People of the UK witnessed history in the making, as UK transport law moves forward with appointment of Rail Ombudsman the first time ever. The service is launched with the goal of improving customer experience. With the increasing number of unresolved customer complaints rail companies were losing the faith of their customers. This decision is the result of that. Several rail companies are supporting and funding the independent rail complaints service. This will allow rail passengers to further appeal about their unresolved complaints. The decision was taken in order to achieve the highest standard of the complaints service.
An autonomous body known as the rail delivery group, launched this service that will hold the rail companies accountable for any unresolved complaints. They will take relevant action to provide the highest customer satisfaction possible. Report shows only 28% complaints made in the year 2017/18 were successfully resolved. This number shows the degree to which the existing complaint service failed. ORR blamed the lack of flexibility to resolve unforeseen problem as the cause of it, with threats of legal challenges by solicitor Manchester services and others.
From May 2018, passengers were facing increasing delays and cancellation as the rail industry decided to change almost the entire time table where 46% of train time were changed. Over the course of several weeks more than 400 trains were cancelled each weekday. ORR chairman Prof Stephen Glaister believes, over optimism of the rail company about the ability to resolve issues regarding missed deadline is the main problem that we are facing. All of this is going to change as the Dispute Resolution ombudsman service put into action. Here’s how it works:
- Passengers are encouraged to approach the Ombudsman service to appeal for reviewing unresolved complaints
- This service is free of cost, and launched with the hope to gain back lost customer trust.
- Even if a certain is resolved, there are instances where the passenger was not satisfied with the result, in this case the passenger can use Ombudsman within 40 working days.
- The decisions taken by the governing body of the Dispute resolution Service is final and the concerned rail companies are bound to take stipulated actions as and when asked to.
- The most common disputes include lack of punctuality and reliability, difficulties in ticket buying or finding a seat.
- It is expected that around 6000 appeals will be made through this service in a year.
It is believed that, the new service will be much more effective as the staff is well qualified in terms of legal matters and professional ethics, and are trained to resolve strenuous situation with ease. The performance will be under thorough and regular inspection to deliver a transparent and fair resolution. A group of experienced personnel will be appointed so that the decision makers inside the Ombudsman program can make upright judgments.
Now that the revised complaint resolution service has launched, the rail minister Andrew Jones expects that the voices of the layperson will be heard and from now on the will get a fair deal when it comes to reaching a solution.