“Please help me persuade First Capital Connect to ensure their staff treat all their train-going customers with respect.” – Alan Riley

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Alan Riley

I wish to complain about the appalling way in which a member of the general public was treated by one of your ticket inspectors this morning on the 7.55 from Highbury and Islington to Letchworth Garden City. The ticket inspector was a black african woman with curly, dyed red hair. She didn't even look at me when checking my ticket, nor did she say thank you to me, though she did so to someone else. A young man on the train who had been unable to buy a ticket at Essex Road ticket office as there had been noone at the counter to serve him was treated with the utmost disrespect by the woman. When he offered to pay for his ticket, she refused, told him it was a penalty fare. She eventually offered to check with the ticket office who said the ticket office was open, but whether or not it was manned at the time was not known. She then proceeded to ask the man for ID, then for his address, then demanding why the addresses didn't completely match, each time getting ruder, and raising her voice to him. She treated him like no more than a common criminal and the man was visibly upset by the whole experience. At no point did the man refuse to hand over his ID or refuse to comply with the woman. One of my work colleagues had been tutted at by the same woman for taking her time to find her Oyster card.

On that actual route I have seen such bad behaviour from your ticket inspectors in the past I felt I had to write this formal complaint to have it dealt with. The ticket inspectors, who are mainly Black African, often let other black people off penalty fares, in fact one incident I witnessed approximately two months ago, between Palmers Green and Highbury and Islington, a mixed race woman laughed at the inspector, said "I'm bumping the train, what you gonna do about it" and he and his colleague laughed and walked off. However, I have seen other (white) train passengers treated with utter disrespect, one guy (who hadn't bought a ticket for the whole of his journey by accident) had to run off the train, and the ticket inspector laughed, turned to his friend and said loudly "What a c***!" I'm sick and tired of the poor service from your ticket inspectors and if they continue to be racist, I shall refuse to show my ticket. I suggest that the woman above be sacked forthwith, and the other members of your ticket inspection team be given training in respect for others.

Problem History

  • 1 Alan Riley reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 11:59 03 Jul 2012
  • 2 Alan Riley wrote to First Capital Connect close 11:59 03 Jul 2012

    Here is the letter that Alan Riley wrote.

    Racist and rude ticket inspector.

    I wish to complain about the appalling way in which a member of the general public was treated by one of your ticket inspectors this morning on the 7.55 from Highbury and Islington to Letchworth Garden City. The ticket inspector was a black african woman with curly, dyed red hair. She didn't even look at me when checking my ticket, nor did she say thank you to me, though she did so to someone else. A young man on the train who had been unable to buy a ticket at Essex Road ticket office as there had been noone at the counter to serve him was treated with the utmost disrespect by the woman. When he offered to pay for his ticket, she refused, told him it was a penalty fare. She eventually offered to check with the ticket office who said the ticket office was open, but whether or not it was manned at the time was not known. She then proceeded to ask the man for ID, then for his address, then demanding why the addresses didn't completely match, each time getting ruder, and raising her voice to him. She treated him like no more than a common criminal and the man was visibly upset by the whole experience. At no point did the man refuse to hand over his ID or refuse to comply with the woman. One of my work colleagues had been tutted at by the same woman for taking her time to find her Oyster card.

    On that actual route I have seen such bad behaviour from your ticket inspectors in the past I felt I had to write this formal complaint to have it dealt with. The ticket inspectors, who are mainly Black African, often let other black people off penalty fares, in fact one incident I witnessed approximately two months ago, between Palmers Green and Highbury and Islington, a mixed race woman laughed at the inspector, said "I'm bumping the train, what you gonna do about it" and he and his colleague laughed and walked off. However, I have seen other (white) train passengers treated with utter disrespect, one guy (who hadn't bought a ticket for the whole of his journey by accident) had to run off the train, and the ticket inspector laughed, turned to his friend and said loudly "What a c***!" I'm sick and tired of the poor service from your ticket inspectors and if they continue to be racist, I shall refuse to show my ticket. I suggest that the woman above be sacked forthwith, and the other members of your ticket inspection team be given training in respect for others.

  • 3 First Group Response responded to Alan Riley close 12:06 03 Jul 2012
    Thank you for contacting First Capital Connect. We confirm receipt of your e-mail and aim to forward a full response within 5 working days.

    Please note that you will not be able to reply direct to this email, however if you wish to contact us further by email then please use the address below.

    [First Capital Connect problem reporting email]
  • 4 FCC Customer Relations responded to Alan Riley close 23:48 10 Jul 2012
    FREEPOST RRBR-REEJ-KTKY
    Customer Relations
    First Capital Connect
    PO Box 443
    Plymouth
    PL4 6WP
    Tel: 0845 0264700
    Fax: 0845 6769904
    Website: www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk

    Ref: 6625284

    Dear Customer

    Thank you for getting in touch regarding and incident you witnessed on 3 July 2012 and for bringing it to our attention.

    We have a commitment to provide a good level of customer service and expect our colleagues to be professional and courteous when they interact with our customers. However this doesn't mean we can't explain things in a friendly and professional way. We have set ourselves high standards in delivering this commitment, so it is disappointing that this was not the case.

    I have logged your complaint, which will be passed to their line manager who will review what happened and take any relevant action with the member of staff involved. Unfortunately the outcome of the investigation is confidential, but we will ensure the right course of action is taken.

    Thank you again for getting in touch. Feedback such as yours allows us to identify where improvements need to be made.

    Yours sincerely

    Customer Relations Advisor

    Avoid the queue go to FAQ. Lots of answers to everyday questions can be found on our website www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/FAQ

    First Capital Connect Limited. Registered in England & Wales No. 05281077.
    Registered office: 50 Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington, London, W2 6LG.

    First Rail Holdings Limited. Registered in England No. 5154485. Registered office: 50 Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington, London W2 6LG.

    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
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  • started 3 July 2012
  • supporters 2
Train route between Highbury & Islington and Palmers Green operated by First Capital Connect
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