I am an unfortunate customer of Southeastern trains. I say ‘customer’ but I don’t actually have a choice in my rail service provider so I suppose I am a subject of Southeastern trains.
This year Southeastern have been crowned Britain’s Worst Train Company with only a 40% customer satisfaction rate. Southeastern hit back and said we’re only unhappy because we’re on the way to work. I’m usually unhappy I have to go to work using Southeastern trains, it’s only Wednesday and so far my train to work has been late every single day! It’s a surprise when things are actually running on time.
The biggest problem Southeastern trains have is their lack of communication. You don’t know if the train is delayed because the train is delayed or if all trains are delayed because of a bigger problem. Arriving at the platform to see ‘delayed’ on a much earlier train makes your heart sink as you now have to play the guessing game – is it just that one or is everything screwed? Should I start seeking an alternative route or is the next train going to be here? Do I risk waiting to see about the next train? If the next train does arrive do I still have enough time to get to where I need to be?
75% of Southeastern customers don’t bother to complain and of the 11% who do complain 55% of them are unhappy with how it was handled. I complained once about a journey which caused me to be very late for work (I only just made the start of the show) in response Southeastern gave me a voucher offering me £2 off a ticket for a future journey. At the time I was paying Southeastern £55 per week and a travelcard costs £7. I complained about this and only got a sorry you are unhappy letter.
This is supposed to be an age of communication, it’s even easier for companies to interact with their customer base and respond to concerns…unfortunately Southeastern are still trying to grasp smoke signals.