Scotrail were fined £500K for failing to meet quality standards which shines a spotlight on various consumer rights.

CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 came in to force on 1st October 2015 and initially Sea, Rail and Air were excluded from this legislation. The UK Government took another look at this in April 2016 and decided that from 1st October 2016 Ferries and Airlines would also be included with Rail to follow in 2017.

Isle of Man residents take note!

A campaign by ‘Which?’ to “Make Rail Refunds Easier” resulted in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 covering rail travel as well as Ferries and Airlines with effect from 1st October 2016.

NEW RAIL TRAVEL RIGHTS

The key new rights for rail travel are as follows;

• Passengers are entitled to have their compensation paid within 14 days.
• Compensation must be issued by the same method the passenger paid with, rather than with vouchers that some train companies currently use.
• Passengers are entitled to payment for additional consequential losses, such as missed connections.
• Passengers can claim for any length of delay. If you suffer repeated delays of less than half an hour or overcrowding due to an unexpected lack of carriages, you might get money back if you take your case to court. Currently, no compensation is offered.
• Where a service has not been provided with reasonable skill and care, passengers will now have a right to a refund of up to the full ticket price.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Rail operators may very well try and avoid compensating passengers by using various tactics to frustrate claims, so it is up to you as the passenger (and consumer) to be aware of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (‘the Act’) and use it when you receive poor service and / or delays.

Simply quote the Act, explain the times of your journey and length of delay and contact the relevant train Company.

Remember that the Small Claims Court is the nuclear option of last resort, and it is only a matter of time before someone will eventually use it.

What are your thoughts on Scotrail and other rail providers? Do you think it works well and offers good value for money?

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