Section E - Continuous improvement in complaints handling

Number Complaint Category (level 3) P1-P13 volumes
(taken from section A level 3 category)
Example Example of complaint topic (level 3 category):
e.g. Provision of information on website or mobile apps
Section A complaint volumes for each category Example (to be provided with level 3 examples):
TOCs should provide some commentary as to what is driving the volumes of complaints in this category and explain clearly what actions they have made to address them, and what effect that has had. E.g. 'in May 2017 we noted an increase in the volume of complaints regarding the quality of information on our website and mobile apps. We brought in a specialist team to examine these issues and we made changes to our information channels which have had the following effect....'.
1 Ticketing and refunds policy 1479

The volume of complaints was driven by the unique refund situation presented by the Coronavirus pandemic. We dedicated extra staff resources and created dedicated online forms, however the volume of applications and customer expectations led to a variety of complaints. These included the refund admin fee, not being able to pause a season ticket, the requirement to return a physical ticket, annual season ticket refunds not being pro-rata, the time taken to process, expired vouchers and the refund/rebooking options at various points of the tier changes/lockdowns.

We have since developed self-serve functionality for refunds via the customer's online account. This allows direct submission of a refund application, no longer having to return a ticket, a step-by-step guide, and upfront advice on the value of a refund or if there is no refund due.

2 Punctuality/Reliability 1419

The majority of complaints related to refund claims for abandoned journeys due to delays or cancellations. With numbers significantly down on previous years, there are no trends or patterns to note with these claims, other than a natural peak of complaints during the months where lockdown restrictions were eased and passenger numbers increased.

This rail year we recorded a punctuality of 95% across our network, with 7 of our routes recording their best ever performance figures. This has been aided by the roll-out of our Stadler bi-mode trains, which have improved reliability on rural routes and has proven to cope better with the challenges of seasonal weather compared to our old fleet. The roll-out of our Bombardier trains for our surburban and West Anglia route continues through 2021.

3 Facilities on board 1344

Most contacts in this category concerned the lack of First Class facilities or the removal of this accomodation completely. As we transition to new rolling stock across our entire route, First Class is being removed from all routes except the Norwich to London Liverpool Street intercity services. During this transition period, we have utilised substitute stock on the intercity route to bridge any gaps where new trains are being phased in or undergoing maintenance.

To assist with customer redress, we have produced cards that our conductors hand to First Class ticket holders allowing them to claim the difference in cost via our Customer Relations department for any individual journey affected.

4 The attitude and helpfulness of the staff at station 434

Complaints were relatively stable throughout the year, peaking at times when more customers were travelling in between lockdown periods. A new factor in staff complaints involved customer perception of how staff enforced social distancing, tackling those not wearing masks and unease with gateline staff carrying out ticket checks.

Throughout the pandemic, briefings and guidelines have frequently been issued to frontline staff. Risk assessments have been carried out at every staffed station. Virtual training sessions have been delivered through our digital learning platform Fuse with mandatory bitesize courses covering a range of customer service areas such as accessibility, Delay Repay and managing disruption. We have also hosted a series of online seminars with key speakers about accessibility and public transport.

5 Ticket buying facilities - Other 392 Contact increased in Periods 5/6 and 9 following the release of new versions of the GA App. This was a straightforward issue where customers with pre-existing purchases needed to update the app to access their tickets. This was resolved with a forced user update. Improvements to the app include one tap access to tickets and in app disruption alerts for any booked tickets.