Managing customer complaints and learning from past experiences

As required by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the government department responsible for the economic and safety regulation of Britain’s railways, Trenitalia c2c has today (31 May 2024) published a summary of the customer complaints received during 2023-24.

Only complaints received via c2c’s official customer channels – emails, letters and telephone calls to customer services – from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 are included in this data.

The top five most common areas for complaint in 2023-24, covering all aspects of c2c’s operational performance from service reliability to, onboard facilities to availability of ticketing products, were:

· Service punctuality and reliability – 563 complaints

· Smartcards – 562

· Ticket buying facilities (Online) – 420

· Ticket buying facilities (Ticket Vending Machines) – 346

· Attitudes and helpfulness of station staff – 197

In total, c2c received 3,863 complaints during 2023-24, down 19% on the previous year.

The table below provides a detailed overview of the top five reasons for complaint in 2023-24, along with background information and our commitment to continuously making improvements in these areas.

Number Complaint category (level 3) P1-P13 volumes (taken from section A level 3 category) Commentary
1 Punctuality/reliability 563 c2c has seen an increase Delay Repay claims being submitted and complaints from customers due to Industrial Action taking place on several occasions in the last Rail year. Improvements have been made to how we communicate with customers on social media, and we made a pledge to provide easier access to information on our website. Complaints in this area are down on last year due in part to improvements in service reliability and also through partnership working with other operators to share best practice and insight.
2 Smartcard 562 Year-on-year, c2c has successfully reduced the number of complaints received in this area. We have introduced improvements to our Smartcard and retail systems. We have also further increased the amount of information available to customers online by improving customer help and FAQs pages and sending more dedicated and frequent marketing and service emails to customers. We continue to engage with our customers – via Passenger Panel meetings and communications and comments directed to our Customer Services team – to gather feedback and suggestions on Smartcard and digital issues, in order to continuously improve our offer.
3 Ticket buying facilities - online 420 The main issues regarding the c2c App and website relate to the ticketing purchasing functionality, and this includes failed payments and tickets not being readily available. As a result, we have recently introduced a number of updates to improve the reliability of the App. In addition, Biometric authentication, changes to ‘My Account’ and information on ticket types have been added to improve the overall user experience and provide easy access to information.
4 Ticket buying facilities – Ticket vending machines 346 Following extensive customer research, speaking with our Passenger Panel members and taking on feedback from staff, we have implemented some changes to our TVMs to help improve the experience for customers when purchasing a ticket. The main TVM home screen layout has been enhanced and now prioritises links to key service and ticket information based on common customer usage.
5 The attitudes and helpfulness of the staff at station 197 We continue to provide regular refresher training to all of our frontline staff. We also take onboard all comments and complaints received from customers in this area, and ensure they are properly reviewed in order to remove the risk of the same issue or incident being raised again.