Virgin Trains West Coast has highest complaints for 11th straight quarter

Virgin Trains West Coast has highest complaints for 11th straight quarter


Virgin Trains West Coast has been named as the operator with the highest rate of complaints for the 11th quarter in a row.

The operator received 196 complaints per 100,000 passenger journeys between April and June, according to Office of Rail and Road (ORR) records.

See also: Virgin Trains to spend £3.5m removing toilet smell from corridors

See also: Flasher at London station banned from wearing shorts on trains

This happens to be the same rail line on which Virgin has just launched automatic compensation for passengers whose journey is delayed by at least half an hour.

Second on the list was Virgin Trains East Coast with 142.3 complaints, giving Virgin an unwanted one-two.

Chiltern came in third with 102.2 complaints per 100,000, but also saw the biggest year-on-year jump in complaints (63%).

See also: Daftest reasons for fare-dodging

The biggest year-on-year fall was achieved by First Great Western, with complaints down 31%.

While Virgin West Coast had comfortably the highest rate of complaints, the figure fell from 231.8 in the previous quarter, and is less than half what they were five years ago.

As of Saturday October 3, Virgin became the first company to offer certain passengers automatic refunds if their journey is delayed.

The offer applies to anyone travelling on the Virgin West Coast line who booked their tickets via the company app or website.

Up until this summer, all compensation was paid in vouchers.

The rail operator analysis does not include the non-franchised Grand Central and Hull Trains services.

Below are the 10 most common complaints received across all rail services:

1. Punctuality/reliability (27.9% of total complaints)

2. Ticketing and refunds policy (8.4%)

3. Facilities on board (8.0%)

4. Ticket buying facilities (7.6%)

5. Sufficient room for all passengers to sit/stand (5.2%)

6. The attitudes and helpfulness of the staff at station (3.8%)

7. Ticket buying facilities - other (3.5%)

8. The helpfulness and attitude of staff on train (2.6%)

9. Provision of information about train times/platforms (2.4%)

10. Unhappy at type/level of compensation (2.1%)

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Virgin Trains West Coast has highest complaints for 11th straight quarter
This Edwardian station was built in the early 1900s and is operated by East Midlands Trains. 59 per cent of people surveyed said they were satisfied with the station - a low score which ranked it bottom for both cleanliness and facilities in the Passenger Focus National Passenger survey.

Birmingham New Street railway station is the largest and busiest serving Birmingham. Despite the regular flow of people, only 64% of passengers surveyed in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) are satisfied with the sation. 

London Bridge railway station is a central London railway station and a London Underground complex in the London Borough of Southwark. The station is the oldest railway station in central London and one of the oldest in the world. 67% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this station, the fourth busiest station in London. 

Peterborough railway station is a major interchange serving both the north-south ECML, as well as East-West long-distance and local services. The station is managed by East Coast. Just 67% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this station.

Crewe station was completed in 1837 and is one of the most historic railway stations in the world. Like London Bridge and Peterborough, only 67% of passengeres surveyed were happy with this station.

Gatwick Airport station provides a direct rail connection to London. The station platforms are located about 70 metres away from the airport's South Terminal. 69% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this station.

Stockport railway station was identified as one of the ten worst category B interchange stations by a mystery shopper assessment in 2009. Despite improvements being made to the station since, it is still one of the ten worst stations with only 70% of passengers satisfied with the station.

Clapham Junction station is one of the busiest in Europe by number of trains using it with many routes from London's two busiest termini, London Waterloo and London Victoria. Only 71% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this busy station.

Maidenhead railway station serves the town of Maidenhead, Berkshire, England. It is served by local services operated by First Great Western from London Paddington to Reading, and is also the junction for the Marlow Branch Line. The survey showed 71 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the overall quality of the station, giving it the ninth lowest satisfaction rating. 

Coventry station has the PlusBus scheme where train and bus tickets can be bought together at a saving. Despite this convenient feature, only 72% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with the station. 

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