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Initial problem

I have written to Southern rail about a problem I had one night using their service. I have emailed twice and have sent a letter - but have had no response what's so ever! Not even to acknowledge me - I find it hard to believe that all 3 have not got to them!

I have copied the email I sent below to explain my problem:

I am writing to complain about an unfortunate experience that I had when using your train service, on 22nd October, 2012.

Together with a friend, I travelled on your Southern Service 4:30 train from Horsham to London Bridge Station. I am pleased to report that the journey was pleasant, comfortable and got us to London Bridge on time. We then used the London Tube service, which was also very efficient. Thus, we arrived at the O2 Arena on time, in a calm frame of mind and excited!

After an amazing evening, we made our way back to London Bridge Train Station for our homeward journey. We were delighted to see that a train to Three Bridges station was departing at 11:12 and asked some railway staff which platform we should go to. There was a train already at the platform, ready for boarding, so we picked up speed and made our way towards it. We looked at the display board and at the top it showed that the train would be terminating at Three Bridges Station. We doubled checked with the lady guard on the platform, who assured us that it was the correct train and she frantically waved us on.

Eventually we settled down and relaxed as we were quite tired by now. However, we started to get concerned when we did not recognise any landmarks along the way. It was not until a guard announced that the train had terminated and everyone must get off that we realised we were not at Three-Bridges Station, but at Tunbridge Wells. Consequently, we went into shock and sought out someone to help us.
It turned out that we must been told to get on a train which left from the same platform but two minutes earlier and obviously went in a completely different direction. We were told there was nothing the station could do, indeed, there were no more trains that evening. The guard (the manager of the evening) who was just leaving said that we would be able to claim compensation by filling in a ‘Delay Repay’ form (but this didn’t seem to fit with what had happened). We were then directed to a Kebab shop, where we could wait for a taxi. This was down an alley and full of drunk youths. Therefore, we were rather frightened, cold and, more importantly, stranded!

After a family member rung around for a taxi to take us back to Horsham, we arrived home two hours later than planned. We consider that your staff had no concern for the safety of two young women, alone at night (after midnight) and that we were given incorrect information at London Bridge by the staff.

We can send proof of our journey and the receipt from our taxi ride (which we were lucky enough to get for £55 instead of £120 – the company kindly took pity on two young girls stranded in an unfamiliar place. We consider that some recompense should be made for our inconvenience but were not sure who we should write too.

I look forward to your reply

Laura Nicholls

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