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SWT cancelled train, booked on FGW - no-one refunds/compensates?


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I purchased a ticket, Trowbridge to Waterloo, via the FGW website. Ticket issued no problem, got the email and SMS confirmations as usual.

 

Arrived at the Station - train is cancelled. Station staff told me I can claim a refund for the ticket, plus compensation (as I told them I would then have to drive to London).

 

Filled out the form, attached (and luckily scanned) the tickets. Waited.

 

A while later, get a letter from FGW apologisin. No refund. No compensation.

A while later still, get an email from SWT saying they don't have to offer compensation for a cancelled train.

 

I repled to the SWT email saying my claim is not for compensation due to a cancelled train, but for a failure in their IT system to inform me when they cancelled the train. I was also told the system should not have allowed me to book that train, so I advised it's actually 2 failures in their IT system.

 

2nd response from SWT was "I don't believe I am going to be able to

respond to your satisfaction and I'm afraid that further correspondence will only serve to

frustrate you."

 

I am about to take this to the small claims court but before I do, I wondered if you have any other routes to sort this mess out.

 

Many thanks, readers.

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Wasting your time in small claims, considering the most you can get back is the rail fare you paid, if you win.

 

You can't claim for a REFUND and COMPENSATION, it is one or the other.

 

A refund if you decide ENTIRELY not to travel, compensation if you get to your destination more than 60 minutes later than planned, and only if the delay is down to the railway, (so not suicide/vandalism/cable theft etc).

 

Consequential loss, (fuel costs, taxis, hotels etc), cannot be reclaimed.

(Condition 42 - National Rail Conditions of Carriage)

 

... the Train Companies do not accept liability for any loss (including

consequential loss) caused by the delay and or cancellation of any train.

 

Even if station staff did tell you that you could claim something back, it is voided by:

 

59. Limitation of authority of a Train Company’s staff or agents

A Train Company’s staff or agents have no authority to waive or change these

Conditions.

 

What's happened is that you've booked your cheap ticket before engineering work has been planned/confirmed. Subsequently times have been changed and your train was never supposed to exist as a result. The train could not be cancelled, as it never (theoretically) existed.

 

You need to give more details, e.g. did you end up travelling, did you hold an Advance ticket, what reservations did you have, what exactly are you claiming for etc.

 

But ultimately if you travelled AT ALL on that ticket, your option for a refund goes out the window and compensation is only payable if you were delayed by more than 60 minutes once you reached your final destination.

 

No other payments can be made for your loss.

Edited by firstclassx
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What alternatives did FGW/ SWT have in pace at the station to enable you to continue your journey?

 

In the case of engineering works a bus replacement would be operating or local agreements with other public transport providers to allow you to travel.

 

As firstclass has said, you would only be able to get a refund on your ticket only and not compensate you because you decided to use another method of transport.

 

At which point of the journey was the train "canceled"?

Still on the lookout for buried treasure!

 

Any advice I give here is based on my own experiences throughout my life, career and training and should not be taken as accurate. If in doubt, speak to someone more qualified - a Solicitor, Citizens Advice to name but two possible avenues!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My hunch is that the OP was booked on the three daily direct South West Trains trains from Trowbridge to London Waterloo via Salisbury. (London Waterloo - Bristol Temple Meads - London Waterloo)

 

Trowbridge is run by First Great Western and the staffing there is sparse at times. But I'm confused as to why the staff didn't tell you to travel on the Portsmouth Harbour trains which would have been around 20 minutes behind and change at Salisbury. Or if it really had gone bossums vertical why they didn't send you Bath Spa or Westbury and change. If the ticket validity stated SWT & CONNECTIONS, WARMINSTER-SALISBURY or less likely ANY PERMITTED then this would have been valid on FGW Services for a cancelled SWT service regardless of TOC Ticket Acceptance.

 

If it were a SWT ONLY Advance then without ticket acceptance from FGW this is a little bit of a grey area. You'd have some explaining to do or wait for the next SWT Service and it would be a long wait at that too! My understanding is that a TOC is not obligated to accept the ticket of another TOC without prior management arrangement. (Open to correction on that one)

 

It surprises me that you abandoned your journey. Changing at Bath Spa, Westbury or Salisbury would have incurred small delays assuming normal running and optimal communications between SWT and FGW.

 

Hope that helps :)

This is how I spend most of my life :ranger:

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