Description

Elizabeth McVinnie

I am a frequent traveller by rail, travelling from Dumfries to Glasgow, Greenock, Edinburgh and Plymouth usually accompanied by other adults and large groups of young people. I have always found the staff to be very polite and extremely helpful both at the station and on the trains themselves - in fact I would go as far as saying I would give them 10/10 for the service they have provided. Every time I have travelled the staff in the ticket office have done their very best to find the cheapest fares possible for our group and I cannot commend them highly enough.

Up until this evening I had only ever encountered one member of staff who wasn't only decidedly unhelpful, but also very curt and abrupt. She was a relatively young female and her name badge said Ang - I did think of complaining at the time but decided not to bother. I too have to work with members of the public and we can all have our 'off days'! However the incident tonight has made me so angry I feel I must complain. I am going on holiday to Plymouth on Sunday 8 July with 2 other adults and 2 children and having got all the details of train times & costs online I went to Dumfries station to purchase tickets and book seats. I was aware that the ticket office closed at 1900 and having worked till 1800 I got to the station at 1830. The ticket office was unmanned and a notice on display advised 'booking office closed due to other duties - please see staff on platform'. As advised by the notice I duly went looking for a staff member and seeing a staff member in the waiting room on the other side of the station went across the bridge to advise then I wanted to purchase tickets. Lo and behold the staff member was none other than 'Ang'. Finding the waiting room door locked I duly knocked on the door only for her to look up then turn her back to me and continue sweeping the floor. I knocked on the door again and this time she turned to face me continued sweeping and said something I didn't quite hear so I knocked a 3rd time. Ang then came towards the door and her words as she opened the door to speak to me were 'for fucksake we're closed'. I was so shocked all I could say was I wanted to buy tickets before the booking office shut at 1900. Her reply was 'I will be over in 10-15mins'. I was so taken aback by her attitude all I could say was I will go back over and wait. I duly returned to the booking office were I waited for 10mins while Ang finished sweeping the floor. Whilst I appreciate that having a clean station may be high on the company's list of priorities I would expect customer service to be higher - I was there to spend £400. Ang's attitude when she finally returned to serve me was one of annoyance. I gave her all the details as I had already got them online re time of travel & destination and asked if I could book seats from Carlisle on both the out & return journey. Ang duly did this although she seemed rather pleased going by the smirk on her face, to be able to tell me that there were no seats available for booking on the outward leg of the journey from Carlisle to Birmingham New Street and rather sanctimoniously advised me that maybe I should have bought the tickets and booked the seats when I was online looking at costs and train times. Any attempts by me to engage her in conversation were met by monosyllabic answers although I did manage to find out that she was working till 2300 so surely she could have used the time between 1900 - 2300 to sweep the waiting room floor. All in all the level of service I experienced this evening is not acceptable. I have until this evening always held your staff in high esteem and my experience tonight is not acceptable. 'Bad day' or not this member of staff did not have the right to use bad language or treat a customer in such a disrespectful manner. I work in the public sector and I had to budget carefully to be able to afford the cost of these tickets - my holiday is starting on a sour note before I even get on the train. Next time I might look at the cost of driving or flying to my destination.
I look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter

Problem History

  • 1 Elizabeth McVinnie reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 20:47 04 Jul 2012
  • 2 Elizabeth McVinnie wrote to ScotRail close 20:47 04 Jul 2012

    Here is the letter that Elizabeth McVinnie wrote.

    Staff member badly in need of training in customer services

    I am a frequent traveller by rail, travelling from Dumfries to Glasgow, Greenock, Edinburgh and Plymouth usually accompanied by other adults and large groups of young people. I have always found the staff to be very polite and extremely helpful both at the station and on the trains themselves - in fact I would go as far as saying I would give them 10/10 for the service they have provided. Every time I have travelled the staff in the ticket office have done their very best to find the cheapest fares possible for our group and I cannot commend them highly enough.

    Up until this evening I had only ever encountered one member of staff who wasn't only decidedly unhelpful, but also very curt and abrupt. She was a relatively young female and her name badge said Ang - I did think of complaining at the time but decided not to bother. I too have to work with members of the public and we can all have our 'off days'! However the incident tonight has made me so angry I feel I must complain. I am going on holiday to Plymouth on Sunday 8 July with 2 other adults and 2 children and having got all the details of train times & costs online I went to Dumfries station to purchase tickets and book seats. I was aware that the ticket office closed at 1900 and having worked till 1800 I got to the station at 1830. The ticket office was unmanned and a notice on display advised 'booking office closed due to other duties - please see staff on platform'. As advised by the notice I duly went looking for a staff member and seeing a staff member in the waiting room on the other side of the station went across the bridge to advise then I wanted to purchase tickets. Lo and behold the staff member was none other than 'Ang'. Finding the waiting room door locked I duly knocked on the door only for her to look up then turn her back to me and continue sweeping the floor. I knocked on the door again and this time she turned to face me continued sweeping and said something I didn't quite hear so I knocked a 3rd time. Ang then came towards the door and her words as she opened the door to speak to me were 'for fucksake we're closed'. I was so shocked all I could say was I wanted to buy tickets before the booking office shut at 1900. Her reply was 'I will be over in 10-15mins'. I was so taken aback by her attitude all I could say was I will go back over and wait. I duly returned to the booking office were I waited for 10mins while Ang finished sweeping the floor. Whilst I appreciate that having a clean station may be high on the company's list of priorities I would expect customer service to be higher - I was there to spend £400. Ang's attitude when she finally returned to serve me was one of annoyance. I gave her all the details as I had already got them online re time of travel & destination and asked if I could book seats from Carlisle on both the out & return journey. Ang duly did this although she seemed rather pleased going by the smirk on her face, to be able to tell me that there were no seats available for booking on the outward leg of the journey from Carlisle to Birmingham New Street and rather sanctimoniously advised me that maybe I should have bought the tickets and booked the seats when I was online looking at costs and train times. Any attempts by me to engage her in conversation were met by monosyllabic answers although I did manage to find out that she was working till 2300 so surely she could have used the time between 1900 - 2300 to sweep the waiting room floor. All in all the level of service I experienced this evening is not acceptable. I have until this evening always held your staff in high esteem and my experience tonight is not acceptable. 'Bad day' or not this member of staff did not have the right to use bad language or treat a customer in such a disrespectful manner. I work in the public sector and I had to budget carefully to be able to afford the cost of these tickets - my holiday is starting on a sour note before I even get on the train. Next time I might look at the cost of driving or flying to my destination.
    I look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter

  • 3 First Group Response responded to Elizabeth McVinnie close 20:57 04 Jul 2012
    Thank you for contacting ScotRail. Under the terms of our Passengers' Charter, we aim to respond to all claims/correspondence within 7 working days.

    Please note that you will not be able to respond direct to this email.

    Whatever the weather, check your journey before you travel @ www.Scotrail.co.uk.

    Check out our new traffic alerts on our homepage for 'at-a-glance' view of live running information and sign up for our iphone app. You can also follow us on Twitter.
  • 4 Elizabeth McVinnie added an update close 21:14 04 Jul 2012

    Now that's what I call Customer Service - I've had an acknowledgement of receipt of my complaint in less than 30mins of lodging it!!!

  • 5 Scotrail Customer Relations responded to Elizabeth McVinnie close 19:21 06 Jul 2012
    ScotRail
    Customer Relations
    PO Box 7030
    Fort William
    PH33 6WX

    Tel: 08456 015 929
    Fax: 01397 708 239

    Our Ref: SR6627985

    Dear Customer

    Thank you for your email.

    As a Train Operating Company, we want to keep our customers happy.

    We have a series of initiatives in place to listen and act upon their comments. These channels range from 'Meet the Managers' at stations and on trains to Customer Forums.

    We also have a dedicated customer relations centre which aims to respond to queries or complaints as quickly and effectively as possible.

    We encourage our customers to contact us directly to help give them the service they expect and deserve.

    Thank you for taking the time to write.

    Should you need to reply to this email, please respond to [ScotRail problem reporting email].

    Yours sincerely

    Emma Hall
    Customer Relations Advisor

    First ScotRail Limited. Registered in Scotland No SC185018. Registered Office: 395 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5RP

    First ScotRail Limited. Registered in Scotland No. SC185018. Registered office: 395 King Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5RP.

    This message is confidential. It may not be disclosed to, or used by, anyone other than the addressee. If you receive this message in error, please advise us immediately.

    Internet email is not necessarily secure. First does not accept responsibility for changes to any email which occur after the email has been sent. Attachments to this email could contain software viruses which could damage your system. First have checked the attachments for viruses before sending, but you should virus-check them before opening.

    For more information on our range of services or to book your tickets online, please visit:- http://www.firstgroup.com
  • 6 Elizabeth McVinnie added an update close 20:25 06 Jul 2012

    just received acknowledgement of complaint from scotrail but no mention of what happens now. Hope they will look into it thoroughly and take appropriate action i.e. give staff training on customer service. Its such a shame that one person can bring the excellent reputation of dumfries station staff down.

    Travelling on Sunday - hope 'Ang' not on duty at the station. Start to get excited about holiday then remember what happened when i went to buy tickets to travel - it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Went into station feeling happy and excited and came out feeling angry and upset!!

  • 7 Elizabeth McVinnie wrote to ScotRail close 20:31 06 Jul 2012

    what happens now - you have my complaint - what action will you take? I went into the station happy + excited because I was buying tickets to go on holiday and came out angry + upset!

    We are travelling on Sunday and every time I start to get excited I remember what happened when I went to buy the tickets . I have saved hard all year to be able to have this holiday and a member of your staff has put a damper on it before I even get on the train!!!

  • 8 First Group Response responded to Elizabeth McVinnie close 20:38 06 Jul 2012
    Thank you for contacting ScotRail. Under the terms of our Passengers' Charter, we aim to respond to all claims/correspondence within 7 working days.

    Please note that you will not be able to respond direct to this email.

    Whatever the weather, check your journey before you travel @ www.Scotrail.co.uk.

    Check out our new traffic alerts on our homepage for 'at-a-glance' view of live running information and sign up for our iphone app. You can also follow us on Twitter.
  • 9 Scotrail Customer Relations responded to Elizabeth McVinnie close 16:04 10 Jul 2012
    ScotRail
    Customer Relations
    PO Box 7030
    Fort William
    PH33 6WX

    Tel: 08456 015 929
    Fax: 01397 708 239

    Our Ref: 6631166/SR

    Dear Customer

    Thank you for your further email.

    As previously explained, as a Train Operating Company, we want to keep our customers happy.

    We have a series of initiatives in place to listen and act upon their comments. These channels range from 'Meet the Managers' at stations and on trains to Customer Forums.

    We also have a dedicated customer relations centre which aims to respond to queries or complaints as quickly and effectively as possible.

    We encourage our customers to contact us directly to help give them the service they expect and deserve.

    Thank you again for taking the time to write.

    Yours sincerely

    Cath Salter
    Customer Relations Advisor

    First ScotRail Limited. Registered in Scotland No SC185018. Registered Office: 395 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5RP

    First ScotRail Limited. Registered in Scotland No. SC185018. Registered office: 395 King Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5RP.

    This message is confidential. It may not be disclosed to, or used by, anyone other than the addressee. If you receive this message in error, please advise us immediately.

    Internet email is not necessarily secure. First does not accept responsibility for changes to any email which occur after the email has been sent. Attachments to this email could contain software viruses which could damage your system. First have checked the attachments for viruses before sending, but you should virus-check them before opening.

    For more information on our range of services or to book your tickets online, please visit:- http://www.firstgroup.com
  • 10 Myf Nixon commented close 16:41 10 Jul 2012

    Hello Elizabeth,

    FixMyTransport Admin here. It looks as if ScotRail are asking you to take communication off FixMyTransport, I'm afraid.

    We believe there is no good reason for an operator not to engage with its customers through the site, so our advice would be to write back (using the 'reply to this message by email' button below their message) and say that this is your preferred method of communication.

    However if you prefer to follow their own guidelines and take communication offline, please do come back and update us on any progress you've made. This way there will be a public record, plus a chance for others to add their support and discuss the issue.

    anorak
    admin
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Dumfries Rail Station in Dumfries operated by ScotRail
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