Monthly Bulletin by Citizen’s Advice Gateshead
Welcome to your advice bulletin by Citizens Advice Gateshead: “In The Know” – where we will share information, support and guidance on the issues that matter.
ISSUE 3: HOW TO GET A REFUND IF YOUR TRAIN HAS BEEN CANCELLED OR DELAYED
• Can I get a full refund?
• What proof do I need?
• What can I claim for?
• How do I claim?
• How long should I expect to wait?
National Rail are expecting service disruptions to their train services across the country to continue across December and into January. If you have a ticket for a service that is cancelled or delayed due to cold weather or industrial action, it can be unclear what your immediate recourse is. In this bulletin, your Citizens Advice Gateshead team goes through some of the different scenarios you may face with your train ticket, and what to do if you find yourself unable to travel.
The information in this bulletin should provide you with information on your legal consumer rights as a UK citizen. Citizens Advice Gateshead forms part of the Consumer advice service that Citizens Advice provides nationally, so if you need further information or more specific guidance in resolving your issue, visit our national website, or contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline for more
My train has been cancelled due to weather disruptions and/or industrial action, can I get a refund?
You can get a full refund if your train journey is cancelled. This applies to situations where your train has been cancelled by the operator due to weather disruption or industrial action. From the National Rail website, ‘if you have purchased a ticket and your train has been cancelled, delayed or rescheduled due to RMT strike action then you will be entitled to a refund or change of journey.’
You need to keep your train tickets to get a refund. You should try to claim within 28 days, but some train companies allow longer. If you have a season ticket, the best thing to do is ask at your ticket office or check your train company’s website. You’ll usually be able to get some money back for a delay or cancellation.
Some travel insurers cover the cost of missed flights. If the reason was out of your control. If you miss a flight because your train to the airport was delayed or cancelled, contact your travel insurance provider to check if you can claim.
If you’re delayed and arrive at your destination more than half an hour late, you’ll usually be able to get some money back. Some train companies will also give you compensation if your train is more than 15 minutes late.
If you travelled with Transport for London (TfL), for example on the London Underground, you can find how much you could get and how to claim on their website.
How much you can get for a cancellation?
You’re entitled to a full refund if your train was cancelled – it doesn’t matter what type of ticket you bought.
How much you can get for a delay?
The amount you can claim depends on which train company you travelled with – check your ticket if you’re not sure.
If your train company offers ‘Delay Repay’ You can get compensation if your train company is part of a scheme called ‘Delay Repay’ – it doesn’t matter why your train was delayed.
Check your train company’s website to find out if they offer Delay Repay (they might call it ‘delay compensation’.
You’re legally entitled to compensation of:
• 50% of your ticket price if you get to your destination between 30 minutes and an hour late
• a full refund if you arrive more than 1 hour late
Some train companies have an extra scheme called ‘Delay Repay 15’. In these cases you’re entitled to 25% of your ticket price if you get to your destination between 15 and 29 minutes late. Check your train company’s website to find out if they offer Delay Repay 15.
If your train company doesn’t offer ‘Delay Repay’ You can still get compensation under rules called the ‘National Rail Conditions of Carriage’ if the train company doesn’t offer Delay Repay, but you won’t get as much.
You won’t get anything if the delay wasn’t the train company’s fault – for example if you were delayed because of bad weather.
If you arrived at your destination more than an hour late you’ll be entitled to:
• 50% of your ticket price if you bought a single ticket
• 25% of your ticket price if you bought a return ticket
• 50% of your ticket price if you bought a return ticket and were delayed on both journeys for more than an hour
How to claim
You can claim compensation by visiting the train company’s website – most have online forms you can use. You’ll probably need to upload a picture of your ticket.
You can write them a letter if you’d prefer. You’ll need to give details of your journey, and send your original tickets. It’s a good idea to make copies of them in case your letter goes missing – a digital photograph or scan will do. You should get a refund within a month.
A lot of companies offer vouchers to use on future train journeys. You don’t have to accept them – if you want a cash refund, you can insist on it.
If you’re not happy with the response You can take your complaint further if you’re not happy with the response from your train company.
Contact the Rail Ombudsman – they can investigate complaints about most train companies. If they can’t help with your issue, they’ll put you in touch with another organisation which can help.
If the Rail Ombudsman decides they’ve done something wrong, the train company has to put it right.
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Textphone: 0330 094 0363
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