HOGRIDER 141 (OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2013) PART 1
Part 1 contains reports, research and analysis from the South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group [SHRUG]
Part 2 on our website [www.shrug.info] contains substantial snapshots of SWT’s performance failures.
In addition, see our website for an evidence-based 15,000 word history of SWT which records the views of Ministers, MPs, regulatory bodies, rail experts, user groups and individual passengers.
Operational anarchy on South West Trains
Souter’s crazed ‘Stalinist’ rant
Stagecoach speaks with two voices
Stagecoach hides behind Virgin brand and scorns Labour Party
Stagecoach tries to snatch bus passenger’s disability benefit
SWT creates station car park misery
Ticket vending problems on SWT (October-December)
Passengers’ voices of despair and anger (Twitter)
More serious safety failures on Stagecoach buses
Acknowledgements / Contact details
Operational anarchy on South West Trains
* Timetable routinely abandoned for operational convenience
* Commuters treated with contempt and indifference
* Short-sighted failure management has adverse knock-on effects
* Targets missed in all areas
* Operator attracts growing contempt
Quite aside from the evening peak when 76 coaches were trapped in sidings by a derailment, the St Jude’s Day and pre-Christmas storms, and the much-reduced post-Christmas timetable which collapsed, partly because of crew shortages, SWT’s performance has been spiralling out of control under Stagecoach.
As train after train is cancelled, seriously delayed, terminated short of destination, driven past scheduled stops, or has it doors closed while passengers are still boarding, there is a domino effect with desperate operational measures fuelling the failure. Remaining services become more overcrowded; passengers are taken ill, causing more delays and cancellations; and scores of tweeters are referred to SWT customer services who often don’t answer phones or reply to correspondence, and were still dealing with November’s complaints in the second week of January.
An illustrative complaint on SWT’s Passengers Panel website (from Grant Gardiner and dated 23/8/2013): “Just 2 nights ago our son was stuck on a SWT train in Fleet station after midnight, when the door forcibly closed behind my wife and me, hitting my wife, and trapping him on the train (and another passenger as well). The door then refused to open despite our and their attempts to open it, and the train subsequently departed. I only hope nobody else has to experience this ridiculous situation or feel our fear. Have SWT never heard of door sensors or allowing passengers to depart when a train is in the station?”
Whereas all this would once have caused political anger, media pressure, and concerns for the economy of London, the misery for commuters is now hidden in twitter records (revealing excerpts form the bulk of this newsletter) and diluted by irrelevant good news stories such as moustaches painted on trains. Government appears to turn a blind eye, perhaps because of its keenness to misrepresent privatisation as a success story in the face of public aspirations for urgent remedial action. Interestingly, the Guardian of 27.12.2013 published the results of research which showed that fury with MPs, rather than apathy, was the main reason many people don’t vote.
On 1 July 1996, the World in Action’s ‘Cowboy Country’ programme exposed Stagecoach’s contemptible business practices. The High Court decided that it was not in the public interest to grant an injunction to stop the broadcast, effectively branding Stagecoach a cowboy company. Unfortunately for thousands of South West Trains’ commuters, Stagecoach had taken over operation of their trains, in an exceptionally generous settlement from public funds, just five months earlier.
Conservative Steven Norris confessed: “Awarding the franchise to Stagecoach was really taking the fight to the enemy… It was the most aggressive decision we could take, and if we had tried to dress privatisation in its most acceptable form, it would have been better to award it to almost anyone else.” The Labour Party was reportedly ‘apoplectic’ at the cruel betrayal of passengers. The following year SWT became notoriously unreliable. Stagecoach disposed of too many drivers and axed dozens of trains, but the new Labour government took little remedial action. Stagecoach Chairman Brian Souter later admitted he had been ‘scared skinny’ by the mess he had created.
On 21 May 2002, Transport Secretary Stephen Byers told Parliament: “I agree that the SWT franchise is not being operated as well as anybody would like. I want the Strategic Rail Authority to use the franchise renewal as an opportunity to secure real improvements for the travelling public. The Strategic Rail Authority must use the time over the next few months to negotiate an agreement with SWT – with Stagecoach Group PLC. If the SRA cannot negotiate a franchise renewal that puts the interests of the travelling public first, it will be prepared to seek a new franchise operator which will put the interests of the travelling public first, drive up standards and improve reliability.”
What’s the difference now?
Privatisation of the railways was supposed to attract private sector investment which would bring improvements for passengers. There has indeed been huge investment in recent years, but it has come from taxpayers via Network Rail. The Office of Rail Regulation is concerned that Network Rail’s debt may rise from £20bn to £50bn by 2020. A change to government accounting means that this is likely to be re-classified as public sector debt in 2014. It will be interesting to see whether political embarrassment over Network Rail’s outrageous bonus culture will then drive change.
Whilst there has been huge public sector investment in the railways, since Stagecoach bid over half a billion pounds more than its rivals for a third SWT franchise period, it has ruthlessly squeezed out any element of quality within its control. So, though there has been a wide range of infrastructure improvements on the network, the franchise suffers from scarcity of assets, frailty of performance and inadequate customer service, to the extent that all seem in terminal decline. What point is there in Network Rail’s installation of a lift if people can’t use it because SWT leaves the station unstaffed?
Passengers may reasonably wonder whether Stagecoach’s managed run-down of SWT has been one of the “brave decisions’ taken by Mr Souter, in increasing the value of his family’s investment business by 84% in three years [Herald, Scotland 21/10/2013].
As our extracts from Twitter (below) confirm, commuters are complaining of the failures they have always complained of on SWT, and a lot more too, in increasing numbers and with increasing anger. Operational failure is strangling SWT and destroying any last vestige of customer confidence.
So what of the much-trumpeted Deep Alliance between SWT and Network Rail? A letter in the Evening Standard of 10.12.2013 said it all: “Another Monday morning yesterday of late-running engineering works, delays and cancellations on South West Trains. So much for the “much praised” special alliance with Network Rail. – Keith Ballinger”
The myth of reliable trains
SWT likes to boast of the reliability of its rolling stock. Unfortunately, its high ratings for reliability are somewhat misleading. Whilst only a small percentage of trains may be cancelled, many more are short-formed. By early December, the daily loss of capacity was equivalent to twenty or more 8-coach trains, and this on a seriously overcrowded railway. To make matters worse, SWT apparently couldn’t make up its mind which trains to cancel, so the information changed at short notice. Its Journeycheck facility then switched to providing information only a few hours in advance. Never mind that poor information was already something which attracted a high level of complaints.
Remember too, the ‘earlier train fault’ excuse. Many more trains suffer failures which are relatively minor in technical terms, but which can lead to passengers being dumped short of their destinations or stops axed to compensate for the time consumed by remedial action. The stage has been reached where passengers tweet not only to establish whether their train is likely to run, or be on time, but also whether it will bother to stop at their station.
Failure of Stagecoach’s failure management
Knock-on effects when timetable abandoned
It has become increasingly clear that the Network Rail/SWT ‘Alliance’ is concerned with playing trains rather than getting paying passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible. A myriad of incident types, such as a temporary rolling stock fault, a speed restriction over a few yards of line, or late running by two or three minutes, results in stops being axed either in advance or during a train’s journey [See the daily records in Part 2 of this newsletter on www.shrug.info]. Typical advice from SWT’s website: ‘A 5mph speed restriction is currently in place at Raynes Park due to a damaged rail so fewer trains are able to call at Raynes Park station in the London direction. To reduce the congestion in the area, the following 4 early morning trains will not call at Raynes Park on 24/25/28/29 October: 06.18/07.22/07.52/08.22 Epsom-Waterloo’.
Sometimes announcements of ad hoc cancellation of stops are omitted or inaudible, or passengers do not hear them because they are wearing headphones. Unsurprisingly, train alarms are frequently activated, leading to further delays, terminations short of destination, and axed stops. No doubt this is counted as beyond the operator’s control, so doesn’t harm the statistics.
Stagecoach clearly believes that passengers exist only as a source of profit. Pity the disabled people affected by the chaos, who may even be told to seek assistance from other passengers. Pity the passenger who was carried past Ashurst station and, on arrival at Southampton Central, found that the next scheduled return service also had its Ashurst stop axed. Pity the cyclist who wasn’t allowed to board a bus substituted for his train at short notice, and was advised to cycle from Egham to Staines where, on arrival, he wasn’t allowed to board a train to Feltham either because it was then the peak period in which cycles are excluded. Pity (in January) the passenger who found his train standing at a red signal in Winchfield station, but had to use a replacement bus because the stop had been axed to allow for engineering works which were subsequently postponed.
It is clear from Twitter that passengers’ lives are increasingly disrupted. There are complaints of meetings, lectures, matches and theatre trips missed, not to mention the worry and inconvenience for those awaiting displaced passengers. Being carried non-stop from Twickenham to Waterloo (a popular timetable change) can waste an hour for someone wanting to alight at Richmond. Some changes are far more dramatic, for example with Waterloo-Basingstoke or Waterloo-Epsom stopping services running non-stop, or even non-stop running between Waterloo and Bournemouth.
Overcrowding - worse conditions to come?
SWT became an overcrowded railway once Stagecoach enhanced its profits by disposing of 120 quality Class 442 carriages. More, largely second-hand, trains are only coming into service some seven years later. SWT presents this as a great improvement. However, a letter in Today’s Railways UK [January 2014 issue] questions whether Windsor line passengers, for example, will be pleased that the increase in the length of their trains from 8 to 10 carriages is to be accompanied by an overall loss of 30 seats. This is very helpful in cramming passengers and boosting dividends, particularly as the space allowance for standing has been reduced from 0.45 to 0.25 square metres. In addition, 28 class 450 outer-suburban trains with reduced seating will be released from Windsor line services and, according to a Twitter response, can now appear anywhere on the network, including presumably those Waterloo-Weymouth trains which are formed of this stock.
Stagecoach’s operational measures have also made the overcrowding worse. Cutting stops and terminating trains short of destination increases capacity pressures on other services. Putting cramped suburban trains on many long-distance services has increased capacity problems on the remaining more-comfortable trains. The habit of allowing London-bound trains to leave suburban stations several minutes early creates pressure on subsequent trains. Employing ‘bouncers’ at stations such as Wimbledon and Clapham Junction impedes passengers looking for spaces to board. If SWT needs such measures, why doesn’t London Underground?
SWT has tried to blame the particularly large numbers of train cancellations and short formations towards the end of 2013 on poor rail conditions. This is despite big strides by Network Rail in recent years in dealing with sludge from wet leaves, and the unusually dry leaf-fall season of 2013. An excuse on Twitter is that there has been an ‘extended’ leaf-fall season. Surely, if leaves are falling over a longer period, this makes rail cleaning easier. Or have there been cuts in the use of rail cleaning trains? And BR used to counter wheel-slip by fitting trains with sand sprays. Is this no longer feasible, or has it been abandoned in the course of profiteering?
Poor train maintenance
Apart from severe overcrowding, SWT’s passengers complain of filthy carriages, stinking train toilets and intermittently freezing or tropically hot temperatures. Unsurprisingly, passengers are frequently taken ill, resulting in more axed stops and trains terminated short of destination. What’s the betting that this is also one of the many scenarios where delays are excluded from performance statistics as being beyond the railway’s control?
Stagecoach distraction technique
Research established that SWT’s Twitter records had the joint-highest percentage of negative tweets among the train operating companies. With such striking performance and customer services failures during November, it was unsurprising that SWT should attempt to distract passengers, as it had done five years earlier when MPs mounted a protest at Southampton Central about reductions in SWT’s ticket office opening hours. So moustaches suddenly appeared on the ends of the class 458 units in support of the Movember charity, and the barrage of daily complaints was interspersed by many comical tweets and photographs. Hardly a coincidence that the results of a related and much-hyped SWT photographic competition were announced on 28 November, just before a very angry ‘Tweet the Manager’ session?
‘Tweet the Manager’ session on 28/11/2013
The general theme of complaints was that SWT’s performance failures were now a daily event, and the service was unreliable and overpriced. There was particular anger about inadequate peak capacity, both where this is scheduled, and where trains run in short formation because of the big daily toll of failed units. Yet another area of dissatisfaction was the slowness of SWT Customer Services, which regularly fail to meet their 20-day target for full responses.
Typical passenger-manager exchanges. Note the evasive replies which should help deter passengers from bothering to ask Stagecoach anything:
Q- “How do you justify the decision to NOT declare St Jude storm day as void? I don’t care who is at fault, I pre-paid and you ran no trains.”
A- “I'm sorry you were affected. We could not run trains as normal on that day. This is the decision that has been made.”
Q- “Can you answer the question please? How do you justify not declaring a void day? Take my money and provide no service. Theft?
Q- “Why are your drivers allowed to leave Clapham Junction early? Missing a train because it's gone early is bad as a delay.”
A- “The frequency of train services from these platforms does allow this to happen towards London in the peaks.”
Q- “Yes, I got it's not short formation the first time you said it. You still haven't explained why 4 cars were planned for a peak train.”
A- “This is due to shortage of cars, which we have addressed by purchasing more cars.” [Hang on. Does Stagecoach actually buy trains, and didn’t they create the overcrowding at the start of the current SWT franchise by returning 120 carriages to the leasing company in order to maximise profits?]
Q- “Given you've had 'backlogs' for months, why have you not hired more Customer Service staff? Constantly violating charter reply times.”
A- “Some responses take longer than normal due to the detail and level of inquiry into the matter required.” [It’s good that, after nearly 18 years of running SWT, Stagecoach has acquired such a heightened appreciation of administrative realities, but couldn’t they staff Customer Services accordingly?]
Given that SWT is so evidently operated by a penny-pinching, greed-driven operator, the current policy of increasing capacity with other companies’ cast-off carriages will mean more daily train failures, more delays, more cancellations, more stops axed and more trains terminated short of destination. The first objective should be to bring SWT under passenger-focused control.
Next, potentially useful improvements have been cast to the wind for more than a decade. The second SWT franchise was supposed to provide ‘gold plating’ of track in the London area, but this was abandoned when the franchise term was reduced from 20 years to 3 because of Stagecoach’s poor performance. The chance to reduce the huge number of delays in the area was lost. Had Stagecoach been dismissed for incompetence at that point, things might now be much better.
In addition, the possibility of a Crossrail link to the Kingston line was considered but abandoned. That will leave many trains across Central London starting and terminating at Paddington when they might have brought relief to the SWT area. There is now the possibility of destinations such as Kingston being incorporated in any Crossrail 2 scheme, but after a delay of a couple of decades.
And what about the proposal in the Sea Containers bid for the second SWT franchise, to rebuild and expand Clapham Junction? That should have enabled more trains to call at the station in the peak, reducing demand between Clapham Junction and Waterloo as some commuters would no longer have needed to make two return journeys between those stations everyday.
Statistics crash following the failure of SWT’s failure management
Official statistics highlight the failure of SWT’s failure management, as outlined above. In the 4-week periods to 9.11.2013 and 7.12.2013, SWT’s mainline punctuality scores were 79.9% / 84.4% against the charter standard of 89%. Its suburban punctuality figures for the same periods were 82.9% / 80.9% against the charter standard of 92%. Average suburban punctuality has now been sub-standard for 52 weeks. SWT’s scores for trains actually run remain oddly high. So what happens when stops are omitted? Is the affected train counted as cancelled, or is it excluded from the calculations, thus tending to boost the statistics.
Footnote In a lighter vein, even spelling goes unchecked on SWT, as in references to stations such as Axcot, Dorechester, Totten.
Souter’s crazed ‘Stalinist’ rant
So is Stagecoach chairman Brian Souter repentant for the misery he inflicts on millions of passengers every year? We can reasonably expect he isn’t. The Mirror published an article by Kevin Maguire on 16.12.2013 headed ‘Someone call this cowboy a taxi’. This records that Souter claims he would rather ‘take poison’ than swallow bold plans in Tyne and Wear to control bus routes and fares in the public interest. The article states: “Grim threats to shut depots and sack crews, hysterically denouncing councillors as ‘unreconstructed Stalinists’, is the crazed reaction of a bus bandit behaving as wildly as the greedy energy fat cats who menacingly predict power cuts unless they’re allowed to continue ripping off customers.” Souter, who together with his sister is worth an estimated £730 million, is paid by northerners on his buses whom he scathingly mocked as the “beer-drinking, chip-eating, council house-dwelling, old Labour-voting masses”.
As the article points out, Tyne and Wear simply wants the regulated bus services which London continues to enjoy and “if Souter thinks that Tory Mayor Boris Johnson is an ‘unreconstructed Stalinist’ too, then that’s the belly-aching multimillionaire’s problem”. Presumably, in Souter’s terms, anything is unreconstructed Stalinism if it can inhibit the pursuit of his ethically-limited greed.
Mirror prints response on behalf SHRUG
Our Group’s co-ordinator had the following letter published in the Mirror of 19.12.2013:
“Congratulations to Kevin Maguire for his article on Stagecoach chairman Brian Souter (Mirror, December 16). Our group has been shadowing Stagecoach's appalling behaviour for some 15 years. Our evidenced-based History of South West Trains, on www.shrug.info, is often shocking and shows that Stagecoach has no intention of changing its ways.”
Stagecoach speaks with two voices
[Christian Wolmar in RAIL Issue 737] “Private Eye recently highlighted the contradiction between the message that Stagecoach presents to the wider public, and what it says to City analysts whom it is eager to butter up.
In the Financial Times, Stagecoach Chief Executive Martin Griffiths was quoted as saying that Britain can’t afford nationalised trains. “I think those people that hark back to the days of putting all of that risk back onto the UK taxpayer forget where we’ve come from and where we’ve got to,” he said. “It’s nonsense about the operating margins that the operators make. On average they’re something like 2% or 3%.”
However, as an article in Private Eye points out, it was a different story in Stagecoach’s annual report, which boasted of a 4.2% operating margin that has ‘low cash injected, meaning excellent returns on capital” – a point I have often made. Most businesses relate profit to capital investment, but train operators do not invest.”
Stagecoach hides behind Virgin brand and scorns Labour Party
[Herald (Scotland) 12/12/2013] “Stagecoach has formed a 90-10 joint venture with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group to bid for the currently state-operated East Coast Mainline between London and Scotland. The deal gives the Perth-based a much bigger share of the Inter City Railways Limited (ICRL) partnership than the 49% it has in the pair's Virgin Rail Group which currently operates the West Coast Mainline.
Stagecoach chairman and co-founder Sir Brian Souter said: "We have exciting plans for the franchise and, if selected, it would be our intention to operate Virgin-branded trains and maximise the potential of the brand to significantly grow passenger volumes on what is a key part of the UK rail network."
--- Stagecoach finance director Ross Paterson was dismissive of any attempt by a future Labour government to renationalise routes. --- "If they (Labour) were in power I think (Shadow Chancellor) Ed Balls and the guys understand the economics of this. It could cost them a lot of money," he said.”
Given the Government’s promise to heed passengers’ views when awarding franchises, we must hope passengers are clearly told that a Virgin-branded East Coat service would effectively be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Government held to ransom
As Christian Wolmar says [Rail Issue 737], “The train operators essentially have the Department [for Transport] over a barrel.” And since governments are elected, companies such as Stagecoach arguably have the public and, indeed, democracy over a barrel. The joys of Neo-Liberalism?
Stagecoach tries to snatch bus passenger’s disability benefit
“Ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed.” [Stagecoach Chairman Brian Souter]
Man suffers epileptic fit as Stagecoach demands money for returning his wallet
[Mail on-line 12/9/2013] “A disabled man was told to pay £30 to retrieve his lost wallet from a bus company. Arthur Adlam, 31, had just drawn his disability allowance and had around £225 in his wallet when he accidentally left it behind on a bus.
But his panic quickly turned to disbelief when he was told that, though his property had been handed in, it would cost him about £30 to get it back. Father-of-four Arthur, 31, left the wallet on the seat of a Stagecoach bus in his home town of Dunfermline, Fife. But staff at the bus station told him it was company policy to take a 12% cut plus a 50p ‘admin fee’ – a total of £27.50 – just to get it back.
Furious Mr Adlam said, “It’s an outrage. They told me they couldn’t give it back without charging me. They charged me for something that didn’t belong to them. No one should pay to get their own money back. Eventually he negotiated the fee down to £10 – but now red-faced coach chiefs have offered to give him the full amount and review their penny-pinching policy.
--- Mr Adlam suffered an epileptic fit from the stress --- Stagecoach posted pre-tax profits of £195.8 million this year.”
Mr Souter’s family investments soar in value by 84 per cent
[Herald (Scotland) 21/10/2013] “Stagecoach chairman and co-founder Sir Brian Souter has said his family's investment business has reaped the benefit of "brave decisions" taken during the recession as it reported the value of its portfolio has risen by 84% in the three years to March 31.” The investments should enjoy a major hike from the 11% increase, compared with last year, in the dividend Stagecoach intends to pay in March.
[Meanwhile co-founder Mrs Gloag has added an airport to her two castles: “Stagecoach co-founder Ann Gloag has agreed to pay £1 to buy Manston Airport in Kent from Infratil, its New Zealand owners who have also been trying to sell Prestwick Airport.” - Herald (Scotland) 16/10/2013]
SWT creates station car park misery
SWT and Network Rail are working until April 2014 to increase car parking spaces at Farnborough, Fleet and Winchester stations. SWT warns of ‘severe and unavoidable disruption’ at each station. On Mondays to Fridays, until 10.00, spaces will be available only to season ticket holders, and on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Two questions: Why maximise the misery by working at all three sites simultaneously, and particularly at Fleet and Farnborough, which are neighbouring stations? Why not undertake the work in summer, when demand is reduced by commuters taking holidays?
The work was supposed to start on 18 November, but was postponed until 25 November at Winchester, 27 November at Fleet and 29 November at Farnborough. News of the delays was not well communicated. On 18 November, Fleet’s taxi drivers and police had not been advised.
As for providing help with alternative facilities, a tweeter was told on 2 December: “If you wish to park at alternate [sic] stations you will have to buy a car park ticket for that station and extend your rail ticket.”
Ticket vending problems on SWT (October-December)
Ticket offices closed, during opening hours, at over 60 stations
Unstaffed stations present a range of security risks. In many cases, stations have only ‘facility managers’ whose principal task is to sell tickets. Yet, during the past three months, SWT’s website has advertised failures (in some cases prolonged and/or repeated) to staff ticket offices even during advertised opening hours at Andover, Ascot, Ash, Ashford, Axminster, Basingstoke, Bedhampton, Berrylands, Bracknell, Brockenhurst, Brookwood, Camberley, Chertsey, Chessington North, Chessington South, Christchurch, Datchet, Dorchester South, Earley, Eastleigh, Egham, Fareham, Farnborough, Farncombe, Fleet, Fratton, Gillingham, Godalming, Guildford, Hampton Court, Hampton Wick, Hamworthy, Havant, Honiton, Liphook, Liss, Lymington Town, Martins Heron, Micheldever, Milford, Mortlake, Netley, New Milton, North Sheen, Petersfield, Portsmouth & Southsea, St Margaret’s, Salisbury, Shepperton, Southampton Airport Parkway, Strawberry Hill, Sunningdale, Swanwick, Upper Halliford, Vauxhall, Virginia Water, Walton-on-Thames, West Byfleet, Weymouth, Winchester, Winchfield, Windsor, Wokingham and Wool. It is clear from Twitter, and from reports that we receive, that the real position is even worse.
Ticket machine failures at over 60 stations
Ticket vending machines are becoming as unreliable as ticket office opening hours on SWT. They have recently been out of action at Addlestone, Ascot, Ash, Ashford, Ashurst, Bagshot, Barnes, Barnes Bridge, Bitterne, Bookham, Botley, Bursledon, Byfleet & New Haw, Camberley, Chertsey, Christchurch, Clandon, Cobham & Stoke d’Abernon, Cosham, Earley, Fleet, Fulwell, Grateley, Guildford, Hampton Wick, Hamworthy, Hersham, Hounslow, Isleworth, Kempton Park, Kew Bridge, Kingston, Liphook, London Road Guildford, Lymington Pier, Milford, Mortlake, Netley, New Malden, Parkstone, Pokesdown, Portchester, Queenstown Road, Rowlands Castle, Shepperton, Stoneleigh, Strawberry Hill, Sunbury, Sunnymeads, Thames Ditton, Tolworth, Upper Halliford, Virginia Water, Walton-on-Thames, West Byfleet, Weybridge, Whimple, Whitchurch, Winchfield, Winnersh, Wokingham, Worplesdon and Wraysbury.
Medium-term loss of Southampton downside ticket office
[From SWT’s website –presumably Southampton Central is too insignificant for anyone to bother with temporary arrangements.] ‘The ticket office next to Platform 4 at Southampton Central station will be closed until further notice. Additional Information: This closure is due to faults in the roof in that area of the station which have resulted in significant leaks. We need to undertake repair work to prevent further leaks during which we are unable to open this ticket office. This work is expected to be completed by Wednesday 6 November [NB: it wasn’t] however should additional time be required, we will update this message. While this ticket office is closed, customers should use the automatic ticket machines or the ticket office next to Platform 1. We are sorry for the inconvenience this repair work will cause. Message Received : 22/10/2013 17:58.’
Wide-ranging ticket machine problems [Source: SWT Twitter]
How do I get a refund for the vending machine, Platform 1 that just swallowed my £1.50 and didn't vend or refund? /// None of the ticket machines are working at Vauxhall yet you've only got one ticket window open. /// Why is there only one ticket machine at Tolworth? And why is not working again? /// What's worse is I put my PIN into the machine and then nothing happened. /// The stupid ticket machine wouldn't accept my card at the station, so I had to get cash and missed my train!! /// Sort out the ticket machine at Winchfield! The screen hardly works and freezes! Now I've missed my train! /// Since the last Tweet The Manager session a lot of Claygate commuters have expressed the dire need of an additional ticket machine on Waterloo-bound platform. /// Why are your ticket machines such rubbish?! Brentford station, I think platform 2. Wouldn't let me top up my Oyster! /// Can't purchase a ticket at Addlestone. Not recognising any stations or any options on home page. /// Please sort out your ticket machine at Tolworth!!! Every day the card reader doesn't recognise my card. /// Why won't the machines process my Network Railcard only 5 minutes before my 10am train? /// The Oyster card functions aren't working on the cash/card ticket machine at Hampton Court. /// 2/3 ticket machines not working at Whitton and the one booth doesn't do Oyster! Queue going on to street. Can I buy a ticket at Waterloo? Train 15 minutes late and the queue is about 25 people long! This is just stupid. Two people to issue tickets to this many people just doesn't work. /// Chaos at Woking station, only 1 of 3 ticket office windows open and all 3 ticket vending machines either partially or entirely broken! /// Would be nice if car park ticket machines worked first time. 3 machines, 2 cards and 10 minutes to get ticket. Just because of rain. Your new ticket machines are very cheeky, trying to hide the 16-25 railcard option on another page. /// Chaos this morning at Woking station. Two ticket widows open, one machine working, predictably staff looking lost. /// Kew Bridge ticket machine is out of order again. /// The ticket machine at Grateley short changed me £1.50. What do you propose to do about this? /// All 3 car park machines are out of order in Bracknell. /// Please improve your ticket machines...they are far too slow to process card transactions! /// Having a problem with your ticket machine at Barnes Bridge. One didn't recognise my Visa debit card yet it worked OK on other one. /// Ticket machine 3322 is off at Woking. /// SWT were lying!! The machines have been removed and there was no notice of it happening! Just do not like being lied to when service is poor! Usual bad management from SWT! [Second caller: they always do this and they offer up their 'apologies' but nothing tangible like a refund.] /// Got kicked off a train because the ticket machine didn't work. Asked for compensation. SWT’s implied response: 'Deal with it.' /// Do you ever intend to have all the ticket machines functioning at Queenstown Road? I'm bored with queuing and reporting to uninterested staff. It's been this way for a month, and the few staff seem unbothered. One machine broken, another not taking cards. /// One of the two machines is out of order and no staff at Farncombe station. /// Both ticket machines at Isleworth not taking card payment...can't purchase car park ticket. /// Ticket Machine at Claygate is out of order! /// The past 3 times I've been on the train the guard has had no ticket machine! Not happy! [Response: Hi, on many of our suburban routes our guards do not sell tickets. You should always buy a ticket before joining a train.] Doesn't help when the ticket machine at my station isn't working. /// I've just been turned over by one of your machines; travelcard starting from tomorrow not today, and no receipt. WHY WHY WHY ? /// It's everyday. The machines are not fit for purpose. Lacking options. Slow transactions. Does a single customer like them? /// Ticket office at Horsley not open and machine not taking cards so no ticket yet. /// When will Chertsey ticket machine be fixed? Or can ticket office stay open please? Been out of order for a week. [Revealing response: Really sorry about this. An engineer has visited the machine and will return with a replacement part ASAP.] /// Kingston station, none of the ticket machines are on... and only one person selling tickets! /// Is it usual for a member of your staff to just laugh at a passenger who is having trouble with the ticket machine and offer no help? /// Chertsey. Ticket machine out of order and ticket office closed...how to buy a ticket?! Same thing happened on Saturday evening too. /// Need to contact Teddington station due to ticket not printed. Can you help? It was an online ticket. Went to Teddington to print. Only printed 4 bits. Left standing at Euston, had to buy another ticket to travel. /// Once again the ticket machine doesn't work at Upper Halliford and your incompetence will cost me more money. /// Need to sort your machines out at Hampton Court. Only one of the machines works, and for cards only. It was like this last week as well, and caused me and many others to miss the train! /// [On December 30th] Can you please fix the ticket machine at Hilsea? It's not recognising any cards and won't let you use cash since the 21st December. /// Well done again at Staines. Both booths closed and the machine out of order on New Year’s Eve!!!! /// Just had £20 swallowed by a ticket machine but given no ticket - how can I reclaim it? /// Martins Heron station ticket machines either don't work or reject cards and cash.
Passengers’ voices of despair and anger (Twitter)
SWT’s Twitter facility provides information, apologises endlessly, and refers people to Customer Services who, if they are lucky, will send a bland reply weeks later. Passengers hate the rip-offs, problems with trains and stations, information deficit, cancelled stops, not getting replies to their complaints, and the rudeness and aggression of some members of staff. It must all be pretty depressing for decent members of staff as well. Yet, in the words of Stagecoach lobbyist Barry Doe, “SWT is one of the best operators in the country”. [RAIL, Issue 737]. Is that were so, why would anyone travel by rail if they didn’t have to? Particularly noticeable in Twitter is the general absence of any promise of improvement. A few excerpts, with small corrections and amendments for clarity:
>From Anne Milton MP, 31/10/2013: “On 5.45 [pm] train but only 5 carriages instead of 10 SWT - packed train.)
SWT ARE A JOKE. /// Annoying their customers is SWT’s raison d'être. [Second caller: I have to back up this statement. And will find thousands of others who will. SWT are the pits.] /// Unorganised, rude and belligerent... You just know you're travelling with SWT! /// SWT service abysmal as ever. Better set my Monday alarm at least an hour earlier in anticipation of delays. /// SWT need to sort themselves out. /// Your company is really letting its customers down - something needs to change. /// Sort it out SWT..!! or just ignore your complaints... As most of your social networks are filled up by people complaining.... ///
How do I get a reply to an e’mail I sent on 16/9 re damage to my wife's coat by a red hot heater on one of your trains? /// I tweeted you about 4 weeks ago re an outstanding complaint. /// Just tried SWT customer service, phone just rang and rang with no answer, very helpful!!! /// I renewed my gold card over a month ago and I haven't received my gold card package in the post. /// Why is your contact number Carlsberg UK? Carlsberg say they are getting hundreds of calls. /// Yet again appalling customer service from your staff, SWT; it would be appreciated if you could finally contact me. /// Just had a comically awful customer service experience from SWT on the platform in Surbiton. That must be where my £230 a month goes. /// Lost Gold Card 1st time in 14 years’ tiresome £4,000 a year commuting. Why hard to replace/why so late updating to e-tickets? /// Customer Services at SWT just told me it's not possible to give me a number for Basingstoke station and promptly hung up. /// Two months and still no response. /// It's now been NINE WEEKS since I originally put a complaint into SWT. I will be taking it to the CEO if not dealt with in next week. /// Replacement ticket arrived today, but they didn't update my new photo card number on ticket! /// 41 days to acknowledge a complaint about a mis-sold ticket. How long to actually deal with the complaint? /// I have complained over a month ago TWICE with yet no reply, considering your website states you will in 5 days this is a disgrace. /// Clearly you have been in the same customer relations class as British Gas. Inspired. Only 8 weeks to an unexplainable ticket price rise! /// Still waiting - 4 weeks since I made a complaint and I have had nothing back. Response promised within 5 days!
[Related tweets from more than one caller] My friend was refused entry on SWT on carer/disabled tickets. When disabled documents produced, they laughed...absolutely disgusted. In 2013 it's a disgrace that SWT cannot train their staff. DISGUSTING CUSTOMER SERVICE. Refused entry to the train on blind and carer tickets and laughed at when she told them it's their policy. LAUGHED. After being told she's a minority so they can't deal with her. SWT you're a joke. TWO MEETINGS with senior staff about this as it has happened before. Stop discriminating against the disabled. Staff not knowing policy DOES NOT mean they can stand and laugh at my disabled sister. /// 06.29 Clapham to Wimbledon only 4 carriages. DOORS WERE CLOSED AS PASSENGERS WERE STILL WALKING DOWN PLATFORM. WHY? I know train was running late. But it normally runs 8 carriages. I am mildly disabled and got jammed in door. UNFORGIVABLE ! /// Helped a sick man on platform today. Shocked to find out platform supervisor can't call an ambulance. Why is this, SWT? /// Jobsworth SWT guard making my Dad stand up while he's crippled on crutches...is 5 minutes in a first class seat really too much to ask? /// Is the 19.12 Clapham Junction to Christchurch running? [Response: The Clapham stop is cancelled I'm afraid. Take the 19:27 Exeter train and change at Basingstoke and again at Brockenhurst.] Bit complicated for a wheelchair user. Looks like it's an hour wait... /// Twice seen man on crutches attempt to change platforms at Barnes with no notice. Please get the platforms right before the last minute! You must know before it pulls into the platform. Last two advertised as platform 1, both arrived platform 2 - no easy transition for some. /// So fed up of being pushed around on SWT whilst on my crutches. Apparently no one has any common decency anymore.
2C60 running up, Reading-Waterloo, is showing Reading on front, no PA or dot matrix. No guard announcements at all. /// 0722 Epsom-Waterloo cancelled. Care to tell us why, or is that too much to ask? /// Can you tell me why the 8.15 from Walton-on-Thames is delayed indefinitely please, as they are not saying at the station? /// Two evenings in a row now I've been sat on a train at Waterloo past the departure time. Neither time has there been announcement. /// I can assure you at Waterloo there was nothing, and when we got to Clapham the staff were not helpful, more buses needed as well! /// When you ask for help, they wash their hands and say ask the other man. Jobsworths who need a course in customer interaction. /// How's it showing on your screen now? Sadly as a company you never cease to disappoint. /// Why is everyone on the 17:46 Woking to Exeter having to change trains at Salisbury?! Would be helpful if the guard could be bothered to let everyone know. /// Wanna give me back the 11 hours of my life you stole from me today? Like a refund? Or a smile? Or correct information? /// You do not look into problems quick enough, and do not check links before posting! Basic mistakes!!! /// At Woking I was told line blocked and no news at all on what was happening. Information for passengers honestly very poor! /// Some information about why the train hasn't left Bournemouth yet would be nice. Not a word from anyone at the station. /// Would have been nice if that information could have been given when I turned up at 7.35. Information has to be much better. /// Better service announcements would be a start. Not one announcement has ever been made at Worcester Park when delays over an hour. /// Told train would only call at Raynes Park and Waterloo, even though the train board said otherwise. So train indicator boards suggest all is running smoothly disguising the fact that all trains are running late. /// Why do none of the SWT trains tell you where they are going??????? Not helpful... the screens after the barriers didn't have a list of stations nor did the screens on the train. /// Informing passengers of a route change AFTER you pass through the last station before their stop is not cool! /// You are ruining my evening - where is the 23.22 from Dorchester, and why won't you tell us what's going on? /// How do I get from Clapham to Isleworth today, please? Or Hounslow? NO staff at Clapham Junction available to help. Pathetic when so few trains. /// Would be nice if the guard informed people of the delays. Make everyone's journey less stressful. It would also help if, when the guard or driver made an announcement, it was loud enough to hear! if a train's still running please leave it on the board until its due time otherwise commuting is more stressful than necessary. /// Why are there delays from Wimbledon to Waterloo? Also no members of staff on platform. /// Why was the 8.29 to Woking from Clapham Junction cancelled at the last minute? These only run every 30 minutes, so means significant delay. /// Which train is this? It should stay on the board until it has departed…. It was the 08.10 departure from Kew Bridge to Waterloo, it was removed from the board at about 08.05 with no message. /// At Surbiton, 06.11 was 15 minutes late and terminated. What's going on? Thanks to the misinformation of your staff, I waited 20 minutes for a train which was too full to board because it only had 4 coaches. Putney, going to Waterloo. It's already chaos with the building works - misinformation is incredibly annoying and makes it worse. /// Thanks for rerouting the train without telling us. This will make me very late. /// I'd already missed 2 services from platform 2 because staff aggressively sent us all to platform 1. /// Finally! Been at Woking 10 minutes and not told about delays. Board still has no information other than train not in service. /// Why is it so impossible for your staff at Waterloo to give Oyster related information when you're on the Oyster system too?! After being sent to 3 different places at Waterloo and hence missing my train, the gentleman in Richmond was able to tell me that a peak time travel card is £11 and the Oyster only caps at £10.70. Seriously?! /// Any explanation why? It's one thing to cancel but poor customer service makes this exasperating and now I'm late and freezing /// 07.31 from Earlsfield to Dorking cancelled and not a single member of staff knows why.!!!! delayed all week. /// Another classic, we are all waiting on platform 6 but the train has been on platform 9 since 17:00 and is now 10 minutes late. No apology or reason. /// Can anyone explain why the 19.35 from Waterloo to Winchester is delayed? This will be ten delayed journeys this week. /// Appreciate there's disruption but information in the station would be helpful. Arrived at Clapham Junction, no clear information, just slow realisation that trains to Syon Lane cancelled. Getting a cab. /// Delays cannot be helped: lack of information from your ground crew is another matter; inform your station staff and train crews better. /// Missed my stop on the 07.58 Chiswick to Clapham Junction because the door was defective, and there were no signs or announcements. /// You're doing it again. You've got me onto a train at Waterloo, then one departed from somewhere else. Twice. Unbelievable.
4.30 from Waterloo, delayed. Guard tells everyone to get on the 4.45. Guard on the 4.45 tells everyone to get back and what's happening now then? Still on the 4.30 with absolutely no announcements … Some garbled message and we're now running slow. Thanks for once again messing my evening up, makes a change from the mornings. No information, no announcements, no *** clue. /// 7:50 Waterloo short formation; 8:00 short formation. Most people didn't get on! Have you not even got an apology or an explanation? Lots of people were late for work AGAIN. I'm quite unhappy you haven't even acknowledged my tweet when I pay you a fortune for a substandard service. /// SWT have decided to not let anyone on the trains. And it's not even 8am! /// How long are we meant to wait for this passenger to buy a ticket before we leave Woking? There was a problem with a passenger on the Alton to Waterloo train. Resolved now, but we didn’t know how long we’d be sat for. /// Thanks for the 1/2 hour-plus delay, change of train, which is now full of standing people. Ticket is as ever worth every penny! /// How are Wandsworth Town services so under-capacity? Couldn't get on first train, now just taken 25 minutes to get to Vauxhall. /// Our train has just gone past us empty! Would much rather the honest approach. And cheers for making me late for work! /// Just had a very muffled announcement, and train three just gone past us. /// Forty minutes wait for a fast train at Guildford to Waterloo? No word on twitter or the SWT site. /// Just tired of missing my train twice a week due to your ticketing office queues. /// Why are there still huge delays three hours after tracks were cleared at Wimbledon? /// We will now miss our show at the theatre thanks to train delays. How do I go about being compensated please? /// Why is the 06.46 from Weybridge to Waterloo cancelled?? There are hundreds of people trying to get to Hyde Park for 8.30!!! I started this journey at 5.15 from Farnham. £56 cab to Woking and still won't be on time now. Where do I complain? Thanks, really pathetic. Did your managers know there's a massive running event taking place in London today? [Second caller: Yes they did, but they don’t care. They closed Waterloo platforms on London Marathon day.] /// Shambles of a service tonight. Surely this happens so often you guys should have a routine and a plan by now?? /// SWT carnage tonight at Waterloo; when it’s bad these days it seems it's really bad, that's not good. I should have waited it out in the pub like I normally do instead of standing on a train for 1hr 20mins. /// Is it true your trains just leave when they're ready? Guard at New Malden just told me. Doesn't matter it was 1min 30 early. [Response: In the morning peak, trains departing New Malden towards London can depart when it is safe for them to do so.] So your trains just leave as they choose. That's great. Another string to your customer service bow. Joke. /// You clowns have done it again and cancelled my train's stop after I'm on board. Why must you take the piss put of us like this? Why do you persist in lying to your customers with impunity? /// Not only are your trains late, you miss out five of the last seven stations on the route. Great customer service. Maybe you should tell passengers earlier than 2 minutes before you kick them off at Ascot. And when you do tell them, don't say there is another service 'right behind' when there isn't. I had a 20 minute wait. /// Your being late by 6 minutes has cost me the last bus home. A taxi home costs £38. Thank you VERY much. [Response: Can I ask which service you were on please? I am very sorry for the inconvenience.] 18.25 from Waterloo to Alton. [Response: Thanks and which bus do you usually take?] The Stagecoach South 19.40 from Alton Station to Alresford. /// Not happy, 1843 Weybridge to Waterloo train didn't wait for connecting arrival from Chertsey. Must have seen it approaching. /// Cheers for letting our train go early... Late for work. At Basingstoke! /// Two questions: 1 - Why was the 8:45 from Sunbury to Waterloo delayed? 2 - Why has it become a fast service?? Longest journey home ever! 30mins turned into 2 hrs!! /// Trying to get to Clapham. So far I've done Guildford-Woking-Surbiton, now waiting for train to Clapham! /// Noone likes a train ranter, but SWT your time-keeping means I miss the connecting train you provide EVERY DAY. /// I now have to change at Guildford. Why didn't the half empty train stop on the way past? /// Why can't your drivers just WAIT for 5 seconds, now everyone’s journey is delayed. So annoying!! You can't do that. Come on, there were at least 100 people that missed it. /// Quins Rugby Union at home at Twickenham and this is your idea of a service? Even staff agreeing it is a joke. /// Trying to get the 1806 Ascot to Ash Vale; incoming train from Egham now late. Will the connecting train wait? I know you have to run on time, but loads of people need to make that connection especially given the engineering work…. I made it, but lots of people didn't. Be nice if it had waited. Slower runners have to wait 1/2 hour now. /// How you make everyone's weekend travel a misery! Even the train driver is at a loss as to where this train is heading. /// A group of friends and I sat on a train from Petersfield to Portsmouth for an hour and a quarter yesterday for a journey that was due to take half an hour, therefore making us late for a reservation and being unable to keep to our original plans. I know that we were not the only customers to be angry at this situation. /// Friend is stuck at Fratton in the freezing cold because of your delay. How can she get home at this point? /// Your service to Portsmouth Harbour has been a total farce tonight! I want my money back! And I have missed my ferry!!!! /// 100% late this week. Let's see what tomorrow brings. /// Don't think I've ever been on a SWT rush hour service that's been on time. /// Just one day I would like my journey to not be disrupted on SWT. 7/10 days I've travelled in the last 2 weeks. /// Cutting a stop to play catch-up is ridiculous! Poor customer service from SWT. /// 20 minutes late for work thanks to your useless company. I now have to make the time up after work! So fed up with this!!!!! /// Thanks for potentially making me late for university. Much obliged. /// Fleet no better, delays everyday on SWT, shame on you. Useless. /// I want a refund. Having to pay for a taxi across London to get home. /// Sort yourself out. It doesn't have to be this stressful to get home. /// Thanks again for the wonderful short trains. NOT. /// I am not on my train and neither are a lot of people at Vauxhall. No explanation, apology or warning!!! /// Outrageous tactics from SWT. Reading - London 7 minutes late so you decide to miss out 3 stops to meet performance indicators. Why bother with any stops?! It's so your stats look like majority of trains are on time. Did it yesterday too. No point being on time if we can't get on! /// Oh look, our connection has just passed us! You do know people’s lives are affected by your poor service!! /// It's rush hour. You find 4 measly carriages for several hundred people. Four. Really poor service. 19.30 Waterloo to Portsmouth. It's hell in here ... /// Could you send me your complaints information please? Your daily delays are causing a two hour journey home everyday, terrible. /// It would have helped if my train wasn't cancelled! Ticket prices aren't worth the poor service you provide! It's about time rail users started to see some real improvements. Especially after price rises earlier in the year! /// Please sort the trains out so when I get to Virginia Water in the morning from Chertsey I don't miss my other train to Twickenham. /// Your Surbiton to Guildford service is a joke. Constantly late, ridiculously expensive and currently stuck at Cobham. It's OK. I'm already late for my lecture. Making it less than £10 for a half-hour journey would help! /// I hate delays as much as anyone. But a train leaving 5 minutes early is, if anything, worse. /// 20.42 from London Waterloo - why didn't it stop at Walton-on-Thames? Driver missed the stop. /// No trains from Queenstown Road meant I’ve had to cancel my evening plans as I was invited to a gig which I missed. /// So for the second week running a refund request and complaint will be on its way to SWT. /// Waterloo via Basingstoke. The train had to leave 4 carriages at Portsmouth, same train broke down yesterday at Hilsea. /// Was stuck at Wool for an hour and half with other passengers including the elderly and babies. /// I want to know why the train I wanted at Queenstown Road didn't stop!!!! [Unhelpful response: The signalling problem meant that to stop in that direction would cause even more delays.] But why?? No other trains used that track between the 10:40 not stopping and the 10:44 not stopping!! This is complete nonsense!! /// Shame your company is so high in ticket prices and has poor services. Second day in a row I'll be delayed by your company. /// So I get a train to Wimbledon... But it takes me to Waterloo... Sort it out. /// Couldn't get on train. Now heading for Clapham by bus. Got charged £1.70 to access platform on Oyster. Very much NOT HAPPY. /// How is it possible that in the last 7 Mondays you have failed to provide a service in 5 of them? /// Will you cover my taxi home from Twickenham due to insane delays? Unhappy e’mail coming your way, if not, for weeks of delays.. /// Thanks a bundle for making the 17.03 from Kingston not stop at Wimbledon. Will miss FCC connection adding half hour to journey. It is incompetence not to stop at interchanges. And your train having a fault is not a legitimate excuse. Now have 28 minute wait at Wimbledon because SWT couldn't run a toy train set. /// Short trains in rush hour after having had to wait more than 10 minutes at Raynes Park for a train and no announcements - superb service as usual…. Can you please in future make announcements on the platform? I missed 2 trains after waiting 10 minutes already. [Response: I'm afraid we can't announce short formations at stations with our 'Countdown' displays, which includes Raynes Park.] /// Why did the 07:37 Earley to Reading leave 2 minutes early? And why did guard close doors when people were still boarding? /// You cancelled my morning and now evening train, this is beyond help… I was 45 minutes late to work this morning! /// 'Improve commuter services at Waterloo' press release on same day you've pissed off every Waterloo commuter. /// What a nightmare this morning! Seriously annoyed with SWT for their usual offering of short trains and delays. Late to work. /// Can you please explain why me and hundreds of others were turned away from Putney station and how we can claim compensation? [Second caller: They ignoring you again?! Rude.] Yup, 3 tweets and nothing. Despite the fact I never even made it inside the station this morning. Appalling. [Second caller: That's disgusting!! Personally I’m really pleased I pay ££££ for such a reliable service. Hope you get an explanation.] Well, I mentioned compensation, so doubtful! [Second caller: I doubt they know the meaning of the word 'compensation' - could explain why they're not responding! Good luck!] /// I'm now so late that I am going to miss my meetings. How do I get a refund on my rail fare? /// Over 35 minutes to get from Clapham Junction to Waterloo this morning - not good! /// 3 successive days of delays/cancellations during morning rush. Who to enquire to regarding Oyster card refunds? /// Why and how is it possible to be so unfailingly rubbish at providing a decent suburban train service? Where do I apply for refunds? /// Every morning this week my 8.33 train from Kingston to London Waterloo has been late. How can I get a refund for my fare? /// Your services are a joke!!!! Especially for the price we pay!!! /// Is becoming standard now, train hasn't arrived on time once for me this week... /// Every day this week your trains have been late and incredibly overcrowded. I applaud your incompetence. /// I despise your service with a passion right now. Signal failures at peak time 8/9am are not cool. /// That ‘earlier train fault’ was at least 8 hours ago. Useless. /// Why do I see empty trains of yours pass me by when you claim trains are not running? Surely you could alter stops to accommodate. /// When you cancel the .02 & .32 to Woking/Basingstoke why don't you have, say the 18.23, stop at Hersham etc. It's half empty? /// If a train is cancelled at Branksome how come we got information only a few minutes before its scheduled departure time at Southampton Airport Parkway? /// 19:42 from Waterloo broken down outside Surbiton. Now stuck there. You really are useless. 3rd screw up this week! /// Tell me how you can, in good conscience, turf 100-plus people off a train at a remote station to wait for another that's NOT coming. /// Is your London Waterloo to Guildford train ever on-time? It seems to be late every single day. /// Changing the schedule midway through a journey is more inconvenient for customers than staff notwithstanding their attitude. /// After yesterday's debacle of a journey into work with SWT I'm delayed again this morning. /// Why must you stress me out every morning this week??? 06.59 cancelled. Just like that. /// How can I claim for this exceptionally delayed service to Winchester tonight? /// Not good enough. Sort out your abysmal service into Waterloo in the mornings!!! 3 days in a row we've been crawling from Epsom on packed trains! /// I just really wonder why I pay so much for such little service! /// Any chance of a train being on time this week?? /// I'm on the 08.05 from Waterloo to Weymouth. It's 22 minutes late and just been told it's not stopping at Wool (my stop). /// Just wondering if you've ever had a service from London to Bournemouth that's ever run on time and without a signal delay? But at least you’re sorry so that will make up for me spending 2 and a half hours on one of your stationary trains. /// Massive fail this week. Somewhere between 12-20 minutes late every day! /// Not a good week! Delays due to signals = 3 days, trapping 9 passengers past their stop on Wednesday and a cancellation this morning. /// This is the 5th delayed train I've been on this week and yet I have only heard one guard apologise. Yesterday got home 1.5 hours late and no air conditioning on train this morning. /// Will I be able to claim compensation for cancellation of 08.39 from Chessington South? I will be late for work. /// Major engineering works on the day of a major London-based sporting event. Beggars belief. /// I have had an awful journey from Southampton to London including more than an hour sat stationary. Please tell me how to get a refund. /// Our train has now been terminated at Woking and our destination is London. This is awful. /// The second train has been diverted and it means our entire journey will have taken four hours instead of one hour, 20 minutes. /// Had to get off at Barnes. No help, no alternatives. Now in a cab, watching money and time being wasted. /// In the end the whole train was cancelled and we had to get off. Do we get a refund? /// Last 7 days’ commute cancelled or delayed. Can you please address performance? I'm out of pocket, 2 taxis and train fares. /// Five trains delayed and two cancelled for a 15 minute journey. Boards giving wrong times and people late for work. /// 40 minutes from Hampton to Wimbledon. Need to get to work this morning - not this afternoon. /// Have you introduced delay repay? Your service has been awful this morning! Was on the 07.04 from Epsom to Waterloo. 07.44 at Raynes Park. /// “A normal train service will operate on all other routes." Yep, 17 minutes late because, err... it was late at the preceding station. /// Delays at Raynes Park again. Why did I bother leaving early this morning! /// Last train, the 00.45, cancelled from Kingston. Ridiculous. Lost all sympathy now. /// Today it's the 11:28 from Farncombe which was cancelled. The 11:56 was then delayed. I'm now late for work! I've had no end of problems lately, yet when there's severe delay, we're still expected to buy a ticket? /// Now stuck at Southampton Parkway, and now stopped on the track before Southampton Central. Awful, awful service.. Not ONE announcement from the guard about the delays during the entire journey. Happens all too often. Give the franchise to someone else, you've had enough chances. /// Why is it so difficult for you to run trains on time? Late in this morning, late out of Waterloo this evening. /// Is the 19.50 from Poole going to run to Christchurch, was getting 19.07 but once again you've chopped Christchurch! /// Please can you run a service that isn't so frustrating. Today I have experienced cancelled, late, and stopping between stations. /// Delayed AGAIN! You will have been late every weekday, for both my journeys, for 2 weeks.... /// Nearly every morning/evening have been delayed recently. /// Thank you SWT for a train journey with no announcements and dumping a train load of passenger in the wrong place! No announcements from guard or drivers = train load of fuming passengers. It is such an inconvenience as it usually means I miss my connecting train thus being very late to work and university. /// So we've got signalling problems at Clapham, Wimbledon and now the train has broken down while waiting. You couldn't make it up. /// SWT, come on! Is a service that functions too much to ask for this week? /// Three trains to Guildford in 30 minutes, but none to Hampton Court? How does that work? I know there are delays, but seriously. /// What has happened on the Portsmouth line tonight? Terrible week for your service!
Refunds were given for service disruptions on 23/9, but not for an almost carbon copy on 30/9. /// I had a return ticket to Portsmouth. My railcard expired yesterday which I had not noticed. Original ticket £39.25. Charged £61.50 for a new single. £100 for a genuine mistake! No leeway from staff although his colleagues hadn't thought to let me know earlier, when the ticket was sold, two days ago or even on the occasions it had already been checked, proving a simple mistake. /// Please tell me exactly what the point of paying for a first class ticket is if there are no seats in first class. /// Lost my return leg ticket, made to buy again even though had the original receipt to prove payment for return journey. /// Just got to one of your stations and the only ticket machine here is frozen, what do I do?? [Response: Please board the train and make sure you approach the guard and purchase a ticket from them.] I’ve done as you said and was informed by the guard that technically he should give me a penalty fare for now having a ticket.. [Response: Please explain to the guard what you have explained to me, however the onus is on you to find the guard ASAP.] I spoke to the guard on the platform, who told me if I got on the train he would have to issue me a penalty fare which I think is outrageous, so now I’ve got someone to come and pick me up.. /// I was overcharged by one of your guards earlier by £3. /// My train was cancelled yet again in a week so I went to the ticket office to get an extension so I could travel to Farnborough. Last week the lady who served me was able to give me an extension with my season ticket, no problem, but when I tried tonight another lady said it isn't possible as it was on a different route to Camberley. I said “Well the lady did it for me no problem last week” and she refused and said I had to buy a whole new ticket to Farnborough. /// Can you tell me why no return fares available today Andover to Reading? Fare more than 3 times normal today when I tried to book. The normal return is £8.60. I called yesterday to book for today and had to buy singles for each leg and total cost was £14 each way. /// So in order for you to refund an £8.90 train ticket, I have to pay £10 for the refunding process..? /// Nice one SWT - penalty fare when I approach your staff and ask for a ticket. [Response: Was this before starting your journey? You should always buy a ticket before joining a train.] Yes I know, but Alton was too busy this morning. You've penalised an honest customer WHO WAS TRYING TO BUY A TICKET! DfT indicates that a peak-time wait >5 minutes is not a reasonable opportunity to buy. Must have that to issue a penalty fare. /// For the cost of my train ticket you could buy a new car each year. The least you MUST provide is a seat for every ticket sold, or reduce ticket prices for those forced to stand, would you pay your electric bill if it only works for half the day? /// On the 4.20pm from Waterloo to Exeter on Friday. You wanted me to pay £220 to upgrade to first class which is nuts. That fare normally costs me £63 return, so to expect me to pay £220 on the day to use an almost empty carriage is idiotic. /// This is a new scam. I have 1st class ticket. The train has no 1st class carriage. /// How is paying for 2 seats to London mean my 5 year old and I have to stand for the next 3hrs as you only have 2 coaches! /// Tried to renew my monthly ticket in advance in person at the station; they won't let me but I can online. But online I don't get delay refund.
SWT trains needs to sort their bus replacements out! When this finally gets to Guildford, the train best be waiting for us! /// Your trains are late-delayed-cancelled without reason or notice! Your replacement bus service is a joke! /// Where is the replacement bus to Ash Vale? It’s nearly an hour late. /// Your guy at Mortlake says Underground and bus NOT accepting tickets despite cancelled trains - why?? /// Why was the 8:05 from Sunbury cancelled?? (I need a late note for college). We were informed at the last minute that it would not be calling there. Now standing on a bus with not enough seats. /// The replacement buses at Raynes Park are far below the amount needed for people wishing to travel. /// Rail replacement bus service Surbiton to Walton-on-Thames has just gone through Cobham! What route have you given this guy?! /// Why would the ONLY replacement bus between Eastleigh/Fareham depart BEFORE the connecting train (that it is replacing) arrives?! I am now expecting to arrive in Portsmouth at 9.14 rather than 8.12 /// You'll have a ton of complaints tonight. Major delay with coach at Eastleigh. Lots of children left in the cold including my own.
Not only are the trains always late. Your staff are so rude. /// Your staff at Twickenham are the rudest people I have met. Your Oyster machines don't work and yet they offer no assistance. /// No sense of urgency from any SWT staff at Waterloo - they just say 'dunno!' Is it professional or above the standards of common courtesy for your "Authorised Collectors" to discuss passengers? Branksome station today 16:45. One "manager" and another "authorised collector" discussing a passenger - not positively! Also - we are not all "fare dodgers", some use the ticket bins available at the end of the journey!! /// Why are there security staff at Earlsfield? They just seem to stare at people within a metre of the yellow lines. /// There are 6 SWT staff standing on Norbiton platform bullying a passenger. They are being rude and intimidating. This is disgusting. /// This really is horrid. Group of staff just standing there talking about how "stupid" and "thick" passengers are. /// The lady on platform 8 who saw off the 17.35 needs to learn manners. An excuse-me is fair politer than being screamed at. I was pushing it time wise, but if she had replied when I asked her if I could board I wouldn't have pressed button... /// The guy who sells the tickets at Staines station is the most unhelpful, rude man I’ve ever had the misfortune to have to deal with. /// Staff threaten to assault me. The employers are strangely silent. Southbound platform 8, 5pm approximately. Male. In stopping me getting on departing train, threatened to hit me with bat. [Response: Please contact British Transport Police regarding this. Please also remember to inform them of the station you were at.] Sorry, no. I am aware due to my profession of the correct procedure on an allegation under s39. You sort your employee. /// One of your staff at Guildford was very rude, which I'm taking up as another staff witnessed. [Response: Sorry to hear this. I hope the station manager is able to resolve this for you.] That's the shift manager, who said she was on a break so wouldn't help(!). /// Waterloo station, I fell due to water on floor. Customer service agent couldn't be bothered! He was just coming on duty but didn't care that I was hurt and had coffee all over me. At Waterloo station the corner behind WH Smith at 06.00. Had to chase staff down to put a sign up. Agent who was rude hid name tag. /// Lovely start to the day thanks to a rude SWT 'Revenue Enforcement Officer' (bully). Can't wait to get my new car and leave this behind! Travelled via Haslemere, spend approx £250 per month on commute, so don't think I should be treated as criminal on rare occasions when not able to buy ticket due to queues at ticket office or traffic on journey to station. Have bag full of previous tickets! A little courtesy and friendliness isn't too much to ask. /// Can you tell me why your 23.43 from Clapham Junction left a minute early? Your guard on platform was very rude and didn't answer. /// 09.07, and I cannot get on a damn train. But thanks, SWT, for employing two people to scream at us all about the yellow line. /// Please ensure your staff and barriers actually understand your tickets as I was denied access to a train I could get on… Waterloo, the barriers and guard wouldn't let me through with my off-peak ticket for returning home to Woking. I then went to buy another and was told that my ticket was fine which I then had to explain to your guard why it was. /// Was racially abused by one of your guards (Named) on Tuesday, sent in an e’mail.... Still no reply from SWT. /// Your abysmal levels of customer service never fail to amaze. Unhelpful, surly, rude staff at stations and on trains. /// Can't believe how I've been spoken to by one of your members of staff. He clearly had a bad day and took it out on me. /// SWT have the world’s most unhelpful and unfriendly staff. Never experienced such unpleasant people. /// He's useless, made us change trains 3 times at the same station to finally realise that his train was the correct one. /// Please thank your train conductor for being the least helpful person when posed with questions regarding travel from Barnes. Departed from Clapham Junction at 09:02. She just blanked us and stepped back onto the train leaving us all at Barnes. /// Why do your customers appear to know more about how your service is running than your staff? /// All of the staff I have seen are rude and are clearly not there to help!! Have a word with Mr Branson!! /// I was running for my train that had pulled in! And they were Insistent that I show my ticket! But time wasn't on my side! I showed my ticket when I was on the platform.
Someone just fell down the gap at Vauxhall - seriously dangerous and terrifying! It's gonna kill someone soon! Sort it out!!!!!! Getting on the 18.05 Weybridge train, thankfully everyone helped him up and he got on the train. /// Did you know Branksome station must be the most depressing station no matter the weather? /// Second day in a row that your Chandlers Ford station has not had an open ticket office or a working ticket machine. /// Wish you could put screens up. Didn't want to see body parts. That was awful. Feel sick. /// Shocking lack of information at Surbiton on trains to Waterloo - zero announcements from station staff whatsoever. /// Absolutely disgraceful staff. Customer falls over, train staff only concerned with getting train away not the passenger. [Response: Hi, where did this occur?] Hook, the 07:48 to Basingstoke, on the platform of the unmanned station; thankfully me and another passenger helped. The conductor also said "if she's ill then she can't travel as we can't have her collapse on the train or tracks." /// How about someone actually manages your stations properly? Basic customer service normally 2 counters, only 1, normally 2 machines; was too late for me so a taxi journey I can't afford instead. /// No information screens, ticket machines or attendants at Milford station. /// Smokers galore on platform 13 at Clapham Junction, smoking ban clearly an irrelevance to staff and passengers. /// Why are there an increasing number of extremely loud announcements from the station late at night? /// Still waiting for a train to Reading that was due at 1.03pm at Clapham Junction.? [Response: That train did run from platform 9 at Clapham, can I ask which platform you were on please?] I was at platform 9 at the time, the information board kept moving the time back until the following train to Reading came in at 13.32. /// Wimbledon station want to check that the person dangling off the side of the platform is ok??? /// Please tell the manager of Hampton Wick station that the station is filthy. The stairs need jet pressure washing. /// Just saw your staff look at the guy at Surbiton and walk away without saying anything, smoking on platforms OK now is it? /// Your barriers at Waterloo refuse my ticket every day. Used to work fine, now NEVER. It happens every day in both directions. And doesn't matter if I buy from machine or at counter. Same result. Doesn't work. /// Thanks for making pensioners stand in the cold for 20 minutes because you've hired staff who refuse to open a train. /// Your sign fell off and nearly hit me at Wokingham station. /// Could you look into why the lights aren't turned on in the Winchfield station car park after dark? /// Can you tell me why you have police at stations wasting time when the station has got barriers you don’t use? This is another fine example of how useless SWT really are. /// What's the reason for the waiting room on Platforms 3/4 of Surbiton station being locked?? /// Can someone put a sign for people to see before touching in, to say no SWT trains are running at Wimbledon please? /// Barrier on down platform at Farncombe is stuck half open restricting passenger access / exit. /// Some baby change facilities at Portsmouth Harbour would be nice. Just had to change my 5 month old on the floor. /// Seriously, when is the roof at Motspur Park being fixed? It has been ages and everyone gets soaked! /// When our regular ticket clerk is away, the office at Shepperton never opens at 6.30. Closed again today. Poor service.
Oh I simply adored using the toilet on this SWT service. Floor swilling in urine - not mine I hasten to add. Made it a total pleasure. /// Such a slow line and the onboard train services (loos / air conditioning) are non-existent! /// SWT should take coach 8 on the 08.16 Clapham to Reading train out of service. The noise coming from the wheels/suspension is alarming. /// It seems as though SWT can only afford air conditioning at the end of each journey. 17:25 to Alton. Same every day, every train, in both directions. Of course, the hugely over-populated carriages don't help either. /// Can I request guards walk through train from Aldershot to Frimley, I had to call police after witnessing domestic violence just now. /// Told driver, and his attitude was basically ‘yeah some idiots get on trains and smoke’. /// Honestly, I believe this SWT train I'm now on is the hottest place on the planet. /// On a rush hour train to Waterloo and it only has 4 coaches! Only 10 minutes into journey and people can't get on! /// Yesterday got home 1.5 hours late and today no air conditioning on train. It is unbelievable on this train! People are searching for a carriage with air. I switched carriage. Still dire. The guard could at least apologise! The man opposite looks like he's going to be sick! /// As a passenger going to the last stop, I sit through an endless loop of recorded and live messages. Few are truly essential. /// Not as important as what's going on, but 67714 is one leaky carriage! Rain trickling through two sealed windows. /// Second time in 3 days that 06.28 Vauxhall to Dorking train has just 4 coaches, so no-one gets on. /// Experienced my most uncomfortable train journey to date, way over capacity. /// Just off a freezing train from Clapham Junction to Dorchester, first class, no buffet trolley, no nothing...not impressed. Definitely NO trolleys on board and guard said there isn't any...as it was so cold I moved to standard class. /// Air conditioning on when it's 10 degrees outside, got to love the outside-the-box thinking from SWT - on every train I've got this week...Weymouth to Waterloo line... /// Why did the doors not open? /// Cattle travel in better conditions. Seriously can't move on this train. The 17.30 from Exeter Central to Waterloo. Needs to be more than 3 carriages to fit everyone on. There are going to be people left behind, not very good service when you've been waiting since 4.30pm. /// Thanks for replying, the reality is I'm one of more than 25 people standing in our carriage alone - pretty poor experience. /// The phrase 'emergency, emergency' does not instil confidence in SWT. This was uttered over the PA of the 1825 Waterloo-Alton, followed by the 'would the guard please contact the driver'. /// Unit 450027(?) on 2U56, in the disabled toilet, the inside door buttons aren’t working. (Fine from the outside.) /// Absolutely FREEZING in this SWT carriage. Icy cold draft on my neck. /// 06.25 Bournemouth - Waterloo freezing cold. /// Toilet overflowing on coach 67188 by 07.30! What an absolute disgrace you lot are. Have seen better standards of hygiene in a pig sty. /// Lovely to able to go to the loo in the 21st century on a train going home. NOT. /// Sat on the floor of a delayed train, like a lot of other passengers. £60 ticket... Great, then can you pay for my trousers to be cleaned due to having sit on the floor twice this week? /// You really are useless SWT, trains are so overcrowded it's dangerous! /// Doors wouldn't open in carriage at stop but too cramped to next carriage to get off - now find myself on a train back! /// Had to stand all the way. By Farnborough no one else could join the train as it was too full. Bordering on dangerous. /// My train has sat here for 20 minutes, yet I'm sat outside next to it. I’m cold and ill and I’d appreciate being allowed on it. /// Guard’s attitude when I tried to tell him that people kept slipping up [on spillage] was ‘I can’t do anything about it’. /// It’s Friday means there must be a urine overflow; this time its carriage 67232. /// In non-rush hour is it necessary to shut the doors on people carrying small children? /// Why are all the toilets out of service on most trains between Woking and London this time of night? 4 trains, all with no WCs. /// On the train to London Waterloo from Windsor that just left Staines, coach 3 toilet smells like raw sewage from outside. /// I worked out that there were approximately 60 people seated and 110 people standing in one carriage this a.m. /// Never seen such threadbare seats. The first class portion and seats are very shabby now and for a 3 hour journey the seat has no padding left… Now going home in their first class on FGW HST. Oh the luxury compared to SWT. /// Is it safe to have the door controls and intercom system fully open and available to everyone? /// Disappointed the first train was both late and not cleaned this morning. /// Poole-Waterloo. People in coats every day through last winter and same now. Scandalous. Get it fixed ASAP. /// They fobbed me off last year about some guy setting the temperature at 23 degrees through winter. A blatant lie. This is diabolical really. [Second caller: I think you hit the nail on the head. They don't care about their customers at all.] /// I pay £380 a month to travel to London and have a broken seat. /// Door failed at Wareham. Told by guard to get train back from Wool. No such train, no help from information, awful service to lone female. Luckily my taxi came to Wool instead - at a cost of £34 instead of £14. /// Why did the 23.40 Waterloo - Salisbury only have 3 carriages? That train was a disgrace. /// As usual having cold air blown on me by SWT. Do other networks pile these indignities on passengers quite as punishingly? /// There are children, young children, sat in the aisles and luggage rack. People using toilets as luggage storage. /// [Response to query: I am sorry, trains that run on that route do not have toilets.] Don't you think it's about time they did though? We seem to be the only ones! It's a joke. Victorian times had better. /// Lack of carriages on 5.42pm to Basingstoke from Waterloo. Commuters not happy and squashed. /// 17:05 to Weymouth cancelled, 17:35 crammed, more miserable failure. /// Worst commuter crush ever on 17:35 to Weymouth! Two rush-hour trains-worth of passengers crammed onto one is never good! /// Try making your on-train announcements audible, it might help. /// I'm on the train now but trains are FILTHY tonight. Did the cleaners get blown away? /// Morning, the 6:59 from Aldershot to Ascot sounds like its got a failed wheel bearing about 2 cars back, very noisy and graunchy. /// Why have there been so many trains at different times/places all running with less carriages?
Why are your services so appalling? Every morning I awake ready for the day 'til I reach the station where I am greeted by a train network totally unfit for service! /// Happens every single day; your service is getting worse and your prices are going up. /// Your shoddy service leaves people very angry and it's pure heart attack material. /// I won't be going to any Remembrance services then, thanks SWT. Can't wait to move and never use you again!! /// Thank you SWT for being utterly worthless today. /// Why it is every day and night your service is rubbish? It has been going on for ages now. /// I have had loads of ruined journeys over the past 3 weeks. /// It's all very exciting that SWT are doing Movember, but I'd be grateful if instead they put effort into their service, not moustaches. /// @SW_Trains down? No customer service initiative in the world would mitigate the contempt in which I now hold your company. /// SWT complaints procedure and policy please? A disgrace to the whole rail network. /// I would be happy to give any feedback – at the moment I only travel with you because there are no other options, and you 100% abuse this. [Second caller: Bang to rights, they are the only provider here and they fail constantly and don't reimburse customers!!] /// Train delayed and no reason given! That'll be SWT /// Can ANY SWT trains be on time???” Wokingham to Waterloo. I rarely use SWT now, moved to a new area to be able to use an alternative line. Yours is a joke. /// Please don't go to any trouble on my account, I am only a fare paying customer. As long as you're happy with the service. /// Today's word association game: SWT > Stagecoach Group > cowboys. It's been a joy to travel with you. /// Inhuman and unacceptable conditions, ridiculously high and over-inflated fares. Ensure management are aware how 'customers' feel. /// Ridiculously overpriced. /// Like you have done with everyone's feedback. The problem is SWT or NR don't give a **** as long as their pockets are full. /// Abysmal service.
Asked for day return tomorrow to Basingstoke. Been sold one for a week tomorrow. No use to me. /// Your customer service is ****. /// Fire the twat who just put me on hold 5 times. /// Still no reply to my complaint (via e’mail). I sent the original complaint 1 month ago. /// I’ve e’mailed customer services 3 times with no response.. /// There was a notice at Wimbledon about not being able to buy Oyster travel cards anymore - is there any more information online about this? /// Still haven't received a reply from SWT regarding the appalling service at Fratton station on Monday. It seems they don't care. /// Making a 3rd complaint to SWT– that they haven’t responded to my complaint that they hadn’t responded to my original complaint …how come 2 e’mails to your customer relations since 24th Oct re ticket refund have been ignored? /// Another fantastic customer service moment from SWT. Cancel a perfectly good train and all train and station staff hide! /// Still no reply. Your e’mail said 5 working days. Then I was told 20 on here. /// I know my twitter feed is a constant rant against SWT. Unfortunately their incompetence and shocking customer service just make it so. WE ALL FEEL LIKE THIS, YOU ARE USELESS. /// You haven't answered the last two dozen tweets I've sent you. /// Heard rumour of no more Oyster card purchase/top-up at Wimbledon from next year, could you clarify for us please? [Response: This is correct, from 1 January you will not be able to top up at ticket office windows.] Why are you doing this stupid change? /// Still waiting for management response since AUGUST for complaint - 1767176. Any chance one can be bothered to reply! /// What is the point of the LAST train from Waterloo to Epsom (00:15) if it leaves EARLY? Had to get a £25 taxi home from Surbiton!! It's 20 days since I officially complained through your website about this… no response yet! /// Is anybody in lost property able to pick up the phone please? I've left my purse on a train and very concerned. … Just called and spoke to the rudest, most unhelpful person in the universe. Not what I needed after losing purse, all my cards, ID. /// 11 days after I sent an e’mail to SWT and still absolutely nothing. Completely unacceptable. Worst customer service ever. //// Oh god, give me strength. I now have to write a 3rd letter to SWT! How incompetent can they be? /// Been waiting 3 weeks for a reply to a complaint I made via your website. Supposed to be a 5-day response. /// I e’mailed your customer relations on Tuesday 12th October but no reply. /// I was assured by you last Monday that online renewal would work. Pay-by-phone rejecting Fleet as a location this morning. /// I have had no luck whatsoever with customer relations on the going issue. I would like to take it higher please. /// I think SWT deliberately try and make their complaints department as **** as possible to put people off complaining. I received an inadequate response 18 days after my initial complaint. /// It's just the same old apologies though. It's been like this for years with NO improvement and your words mean nothing. /// Worst customer service from SWT at Waterloo on Saturday! Was made to pay for ticket twice, called stupid and then sold wrong ticket! I bought a ticket at machine for Woking (£10.40), machine only printed card receipt, I went to ticket office and the agent told me that it was my responsibility and refused to print another ticket despite me proving that the card was mine. /// Doesn't avoid the fact it will cost me another £9 in taxis. I'm out over £120 now. It affects many more than just me.. [Response: Did you raise this with Customer Relations?] Yes twice now. Still waiting for a response but you claim a backlog and 20 days before a response. Can we safely assume that the backlog isn't down to passengers praising your service? /// My season ticket (duplicate) was stolen last Monday. Awaiting reply from SWT .. No joy: I've e’mailed.. called.. /// SWT have just given me the WORST customer service I have had in a LONG time. Useless, rude, and laughing at me for asking questions. /// Still no response from your lost property team by e’mail or phone. Terrible customer service. /// How about sorting out your customer service and delays before publicly shaming your loyal customers in the future? /// Tickets I buy on trains don’t work at gates on Tube! Advice? Don’t buy tickets on the train. Don’t you think I’d avoid that if I could! /// Given you've had 'backlogs' for months, why have you not hired more staff? Constantly violating charter reply times. /// Holding for customer service at SWT for 20 minutes now.
Hopefully it will be fixed by the morning. Took me two hours to get home on crutches. /// Bus from Clapham to Surbiton. The driver got out of his seat to confront two passengers. I honestly believe though he put that man’s safety in danger. That’s without going into detail of his further abuse of those trying to help, which included very, very aggressive shouting afterwards. Would also like to point out that the man would have been on bus for another 40 minutes without help, if passengers hadn't stood up for him. This type of behaviour is unacceptable – that SWT’s passengers should have to be abused for helping the sick. Was the 6.05 direct from Clapham to Surbiton, was also reported to an SWT employee at Surbiton. Under pressure from passengers he finally let the man off. He abused him again and offered no help or support. Man was elderly and frail, had arm in a sling and other bandaging but wasn't asked if he needed medical help, was dumped at roadside. /// Great, SWT. Missed train this am - no staff helped at Farnham (although I shouted!), and I was left on the train at Waterloo for 13 minutes. /// How can I get in touch with the cafe manager at Winchester? Was asked to leave by staff because of my guide dog! Shocking!
Where is my train!? I boarded a train at Egham - display said it was for Reading. Once on, the announcer said it was Weybridge!? /// Unmanned passenger assistance at Weybridge. HOW DO WE GET HOME? At least a dozen people here. /// SWT seems to be quiet; a few delayed trains this evening, without any information as to why. My current train late and running slow. /// Your incredibly late train has stopped at every single stop apart from Vauxhall, which happens to be my stop! Explain please? /// Information screens not working at Wandsworth Town. Been here over half an hour.. no announcements, nothing. /// At Syon Lane the 17.06 is still shown as due to arrive on time... It's 17.50.. /// It's been the case almost every day this week, bar Monday and Wednesday morning. No information on National Rail Enquiries but delays. /// Why do you trick me saying the train is for Putney, then next thing I know I'm in Surbiton. Travelling back to Clapham Junction. /// Twickenham: Made to change platforms 3 times with staff knowing nothing. Elderly people having to run up and down stairs. /// No trains from Chessington not reported? All of us hijacked a 71 bus, and on train from Surbiton but a little bit of warning? /// There's only one board, so 70% of people are too far away to see it. Just got an announcement at 07.16 that, yet once again, only 4 carriages on Dorking train. This is beyond a joke and the guard has given no apology or reason for short train. /// You state you are providing real time information for passengers. Please provide this to passengers badly let down for 2 days. /// Can you please thank the station staff at Farnham for leaving us stood in the rain with no announcement. /// On the 18:50 on platform 14 at Waterloo. 20 minutes wait and no announcement. /// How's service from Waterloo to Chessington? Line update said stations between Motspur Park and Chessington South will not be served but the live board said yes. /// What's occurring at Waterloo - seems a mess - staff on station no idea - boards out too. Think I'm on a train to Worcester Park. /// Why are trains still going through Wimbledon yet announcements claiming that Wimbledon is closed and delays from Waterloo?? /// When it comes to communication and updating the national rail app, C2C and SWT are worlds apart. Go C2C! /// Your train stop announcements are in reverse on the 10.09 Waterloo Dorking-Waterloo - leaving Reading it said 'next stop is Clapham Junction'. /// Assistant on Walton-on-Thames platform wrongly informed me I had to change at Surbiton to get to Vauxhall. Someone correct him! /// What happened to the 23.19 from Clapham junction? No announcements, no one knows anything - not impressed! /// No working train time displays on platform 2 at Wokingham since Friday. When are you planning to fix them? /// Why do the screens always seem to go wrong when there's problems? No information on platform 11 at Clapham Junction. /// No trains are stopping at all. Lack of information is upsetting lots of people. /// The information board says your train will depart at .46 and it pulls away at .43. /// The electronic signs at Stoneleigh no longer warn of non-stopping trains (e.g. 5D11 at 06:21 today). Is this deliberate? /// The only thing worse than delays is unexplained and unapologised-for delays. Please tell train staff to keep us better-informed. /// Can you tell me where the 09:38 from Surbiton is? There have been absolutely no announcements about this train at all. I understand problems on the line and all but you know what helps ease frustration? Information! I'm paying for this ****. /// SWT Fareham. Just got kicked off a train with no explanation at all. Don't treat your passengers like idiots! Just advise your company to be transparent with problems rather than leave paying passengers in the dark. /// Maybe next time you can send the trains to the same platform you are telling all the passengers to go to. /// I don't think your paymasters closing ticket offices down is really down to signal failures but thanks for replying! /// Waiting for 10.28 Clapham Junction to Reading. Train has left from platform 5 not 6 where it says it will. No announcement? /// Why does your webpage state there is a good service on all lines when there is a replacement bus service in operation? [Response: That can't be correct, the website provides information on the planned Engineering Works today.] [Second caller: He's not lying! Why don't your live tables reflect engineering works? TfL's do! Customers shouldn't have to search for info!] /// Guard seems to have taken a vow of silence. No information about delay or anything. Train just leaving Raynes Park. Apology would be nice. Not a single announcement in 45 minutes. Disgraceful. /// Where do I complain of poor communication at Waterloo? Loads of people missed Portsmouth train as wrong platform given. Now late and wasted 45 minutes. /// Very poor communications from SWT re Fleet car park closure. Late announcement of closure change to 25th November. Our drivers and Fleet police all out and about early for what? Where are the information boards at Fleet station? Unimpressed. /// Please can there be an announcement prior to a train coming in on a different platform? There was no time for anyone to run for it. /// At Vauxhall, nobody could tell me when the first train to Hampton was. /// 1824 SWT service from Bournemouth to Weymouth delayed by 30 minutes. No reason why. Not like I had cinema tickets booked this evening... Signs at Bournemouth now saying that the 18.24 to Weymouth is now only stopping at Weymouth. Is this true? [Response: That is correct. The next train to Weymouth will be the 18:50 which will be there at 19:03. Sorry for the problems.] Ridiculous! Loads of people on that train who need get off between Bournemouth and Weymouth. You're just delaying people further. /// Any chance of an explanation and apology for the 16:31 from Hook being delayed. And which stations will now be missed? [Response: Sorry about the problems. This train was delayed due to problems at Basingstoke. It will run fast from Woking to Waterloo.] No apologies made but you obviously don't care, let the customers find out when it's too late then fine them, more money for you. [Response: Did the guard not make announcements? There are alternative services to the skipped stations running a few minutes behind.] No, nor were there any announcements or apologies made at the station but that's the usual standard of SWT. /// 0817 to Reading. Train was 8 minutes late. Boards had no info, no announcements. This happens frequently. /// I arrived 08:01 for the 08:08 train. No announcement from anyone and not on boards. /// SWT trains have been terrible all morning. Decent explanations would help. /// Could you announce this at the stations so people can make an informed choice? I might have taken a different train if I'd known. /// Why is the provision of information at Waterloo so poor? /// I can’t believe I spend over £200 a month on your service. Train already delayed by 10 minutes with no announcement. Joke company. /// Only thing worse than sitting on a SWT train going nowhere, is doing it with no announcements! Now very late! /// You can be as surprised as you like. We were told it was cleared, then left sitting there for almost 40 minutes. /// Clapham Junction is the UK's busiest and most uninformative station. You could start by getting someone who can actually talk English to make some announcements. /// Once again on platforms 5 and 6 the electronic information is knackered. Why is this happening all the time? /// You need to get the boards fixed/updated at Vauxhall station. It's showing the wrong trains. /// Any news on when the platform 2 information board will be fixed at Earlsfield on the London end? Asked before but did not get a reply. Has been dead for a couple of weeks. Can we have it back with real times rather than countdown? More use in disruption.. /// Thanks to SWT this morning I ended up in Basingstoke, not Weybridge. Rubbish platform information at Clapham Junction. Then had to pay again. /// No announcements either of platform changes etc. Now late for work! /// When I'm stuck on a train going nowhere for over an hour I want information not sarcastic comments. Am I expecting too much? /// According to the platform indicator we are boarding, but no train. This is the sort of quality information put out by SWT.
Is the 16.20 going through Feltham? Driver is unclear and changing constantly. /// My wife, 2 very small children and I were turfed off at Barnes and are struggling on buses. /// Give me a full refund for the delays you've caused me. I pay too much for this ****. /// It's refreshing to hear of services on time...the SWT ones never seem to be. Both late again today. /// 1.5hrs to move five miles. And your omnishambolic incompetence has ground the buses to a halt. /// Just want to get home! Why all the delays on the Weymouth bound trains????? /// Are you planning to sort out tonight's mess anytime soon? 30 min delay and counting... /// I stand at Wandsworth wondering what I have done to anger the universe so much that you refuse to get me home on a Friday, again. /// So delays this morning, delays tonight. But tonight, you mix it up with no information on your boards. Oh, you spoil us. /// What’s going on at Basingstoke? There’s about 500 people on the platform to get the next train to London. Cracking service again. /// Other trains are formed of 4 carriages. Common sense should tell you that your managers didn't plan very well! Matches at Twickenham happen often enough... Disappearing trains - most recent delayed train to Virginia Water cancelled out of nowhere due to 'missing member of staff'... /// Train to London Waterloo. Due at Isleworth station at 20.39, but left at 20.38. It's the only train in an hour. ARE YOU GONNA CURE ME FROM MY INEVITABLE COLD IN THIS LONELY HOUR I WILL SPEND? /// Got train at Clapham Junction at 22.39 going to Havant, set alarm, fell asleep, train diverted! Godalming-Havant Taxi = £120. /// What are we supposed to do now the 18.09 Reading-Waterloo isn't stopping anywhere between Staines and Clapham. Why??? /// Please advise why trains are running fast from Staines to Waterloo and not stopping at major interchange of Clapham Junction. /// It would be remarkably gratifying to know why it will take so long to get home. Could you help? /// Sadly the train manager thinks differently and has told us the train terminates at Ascot and we’ll need to wait for the next. /// Hour’s delay, police on platforms, very angry and screaming customers, attendants blowing whistles at everyone.. [Second caller: We feel your pain further down the line.] /// Are you sure about the information you are giving out? All wrong so far. /// I’ve just pulled out of Egham going to Waterloo, will I stop at Twickenham? All the signs are saying different things. /// I've been moved from platform 4 about 4 times since 17:09. Not impressed. /// Why are the fast trains from Richmond to Waterloo not stopping at Richmond and slow trains heavily delayed? No one to ask here... /// I've never seen anything handled so badly!! Police and everything! Stuck at shitty Ascot in the freezing cold. /// If I get frostbite and have to amputate my toes I will be writing a strongly worded letter. /// What's going on with the delays at Reading to Waterloo? Shockingly incorrect information being given over the tannoy yet again.. No, no one can get to the train because of overcrowding. [Second caller: Agree. Absolute joke. Moved platforms constantly. Anyone here know what they are doing?] /// What's your compensation policy? Shocking service on Reading line to Clapham Junction this evening. How can you justify running 4 coach trains at rush hour on a route that only runs every 30 mins!!! Why do so many of your trains always have faults?!!?! The amount we spend on tickets you think you'd look after them better. /// A completely empty SWT train just went through, wouldn't have taken long to stop... /// Late again to Virginia Water. The exception is when you are on time. Shocking. /// It’s every day Monday to Thursday. My morning and evening trains have been delayed for the past 3 weeks. /// Staines to Bracknell. About to be thrown off the 17.35 from Waterloo now. Been late to work and home for 2 weeks now, think I deserve a refund...! /// It’s rare your trains are not delayed. I really don't feel my monthly ticket is worth the amount I pay.... /// So will you pay for taxis? The service is over an hour late! /// Can you incompetent morons not make anything actually run on time? /// Wonder if the trains would run on time if SWT had to refund people's tickets every time there’s a delay. Getting sick of daily delays.. /// On yet another delayed train (8 minutes) and not a single word of apology from guard!! You really are the worst rail company in the UK!!!! /// Beyond a joke; another day, another delay. I am so sick of hearing "I'm sorry..... Enter multiple excuse here." You’re not, you’re useless. /// Thanks SWT. I always like being stood on a platform for 45 minutes. /// How am I meant to get from Syon Lane to Clapham when they are all running fast? Cold platform!? Not fun! SWT? Joke. Never does a train arrive on time. /// You could help me by having trains that run on time. Every day I have commuted into Waterloo for past two weeks trains have been late. /// I've caught 5 trains between Wokingham and Reading this week. 5 out of 5 have been late. /// SWT running their usual joke service! You guys planning on running a service to Farnborough Main!?? Two trains now gone to Guildford. Got 1st train from Waterloo ended up in Guildford, went back to Woking, tried another train to Farnborough and ended up in Guildford again. /// My train is so delayed that now you’re not going to stop at my station. I need to wait another 20 minutes to see if the next one might. /// It's official, my 8.01 St Margaret’s to Wimbledon has been late EVERY day this week. /// The departure board at Wraysbury states a 7:02am departure, why do you now depart at 7:01am or earlier? /// What the hell is wrong with you lot? Loads of space on train today yet you only hold doors open 10secs. About 50 couldn't get on. Train at about 8.30 from Earlsfield to London. Just general observation. You have room but don’t give time to pack people on. Everyday. /// Is this some sort of sick joke? £40 to sit on the floor outside a toilet? Who do I contact for a refund? /// Any reason why trains are ALWAYS delayed at Chertsey train station? /// Why did the 8:48 from Southampton depart early? Confused people left on the platform having missed a train they were on time for! It left at 08:46. Luckily I was on the train after the guard blew the whistle at 08:45:30 though others were left on the platform. /// So tired of delayed journeys on SWT, 3rd time this week! No rain, snow, ice or winds today either. /// Delay into Waterloo from Walton-on-Thames. Missed connection to Brentford. Boarded Hounslow service to sit at Queenstown Rd for 20 minutes. That’s SWT every time!! /// Not having a great run at the moment...delays again in and out of Waterloo. Seems to be something almost every day the last weeks. /// Just lately, the service has been appalling. Delays nearly every peak time train I take. /// I have screen shots of the National Rail app which confirm the 08.05 and 08.20 left at 08.04 & 08.19 respectively. /// The 8:25 to Weybridge from Virginia Water is late for the fifth day in a row... /// It's official, my 8.01 St Margaret’s to Wimbledon has been late EVERY day this week. Nice work. /// When can I expect my money back for yet another failed service? /// Why would the 2055 New Malden to Waterloo show as on time on the board and yet leave before 2054? Surely not allowed? Dreadful. /// Expect an invoice. Your delayed trains just decide en-route not to stop at Parkstone so I have to get a cab each time. Hopeless. /// Is there another reason why yet again we are trundling at a snail’s pace? /// Covering selves in glory today. Screens not working, train overshot station, gone backwards, stopped. No idea what's happening. No announcements about what was happening. /// Engineering works adding an hour and a half to my journey that's already three hours. Cheers, SWT. /// Third journey home in a week that has had major delays from Waterloo. Please can you tell me why and how you justify it? /// Signal failure, person taken ill, broken train, every excuse under the sun for usual poor service. /// Why at the drop of a hat do the Dorking trains get cancelled? I miss my onward train. 40 minutes delay. How do I get a refund? /// Minimal delay? Been on train 23 minutes and it just went past my station. Well done. But you actually don't care. Focus on price increases hey..... /// More SWT problems at Wimbledon. I wonder why they bother turning up to work sometimes. /// I've been late every day for weeks. /// The 'signalling issue' is it went the wrong way from Whitton and we ended up at Feltham. Never thought a train could get lost! /// First day on a new job and you're going to make me look very bad. Where are trains at Hampton Wick? /// It's Monday - obviously the overpriced SWT train I want is cancelled. /// Train just passed platform 5 at Wimbledon empty. It was scheduled on clock. [Indifferent response: We have some trains running non-stop this morning. These may pass through the platform but won't show on the boards.] This one showed on the board. 2 minutes, 1 minute, due, then *poof* gone. /// So clearly the 07:24 to Waterloo didn't need to stop at Worcester Park. Thanks for not letting anybody know. /// Stuck on a broken down train at Barnes Bridge. Good work again SWT. /// Next time please let passengers know you’re not going to stop at a station before you close the doors and leave the platform. Exactly the same thing happened to me last week resulting in a 1.5 hour walk home. /// Why DO SWT have a timetable? Dignify me with an answer for once. You're always late every night without fail and it's ridiculous. /// The 16.49 train left Virginia Water early so everyone trying to change from Weybridge missed it. [Response: It is showing as leaving on time on the reporting system. How early did it go?] It was leaving as we disembarked and we were on time. 16.47. /// It really wouldn't be a normal Tuesday unless there were delays. Come on SWT. Don't let me down again and again and again and again... /// Thanks for cancelling trains at Clapham Junction that left Waterloo, so you could catch up. My train went past but didn't stop. /// Will we be going for the hat trick of disturbances tomorrow evening on the slow Woking train? Second time this week my train goes straight to Waterloo from Kingston?!!! Service is disgusting!!! /// Due to not announcing a cancelled service to Totton I now have to wait an hour for the next one! I was on the 14.05 from Waterloo and needed to get to Totton so changed at Southampton as I normally do. There was no announcement on the 14.05 that the train which stops at Totton on platform 3 had been cancelled so the 14.05 would stop there instead. I wasn't made aware of this until I got to platform 3 and saw on the screen it was cancelled. By this time the 14.05 had left, leaving me no option but now to wait for an hour til the next train stops at Totton. I spoke to the supervisor in charge but he said there was nothing he could do but fill out a complaints form. As a regular commuter I find it ridiculous that nothing was announced by the guard on the train before. /// 3.03pm from Woking!! I have a connection at Wimbledon that I might miss! Had to get off at Surbiton! /// What's really going on between Wimbledon and Clapham??? EVERYDAY on this bit of track we've been delayed for past week. /// OK, so I had a **** train journey yesterday now my train is delayed 10 minutes today. /// On top of the evening troubles this week, your company is consistently adding 20-30 minutes a day into my journey. Not good. /// So there was no reason for my late departure? The one that cost me £10 in a taxi? /// Sorry for the delay today? or yesterday? or last week? or maybe last month? It always happens, it never stops. I just don't understand how you can all get it so, so wrong. Staff are the most rude and least understanding I've ever come across. I attempted to get the 16:58 from Cosham to Fratton which was delayed. The man in the ticket booth was rude and lacked information. /// Thanks for letting me freeze to death at Portchester saying the 18.50 was delayed, then arriving but actually doesn't stop!!!! /// Been waiting at Cosham station for a good 45 minutes and now I've got to wait another 23 minutes to get to Portsmouth?! /// Please explain why SWT decide to not run stopping portion of the 16.35 ex-Waterloo service from Southampton Central. Just run fast to Bournemouth. [Response (the end of which is manifestly untrue): Any delay is unacceptable, however it is a balancing act and when we run trains fast, we usually stop another train to compensate.] /// Today was a crazy day, spent around 1:30hr stuck on a train in various places with zero information. /// We're in the middle of nowhere, we've no idea how to get home because your trains are broken yet again!! /// Thanks for another £40 cab fare because your trains are late again! [Response: I am sorry for this, you can refer this to Customer Relations here .] But they never reply! [Response: I can chase your complaint if you like for you?] What's the point? It's all broken promises? Where's the wifi that was promised by September 2013? Where's the new cycle policy? /// So Southampton staff say the next train goes to Totton, when the train finally gets in they change their mind. Cheers SWT, great communication! Better communication would help, guard had no idea what was happening, frustrating having to wait an extra hour to get home! /// Train missed my stop at Ashurst this evening, and then they cancelled the next one back from Southampton! /// Your 17:32 and 17:42 trains from Fratton to Portsmouth Harbour are delayed nearly every day. /// 1st train cancelled. 2nd cancelled. 3rd delayed and terminated. An hour to wait at Basingstoke. /// I was on 14:46 from Clapham Junction. Missed 15:38 from Basingstoke to Overton. Good job I'd made other arrangements for my kids. /// 1 hour and 35 minutes to get from Winchester to Southampton Central and missed 2 connecting trains, cheers for messing up my afternoon SWT. /// Another morning of cancellations! Sat on a platform yet again. Third time this week there's been a delay of 20 minutes from Waterloo. Useless. Bloody SWT! Just part of the pitiful service I have come to expect from them. All I ever get is "sorry". I never get an on-time service, I rarely get a guard who cares for the safety of passengers. My daily commute takes an hour longer than it should because of you. I spend £50 a month on taxis, because of you. Pitiful. You cancel my entire service when there might be bad weather. All this for about £4,000 a year. Bring back British Rail. /// If there is one culprit for crushing my 'Friday feeling' it is you. /// Bloody SWT! Train 15 minutes late and then sailed straight past Putney. Had to go to Waterloo and come back. /// 07.22 Putney-Waterloo sped through, never stopped. What is going on? No announcements made… We're on our way from Putney to Mortlake now - with 20 minutes delay to a 5 minute journey. /// We are on the 20.27 (rescheduled 20.36) to Kingston, but it’s not stopping at any stations. There were no announcements in train and people were panicking. /// Got pushed off my train in Richmond... What happened to the organisation! [Response: Hi, what’s happened?] What happened to extra services because of rugby, I got manhandled, pushed off the train at Richmond.. That's caused me so much inconvenience and I am very upset and angry with it... [Response: I appreciate that, so please contact our Customer Relations so they can look into it.] But that isn’t going to change the fact that my kids had to wait for me to pick them up in the cold... /// Huge thanks to SWT for changing the destination of the 20.14 from Vauxhall without telling anyone on the platform. Got the train at Vauxhall which was on the board as for Richmond. After Clapham it changed to Aldershot I think. Had to get off at Staines and rush over the platform to get a train back to Twickenham. /// Please keep the doors open so people can get on the train.. This is more important than time stats. /// Late again this morning, I truly have no idea why you publish a timetable. Guidelines at best. /// 06.20 Waterloo-Woking. This train hasn't been on time for weeks. It’s the same story every day. Delayed trains. I pay £35 a week. Any chance of refund?! /// Just got a cancellation e’mail. Not looking good. How do I get a refund ? Most days there is a problem. /// 19.37 Weybridge-Waterloo via Hounslow left early whilst somebody was trying to get on. Looked very dangerous. Doors locked early. I'd like to report the guard for making a dangerous departure. /// Another journey home ruined by SWT - why was the 17.50 Vauxhall to Chessington South only 4 coaches? No warning given. I couldn't get on. /// Another lost service, no apology or excuse - second night in a row to Portsmouth. /// Trains from Chertsey to Weybridge late, now from Weybridge to Waterloo cancelled. /// The reliability of SWT kills my good mood every day. Shameful this Autumn. [Second caller: Exactly. It's the fact that you do not seem to learn from mistakes. Always lacking a Plan B.] /// Delayed train this morning, delayed train this evening. Simple really, you are FAILING your thousands of customers a day. /// Why is the Stoneleigh service always late? A £4 refund hardly makes up for a late service every single day! /// SWT are ****. 1709 delayed till 1720. Told after waiting 10 minutes that it won't stop at Ash. Next one 1744. /// I was stuck on one of your trains for 2 hours 30 minutes today which hugely inconvenienced my day. Please let me know what you’re going to do? /// Do we get compensation for being stuck on your train outside Putney this morning? Lost a morning of work. /// Have now passed the three hour mark on this commute and still stuck on a powerless service. Record certain to be shattered. /// Thanks SWT and your faulty trains...now for at least an hour’s wait in Havant. /// Late again three nights running, no apology. /// Urgh, freezing stranded in middle of nowhere because SWT can’t seem to do anything on time and send me different ways home. /// When will it be sorted? It’s freezing, I have no idea how or when I‘ll even get home and have a ton of luggage...on my own! Crazy! /// My train to Waterloo is now delayed by 1 hour please advise on ticket refund process. /// Stuck at Eastleigh now for 40 minutes and missed my lift from Winchester. Where do I claim for the taxi to work? /// If you could pay for the cost of having to get the Tube twice because I'm too late to be able to walk to work, that'd be swell. /// Please explain why you've taken loads of my money so I can wait in the wet for an unknown amount of time for one of your trains? /// I wanted the 6:48 from Winchester, but ended up getting the 6:55 at 7:15. Late 3 times out of 4 this week. /// Once again, what a joke not running a full service and then putting on a 4-carriage train in peak time! /// 8.12 Basingstoke listed as calling at Surbiton. Sat on it for 20 minutes waiting for departure before being told it was no longer calling at Surbiton. [Second caller: You did the same thing to the Alton service before it. I was sat on both. We don't all work in Woking!!] /// Thanks. So I must have just imagined the incredibly slow journey and late arrival. /// Due to your issues I once again missed the Weybridge-Virginia Water connection. 9 nights in a row.. How do you explain this? /// What’s wrong with the Reading line trains this evening, and is any train actually going to be on time this week? /// Your delays have now cost me £99 in taxis. Will you be refunding this? /// 20 minutes to move clear of a platform at Waterloo?! I have things to do! /// 8.19 was horribly overcrowded too. Must have been the 8.08 cancelled. The service is so frustrating. /// I think I have seen what has happened. It results in a packed train, angry commuters and people just fed up. /// Your 16.33 to Poole just left over a minute early. People missed it. Your platform staff blew the whistle. Why? /// So how can we get from Egham to Feltham (with a bike)? I was told I can’t bring my bike on the replacement bus. [Unhelpful response: This is up to the bus driver's discretion I'm afraid, would you be able to cycle to Staines at all?] … Cycled to Staines and I was told you can't bring bikes on train. I'm fed up with this. [I believe you have just hit the evening peak and bikes aren't allowed I'm afraid.] /// Just had to spend £30 on a ticket home for the weekend from Egham to Reading and now my journey is an hour longer than it should be. /// Travel all week on SWT – delay. Use train Saturday, delayed as well - do you ever run on time? /// Hardly any trains running and the guard shuts the doors 50 seconds before the train is due to leave! Missed connecting train now! /// Why cancel the LAST train from Wraysbury to London Waterloo? Do you not think that people have work to go to? [Unconcerned response: It's because of a broken down train. It was necessary in order to recover services.] /// Thanks for the hour long snail crawl from Twickenham to Vauxhall this morning. I'm half hour late and very angry. /// And so it goes on and on. No change this week. Still rubbish service from Dorking. /// Would like to get to work at some point today... /// Morning. Another Monday. Another SWT implosion. Practice makes perfect and they're very good at it now. /// Why is it that practically every single SWT service I've got the last few weeks has been delayed? Morning, evening and weekend. /// Another 4-coach train during rush hour!!! Worst service in the world. Your service from Reading to Waterloo is a sham. /// For the fifth journey in a row, the 0834 train leaving Motspur Park is over 5 minutes late. /// 07.37 from London Road left 2.5 minutes early. Here with 6 others. First time using train in months. What are you playing at? /// Was late 4 out of 5 days last week due to train delays and cancellations. Now today too! /// I just love getting up early for my trains to be delayed EVERY DAY! How can the train companies charge so much to ruin my life? /// Short formation on the two busiest peak Surbiton-Waterloo trains this morning. /// At least 7/10 journeys I have to take with you are delayed somehow! /// It's genuinely upsetting that I spend 20% of my wages on train travel which no matter how early I leave is always delayed. /// I have had to go to Southampton and catch another train and once again will be late for work courtesy of SWT. /// Certain delays are understandable, the blasé delays with no explanation are all too common presently. /// Can the 16.29 from Chertsey to Weybridge ever come on time? Another 30 minute wait for the 11th day in a row. /// Absolutely appalling service with SWT. Has not run to timetable once in the last 2 weeks. /// Southampton to London Waterloo train is absolutely packed. People are standing in the aisle and the quiet zone is non-existent. /// I was on the 08:07 from Guildford to Waterloo today when it overshot Claygate. /// So you're saying you deliberately miss stops to make up time so you avoid paying a penalty for running late? [Honest response for once: Done to stop delays on future services coaches will form, when they don't have a long changeover time to absorb delay.]
COMPLAINT: You've charged me £100 for 2 days travel (usual daily ticket £20) as I was getting a refund for a monthly ticket! /// Just bought a 1st class ticket and there's no first class carriage on this train. How come no rebates/discounts on my monthly after last month’s service? Full price is a bit much. I asked at the counter but all I got was a head shake. /// Penalty fine for not having ID with weekly travelcard. Great service for an actual paying customer on a substandard service. [Response: You are required to carry a photocard to make your travelcard valid.] And you are required to run trains on time. However, sometimes we both make mistakes. /// First ticket at 11.14am giving me 28 days to pay. Followed by car being clamped at 1.04pm. I have appealed and asked them to call on numerous occasions. Their staff are rude, unprofessional, and hang up! /// Well done SWT at Brookwood for charging my son full fare despite having a valid Surrey Council student fare card. It was a very miserable member of your staff in the ticket office.
Bus from Clapham to Surbiton. I'm getting 3 different stories from 3 sources about which trains are replaced by buses. You need to sort out your communication. One of your bus drivers hadn't changed the destination on the bus so took us to the wrong place making us miss our train. He then laughed at us when he realised he was in the wrong. /// Any idea where the bus replacing train from Strawberry hill to Clapham is? It's nearly 15 minutes late! It never showed up and now we've missed our connecting train! /// Buses due to engineering works and all roads closed due to Remembrance parades! /// How embarrassing... bus replacement service lost in Surbiton then drove through Remembrance Day road closure. /// Just so you know, the devil is driving one of your rail replacement buses tonight. [Second caller: We too had a driver on the Surbiton to Wimbledon replacement earlier who seemed to deliberately skim other vehicles.] /// Your replacement bus driver from Hampton Wick to Clapham Junction is lost and you're useless. /// I've just been asked to wait to board your 01.42 rail replacement bus even though it's sat there. It's 4 degrees outside! /// Your bus replacement service just drove straight past me!!
Why are there now 2 yellow line "bouncers" at Earlsfield? Screaming at me in the morning. Don't feel safer, just annoyed. /// He's now calling the First Class the "Rich Passengers." [Second caller: I was on this train too. Was quite offended actually.] /// You need to better train your staff at Guildford station, utterly unacceptable! /// Rang up SWT Lost Property today. Found man over phone to be quite rude and unhelpful. /// Elderly lady asked one of your guards for help off train at Clapham. He refused: 'people on platform will help'. /// This Facebook post might interest you. Have had poor service from this person before at Andover station. /// Who manages passengers getting in trains on match days at Twickenham station? It's a shambles. /// Still at Clapham Junction with train fault. Guard shouted at me when I asked if we would be moving soon: “I’ve been on night shift”. Also do not like being shouted at when I ask a civil question. /// Could you explain why my ticket was checked by a security guard and not by a member of station staff? [Response: Some security guards employed by SWT can do this.] /// Platform 13 at Clapham Junction - one of the platform people just shouted very aggressively at a child. Not cool. It was shocking behaviour. There were 3 guards(?) on the station platform. It was the bald one. The other two thought it was funny. They had called that the train was about to leave, stand away from the doors. A boy in school uniform aged about 12 then ran onto the platform and pressed the door button. The guard was a few feet away and shouted seemingly as loud as he could at the boy, who then looked like he was about to cry. I was carrying my baby and she jumped and started crying. I approached one of the other guards and said that wasn’t OK way to behave. He just shrugged while still smiling. I didn't see anyone else say anything, but people were clearly shocked. /// Disappointed that SWT’s ticket inspectors are not observing the two minute silence. /// Let's face it, SWT are ****. I wonder how they have a business. They rip us off then don't provide the service. SWT is so slow when serving customers I have no choice other than to get on the train and find the ticket man who then interrogates me like a criminal. /// What’s the e’mail address for complaining about one of your 'agency' staff at Vauxhall? /// When have passengers been banned from getting on or off via the first class door at stations then moving through the train? Guard of the 16.25 London-Alton, stopping passengers doing this, leading to overcrowding on this service. /// Sort out your staff at Raynes Park. Unbelievably rude and gave me the wrong ticket. /// Why is it that people shout 'Can you move down the carriage please' in such a rude and confrontational manner on your trains? /// Nice to hear SWT’s staff freely (and loudly) bitching about passengers with the guard on their free ride home! /// Guy working at ticket office at Raynes Park station this morning, 18th November, very rude and seemingly unable to do his job. /// I'm at Weybridge station and one of your staff (with ticket machine) just refused to sell me the extension I need for my journey. /// Good work by SWT to close all but one of the Fratton station entrances, had to go the long way round and missed my train. All the shutters are down apart from the front entrance and the staff are all stood around chatting. /// Your "revenue protection" officer was very unpleasant at Waterloo this morning after I accidentally lost my ticket. Not happy.... /// Don't bother getting a train. Just asked SWT staff at Vauxhall who referred me to a far more intelligent whiteboard. /// Constructive advice - when there are delays, don't compound them by making people queue to have tickets checked. This is not only making everyone even later; it is done with zero charm and everybody is **** off already. The service costs a fortune after all. /// Joke!!! Once again a 4-coach train, no announcement, guard blowing whistle straight after it arrives. /// Not impressed with my friend being called a liar today by Waterloo staff when complaining about being miss-sold a ticket. /// What do guards do? I fell over near the platform and train and the 'guard' did nothing. I spend so much money to be treated badly. /// Such rude staff in the ticket office at Waterloo! They really need to drop the attitude. /// May I congratulate [name] at Portsmouth & Southsea for being the rudest, most incompetent member of staff at SWT. /// Yet another poor experience from SWT this morning. You might want to consider some customer service training. /// More delays from SWT. All of the "passenger assistants" scuttled to the office, leaving nobody to help customers. /// You may want to inform your Basingstoke staff to be more polite and helpful when people ask! He was laid back in his chair with his boots on the desk twiddling his radio! /// Had just about enough of SWT. Another rude train guard on 16.48 from Branksome to Southampton. Please? Thank you? Are these staff trained. Think they forget we're customers. /// Surprised that some SWT workers seem to enjoy being spiteful towards passengers, when their job involves dealing with people. The guy didn't have a clue, he was quite useless if I'm honest. /// Why is everyone that works for SWT so unreasonable? Got told off by SWT man for patiently waiting to be let through barrier while carrying a 5kg bag of cat food, and shopping bags. I didn’t want to drop anything/lose my ticket. I wasn't demanding, just stood waiting. Another lady was huffing next to me though.
I tapped in at Isleworth only to find my train has been cancelled. How do I get refunded for the £8 it took at the station? /// When will the boards at Malden Manor be fixed? It's been over a week now... /// Can SWT look after Kingston train station please? When it rains the roof leaks, puddles form in walk areas, slippery. Same for years. /// When are they going to put more ticket machines in at Wokingham? Almost missed my train today due to no staff. Wokingham station now has less parking spaces, less ticket facilities, no coffee shop, and only one access/exit. Progress? /// There was a lot of confusion as to which trains were stopping on platform 9 and which weren't. Very unsafe. /// Unreasonable to expect, when you pay 20p to use a toilet in the Wokingham station, there would be at least a mirror to do your makeup? /// Ticketing chaos again at Wokingham. No clerks. Queue for machines through the door. 0823 for London arrives. /// Last minute re-platforming causing problems at Surbiton. 15:39 moved to platform 2. Auto annoucement OK but CIS screens didn't update. /// At Wandsworth Town there is an advert for South Thames College where the timetable used to be! /// I am furious! Just waited at Claygate for 15 minutes to get ticket. Slowest service ever in front. Had to run for Waterloo train without ticket. /// Platform 8 at Vauxhall is the most dangerous it ever has been. Platform heaving and non-stopping trains hurtling past. /// Earlier two teen girls used emergency call line on platform at Ashford and no one answered. Good job was only their phone on track? /// Many of the exit barriers not working properly. Guard at gate either doesn't care or has been told not to do anything to help. /// Standing under CCTV now .. Should have gone to Guildford. Camberley is terrifying. No SWT employee in sight. /// Any chance of making all the clocks on information boards at Wokingham say the same time so I don't miss trains? All 3 are different! if you try and keep warm in ticket hall on platform 1, you can see the clock on platform 2, which is slow, and end up madly dashing across bridge. /// The new station at Wokingham has been open only a couple of weeks, and already the automatic doors are broken. /// The ticket office at Earley is closed at the busiest time of the week. /// Parking at Ewell West is a disgrace. Not enough spaces due to platform extension that was meant to finish September! /// Any chance of repairing the departure board on platform 1 at Winchester anytime soon? It’s been broken for weeks and is annoying commuters. /// Fleet station dangerous this a.m. Steps, platform and bridge very slippery with nothing being gritted. People sliding on ice. /// 7.24 and no one at your counter. Same yesterday; and most days. 1 machine down! Long queue. Anyone would think it was rush hour! /// Station toilet cleanliness is a disgrace at Poole station, where they've got rid of ALL the cleaners to save money. /// Do you think it is reasonable to give someone a parking ticket then 2 hours later clamp the car in your long stay car park and then charge £365 to get it removed? [Devious response: This is dealt with by a contractor company, would you like their details?] Yes, I know. They are called CP Plus and have a very unorthodox way of dealing with people. They do not make you look good. [Response: What actually happened when you dealt with them? I can feed this back to the team and sorry for the bad experience.] They were rude, hung up on me several times and were very evasive when I challenged the legality of what they have done. They are on very shaky ground and know it and use intimidation to force people to pay over inflated charges. [Second caller: It's pretty poor of SWT to let such overzealous / aggressive contractors continue to operate.] CP Plus sign half missing and hidden in bushes. Say they give 28 days for penalty fee to be paid but clamp in 2 hours?! I wonder if all the cash CP Plus get for the unclamping is declared to HMRC. I also wonder if SWT are proud of using CP Plus' services of aggression, intimidation and coercion. /// Please could you fix the information screen at the London end of platform 2 at Earlsfield? Only other screen obstructed by scaffolding. /// This is just dangerous, so many people crammed onto the platform about to slip onto the track. /// Toilets at Surbiton disgusting tonight. Who should sort? /// It is a good idea to let waiting passengers board trains before closing doors. Just saw door closed on Guildford passenger.
1st class in this coach is awful. No doors and very, very loud rattling from the ceiling. 07.52 from Fleet, rear section. /// I'm on a Reading train and the heating is way too high- help! /// The late 0714 from Alton is full to the brim. The heating is on full, it's an oven. Turn it down or off. /// Do SWT have a policy not to let paying customers in the loo after nightfall or is it just coincidence they are always 'out of order'. /// 7.23 from Wokingham to Waterloo. Why do you feel the need to blast out air conditioning when is cold anyway. Shivering all journey. /// 10 carriage train, not a single working, clean, toilet on the whole train. This is just not good enough. /// Oh great - only one working lavatory in the next 60 minutes on SWT. /// How do SWT manage such a binary temperature control on their trains? It's almost a skill in itself. Credit goes to Siemens too. [Response: I understand they are programmed to provide the most comfortable climate for passengers.] Maybe on average, but that's likely an average formed of Baltic air conditioning and Sub-Saharan heating. /// 16.42 Waterloo to Exeter St David’s - doors to second 1st class carriage keep opening and closing. Can't guard do anything? /// Great day out in London yesterday, shame about the freezing SWT train. /// Travelled on multiple trains now where there's been no heating, you know it's cold when you can see your breath inside. /// On the 16.28 Fareham to Basingstoke and the motors under the 6th carriage sound like they've been swapped with a bag of spanners. /// Is the 17.09 to Portsmouth via Basingstoke usually 5 carriages? Must remember to avoid it as it's full and standing, and not a pleasant journey home! /// No toilets working and a taped-up smashed window on the 20.39 Waterloo-Southampton. Keep up the good work SWT. Well worth the thousands we are forced into paying every year. /// 17:30 Waterloo to Portsmouth. Dangerously overcrowded with passengers’ tempers being pushed to the limit. /// Not a very enjoyable trip back to Botley. Carriage in darkness and no apology for it, or for the delay. /// The 08.43 from Whitchurch this morning had the bicycle parking carriage blocked with a bin! /// Why is it that the toilets on Waterloo to Basingstoke have been out of action 4 out of 5 nights this week? /// Did the wifi on SWT get implemented by Sept 13 as promised in the Webchat? [Response: I will find out for you and get back to you, thank you.] [Second caller: "No" would be the answer you are searching for. It likely wouldn't work anyway, same as doors, signals...and guards.] /// Any compensation claim links please? Sitting on train with 1 year old and 4 toilets - 3 locked, blocked or no lighting! It's a joke. /// On one of your trains from Waterloo to Gillingham in an overcrowded carriage with no lights. £50 for this service.. shocking…. It was the 18.42 from London Waterloo to Gillingham (Dorset) which will take 40mins longer than usual to arrive as well. Refund?! I will look into it. I can imagine it being easier to get blood out of a stone though. /// 7.10 from Shepperton is filthy, full of last night's rubbish. Definitely hasn't been cleaned. /// Look at the state of the train I am having to sit in. Filthy dirty. Why are all your carriages dirty?!?! Do they not get cleaned? /// Poor service today. 08 01 from Axminster had no trolley and no toilets. No excuse. [Response: We were not made aware of any catering shortages on that route from our caterer either.] Check with crew. Both lack of toilets and catering was announced over the PA. /// The 18:35 Waterloo to Weymouth is sooooo cold, my hands, feet, knees and scalp hurt and I'm wrapped up in outdoor clothes! /// On the 1933 to Guildford via Cobham. Around the middle of the train. We're all sitting with hats and gloves on. /// Train skidded past the platform, only on SWT. Toilet in carriage 74123 overflowing and in an appalling state. /// Could you please turn off the air conditioning on the 18:35 train to Weymouth. I'm sure you don't need reminding it's FREEZING. /// No heat again on the 7.02 Dorking to Waterloo. Now we are not just like meat packed in tight but frozen meat. /// £400 a month for this!! You may want to check Shoveller's spread sheets. What is the exact figure regarding profits from not using the heating? /// Shame you can’t clean your trains. 09.39 Waterloo to Poole is filthy. I could lick it and get a three course meal (and some diseases)!! /// Unless you want to pay for me to have a hearing aid can you please tell your employees to speak quieter over the speaker. /// Is there any need for train heating to be set so high when it is 7 degrees C outside? Packed/boiling hot Waterloo to Alton train. /// Really don’t care if they break. I’m still going to hold the doors open so more than 5 people can get on. /// It would have been really, really cool if you had opened the doors in my carriage at my stop. Maybe next time. /// I'm really interested to hear why you see fit to disable all the toilets on your trains in the evening! Why?? [Unhelpful response: Some of the toilets on our services require the maintenance team to tend to them as they are faulty so this puts them out of service.] /// From Weymouth to Southampton, the train had no toilets. What would a pregnant lady do or someone with a weak bladder?! /// Why are your trains so hot in winter? A hot train causes a bigger shock getting off and breeds germs. Could you reconsider? It's uncomfortably hot.
It is appalling that we have to pay these extortionate fares for your appalling service. For the past 12 months the delays have been getting worse. Constant signal failures, overrunning engineering works. Cancelled trains. /// EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL MY TRAIN IS DELAYED AND I MISS THE CONNECTION. SORT IT OUT. /// Words cannot begin to describe how much I despise SWT. /// Couldn't give a **** about their customers. /// Would like to thank SWT for their excellent service. Not. /// The service in 2013 has been the worst I've known in the last 14 years. /// ALWAYS late. As ever, no real apology given, no attempt to make amends with the customers you treat like ****. Your service is a joke. /// I can't remember when you weren't affected by poor railhead conditions, you struggle to run a service on a warm summer day too. /// Constant train delays, you are an absolute joke. /// YOU PROVIDE THE WORST, MOST UNRELIABLE, OVER-PRICED SERVICE IN THE GALAXY. IF I HAD ANY CHOICE I WOULD NEVER RIDE YOUR TRAINS AGAIN. /// There are no words to describe how difficult you make my life. You make me late every single day...PLEASE do something about it. /// Hot packed train, tiny seats, high prices. Just the usual. /// You are a joke. Will you be refunding the price of my ticket? Please have the honour to resign your franchise. /// Always best to travel by car if you possibly can. /// Why plan work on the weekend before Christmas? Customer notification irrelevant - would you change if we protest? Do you consult in advance? No. /// Your service today has been appalling. Wrong information, incorrect and misleading advice. Indefensible don't care attitude by staff. /// How long have SWT been running trains now?? You still can't operate them on time... Your “sorry” is an insult. /// With the constant delays and generally poor service can you hand the franchise back to allow someone to run it properly?
Is the lost property office manned by phone? Been trying all morning to get through and no one answers. /// I sent a complaint over a month ago and still haven't had any acknowledgment. /// Still absolutely no response from SWT lost property department. Absolute disgrace! Lost property file was logged 2 weeks ago. /// Does anyone actually work at your lost property department? It has been two weeks and they still haven't picked up my calls. /// I am appalled at the service I have just been given at Norbiton station and on your customer service line. Angry doesn't cover it. Went to the station to pick up my booking, where it said there was no booking confirmation. The woman at the station wasn't helpful, asked for loads of help and she eventually responded with, "Looks like you won't be travelling then". I finally rang up your customer services for help and they continued to not listen to me and then they hung up on me... /// Why do I have to wait until after 12 before I can buy a week’s extension on my monthly season ticket? /// Extremely disappointed by the awful service I received at Guildford ticket office today, refusing to sell me a valid ticket. /// Is Lost and Found closed today? Rang 3 times over the space of the morning and it’s just ringing out. /// Do you think you could either fix the Season Tickets section of your site, or remove it? It's not worked for months. /// 5th time contacting you regarding a complaint 4/08. Really hoping it gets sorted today or I’ll be going to the financial ombudsman. Can you arrange for someone to call me today? I refuse to pay 10p/minute for the 6th time to sort your mess out!! About an hour ago I wasted another few pounds phoning customer relations. /// I am in London for 2 days and left my suitcase of clothes on the 19:52 train from Waterloo to Weybridge last night. An impolite lady on the phone this morning said there is absolutely no way to find out IF the case was picked up for 2 days. Her response when asked what I should do with no clean clothes or toothbrush etc, she responded 'fill in the form online'. I can't believe there is no way to track if the guard logged a suitcase found at the end of the route on yesterday's journey. /// Left a bag with three presents inside on the 8:37 Richmond train yesterday. Can't get through to lost property. [Response: Lost property are only open Monday - Friday I'm afraid. You can report it online.] /// I called non-stop yesterday but no one ever answered the phone!! /// Tried to buy a season ticket for next year today. Not allowed by staff until Dec 22nd - why? /// I've sent you 3 tweets and I get no reply. Your customer service is very selective. /// You also have the worst customer services department I have ever encountered anywhere on earth. It is astoundingly inept. I sent an e’mail on 19 November, and got a response 23 December to say someone had picked up the case. /// How do I escalate if I'm not happy with customer services? I’ve asked this 6 times and have been ignored each time.
I applaud SWT for departing 1 minute before required, and for guard allowing doors to shut in my face while struggling with crutches!. The next train was late and another passenger helped. Not exactly flush with seats at Ewell West either. /// How about you teach your customer assistance to ASK if help is needed before grabbing hold of wheelchair? Replacement bus service, so assistance people said taxi would be booked but guys here know nothing about it. The guy came back to tell me he couldn't find anything out and he had to go now, then walked off. /// I understand you need to run your trains on time but the attitude of your conductor on the 16.48 at Ashtead was not acceptable. He announced we should use multiple doors and should board the train quicker. I have a bad knee and one of us a bad hip.
Is the 19:18 service from Vauxhall to Shepperton calling at Sunbury? App says no but some notices say yes?? /// Disgusting that there's no one at Waterloo to say what's going on and what sort of time we might get home frankly appalling service with passengers being lied to and not given any correct information. /// So 35 minutes on train and not at Clapham Junction yet. Journey to Guildford should be fun. /// Do you self-report when you're in violation of the charter standard for reply time? Or are you not accountable? [Second caller: I'm waiting for a response too, nearly a month. Backlog of complaints no doubt. Customer service clearly a priority.] /// Very unhappy after leaving Waterloo to then sit at Vauxhall for nearly 2 hours!! How do I get a refund? Parking ticket runs out too? /// Disgusting that there's no one at Waterloo to say what's going on and what sort of time we might get home. /// More than 30 minutes’ wait for a train from New Malden with no information as to why SWT services were cancelled and delayed. Will now need taxi to the other end. Never mind the guard finally found his voice after Clapham to tell us the train was late!!! It just seems never ending these days. /// Can you tell me why we were kicked off the Reading train, not knowing how to get home!!!! Not sure why we were told to get off, as the train then went with nobody on it. /// Wrong notices on the train again. Thankfully, there was a helpful guard this time. But many worried passengers.... Again. Showing next stop Woking, despite stopping at Clapham and Surbiton. Caused worry to a lot of people. Four trips with you today. Three were delayed and two had totally wrong information on the train. /// Monday morning! As usual we chug along slowly and with no explanation about running late. /// Appalling service again today from SWT. Clearly phasing out announcements and relying on customers using twitter. [Second caller: Good thing we have Twitter, otherwise we'd have no clue. SWT, you need to improve customer communication on platforms.] /// Please ask your staff at Winchester to let customers know what's happening to their train rather than banging on about car park. /// Sat on Chessington North platform waiting for delayed train and get e’mail notification saying no known disruptions! Sort your systems out! /// Advertising wrong trains on the platform at Richmond. Everyone now on the incredibly crammed stopping service. /// Why is the Hampton train to Waterloo terminating at Kingston? No announcements ... nothing. /// No warning that the 06.43 from Eastleigh to Waterloo was going to be short-formed. A lot of angry commuters stood on this train. /// Last minute platform change with no announcement. /// Board telling us that the train was boarding when there was no train. Again. /// Where are the Waterloo bound trains from Earlsfield? No information on screens or announcements. /// Have a guard who doesn't say we'll be delayed a few minutes here. That becomes half an hour. Missed connection to Paris. /// Twickenham station platform signallers/managers need to get it together. Twice in one week a platform change with no announcement. /// Every Sunday your trains give wrong carriage information when the train divides. Always where it is a 12 coach train. 12.07 to Basingstoke. It's 12 coaches but thinks it's 8 so telling everyone they are in the wrong part of the train. /// On the delayed 20.05 from Norbiton. Got on and sat for ages. Not till we moving were we told fast to Waterloo. Please stop at Wimbledon. Can't speak to guard as he's in the other half of train. Frankly your service is going from bad to bloody awful. No announcement at the station about the change either, clearly you don't give a toss about your customers. Just want our money. Tried to speak to guard on platform at Waterloo, he was rude and lied to our faces. Refused to give his name. /// Waterloo - Brentford. Why weren't we informed that trains would terminate at Clapham until it was pulling into the station? /// You guys are a joke. I'm going to be late for work again. No announcement nothing. Have to pay for taxi now. I WAS at Hampton Wick. I'm now at work thanks to Black Cab. Nothing on Twitter until the tweet I replied to popped up. /// Thanks SWT for your departure board error at Woking tonight. It’s meant my husband’s not home yet. There was an error on the 0008 platform 4 Woking. He's e’mailed a complaint - had to pay for a taxi back to Woking! /// Why is there only 4 carriages on a train to Kingston but the screen says 8? Useless! Loads of people have missed it and are stuck in the rain. Happens far too often. /// How come information on National Rail says good service currently on SWT? Sort out the feeds! Pretending all's well. /// Says 'boarding' on the screen. Boarding what exactly? [Amazing response: This is just the system setting I'm afraid - needs to say something when we give it a platform.] /// [Response: can you tell me if the information boards did not display that the train was 4 coaches instead of 8?] No, no information displayed. Hasn't been for at least a couple of weeks. /// What is going on at platform 8 at Vauxhall?? Get someone who speaks English to do the announcements if the board isn’t working anywhere!!! No trains to Kingston, Surbiton or Hampton Court. I've been waiting for an hour and a half!! /// Stood at Norbiton and absolutely no mention of the delayed 18.35 now being cancelled. It's just disappeared. /// No guards, no announcements, no community managers - what is going on? /// SWT just announced that London will be exceptionally busy during the Olympic Games! /// Explain to me why your guards advise that tickets can be bought on the train or at the destination? It's announced on 80% of journeys, then the first time I need to use it, am met by rude and argumentative staff wanting to fine me! /// As I say, Winchester were helpful because people told us what was going on. In Southampton they had no clue. /// I'm at Raynes Park station... And Olympic Games announcements are being made. Time to delete some of these I think. /// My 12.20 train to Trowbridge is cancelled, can I use my ticket on other trains even if I've booked this route only? [Totally wrong response: Please ask First Great Western as we do not run trains from Trowbridge.] /// Waiting at West Byfleet and no announcements of cancellations, the board just changes to the next train. /// Information has been poor or completely wrong. Staff at Fareham were very unhelpful. /// 'No particular reason for the delay' is what the guard has just said to us. What a complete joke!!! /// I appreciate weather bad but information given by staff worse. My daughter’s phone app more up to date. Xmas Eve nightmare. /// SWT’s Journeycheck states 39 minutes past services stopping additionally at Worplesdon, but they are not.
Left Feltham at 21:24, still not in Clapham Junction at 22:40...Are you giving out refunds?/// £15 for sitting for an hour on a stationary train, to be then told to get off... /// I have a bike so can't use bus or Tube. Stuck at Putney. What should I do? (Can't cycle) /// I was on a train that got halted at Putney. Have resorted to a taxi. How do I claim money back for that and my rail ticket, please? /// Left Waterloo 20 minutes ago and still at Vauxhall. A bit farcical given the already heavily reduced and slow service? /// Why not stop the 17:53 Waterloo to Basingstoke service at West Byfleet today? I guess this helped your stats - Never mind the passengers. /// Last night because of YOUR problems I couldn’t get home to Loughborough and your ticket man had no clue, treated me and my girlfriend awfully. /// Spending £40 on a taxi after spending £40 on 2 travel cards due to the ridiculous delay with no air conditioning. Last night was appalling. /// It would be the one I tweeted you about yesterday. 40 minutes late, hung around outside Waterloo for 15 minutes with no information. To be honest it happens nearly every time I get an SWT train into London. /// Why do I get charged money for my train to be cancelled and delayed to then miss my lecture? /// Worst service of the day award goes to SWT. Congrats, on behalf of every other poor sod currently at Clapham Junction. /// Not good enough. Not only will we watch it go past, chances are we have to stand all the way to London. /// Missing our connecting train to Addlestone thanks to hour long delays - get to Virginia Water station and it's deserted! /// Great service finally getting sorted thanks to BTP who passed us on - taxi due at 1:35am! Poor show really. /// It's 1 am and I've just walked in my front door 3 hours and 10 minutes after finishing work. SWT have sunk to a new low. Totally ****. No thanks at all to Network Rail or SWT for **** up yet another Sunday journey home. 95 minutes late. Incorrect communications. /// 3 and a half hours late. Sort your **** service out. /// I cannot express how **** SWT’s service was this evening. Did not plan on returning home at midnight when I left Basingstoke at 9pm! /// Nearly 2 hours to get from Waterloo to Woking. Spectacularly **** service from SWT as ever. /// Have had to collect the kids from Wimbledon because of SWT’s failure. Now feeding them chicken nuggets. Bit late for a night before school! /// Friend now stranded 2 hours, still delayed? Concerned... /// I am too late to attend the event I was meant to go to. What can you do about this? /// Now sat still outside Clapham. Why did the train not stop where scheduled? Can I get compensated for the £20 extra it cost me to get to Waterloo?!! /// Try replying to the real issues and tell the truth why there are 4- carriage trains during rush hour every night. Why have there been so many short formation trains in the last few weeks? It isn’t acceptable. /// Must feel great for Whitchurch and Overton commuters. You're not worth stopping for!! [Response: The train had a door fault and was sent straight to Basingstoke which can accommodate all doors within the platform.] /// SWT, you are useless. Your train actually left early. So you are either late or early... /// Highly advise everyone not to travel with SWT. Worst service ever!! /// 07:41 from Chessington 10 minutes late at Waterloo 90% of the time. Not happy, but these delays are an everyday occurrence and it's way beyond what is acceptable. /// It's a joke! 08.49 from Raynes Park arrived Vauxhall 0917. No announcement by guard. I thought guards were supposed to make announcements? /// It is just as disruptive when your trains leave early as late. 08.22 left Putney at 08.20 and caused overcrowding in 08.29. /// Living at Hampton Court is a curse. Delays every single day. At least there was an announcement today... usually we get nothing. /// Well done, making me late again! Awful service. Better not happen tomorrow considering how much we pay, I have exams I can't be late for. /// Left Southampton 2 hours ago and still not home. Not impressed with SWT at all. /// On the 23.52 from Waterloo to Woking - crawling at a snail’s pace. Am I going to miss my 00.30 connection at Woking? [Response: When you get to Woking if you have missed your connection speak to station staff.] Will they pay for a taxi? [Unhelpful response: You would have to speak to station staff.] 22:20 to Weybridge now 5 minutes late and will almost certainly miss Addlestone connection. No excuse offered. Why is this line so ****? [Response: Sorry about that, did you make you connection?] No I did not. As usual guard locked the doors and took the train out as passengers were trying to cross from the incoming train. And how about refunding the £8.00 taxi fare needlessly incurred? This service lets us down so frequently it's beyond a joke. [Enigmatic response: Sorry, you had time to catch a train from Weybridge.] Eh? /// Really not happy with today’s level of service. /// What's up with trains from Waterloo tonight? There were delays this morning and yesterday already! /// Delayed?? Try cancelled! Information on twitter doesn't reflect what is happening at the stations. /// Missed my connection too, and then the next train was also delayed! Going to be a bit late this morning......!! /// And now my train is delayed by 25 minutes! Thanks once again for making me late for work. /// Frozen tracks, faults and now a fire - are you making it up as you go along? No matter what train I get, it's always delayed! I get on an earlier train and it's delayed! /// This happens every year, there are huge infrastructure issues. My fare increases, your service doesn't get better. /// Yet another evening of ridiculous overcrowding (1755 Waterloo to Farnham). Does your inability to run full length trains have no end? And while we're at it, not content with the overcrowding, the toilet is blocked and awash with piss. /// Shock, you’re late again. It's getting boring now!! What excuse this time? [Response: We are very sorry these alterations and cancellations have been necessary this evening.] It almost goes without saying, but I'll say it. Not half as sorry as we are. How much are you raising fares by next year out of curiosity? Given the poor service for 2013 how about a decrease?? /// Why is the 0749 from Teddington to London cancelled? Problems every day this week mean late for work every day this week! Explain!!! /// What is wrong with you SWT? The 06.39 from Ewell West is a 4-coach train. How much earlier do I have to leave??? /// I was waiting for train after work from Christchurch. One was cancelled and other 50 minutes late! /// I bought tickets and the train was full so we couldn’t get on. /// SWT choose their replies as they feel best. In all fairness the service has been proper ***** the last few weeks!! /// Where was the 08.05 Dorking to Waterloo then? I am late for work again due to a delay or cancelled train. [Response: Sorry that train ran from Earlsfield instead this morning.] /// Timetable says 0906. Doors closed and train goes at 0905. /// Will you ever get me home from my night shift on time on a Sunday? You have one more chance this year, 9 minutes late today. /// It's just arrived and told not stopping at Clapham Junction!!!!!!. What connection can I make to Twickenham!???! Huge inconvenience! Can they not hold the 0804 on platform 2 for one minute to allow passengers to cross the platform to get onto that train??? /// Thanks for zero warning when switching late running 9.01 Surbiton-Waterloo into a fast train. /// Thank you ONCE AGAIN SWT for screwing up my day. Really appreciate it and really happy I paid £60 this morning to be late. /// 08.37 from Raynes Park to Waterloo. There have been delays every single day in the last month!! It's just appalling! /// My train just terminated 8 stops early due to "congestion" in the Wimbledon area. You honestly must be running out of excuses. /// If 8.22 Epsom train cancelled, why can't the 08.17 pick up passengers at Ewell/Stoneleigh, as the 1824 from Waterloo did last week because the 18.30 was cancelled? /// You make me so angry!! Two trains from Surbiton so packed that most people can’t get on. /// 1755 Waterloo to Farnham only 8 carriages again, just like Friday. It's crammed with the normal 12, now dangerously overcrowded. Do you care? /// Why does the 7:46 West Byfleet to Waterloo always get cancelled? Becoming too often for my liking - still not on a train! /// Why are trains from Worcester Park to Waterloo late on a daily basis? Also why don't guards explain when we've stopped? Makes such a difference. /// Got stuck on 21:05 from Waterloo, 90 minutes late! Missed connecting with last train back to Woolston! Taxi fare reimbursement? /// Train Surbiton to Basingstoke but need to get to Winchester. No helpful advice at all on how to get home. Nearly 3 hours so far. /// At Bracknell waiting for the 1739 to Reading. It is late every single day, without exception. … Do you have the other 300 reasons this year? Just asking as it is literally never on time. /// Was an hour late for work, therefore having an hour’s pay taken off. Had to wait at Brockenhurst for an hour and 20 minutes this morning in the cold after a cancelled train and delayed train. /// 3/5 days so far the service has been late to Reading via Earley. Getting a little tiresome now. How late does a train have to be before get a refund? Do I also get one for not being able to get on 4 trains due to overcrowding? /// Stuck on a train in Weybridge for 1 hour last night, due to Woking signal failure, before getting taxi home. How can I get a part refund? /// Is the priority keeping your stats in order or the customer? Cancelling a train as it is late is madness. /// Half-sized rush hour trains are hellish, everyone aggressive and very uncomfortable - to be avoided. /// I've asked what the fault is but they "don't know"...a cynic would smell a rat....good job I'm not a cynic... Signal problems? Really? Again??.... /// Re my previous tweet you ignored, how long will SWT's poor performance, daily delays and cancellations continue? It's unacceptable. /// Was waiting for a London bound train, but 8:20 and 8:30 both cancelled. On a bus now. /// Going to avoid paying my fare as compensation till you sort it. Delayed yesterday, missed bus. Signs/card machines down so missed train today. /// Apologies don't fix the customers’ day you mess up. Please just get it right 1st time. /// Another cancelled train. Incompetence at it's finest! /// 17:53 to Basingstoke cancelled due to temporary lack of train crews. Pathetic yet again. Absolutely shocking service. /// What compensation will you offer to those missing shows due to the Wimbledon delay? /// I can't wait to not have to get on a *** SWT train for the whole Christmas period, because they are ALWAYS delayed. /// Got to Southampton with 2 minutes to spare before the train, and it was already departing the platform.. /// No seats and 25 people in each gangway. It's incredible you get away with your level of service. Awful rude staff too. /// 4 coach trains to London the weekend before Christmas. Are you having a laugh? /// Why have I been waiting nearly an hour for a guard to take this train to London Waterloo? /// What compensation am I entitled to for the trauma of Monday and loss of work Tuesday and the inability to use my travel card? Will you be refunding tickets valid for today that had NO choice of a train to get where we need to be? /// 16:23 from Waterloo didn't contain a Basingstoke portion. It was missing 8 carriages. Now stuck at Woking. Apparently the missing carriages were 'just left in a siding' according to staff. Told by the guard that a train was waiting at Woking. But surprise, surprise it isn't. Now it's a 30 minute wait. My point is that yet again there is no communication. SWT have total contempt for fare paying public. Maybe we should use cars. /// SWT sort yourselves out. Why am I having to give people directions to right train at Waterloo because signs unclear? Train cancelled at short notice. People told to get on Dorking train but it wasn't stopping at Clapham or Wimbledon. Why do that? [Unconcerned Response: Sorry about that. The decision to cancel the stops was made at short notice I'm afraid.] No it wasn't. Board for train said first stop Raynes Park for ages but when other train cancelled people were told Clapham Junction, meaning I've just had to redirect 20 people back via bus and trains from Raynes Park to their correct destinations. /// Pretty well no information. Boards wrong. Staff uninformed. Replacement bus too small. Train left everyone stuck for an hour. /// Could your live feed to be accurate for a start? An acknowledgement that your poor service has a knock on for connections. I have had an hour and a half added to my journey and I'm not allowed to go a different route with my ticket, your rude station supervisor has informed me. Intent on not helping. /// I'm about to arrive 20 minutes late on a 31 minute scheduled journey from Swanwick - not a 'good service' by my definition. /// Cheers for the 30 minute delay because YOU didn't have a guard. If I was a minute late would you wait for me.....missed my connection and now having to get a bus. Thanks a lot for once again providing a shocking service!!! /// Thanks for randomly terminating the train I'm on with NO NOTICE! There are now A LOT of people Incredibly pissed of!!! We're all stuck at Salisbury and 95% of us are trying to get to London. [Second caller: I concur. This train journey has been appallingly managed by your staff. Poor customer information all round.] /// Why did SWT decide not to open the doors in the first/front 4 carriages as announced they would at London Rd station? Tried 3 doors all in the front 4 carriages!! /// Made it to Guildford by our own means, then SWT cancel two Waterloo trains. /// Why did the Surbiton-Guildford train leave on time when the train from Waterloo was running late? Missed the connection, really unimpressed. [Standard indifferent response: I'm sorry but we can't hold trains for connections. There are other trains due through the platform the train was on.] Stood on the platform for 3/4 minutes and no other train came through. The train was practically empty when it left, really frustrating. /// No direct SWT trains to London. No seats on train from Basingstoke. Return train cancelled so 2 hour return journey. /// Absolute joke. Got on Templecombe-bound train which diverted back to Tisbury. We were 50 yards from Gillingham station. Both the driver and guard told me that one carriage could fit on the platform to let people off but we're told no by powers that be. /// I shouldn't have to pay extra bus and train fares because of signalling problems and cancellations - anything I can do to claim?
Would it be so difficult to acknowledge my e’mail and explain that? No. Sick of excuses. Bet you have MILLIONS of complaints, you lot are disgusting. And I'm on a bus?! [Second caller: Ali has a refund request from February that still hasn't been fulfilled, so they must have millions - No surprise.] /// Charging this much for a travelcard and then cancelling trains is just legal theft! Not cool! /// You really don't want to answer! 3rd go: If train is full, only place left to stand is First, am I, standard, still liable? /// Very rude lady at Waterloo who refused to see my point of view and wanted me to PAY when earlier train didn't even stop at Vauxhall. /// We had a broken Oyster card and huge fine and we wrote 6 times and they don't care. E’mail to Mr Shoveller. /// Staff at local station tried to charge me over £2,200 for a season ticket which your website had quoted as being £1,916. /// The service has been awful recently, however when I renewed my monthly ticket, I got no refund. /// The guy sold me a ticket on Saturday night for Sunday and the trains weren't running so I took a 216 bus from Kingston and they refused to refund my ticket so I paid £6 for no reason. I work in retail and don’t make that much money to lose before Xmas. /// 0816 to Waterloo from Farnborough cancelled. Again. Faulty train this time but sure as hell won't get any compensation... /// I’d prepaid for a ticket which I collected at the machine in London but was forced to pay £93.50 on the train. Who can I talk to about this? /// Lost my ticket on the train this morning. Got to Waterloo with receipt and had to pay full fare again! Not happy. Why no duplicate? /// Can season ticket holders expect any money back for the short formations of late? Comfort severely compromised. [Response: This is not something that would fall under our normal season ticket refund process.] Perhaps it should? Nothing huge but a recognition that present comfort is being regularly reduced at no fault of passengers. /// Lost ticket 2 minutes after buying, no idea how. Show receipt at office 1 minute later, "buy another". /// Is New Year’s day recognised as a public holiday in the car park as I have just been charged full price?
They are so packed and so slow... Don't expect line to be so often closed for whole Sundays for my annual season ticket. /// Why close Earlsfield station on a busy weekend and then provide an inadequate bus replacement, which is full?! [Response: Due to essential improvements the station is closed. We understand the frustration and apologise for the uncomfortable journey.] It wasn't uncomfortable as the miserable bus driver closed the doors on the queue waiting! /// I'm on a rail replacement bus and your driver is lost - spent 20 minutes driving in the wrong direction, won't listen to passengers. /// What a shame communication failed meaning a whole coach load of people missed their connecting train at Bournemouth. /// No tweet back? Says it all!! My friend is waiting at Kingston and waiting nearly 50 minutes !! Still no bus!! /// Your replacement bus is 30 minutes overdue, and we're freezing here in Hinchley Wood. /// In the end I took a regular bus to Surbiton to catch another replacement bus. Total confusion there, but now on another service. /// No information at station apart from everything delayed. Are you getting buses in? You've 23 coaches of people waiting! /// I got a bus. Driver said train ticket not valid and I had to pay. How do I get a refund please? /// The train from Yeovil left before my bus arrived from Sherborne? Delayed by over an hour now. /// The staff at Hounslow station are so unhelpful with all confusion with bus replacement. Plus all the signs are wrong on platform. /// It’s taking 3 hours to travel the 20 miles from Egham to Covent Garden for work. It wouldn’t be half so bad if replacement bus drivers knew where they’re going. /// Why have I been on a bus to Hounslow for 20 minutes? The driver clearly doesn't know the route, so tour of Staines. Missed Hounslow, now going to Isleworth? /// No service from Wraysbury and no information on where to catch the replacement bus!! No times either. /// I now have a 20 mile journey home on my bicycle because you only made allowance for pedestrians. I'm not prepared for this. /// Can you explain why there was no replacement bus service from Southampton last night resulting in a £55 cab fare home? Also, why your staff were nowhere to be seen and were hiding behind announcements. /// Rail replacement service is a joke. In fact it's non-existent. [Response: Hi, I've checked with the bus company and they've confirmed they were at Barnes Rocks Lane Stop A at 13:15.] I was there at 13:09-13:35 along with a lot of confused travellers, we even asked at the ticket office...Couldn't tell us a thing. [Response: Hi, the company confirm they did fail to stop, and are chasing it up now. They promise next one will run at 14:15.] /// I am meant to travel to Yeovil Junction on Xmas Eve. If there are no trains will there be buses due to the storms?[Helpful response: Road transportation would be affected as well. We would not be able to offer an alternative at that point. Please check for updates.] /// Where are the replacement buses at Southampton? No information, freezing cold. /// The service you are currently running of 1 bus per hour is disgraceful. 2 hours to get from Haslemere to Petersfield is terrible. A 40-minute wait at Haslemere station between the hourly bus and the hourly train? Couldn't this have been timed differently? [Response: I do appreciate this is a long wait. The team looked into it alongside the rest of the service.
I think one of your staff at the Fareham station was trying to break the record for being rude to consecutive customers. /// Your Putney guard service is awful - sent the train on before people have got off let alone got on! We pay a fare?! /// Putney station staff are arrogant and rude. When trains are late admit it. Disgrace. You should be embarrassed for yourselves. Can you make your staff apply the rules consistently instead of letting you buy your ticket on board one day and not another! /// Maybe you could ask your guards to sound a bit more sorry when they announce yet more delays. /// Ironically the social media team (you) are excellent. Alas, your colleagues care much less...Thanks SWT, and when I mean colleagues I mean those on platform sheltering from cold being rude to freezing paying passengers. /// Fairly sure its a requirement that South West Trains’ ticket office staff are rude and miserable bastards. /// Met the rudest man working at Strawberry hill station this morning! /// Tired of bad service and lack of customer service skills. /// Just been verbally abused by your staff at Clapham Junction. Amazing that, if your staff get verbal abuse BTP called, but for passengers nothing, staff even refusing to give names too. /// You have some of the rudest, most incompetent people I have ever spoken to working for you. Diabolical, completely diabolical. STAINES where did you find your staff? They should have their own TV show! It's like an episode of the twilight zone! /// Would love to hear your opinions on the appalling service your conductor [Name provided] just gave on the 16:34 Guildford-Waterloo. /// SWT staff at Clapham Junction refused to help me carry my pram downstairs when lift was broken. Had to rely on kind passers-by. /// Here's a thought, why not give your guards a timetable so they can give advice on connections? And some customer care training? [Response: Our guards can look up this on their ticket machines and will have had customer care training.] You should tell them that! I was just told that they had no way of finding out. She came back later and shouted at me from behind. /// Do you practise institutional ageism? As a young person my ticket is checked up to 3 times as much as my older travelling friend! In their eyes anyone under the age of 20 or not wearing a suit is a potential criminal. /// So the train finally arrived and one of your *** guards did not wait and shut me in the door !!! Ankle is hurting. /// People who are working in Bournemouth ticket office are a disgrace and very rude, I would like to make a complaint. /// Would like to thank the guard at Woking for putting me on a NON stopping service to Waterloo when I want to go to Weybridge. /// Not untypical behaviour of SWT staff employed at Clapham Junction. Since when did it become acceptable to shout at customers? /// It was absolutely awful. Staff behaviour unacceptable. GUESSING PLATFORMS DOESN’T HELP. Displaying wrong platform information too. /// Just got told at Richmond Station re delayed and cancelled train, “Well, why don't you drive? Is that service? /// Disgusted by the lack of customer service and disregard for a passenger by the guard I have just dealt with at Bournemouth. /// Extremely rude conductor insinuating I'm a liar about my ticket. Very unprofessional. Where can I make a formal complaint? I don't appreciate being made a fool of in front of an entire carriage for no reason. /// Worst service ever! This guy needs firing for threatening violence against a customer, me. So angry. /// Disgusted by one of your ticket inspector’s behaviour on the Alton train - I didn't know you hired bullies intimidating women travelling alone!
Your facilities at Bournemouth suck. Not only did your machine not accept my coins but the automated line doesn’t ... [Response: Most of our car park machines are card only. You can pay by cash at ticket offices if needed.] It's not clear on the machine if that's the case. I eventually managed to pay by card, made coach with seconds to spare. Why can't coach users go through to the coach park via the railway bridge? It's ridiculous. /// Basingstoke, 09.30, 15 people in the queue and only one window open. /// Please update displays when you shorten trains - I've had to run back down the platform twice this week! /// The Ladies on Platform 4 at Southampton Central look like they're never cleaned. Dried blood on ceiling! Vile! ?/// Hundreds of people in a 30 minute queue for a ticket at Bracknell this morning and 1 member of staff working. Disgraceful, sort it out. /// There’s about a 2cm gap in a piece of track at Poole train station... looks a tiny bit dangerous. /// I give up. Next train delayed. Freezing cold weather. Waiting rooms closed. Absolute disgrace. /// Esher station platform like an ice rink this morning, any chance of some salt/grit in the future? /// Slip sliding away. An icy Worcester Park platform this morning and no grit in sight. Cost-cutting again? /// Frost and ice everywhere in Hampton Wick this morning and not a grain of grit laid. /// Great, there's a fire alarm going off at Southampton Central so no one is allowed on platform 1. /// Ticket window at Hersham is closed again, despite it being peak hours. Can you ask the guard to actually walk the train for once? The guard hasn't said one word since I boarded the train. Honestly it's always like this. Ticket machines not working. /// 40 people queuing outside Weybridge station. Barrier staff watching and not helping. /// You may want to check timings of crossing barriers at Datchet. Stayed down for 5 minutes between 6:20 and 6:26. No trains and not normal. /// The up platform at Milford is super slippery today, nearly slipped off the edge! /// Platforms are like ice rinks at Martins Heron this morning. I hope nobody slips. Please be careful!! /// The train went through but didn't stop. Waiting room locked for months at Kingston too. Why? Not good enough. /// Thanks SWT for making an ice rink down the platform at Hersham. Any chance of spending some of my annual fare on some grit? ??? Morning... Quite a bit of ice on platform 1 at Aldershot this morning. Some grit wouldn't go amiss. /// Any chance of setting the gates at Waterloo to entry once you've platformed a train and getting staff to man them, since the tickets don't work! /// Well done for putting on two cashiers at ticket booth in Waterloo on busiest day after Xmas. Bad customer service. /// Spent 2 hours sat on Christchurch station, ticket office not even open and toilets are locked. /// When is light at Chiswick station platform 1 going to be fixed please? I reported this about 6 weeks ago. /// Nice slip up after my shopping trip, as Haslemere station car park is still like an ice rink!
Three minutes to go and train is full. More carriages at the weekend? Just an idea. /// Weymouth to Waterloo train. At more than £60 return, you'd think you could at least travel in a clean carriage. /// 4 hours to get from Waterloo to Fratton. Am I entitled to a refund? Also the toilet stinks worse than last day of Glastonbury. /// Just had a really unpleasant journey, 0716 Farnborough-Waterloo. Coach 450 64205 absolutely stiflingly hot. /// Why are there commuter trains on the intercity routes this week? [Response: Sorry. We have had to shuffle some of the stock onto different routes due to faults.] Why didn't you open the carriage doors at Clapham on a busy commuter train, and then closed them once we made it to an alternative door? /// Your toilet door gave me a really bad electric shock. Still hurting an hour later. /// I'm on the 2307 from Guildford to Waterloo. Can you please ask the driver to turn the heaters on, it's about 2 degrees on here! Bloody freezing on the Epsom-Waterloo train now pulling in to Clapham Junction. /// Bad enough making me late for an interview. Can you please put the heating on the 07.58 train from Guildford to Wimbledon? I can't feel my hands or feet. /// I’m on coach 3 of the 06.20 Hampton to Waterloo and it’s 11 degrees! Any chance of heating please? /// Anyone ever thought to change auto announcements on trains? "This train terminates at Wimbledon" when it's going to Waterloo! /// 23:12 from Waterloo and NONE of the toilets are serviceable! Three locked and one swilling in urine. /// I can't even move because it's a 4 carriage train, your service is a joke. /// Can someone from SWT please explain why we were crammed packed on a four coach service instead of an 8 on a weekend in December? 2313 to Basingstoke, the guard was very apologetic, the crowding was worse than rush hour. [Standard response: This was due to a train fault, I am sorry for the inconvenience.] Sorry, we were told by the guard that it was a decision made by a member of management. /// Is there any way the 22.54 Waterloo-Southampton could have some toilet facilities? None working from the start! /// Any reason the heating wasn't on in the 0822 Epsom-Waterloo? Surely this is the time of year to use it? /// And again there's no heating on this SWT service. They really are spectacularly ****. /// Please put the heating on, It's DECEMBER /// Why have you made the 05:58 from Guildford a 4 coach service again? It's horrendous!!! /// The train wreaks of puke, I feel ill at the smell. Cheers South West Trains for your top notch cleaning skills. The 455s in general are very poorly cleaned. Dried spillages all over the floors. Clearly been there for months. /// Why do you always lock the toilets on the evening trains? I've got 4 drunk people hovering over a toilet on a train to Waterloo. It's just pulled out of Clapham Junction from Feltham. Both toilets locked as usual.... // None of the old trains on the Exeter-Waterloo line are fit for purpose, failing mechanically and interiors are disgusting. All trains between Honiton and Exeter St David's are a disgrace. Mould on windows, filthy carpets and stained seats etc. /// Great policy - only first class passengers can buy sparkling water! Obviously care more about discriminating than making money! /// 4-car train on the local routes into Waterloo. Standing room only. Worse than the morning peak! Where are the 8-cars? [ Response: We have to perform regular maintenance on the fleet at weekends which can't be done during the week.] That sounds like a lack of rolling stock. Too much money going to shareholders rather than on extra trains? /// No heat AGAIN on the 7:27 from Walton-on-Thames. Why is this? No ventilation either. /// What a farce at Guildford this morning, train doors not opening?! What is going on? /// On the 11.14 Eastleigh-Waterloo. Only 1 loo open. Disabled loo taped off. Cross your legs I think. /// The heating on SWT trains is unbearable. /// Please turn the heating on in your trains if you're going to charge this much. It's utterly freezing in here. /// On a train with a group of drunks swearing and making horrible comments about female passengers. Train guard laughs and walks on.
More serious safety failures on Stagecoach buses
Stagecoach bus fires have become a feature of public transport in recent times. Blazes averaged almost one a month in 2012, excluding arson attacks and overseas fires. See Issue 137 of this newsletter for the locations of 5 incidents in 2009; 9 incidents in 2011; and 11 incidents in 2012. The majority of fires occur when passengers are on board, and there are some horrific internet video clips of the conflagrations.
Stagecoach’s response to every incident is that safety is their absolute priority. However, fires have not been the only problem. Sanctions were imposed after a number of buses shed wheels in Scotland, a bus drove on after wrecking a shelter in Cheltenham, and a great grand-mother had to have a foot amputated after a bus ran over it as she boarded because the driver had not applied the handbrake. Another bus ignored a level crossing barrier on the Taunton-Exeter line seconds before a high speed train passed, and yet another demolished level crossing gates in Canterbury, causing major disruption to South Eastern train services. Latest incidents:
1. “Investigation into runaway bus crash [Source: Perthshire Advertiser, 24/9/2013] Stagecoach yesterday launched an investigation after one of its buses crashed into a Perth building. The empty bus was returning to the depot on Ruthvenfield Road on the Inveralmond Industrial Estate at 7.20pm on Friday. It left the road, crossed grass opposite the newly opened M&S store, narrowly avoided a mature sycamore tree and rammed into a building belonging to Sandvik, an international engineering company which owns a metal furnace and offices.
Stagecoach has not commented on what might have caused the bus to leave the road and crash into the industrial laboratory, but a spokesperson yesterday confirmed the company is assisting police with inquiries as well as carrying out a full investigation. However, a statement from the Perth-based firm did not rule out disciplinary action against the driver. “Safety is our absolute priority,” it read. “We are assisting police with their inquiries as well as carrying out a full investigation into this incident. There were no injuries as a result of the incident. However, significant damage was caused to both the bus and the building.”
The bus driver was taken to Perth Royal infirmary, but was not badly hurt. Fortunately the vehicle was empty as it was out of service at the time. So hard was the collision impact that the bus went several feet through the building’s stone and concrete wall and came to rest wedged under a concrete beam. A cleaner was in the adjoining office building and heard a huge bang as the stricken bus came through the wall. Research projects in the lab were destroyed and senior staff were called in to provide information about the shut-offs for the lab.
Three Fire and Rescue crews attended the dramatic scene on Friday evening. Fortunately the bus had hit an empty lab and not the nearby metal furnace, which last year had to be shut down due to a fire. Firefighters isolated gas supplies thought to have been damaged when the bus crashed through the wall of Sandvik’s experimental lab. Inside the lab officers looked for hazardous materials that could be leaking, and isolated gas supplies.
Some of the fire crews worked with breathing apparatus because of the levels of dust and debris as they explored the building. Fire officers satisfied themselves that all materials were contained and that the building was stable – a big concern given the size of the hole made by the runaway vehicle.
Bill Butterworth, the station manager for the Scottish Fire and Rescue service in Perth said that as yet, they did not know the reason for the bus’s spectacular crash. The badly damaged vehicle was removed during the early hours of Saturday morning. Sandvik’s director, Martin McIver, told the PA yesterday: “This was a very unfortunate thing to happen. We are just relieved that there were no significant injuries.” The giant hole was covered by a sheet of green plastic yesterday.”
2. Manchester bus fire [Source: Manchester Evening News 2/10/2013] “Passengers escaped unhurt after a bus caught fire on a busy road. Fire crews and police were called to Wilmslow Road, after the blaze broke out just after 7.30pm. No-one was injured but the Stagecoach double-decker was badly damaged by smoke. Fire crews Withington cut out the fuel and the electrics after fire, near Deane Road.”
3. “Five escape bus fire near Dumfries [Source: Galloway News, 17/10/2013] An investigation is under way after a bus burst into flames between Castle Douglas and Dumfries. The driver and four passengers escaped unhurt from the smouldering single-decker before it fully caught alight. The Saturday evening Stranraer to Dumfries bus was near the Shawhead junction on the A75 when the 64-year-old driver noticed a loss of power and passing motorists frantically signalled for him to pull over. He then noticed that smoke was pouring from the engine.
Fire crews arrived after the driver had got everyone off but were not in time to save the bus. The blaze, which firefighters believe was caused by a ruptured fuel pipe, engulfed almost half of the coach. A replacement bus was made available shortly after the incident at 7.25pm. Police remained at the scene until 10.35pm, during which time the burned-out bus was removed and the spilt fuel cleared up. A police spokesman said: “Passing motorists saw the smoke and alerted the bus driver to pull over. That’s when they discovered the engine was alight.”
A council spokeswoman added: “The vehicle was operating the 5.05pm Stranraer to Dumfries service provided by Stagecoach on behalf of SWestrans. The four passengers on board at the time were safely evacuated and a replacement vehicle was at the scene within 10 minutes. Stagecoach has reported the incident, as required, to VOSA and is carrying out a full investigation into the cause of this extremely rare [sic] occurrence. They will provide a report to SWestrans once this process is complete.”
4. [Source: Evening Standard, 30/10/2013] “Six people were injured today after a double-decker bus crashed into bollards outside a busy London rail station at rush hour. Eye witnesses said the vehicle careered across the road before “slamming” into the bollards at Cannon Street station in the City shortly after 7am. Rush-hour workers watched in amazement as driver of the double decker then reversed off the pavement - straight into another stationary bus. The incident shut Cannon Street for several hours during the entire morning peak causing travel chaos for thousands of City workers.”
Advice to sell Stagecoach shares [From The Herald Scotland, 18.12.2013] “Heavyweight investment bank Goldman Sachs has tipped Scottish transport slowcoach FirstGroup to begin catching up with arch-rival Stagecoach by upping its price target on the Aberdeen company's shares, while downgrading the Perth business to a "sell". HEAVYWEIGHT investment bank Goldman Sachs has tipped Scottish transport slowcoach FirstGroup to begin catching up with arch-rival Stagecoach by upping its price target on the Aberdeen company's shares, while downgrading the Perth business to a "sell". Goldman now has a 140p target price on FirstGroup, which operates buses in Glasgow and Aberdeen, up from 135p. It rates it a "buy".”
January fare increases are limited, but still seen as unjustified The Evening Standard of 23/10/2013 reported that the Campaign for Better Transport (which has been campaigning against soaring rail fares) was targeting 50 parliamentary seats where commuters could swing results in the next general election. At the beginning of December the Chancellor announced that regulated fare increases would be capped at the rate of inflation. The Southern Daily Echo’s report of season ticket increases from South Hampshire to Waterloo showed that passengers feel helpless, and don’t consider Stagecoach delivers what they pay for. SHRUG’s co-ordinator had a three-minute interview on Radio Solent on 2.1.2014, when he compared the fleecing of commuters with Stagecoach’s soaring dividends and profits. On 6.1.2014 Rowenna Davis, successor to Southampton Itchen MP John Denham, led a fares protest at Southampton Central station.
Significant reduction in SWT station information As reported in our previous issue, SWT changed the platform departure boards for London-bound trains at stations from Barnes and New Malden to Vauxhall, with passengers now unable to distinguish individual trains and whether they are running late. A response on Twitter on 22 October confirmed that the new boards also cannot show how many carriages trains have. So passengers no longer know where to stand on platforms (not that they get much choice on busy inner-London stations, with SWT’s abusive bouncers to control them).
High rate of lift failures at SWT stations continues Lift failures (in some cases prolonged and/or repeated), a major problem for disabled people, have recently occurred at Aldershot, Alton, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Brentford, Clapham Junction, Earlsfield, Eastleigh, Fareham, Farnborough, Fratton, Haslemere, Havant, Kingston, Portsmouth & Southsea, Richmond, Southampton Central, Staines, Surbiton, Vauxhall, Weybridge, Woking and Wokingham.
Hythe train service abandoned The proposal to reintroduce passenger trains between Hythe (population around 25,000) and Southampton has been abandoned on the grounds of low demand and adequate existing bus and ferry services. This is surprising because even the limited-stop bus services are scheduled to take 52 minutes in the peak and are often delayed, whereas the trains would have taken as little as 23 minutes. In addition, the ferry operator has stated in the past that people see their service as a fair weather facility.
One problem with the Hythe proposals was that they did not provide for integration with SWT’s existing diesel train services in the Southampton area, which could have given Hythe direct services at least to Southampton Airport, Eastleigh and Romsey. Presumably this was down to Stagecoach’s customary resistance to making improvements to its existing timetable, which seems designed solely for operational convenience.
Meanwhile, the principal intermediate station between Southampton and Hythe, on the main line at Totton (population 30,000), is the only intermediate station between Southampton and Weymouth where footfall has fallen over the past 5 years. Growth of 71.7% (118,000) in the previous 5 years was halted by Stagecoach’s incompetent timetable cuts from 2007.
SWT timetable changes from 8/12/2013 The SWT timetable remains unresponsive to passenger aspirations. The days of continual timetable development and innovation are past, and there are few changes affecting southern Hampshire. On Monday mornings, the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton is replaced by a bus south of Basingstoke. This greatly extends journey times for people returning home after long weekend trips. On Mondays to Fridays, the 16.49 Portsmouth-Fareham continues to Botley, Hedge End and Eastleigh (there is already a service to these stations at 16.59); the 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth calls additionally at Wool (which has had a downgraded service since 2007); and the 22.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo is slowed by calls at Surbiton and Wimbledon.
Stagecoach lobbyist Barry Doe is fulsome in his praise for the SWT timetable booklet. There’s just one problem, however. A potential user who asked for a copy was told it was available only by personal application. He then went to one of the stations where it was advertised as available, and was told that copies were just for season ticket holders. Presumably Stagecoach has cut its costs with a minimal print run.
[The Stationery Office’s GB timetable is its final edition. The Middleton Press’ half-sized (magnifying glass advisable) edition will in future be the only hard copy available. So much for national pride in our railways!]
West Coast fiasco deprives 30,000 of hospital bus link Since the West Coast franchising fiasco resulted in First Group’s shares plummeting, the company has been reining in its bus operations. A local outcome is the withdrawal of the longstanding service providing Totton’s 30,000 residents with a direct link to Southampton General Hospital. It was well used. For example, there were 17 passengers joining the 13.30 bus in Totton on 9/12/2013. Users now face doubled journey times and a change of bus in Southampton city centre. David and Gwynne Wallis of Totton highlighted the issue on BBC South Today on 11/12/2013. Totton Council is now negotiating with Xelabus about some kind of replacement service from 24.2.2014, after a gap of 7 weeks.
Meanwhile, rivalry continues between bus companies on some of Southampton’s busiest traffic corridors, often resulting in sparse loadings. This does illustrate the domino effects of Britain’s largely privatised transport network. At the very least, a system of quality contracts, as favoured in Newcastle, needs to supersede the current postcode lottery which delivers a high service level for some passengers while others see their services deteriorate or simply disappear. Research by the Campaign for Better Transport has found that most local authorities subsidise bus services, but Southampton City is near the top of the scale for recent subsidy cuts.
Acknowledgements / Contact details
As always, thanks to everyone who has been kind enough to contact us. Without your support and input, this newsletter would not be possible. The newsletter is produced in good faith, based on reports and information from many individuals and sources including information identified from press and website research. Contributions are always welcome. We aim for accuracy at all times, because our good reputation depends on it. We do not use material which could be offensive or which appears unlikely to be correct.
Address for correspondence: Denis Fryer, 19 Fontwell Close, Calmore, Southampton, SO40 2TN (firstname.lastname@example.org").