticket for which there are no restrictions to travel on any Southern service I went to the ticket office as advised where I was told my ticket was not valid from London Victoria. The reason I was given for this was due to the fact the ticket states that it is valid between East Croydon and any southern train station. As London Victoria is operated by Southern and I was attempting to travel on one of your services I simply cannot understand why this was an issue which was made worse when I was made to feel like I was attempting to dodge the fare.

    For the past 6 weeks I have been purchasing the day save season ticket online and pick the ticket up on departure from Brighton station. Until this morning I have never had any issue, either on the train when checked or at the barriers at both Brighton and Victoria. I should add that when I first collected my ticket 6 weeks ago I did question that it said East Croydon and was told that there is no problem and this is how they are printed.

    At 05.00am I spoke to Marilyn at the ticket office In London Victoria and asked her to look up the ticket and it’s validity on the southern website which she did. She advised me that there was no problem with this season ticket but I would have to buy a new ticket because the staff at the barrier are different from southern staff. I refused to do this as I had a valid ticket and failed to see why I should spend more money, but also as I did not have sufficient funds in my bank account to buy another. I did not see why I should have to share this information. I said this was not accepatable and asked to speak to a manger.

    I was advised the ticket office manager would be in at 7am. I was told to sit and wait in the cold and he would come out to see me. I waited until 07.25am and when no one approached me I went back up to the ticket office where I was advised the manager was not available and they couldn’t find him. Is this the way Southern treat all customers who wish to make a complaint, simply ignoring the issue and hoping they will just go away which was how I felt?

    At 07.35am the ticket office manager (Christian Deneraz) finally came to see me. I explained what had happened and he said there is no problem with the ticket and gave me a printout to show this. He then advised me the station manager (Chris Burtshaw) would come to see me in 5 minutes (approx 07.45am) I waited and was by now unsurprised when he did not come to see me. I returned again to the ticket office and was advised to go to the southern office. I was disgusted that having been kept waiting again I was the one who now had to go somewhere else to be seen. None the less, I did and was advised that the station manager had been on duty from 7am and was now doing a team briefing and would be with me afterwards. Clearly briefing your staff is seen to be much more of a priority than having to face a customer who had by now been waiting at the station attempting to board a train to go home with a valid ticket for almost 3 hours!

    Finally at 8.00am the station manager (Chris Burtshaw) came to see me and I again had to repeat my story, as he had not even been made aware of the circumstances of my complaint. I was truly astounded that having repeated myself for what was now the third time not a single offer of apology was made. He simply seemed to think that informing me the staff have not been trained on these new season tickets was justification for me being made to wait in the cold, feeling humiliated, tired hungry was justification for this fiasco. Accountability is obviously not a value or behaviour you deem necessary in your management teams.

    I stressed to him as I had done all morning that I have an underlying health issue for which I am required to take medication strictly at 06.30am every day. Chris seemed to think the most appropriate response to this was to call an ambulance to see if they would have medication. I do not feel it necessary or appropriate to have to share with any member of your team the type of medication I am required to take or my medical condition however I felt my integrity was being questioned and did share with him the condition I have and medication required. With hindsight I wish I had not as I felt it was a real breach of my dignity.

    On arriving the medics advised that it was there belief that there was minimal risk of me not having taken my medication and that taking it slightly later was advisable. I was best off trying to get home as quickly as I could, as this medication may not be available in the hospital. This could have been avoided entirely if I had simply been allowed to travel, as I should have been in the first place. When the medics left Chris Burtshaw commented that “The medics had said I didn’t need my medication” which infact they did not say.

    I have to take this medication every day of my life without fail at the same time to keep my medical condition in check, and keep me well. Without it my health and life can be put at risk. Furthermore the level of stress this incident has caused me can also have a potential impact on my medical condition that I have been advised to avoid. Again not something that anyone at Southern really seemed to take seriously. There is already sufficient stigma around my condition without having to disclose it to people I would have chosen to never do so with.

    Chris did walk me to my train to ensure the barrier staff let me board the 8:36am service, some 3 ½ hours later than I had intended to travel. Still no offer of an apology was made and I was simply given a customer comment card if I wished to make a complaint. I found this ironic, as it was exactly what I was trying to do but again clearly not something he felt was part of his job description in terms of dealing with it.

    I finally got home at 9:45 am nearly 4 hours later than I had planned meaning that today I have been unable to work. Not only due to my lack of sleep but also as a result waiting in the cold for 4 hours and taking my medication late. The consequences of which has caused me nausea, Dizziness and diarrhoea, all typical side effects of my medication, made worse when the time between taking them is affected. This is why I am required to take it at the same time every day so as the side effects are minimised before my day begins. I also now have a cold after being left in the cold for 3 ½ hours. Again not something I like to have given my condition.

    Today I have tried contacting southern customer services and having left 4 messages for a call back am still further shocked that you have failed to take my complaint seriously by not returning a single one. Is this how Southern operate and deal with customers? It seems that at every level there is a real lack of care or interest in your customers from the people you employee at your ticket desks, your barrier staff, managers at the station and your customer service phone line? How dare you call it customer service?

    I expect a response from you to all the points I have raised in this complaint within 20 days, as I believe is required of you by the office of rail regulation. If you fail to do so in a way that I consider to appropriately recompense me, I feel it only appropriate to advise you that I will be taking this further if necessary taking legal advice and will pursue this complaint to the highest authorities.

    I am a paying customer who was refused travel with a valid ticket.

    I have been treated with disrespect, disregard and complete contempt. Your actions or lack of were totally inappropriate, putting my health, well-being and job at risk.

    I await your comments.

    Yours sincerely

    Mark Lawrence

  • 3 Southern Railways Customer Services responded to mark lawrence close 00:07 22 Mar 2012
    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Thank you for your email. Your reference number is
    [32605-1332374801]

    We appreciate you taking the time to contact us. We aim to
    respond in full to your enquiry within 6 working days.

    Kind Regards,
    Southern Customer Services

    Reminder of your message:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Dear Southern,

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I wish to raise a formal complaint following the humiliating and
    unnecessary experience I was forced to endure this morning at
    Victoria Rail station initially caused by the lack of training
    your
    staff clearly have in respect of valid rail tickets, but also
    the
    appalling way I was subsequently treated by the station manager
    who
    failed to even have the courtesy to apologise for the incident.

    On 21/02/2012 at 4.45am I attempted to board the 05.02am
    southern
    train with a valid day save season ticket and was refused.
    Knowing
    this to be a valid ticket for which there are no restrictions to
    travel on any Southern service I went to the ticket office as
    advised where I was told my ticket was not valid from London
    Victoria. The reason I was given for this was due to the fact
    the
    ticket states that it is valid between East Croydon and any
    southern train station. As London Victoria is operated by
    Southern
    and I was attempting to travel on one of your services I simply
    cannot understand why this was an issue which was made worse
    when I
    was made to feel like I was attempting to dodge the fare.

    For the past 6 weeks I have been purchasing the day save season
    ticket online and pick the ticket up on departure from Brighton
    station. Until this morning I have never had any issue, either
    on
    the train when checked or at the barriers at both Brighton and
    Victoria. I should add that when I first collected my ticket 6
    weeks ago I did question that it said East Croydon and was told
    that there is no problem and this is how they are printed.

    At 05.00am I spoke to Marilyn at the ticket office In London
    Victoria and asked her to look up the ticket and it?s validity
    on
    the southern website which she did. She advised me that there
    was
    no problem with this season ticket but I would have to buy a new
    ticket because the staff at the barrier are different from
    southern
    staff. I refused to do this as I had a valid ticket and failed
    to
    see why I should spend more money, but also as I did not have
    sufficient funds in my bank account to buy another. I did not
    see
    why I should have to share this information. I said this was not
    accepatable and asked to speak to a manger.

    I was advised the ticket office manager would be in at 7am. I
    was
    told to sit and wait in the cold and he would come out to see
    me. I
    waited until 07.25am and when no one approached me I went back
    up
    to the ticket office where I was advised the manager was not
    available and they couldn?t find him. Is this the way Southern
    treat all customers who wish to make a complaint, simply
    ignoring
    the issue and hoping they will just go away which was how I
    felt?

    At 07.35am the ticket office manager (Christian Deneraz) finally
    came to see me. I explained what had happened and he said there
    is
    no problem with the ticket and gave me a printout to show this.
    He
    then advised me the station manager (Chris Burtshaw) would come
    to
    see me in 5 minutes (approx 07.45am) I waited and was by now
    unsurprised when he did not come to see me. I returned again to
    the
    ticket office and was advised to go to the southern office. I
    was
    disgusted that having been kept waiting again I was the one who
    now
    had to go somewhere else to be seen. None the less, I did and
    was
    advised that the station manager had been on duty from 7am and
    was
    now doing a team briefing and would be with me afterwards.
    Clearly
    briefing your staff is seen to be much more of a priority than
    having to face a customer who had by now been waiting at the
    station attempting to board a train to go home with a valid
    ticket
    for almost 3 hours!

    Finally at 8.00am the station manager (Chris Burtshaw) came to
    see
    me and I again had to repeat my story, as he had not even been
    made
    aware of the circumstances of my complaint. I was truly
    astounded
    that having repeated myself for what was now the third time not
    a
    single offer of apology was made. He simply seemed to think that
    informing me the staff have not been trained on these new season
    tickets was justification for me being made to wait in the cold,
    feeling humiliated, tired hungry was justification for this
    fiasco.
    Accountability is obviously not a value or behaviour you deem
    necessary in your management teams.

    I stressed to him as I had done all morning that I have an
    underlying health issue for which I am required to take
    medication
    strictly at 06.30am every day. Chris seemed to think the most
    appropriate response to this was to call an ambulance to see if
    they would have medication. I do not feel it necessary or
    appropriate to have to share with any member of your team the
    type
    of medication I am required to take or my medical condition
    however
    I felt my integrity was being questioned and did share with him
    the
    condition I have and medication required. With hindsight I wish
    I
    had not as I felt it was a real breach of my dignity.

    On arriving the medics advised that it was there belief that
    there
    was minimal risk of me not having taken my medication and that
    taking it slightly later was advisable. I was best off trying to
    get home as quickly as I could, as this medication may not be
    available in the hospital. This could have been avoided entirely
    if
    I had simply been allowed to travel, as I should have been in
    the
    first place. When the medics left Chris Burtshaw commented that
    ?The medics had said I didn?t need my medication? which infact
    they
    did not say.

    I have to take this medication every day of my life without fail
    at
    the same time to keep my medical condition in check, and keep me
    well. Without it my health and life can be put at risk.
    Furthermore
    the level of stress this incident has caused me can also have a
    potential impact on my medical condition that I have been
    advised
    to avoid. Again not something that anyone at Southern really
    seemed
    to take seriously. There is already sufficient stigma around my
    condition without having to disclose it to people I would have
    chosen to never do so with.

    Chris did walk me to my train to ensure the barrier staff let me
    board the 8:36am service, some 3 ? hours later than I had
    intended
    to travel. Still no offer of an apology was made and I was
    simply
    given a customer comment card if I wished to make a complaint. I
    found this ironic, as it was exactly what I was trying to do but
    again clearly not something he felt was part of his job
    description
    in terms of dealing with it.

    I finally got home at 9:45 am nearly 4 hours later than I had
    planned meaning that today I have been unable to work. Not only
    due
    to my lack of sleep but also as a result waiting in the cold for
    4
    hours and taking my medication late. The consequences of which
    has
    caused me nausea, Dizziness and diarrhoea, all typical side
    effects
    of my medication, made worse when the time between taking them
    is
    affected. This is why I am required to take it at the same time
    every day so as the side effects are minimised before my day
    begins. I also now have a cold after being left in the cold for
    3 ?
    hours. Again not something I like to have given my condition.

    Today I have tried contacting southern customer services and
    having
    left 4 messages for a call back am still further shocked that
    you
    have failed to take my complaint seriously by not returning a
    single one. Is this how Southern operate and deal with
    customers?
    It seems that at every level there is a real lack of care or
    interest in your customers from the people you employee at your
    ticket desks, your barrier staff, managers at the station and
    your
    customer service phone line? How dare you call it customer
    service?

    I expect a response from you to all the points I have raised in
    this complaint within 20 days, as I believe is required of you
    by
    the office of rail regulation. If you fail to do so in a way
    that I
    consider to appropriately recompense me, I feel it only
    appropriate
    to advise you that I will be taking this further if necessary
    taking legal advice and will pursue this complaint to the
    highest
    authorities.

    I am a paying customer who was refused travel with a valid
    ticket.

    I have been treated with disrespect, disregard and complete
    contempt. Your actions or lack of were totally inappropriate,
    putting my health, well-being and job at risk.

    I await your comments.

    Yours sincerely

    Mark Lawrence

    ------------------

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    this issue:

    Location name: Train route between Brighton and London Victoria

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    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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    Registered office: 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle Upon
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    Registered offices: 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle upon
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  • 4 Southern Railways Customer Services responded to mark lawrence close 10:51 14 Apr 2012
    Dear Mr Lawrence

    Please accept my sincerest of apologies for the experience you
    have reported to us.

    I am very sorry to hear of the events that occurred at our
    station & also yourself not receiving a call back from out
    customer services after these events.

    You are correct in saying that obviously station staff should
    have been fully aware of the conditions of the Daysave tickets,
    and I agree that this also shouldn't have taken that length of
    time to resolve at the station.

    I have escalated several points from your email to hopefully
    improve our level of customer care. I have informed both the
    station manager and the ticker office manager of your points,
    and requested that these are looked into and taken into
    consideration to prevent it from re-occurring. I have also
    passed on the issue you raised of our station staff not being
    fully trained on our more bespoke tickets, such as the Day-save.

    Again please accept my apologies that these events occurred,
    especially with yourself having to receive medical attention
    that day & the subsequent medial problems you experienced.

    I can assure you these points have been escalated and will be
    taken into close consideration to make improvements on our
    network.

    Also, I would like to offer you goodwill in the form of £30
    National Rail vouchers that can be used at any ticket office for
    your future travel. Please could you reply to this with your
    address and contact details so these can be sent to yourself.

    Once again, I am very sorry to hear of your experience, and I
    can assure you this has been taken very seriously and
    improvements will be made.

    If you wish to contact us further regarding your query, please
    contact our Customer Service team directly at
    [1][Southern problem reporting email], by phone on 08451 27 29 20 or
    in writing to:
    Southern Customer Services
    PO Box 3021
    Bristol
    BS2 2BS
    quoting ticket number [32605-1332374801] on all communication.

    Alternatively please use the contact us page. You can also
    submit a webform at:
    [2]www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/contact-us/contact-us-form
    quoting your ticket number.

    Kind regards

    Sarah Packer
    Southern Customer Services

    Your message :

    Dear Southern,

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I wish to raise a formal complaint following the humiliating and
    unnecessary experience I was forced to endure this morning at
    Victoria Rail station initially caused by the lack of training
    your
    staff clearly have in respect of valid rail tickets, but also
    the
    appalling way I was subsequently treated by the station manager
    who
    failed to even have the courtesy to apologise for the incident.

    On 21/02/2012 at 4.45am I attempted to board the 05.02am
    southern
    train with a valid day save season ticket and was refused.
    Knowing
    this to be a valid ticket for which there are no restrictions to
    travel on any Southern service I went to the ticket office as
    advised where I was told my ticket was not valid from London
    Victoria. The reason I was given for this was due to the fact
    the
    ticket states that it is valid between East Croydon and any
    southern train station. As London Victoria is operated by
    Southern
    and I was attempting to travel on one of your services I simply
    cannot understand why this was an issue which was made worse
    when I
    was made to feel like I was attempting to dodge the fare.

    For the past 6 weeks I have been purchasing the day save season
    ticket online and pick the ticket up on departure from Brighton
    station. Until this morning I have never had any issue, either
    on
    the train when checked or at the barriers at both Brighton and
    Victoria. I should add that when I first collected my ticket 6
    weeks ago I did question that it said East Croydon and was told
    that there is no problem and this is how they are printed.

    At 05.00am I spoke to Marilyn at the ticket office In London
    Victoria and asked her to look up the ticket and it?s validity
    on
    the southern website which she did. She advised me that there
    was
    no problem with this season ticket but I would have to buy a new
    ticket because the staff at the barrier are different from
    southern
    staff. I refused to do this as I had a valid ticket and failed
    to
    see why I should spend more money, but also as I did not have
    sufficient funds in my bank account to buy another. I did not
    see
    why I should have to share this information. I said this was not
    accepatable and asked to speak to a manger.

    I was advised the ticket office manager would be in at 7am. I
    was
    told to sit and wait in the cold and he would come out to see
    me. I
    waited until 07.25am and when no one approached me I went back
    up
    to the ticket office where I was advised the manager was not
    available and they couldn?t find him. Is this the way Southern
    treat all customers who wish to make a complaint, simply
    ignoring
    the issue and hoping they will just go away which was how I
    felt?

    At 07.35am the ticket office manager (Christian Deneraz) finally
    came to see me. I explained what had happened and he said there
    is
    no problem with the ticket and gave me a printout to show this.
    He
    then advised me the station manager (Chris Burtshaw) would come
    to
    see me in 5 minutes (approx 07.45am) I waited and was by now
    unsurprised when he did not come to see me. I returned again to
    the
    ticket office and was advised to go to the southern office. I
    was
    disgusted that having been kept waiting again I was the one who
    now
    had to go somewhere else to be seen. None the less, I did and
    was
    advised that the station manager had been on duty from 7am and
    was
    now doing a team briefing and would be with me afterwards.
    Clearly
    briefing your staff is seen to be much more of a priority than
    having to face a customer who had by now been waiting at the
    station attempting to board a train to go home with a valid
    ticket
    for almost 3 hours!

    Finally at 8.00am the station manager (Chris Burtshaw) came to
    see
    me and I again had to repeat my story, as he had not even been
    made
    aware of the circumstances of my complaint. I was truly
    astounded
    that having repeated myself for what was now the third time not
    a
    single offer of apology was made. He simply seemed to think that
    informing me the staff have not been trained on these new season
    tickets was justification for me being made to wait in the cold,
    feeling humiliated, tired hungry was justification for this
    fiasco.
    Accountability is obviously not a value or behaviour you deem
    necessary in your management teams.

    I stressed to him as I had done all morning that I have an
    underlying health issue for which I am required to take
    medication
    strictly at 06.30am every day. Chris seemed to think the most
    appropriate response to this was to call an ambulance to see if
    they would have medication. I do not feel it necessary or
    appropriate to have to share with any member of your team the
    type
    of medication I am required to take or my medical condition
    however
    I felt my integrity was being questioned and did share with him
    the
    condition I have and medication required. With hindsight I wish
    I
    had not as I felt it was a real breach of my dignity.

    On arriving the medics advised that it was there belief that
    there
    was minimal risk of me not having taken my medication and that
    taking it slightly later was advisable. I was best off trying to
    get home as quickly as I could, as this medication may not be
    available in the hospital. This could have been avoided entirely
    if
    I had simply been allowed to travel, as I should have been in
    the
    first place. When the medics left Chris Burtshaw commented that
    ?The medics had said I didn?t need my medication? which infact
    they
    did not say.

    I have to take this medication every day of my life without fail
    at
    the same time to keep my medical condition in check, and keep me
    well. Without it my health and life can be put at risk.
    Furthermore
    the level of stress this incident has caused me can also have a
    potential impact on my medical condition that I have been
    advised
    to avoid. Again not something that anyone at Southern really
    seemed
    to take seriously. There is already sufficient stigma around my
    condition without having to disclose it to people I would have
    chosen to never do so with.

    Chris did walk me to my train to ensure the barrier staff let me
    board the 8:36am service, some 3 ? hours later than I had
    intended
    to travel. Still no offer of an apology was made and I was
    simply
    given a customer comment card if I wished to make a complaint. I
    found this ironic, as it was exactly what I was trying to do but
    again clearly not something he felt was part of his job
    description
    in terms of dealing with it.

    I finally got home at 9:45 am nearly 4 hours later than I had
    planned meaning that today I have been unable to work. Not only
    due
    to my lack of sleep but also as a result waiting in the cold for
    4
    hours and taking my medication late. The consequences of which
    has
    caused me nausea, Dizziness and diarrhoea, all typical side
    effects
    of my medication, made worse when the time between taking them
    is
    affected. This is why I am required to take it at the same time
    every day so as the side effects are minimised before my day
    begins. I also now have a cold after being left in the cold for
    3 ?
    hours. Again not something I like to have given my condition.

    Today I have tried contacting southern customer services and
    having
    left 4 messages for a call back am still further shocked that
    you
    have failed to take my complaint seriously by not returning a
    single one. Is this how Southern operate and deal with
    customers?
    It seems that at every level there is a real lack of care or
    interest in your customers from the people you employee at your
    ticket desks, your barrier staff, managers at the station and
    your
    customer service phone line? How dare you call it customer
    service?

    I expect a response from you to all the points I have raised in
    this complaint within 20 days, as I believe is required of you
    by
    the office of rail regulation. If you fail to do so in a way
    that I
    consider to appropriately recompense me, I feel it only
    appropriate
    to advise you that I will be taking this further if necessary
    taking legal advice and will pursue this complaint to the
    highest
    authorities.

    I am a paying customer who was refused travel with a valid
    ticket.

    I have been treated with disrespect, disregard and complete
    contempt. Your actions or lack of were totally inappropriate,
    putting my health, well-being and job at risk.

    I await your comments.

    Yours sincerely

    Mark Lawrence

    ------------------

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  • 5 Peter Dixon commented close 16:18 15 Apr 2012

    Hello Mark

    FixMyTransport Volunteer here

    Southern Railways have offered you £30 in rail travel vouchers.

    If you want to receive these, please contact them with your personal details on comments@southernrailway.com quoting the reference [32605-1332374801]

    If you are not happy with this response, please feel free to contact them or raise it to London Travelwatch.

    Kind regards

    anorak
    admin
  • 6 Penalty Fare Appeal Support commented close 21:25 15 Apr 2012

    I wouldn't take the £30 to be honest. By taking the £30 you are accepting them as final acceptance of your complaint and to be honest nothing will change despite the promises.

    I would escalate to London Travelwatch and demand a face to face meeting with Southern and yourself at LTW offices. (they do allow this mediation).

    I would also say that £30 is an insult considering the time they took from you.

Comment
  • started 22 March 2012
  • supporters 3
Train route between Brighton and London Victoria operated by Southern, Gatwick Express
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