New compensation scheme gives c2c passengers the UK's best deal for rail delays
Trenitalia UK train operator c2c today launches a new scheme that gives passengers improved compensation for delays and cancellations to their services.
Under the new Delay Repay 15 (DR15) scheme, every c2c passenger is now entitled to compensation worth 25% of the fare for their journey if their train is delayed for as little as 15 minutes.
This builds on c2c’s existing compensation scheme and is available for all passengers, plus it will also be paid automatically to passengers using the c2c Smartcard. This makes c2c the UK’s first train operator to offer passengers with a smartcard this level of compensation automatically, without needing to fill out forms to claim their money. Half of all c2c annual season ticket holders currently use smartcards and so will receive this automatic compensation.
The new scheme increases the amount of compensation paid to passengers by up to 700% if they are delayed for 15 minutes:
- Until now c2c passengers delayed for 15 minutes were eligible for compensation at a flat-rate of 39p if they travelled using the c2c smartcard, but no compensation if they use paper tickets for their journey
- From today all c2c passengers will be entitled to compensation worth over £3.00 if they are travelling from Shoeburyness or Southend, and £2.45 if they are travelling from Basildon. Passengers using the c2c smartcard will receive their money back automatically.
c2c, which last week was named London’s best commuter operator by passengers in Transport Focus’ bi-annual survey, will also continue its existing award-winning automatic compensation after delays of just two minutes for c2c Smartcard users. This increases for every further minute’s delay up to the 15 minute mark, while all customers who are delayed for 30 minutes or more remain eligible for a 50% refund of their relevant fare.
The scheme is part of the commitments made by c2c’s owners Trenitalia UK in their franchise agreement with the Department for Transport.
Trenitalia UK Managing Director Ernesto Sicilia said: “We always aim to get our customers to their destination on time, and since TrenitaliaUK entered in the UK market, acquiring c2c last year, our key priorities have been delivering punctuality and bringing innovation. Our entire team has focused on making c2c the most punctual service in the country, but some delays are still inevitable. When this does happen it is fundamental our customers get paid the compensation they deserve, and that we make it as easy as possible for them to get their money back. Customer service is our priority.
“All of us at Trenitalia c2c are so proud to both provide this improved level of compensation, and that we can offer it as an automatic service too. This demonstrates our commitment to investing in the UK rail market and delivering improvements for our customers.”
Rail Minister Jo Johnson said: “We are investing in the biggest rail modernisation programme since Victorian times to deliver the improvements that passengers want - more space, and faster, more frequent services. It is great news for passengers that as we do that, c2c is extending its compensation scheme, so those experiencing delays of more than 15 minutes can claim money back on their ticket.
“It is right that when things go wrong, passengers are compensated fairly, which is why we are working with the rail industry to improve the compensation scheme and ensure everybody knows what they are entitled to.”
Janet Cooke, Chief Executive Officer of London TravelWatch, said: “This is good news for passengers and we look forward to more operators following c2c in offering compensation after 15 minutes. We first called for compensation to be available to commuters after 15 minutes three years ago as it wasn't fair that people making relatively short journeys were regularly being inconvenienced by delays of 20 minutes, with no right to compensation.
“Of course passengers would rather their trains are on time but we are pleased that c2c have become the latest operator to give all passengers access to compensation after delays of at least 15 minutes, building on their automatic compensation scheme for smartcard users.”
c2c runs the UK’s most punctual train service, with 95.9% of all trains arriving on time in the past year. 90% of c2c customers said they were satisfied with the service they receive in last week’s National Rail Passenger Survey, carried out by independent passenger watchdog Transport Focus.