Many regular rail travellers are currently not using their season tickets – which could have cost them thousands of pounds.
Naturally, they will want a refund, but what do they do?
Passengers need to know. So, having reviewed how easy transport operators are making it to claim money back, and discovering a lack of consistency across the country, independent watchdogs Transport Focus and London TravelWatch are calling on the rail industry to help passengers by announcing:
- That claims will be backdated to a 17 March ‘hand in’ date (the day after Government said ‘stay at home’) and not the date they are received by the train company or retailer;
- That passengers do not have to physically go to their station to hand in their ticket;
- That the amount to be refunded will not be affected by how quickly claims are processed.
The two watchdogs are also calling for the £10 administration charge for processing season ticket refunds to be waived in England, as it already has been in Scotland and Wales.
Anthony Smith, the chief executive of both Transport Focus and London TravelWatch, said: “This is a very worrying time for people who are facing financial uncertainty. No one should feel they have to make a special trip to their station to hand in their season ticket for fear of getting less money back if they don’t.
“If passengers post their ticket, they shouldn’t need to worry that they’ll lose out because their claim is sitting in a pile of letters waiting to be opened.
“We welcome the decision to backdate claims to 17 March – the government and rail industry have done the right thing by passengers. But train companies now need to step up and communicate this to passengers as clearly as possible.”