THURROCK commuters today become the first regular travellers in the country to receive automatic compensation when their train is delayed, as National Express train operator c2c launches its new "Automatic Delay Repay" scheme.
From today, season ticket holders and daily travellers will be able to receive automatic compensation without needing to fill out any forms or make a claim, even if their train is only delayed for a few minutes.
The amount of compensation that passengers will automatically receive increases with the length of their delay:
– Compensation for delays of as little as two minutes, starting at 3p and increasing by a further 3p for every additional minute’s delay up until 29 minutes
– 50% of the price of their single journey if they are delayed for 30 minutes or more
– 100% of the price of their single journey if the delay is for more than an hour
– 100% of the price of their return journey if the delay is for more than two hours
The automatic compensation is available for any commuter who travels using the c2c Smartcard, which works in the same way as TfL’s Oyster card, and they simply need to tap in and out at the start and end of their journey. Almost one in four c2c annual season ticket holders currently use the c2c Smartcard instead of a paper ticket, which is a higher proportion than any other UK train operator. The number of users is forecast to grow swiftly in the coming months.
c2c Managing Director Julian Drury said:
"We know passengers want to be able to claim their money back when delayed easily and simply. At c2c we are proud to be the first train operator in the country to offer this automatic compensation to daily commuters, and it is available for those who have paid the most for their journey. Our first priority remains to get you to work on time, but if we fail we will make sure we give you the money you are owed."
Rail Minister Claire Perry said:
"I’ve been clear that passengers should be compensated for delays and have called for industry to do more to make the process quick and user-friendly. So I’d like to congratulate c2c for leading the way by introducing automatic compensation for their passengers – this marks a major step forward for commuters.
David Sidebottom, passenger director at the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:
"This is a great step forward and we would like to see this system introduced across all operators. Our research has found many passengers do not claim the compensation they are entitled to, so we welcome c2c’s plan to introduce this system."
James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, said:
"The Automatic Delay Repay scheme is a fantastic initiative that is being pioneered by c2c and no doubt will be welcomed by passengers. Whilst I know all the staff at c2c strive to run the services to time, occasionally there will be times when trains are delayed. Customers will be able to receive compensation easily without the need for extensive form filling. No doubt if this scheme is a success other operators will look to offer such a system for their passengers. Well done to c2c for developing this customer focused scheme."
Passengers can check their journey record and how much compensation they are owed on the c2c Live app. Each month they will be sent an e-voucher for the total compensation due. This can be used for future ticket purchases, or exchanged for cash if the amount exceeds Â£5.00.
c2c is the most punctual rail operator in the country, with 97% of trains arriving on time in the past year.
Full details of the Automatic Delay Repay scheme are available online for passengers at: www.c2c-online.co.uk/tickets-and-fares/c2c-smartcard/automatic-delay-repay.