“Please help me persuade Virgin Trains to stop unnecssary announcments. This applies to all TOCs” – Derek Manson-Smith

Description

Derek Manson-Smith

The number of announcements, often given first by the train manager and then repeated word for word by an automated announcement, is driving me mad and really interfering with any conversation with fellow travellers. It is not just Virgin Trains but applies equally to ScotRail and probably the rest of the TOCs. This has really become pronounced over the past few years and a lot of it is unnecessary and really irritating. One simple announcement of necessary information please, and cut the rest. Honest, I won't sue the train company if it neglects to tell me how to blow my nose.

Problem History

  • 1 Derek Manson-Smith reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 13:27 10 Sep 2011
  • 2 Derek Manson-Smith wrote to Virgin Trains close 13:27 10 Sep 2011

    Here is the letter that Derek Manson-Smith wrote.

    Annoying announcements

    The number of announcements, often given first by the train manager and then repeated word for word by an automated announcement, is driving me mad and really interfering with any conversation with fellow travellers. It is not just Virgin Trains but applies equally to ScotRail and probably the rest of the TOCs. This has really become pronounced over the past few years and a lot of it is unnecessary and really irritating. One simple announcement of necessary information please, and cut the rest. Honest, I won't sue the train company if it neglects to tell me how to blow my nose.

  • 3 Relations, Customer responded to Derek Manson-Smith close 13:30 10 Sep 2011
    Thank you for contacting us.

    This is an automated email acknowledgement confirming receipt of
    your email.

    We will respond again shortly.

    Regards,

    Customer Relations
    Virgin Trains.

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  • 4 Myf Nixon commented close 10:53 12 Sep 2011

    I know what you mean, Derek! As a longtime commuter to London, I got used to snoozing through the announcements early in the morning, but it took a while to be able to do that.

    anorak
    admin
  • 5 Peter Mount commented close 11:24 12 Sep 2011

    Southeastern are similar, when they actually have the onboard announcements working.

    Many times the boards are not working so the Guard has to announce each one, other times the 'digital doris' as she's locally known as gets cut off by the guard who then says exactly the same thing.

    Volume is another issue, sometimes it's so low it's useless but at other times it's so loud that you end up with a headache when you get off.

  • 6 Virgin Trains responded to Derek Manson-Smith close 12:12 12 Sep 2011
     

    Dear Mr D Manson-Smith,

    Thank you for your email which we received on 10 September 2011.
    Your comments have been entered into our case management system
    under reference 4-2063742 and we will respond to you as soon as
    possible,

    If it is an urgent matter, however, you may wish to give us a
    call on 0845 000 8000 quoting the above reference. In the
    meantime, we will do our utmost to arrange a swift response.

    Regards

    Virgin Trains Customer Relations Team

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  • 7 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 13:11 12 Sep 2011

    I fully agree. Pendolinos now make automatic announcements about 'reporting suspicious looking people' at every single station stop.
    It applies in many other places; Kings Cross Station has very frequent announcements saying there are security patrols; do we really need to be continually reminded of this?
    Keep announcements for useful information.

    anorak
    admin
  • 8 Michael Nolan commented close 12:38 19 Sep 2011

    I'm on a train from Liverpool to London *right now* and not too bad - no announcements from the shop themselves and just the train manager speaking before each stop and welcoming new passengers once it's set off again.

  • 9 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 13:21 19 Sep 2011

    Michael. Yes, I travelled from London to Liverpool last Friday and back on Sunday and there were no automatic announcements. The announcements were mainly by the train manager with just a couple from the shop. All were all clear, informative and welcoming - much better than the barrage of automatic announcements (endlessly reminding you to report suspicious people) and I think much more appropriate particularly for long distance services.

    anorak
    admin
  • 10 Virgin Trains responded to Derek Manson-Smith close 15:09 21 Oct 2011
     

    Dear Mr Manson-Smith,

    Thank you for passing on your clients feedback which we received
    on 10^th September 2011. I would like to offer my sincere
    apologies for the significant delay to our response. I am very
    grateful for your patience and understanding in this matter.

    I am sorry that they are dissatisfied with the on board
    announcements on their journey.

    The auto announcer is a useful tool when there are station stops
    that are close together, as it enables the Train Manager to walk
    through the train without having to stay near to a public
    address handset to announce the approach of a station. Our Train
    Managers are advised that they should still make their normal
    announcements at stations where there is time to do so.

    The challenge is to strike a sensible balance between keeping
    customers informed, and not intruding upon your travel time. I
    know how frustrating it can be when that balance is not right.

    Please accept my apologies for the way their journey was
    disturbed, and I will make sure their comments are included as
    part of our review.

    Thank you for contacting us. We value comments, and we welcome
    the opportunity this gives us to understand what our customers
    require from our service.

    Yours sincerely

    Ben Evers

    Customer Relations

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  • 11 Derek Manson-Smith commented close 10:45 26 Jan 2012

    My complaint has not had any effect on the problem. While this site looks good in principle I suspect those to whom it is directed simply igonore it.

  • 12 AW commented close 00:14 31 Jul 2012

    Just got off another Manchester-Euston Virgin train and am suffering tinnitus after the 120 decibel announcement tones that precede each and every (unnecessary and pointless) announcement. What is the point in having a quiet zone where even tapping gently on a keyboard is frowned upon only to be deafened by these repetitive noises?

    I am writing for a refund after last week's delays so I will put in a complaint about this too.

    The new Siemens First Trans-Pennine Express trains introduced in about 2005 made by Manchester-Leeds journey unbearable, I ended up going on the slow Victoria bus-on-a-track Northern trains to get a decent relaxing journey/sleep!

    Glad I'm not the only one sick to death of this.

Comment
  • started 10 September 2011
  • supporters 5
Train route between Glasgow Central and London Euston operated by ScotRail, Virgin Trains
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