National Express East Anglia bullies - an update

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 11 June 2010

I thought you might be interested in how I was progressing with my complaint against National Express East Anglia - you may recall I blogged a couple of weeks ago about how their staff bullied my wife to tears over a glitch in the Oystercard system.

I got a response from their customer service team, which was very apologetic:

"I was very sorry to learn about the poor level of customer service you experienced on that day. Please be assured this behaviour will not be accepted and I am very sorry that it ruined your day. Rudeness or discourtesy on the part of our staff will not be tolerated, so I am sorry that you should have been given cause to complain."

However, it then went on to infuriate me with this passage:

"Whenever we receive a complaint about how our people behave the relevant manager investigates and conducts interviews with the staff concerned. I'm afraid the Data Protection Act prevents me from advising any further details regarding the action taken against the member of staff in question, however I can assure you this matter will be treated with the utmost seriousness and the appropriate action taken."

Whilst I totally understand why they don't want to give out the personal details of individual staff to me via email (and I never asked for them), it remains unclear from the response whether my complaint was actually upheld. Or whether they did anything to investigate the incident beyond asking the staff involved. In fact, as far as I can tell from the email, after discussing the complaint, the staff on duty were maybe shot at dawn, or maybe they all went down the pub and had a big laugh about it. Who knows?

Anyway, I've complained to London TravelWatch that I am unsatisfied with the response, and so National Express East Anglia now have 20 days to respond to them with, hopefully, a fuller account of how they have handled the complaint.

5 Comments

Arriva gave me pretty much the same response when I complained about one of the bus drivers years ago. I sighed and threw the response in the bin...

Hope taking it further actually gets a decent answer.

You actually got a response, which is a step in the right direction. I have made complaints on two occasions and have applied for a refund 3 times with NXEA and have never actually had a response. The last time I actually spoke to the manager at the station in question and made them fill out and file the complaint themselves. 6 weeks on there has been no response. The time before that I complained to the staff at the station about never having a response so she suggested that I give her the form, along with my ticket, as that would speed up the response. That was a year ago.

I really wouldnt bother with national express..they have made no effort to resolve the complaint that i made with them and have done nothing to resolve the situation.. Firstly, it took them a month to even reply, and made little effort at apologising instead blamed the incident upon myself and really insulted me with what they had to say.. I then sent back another email saying i was unhappy wi th what they had to say and explained my point again before i recieved a message simply saying that they were sorry i was unhappy with what they had to say and that they cannot do anymore... Any of idea of how i could follow this up further?

The situation was that i wanted to check where the bus stop actually was. So i went online and saw it displayed there...However i then rang them to double check this and was then told that i had to alter my ticket as if i wanted to board from this stop i had to tell them of my intentions as it does not always stop here.. i therefore requested this. However on the day i was bound to travel i arrived at this stop and hour early, just to be sure there would be no problems..I then run them again as i could see no specific national express stop sign to which they reassured me that the coach would arrive but would simply be a little later. However, it never came. I feel it was their fault for providing me with innaccurate information even though i had made every effort to check..Thanks to their fault, I then had to pay out for another coach there and then on the phone as i was left panicked, however i was skeptical about what they had to say to me as i was told they could do nothing to sort out their first mistake at the time and i would have to sort that out at a later date. I did not want to order another ticket as was worried that i would not get to where this stop was..but they assured me that that was the only thing they could do and gave me a taxi number which could also be paid for by card.. However this did not happen and i therefore could not make my journey.. I understand that i could be seen as liable for the second coach but feel i am not as it is only because of their mistake in the first place that i was put in that situation and i simply followed the advice given to me... It seems they are more concerned with making money, than the care and value of their customers, and therefore refuse to offer refunds.

Do you feel i have a fair point, or should i just leave it.
thankyou for your time and help

I'm on here again after my husband rang me from the train fuming with frustration because three days into the new timetable his one hour journey has taken over two and a half hours, twice. Why? Because now there are no direct trains through to Harwich a 10 min delay in the mainline train means the connection is not held (as used to be) and the Harwich connection from Manningtree only goes ONCE AN HOUR. At you can claim a mega refund, I said. I don't want a pocket full of *** vouchers, he said, I just want to get home.
No staff at manningtree, no information. crap. again. as ever.

Well done on the blog, passengers deserve a voice. I commute daily into Liverpool St on the Cambridge service - service is poor, trains clapped-out etc etc. NXEA publicity is currently touting new clean longer air conditioned trains for 2011, yes - BUT - only if you happen to be lucky enough to be flying into Stansted, or if you happen to live in Bishops Stortford or Harlow. The rest of us using the intermediate stations will have to continue living with the old dirty 30 year old carriages and slower services. I've recently set up a forum for London bound commuters like us, where we can all share the pain! It's at www.cattleclass.co.uk

Feel free to come and join the community. Cheers.

Keep up to date on my new blog