“Please help me persuade First Great Western Railway to Train Inspectors should interact more reasonably with customers” – Jo Court

Description

Jo Court

On the 8.20am from Didcot Parkway to London Paddington this morning, we faced the usual over crowding chaos. A heavily pregnant woman sat in first class as there was no obvious space in second - she had a second class ticket. The inspector, on checking her ticket, told her that there were seats available four carriages back. His manner was intimidating and agressive, and after explaining to no avail that her baby was due in a couple of weeks and she was unable to even get through the jammed-in-like-sardines buffet car to reach second class, the woman ended up in tears, trying to edge her way through. It may well be FGW policy that you may not sit in first class with a second class ticket (though there were clearly reasons why any inspector with an ounce of compassion and humanity would have waived the rule in this case) however the inspector's manner was over-bearing and agressive. First Great Western clearly needs to educate its staff not only on policy, but how to apply policy sensitively and appropriately.

Problem History

  • 1 Jo Court reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 10:09 24 Apr 2012
  • 2 Jo Court wrote to First Great Western Railway close 10:09 24 Apr 2012

    Here is the letter that Jo Court wrote.

    The Train Conductor who made a heavily pregnant woman cry

    On the 8.20am from Didcot Parkway to London Paddington this morning, we faced the usual over crowding chaos. A heavily pregnant woman sat in first class as there was no obvious space in second - she had a second class ticket. The inspector, on checking her ticket, told her that there were seats available four carriages back. His manner was intimidating and agressive, and after explaining to no avail that her baby was due in a couple of weeks and she was unable to even get through the jammed-in-like-sardines buffet car to reach second class, the woman ended up in tears, trying to edge her way through. It may well be FGW policy that you may not sit in first class with a second class ticket (though there were clearly reasons why any inspector with an ounce of compassion and humanity would have waived the rule in this case) however the inspector's manner was over-bearing and agressive. First Great Western clearly needs to educate its staff not only on policy, but how to apply policy sensitively and appropriately.

  • 3 Jo Court wrote to First Great Western Railway close 10:13 24 Apr 2012

    On the 8.20am from Didcot Parkway to London Paddington this morning, we faced the usual over crowding chaos. A heavily pregnant woman sat in first class as there was no obvious space in second - she had a second class ticket. The inspector, on checking her ticket, told her that there were seats available four carriages back. His manner was intimidating and agressive, and after explaining to no avail that her baby was due in a couple of weeks and she was unable to even get through the jammed-in-like-sardines buffet car to reach second class, the woman ended up in tears, trying to edge her way through. It may well be FGW policy that you may not sit in first class with a second class ticket (though there were clearly reasons why any inspector with an ounce of compassion and humanity would have waived the rule in this case) however the inspector's manner was over-bearing and agressive. First Great Western clearly needs to educate its staff not only on policy, but how to apply policy sensitively and appropriately.

  • 4 First Group Response responded to Jo Court close 10:28 24 Apr 2012
    Thank you for contacting First Great Western. We confirm receipt of your e-mail and aim to forward a full response within 5 working days. If you have a more urgent issue that needs resolving please telephone on 08457 000125 where we will try to give a faster resolution.

    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.

    [email address]
  • 5 First Group Response responded to Jo Court close 10:28 24 Apr 2012
    Thank you for contacting First Great Western. We confirm receipt of your e-mail and aim to forward a full response within 5 working days. If you have a more urgent issue that needs resolving please telephone on 08457 000125 where we will try to give a faster resolution.

    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.

    [email address]
  • 6 Julian Lavanini commented close 18:09 24 Apr 2012

    Disgusting, very sad to hear this and more and more occurances of appalling treatment from companies happening all the time.

  • 7 Kerry C commented close 19:25 24 Apr 2012

    From 25 weeks pregnant weekly season ticket holders are entitled to free upgraded first class travel, they just need to send a copy of their mat1b before they travel to get an exemption. I'm pregnant myself and checked with all travel companies I use to find out where I stood beforehand. I'm not a season ticket holder as I get cheaper discounted travel working on the railway so cannot get a free upgrade, but have always asked the guard if there are no seats or if no one offers me their seat before I sit in 1st class and have never had a problem. I'm sure if she had asked before travel or had looked for a seat in standard the guard would have let her stay. I get more annoyed by the fact I try and sit somewhere near the toilets & cafe bit and the iPod/laptop blinkered suit brigade don't give up their seats meaning I have to go and ask to sit wherever there is a seat.

  • 8 Louise Rodrigues commented close 09:32 07 Aug 2012

    Same thing happened this morning on 7.45am from Reading. Although I (pregnant myself and awaiting the holy grail letter after 25 weeks) was sat in standard class and had to listen to a rude and loud train manager bragging about how he had subjected a poor pregnant lady to the embarrassment of a fine for a) not being in 3rd trimester and b) not checking seats in standard class. I can confirm after taking that train everyday for the last 5 years it is VERY rare you can even board, never mind find a seat.
    Disgusting, and I hope those sat in 1st class to hear that conversation 1st hand complain also.

Comment
  • started 24 April 2012
  • supporters 5
Train route between Didcot Parkway and London Paddington operated by First Great Western Railway
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