Thursday, July 16

A complaint to Transport For London.

Just submitted this complaint to their website:

This complaint regards the driver of train number [xxxxx], Central Line, which left Mile End at [xx:xx].

I was on this train from Liverpool Street to Mile End. During that short time, the driver made two announcements to tell passengers to stop leaning on the doors. The first announcement started "I don't know how many times I have to tell you." The second started "Cars three and seven have passengers who can't understand the PA announcements." His tone of voice was what you'd expect for that sort of phrasing: annoyed, hectoring, condescending, borderline sarcastic.

Firstly, I hope you agree that, regardless of the purpose of the announcements, this is a completely inappropriate way to talk to customers.

Secondly, although I was not in car three or car seven so don't know how crowded they were, I am sure you are aware that the Central Line in rush hour is often so crowded that it is literally impossible not to put pressure on the doors. Telling passengers to stay away from the doors doesn't make it possible for them to do so. Telling them rudely is no less ineffective than telling them politely.

Finally, London is a popular destination for tourists and migrants. There were almost certainly people on the train who could not understand the announcements, as there are all across the Tube network every hour of every day. Since tourism is a major source of the funds that pay TFL drivers' salaries, it would make sense for said drivers not to be rude or abusive to non-English-speakers.

Please do raise these matters with the driver in question.

Thank you for your time.

Joseph Kynaston Reeves

I don't expect the Tube to be nice, and it would never even occur to me to complain about, say, overcrowding or dirtiness, but getting on a train and hearing the driver say "I don't know how many times I have to tell you" over the PA like Ray Winstone teaching kindergarten really takes the fucking biscuit.

I'll let you know if they reply.


Update:

Well, they did reply. It's not an interesting reply, but it's only fair for me to put it up here.

Dear Mr Kynaston Reeves

Thank you for your email of 16 July 2015 about the poor customer service you experienced from one of our Tube drivers on the Central line on this day. We appreciate you taking the time to get in touch.

I’m sorry you experienced such poor customer service from one of our Tube drivers on the Central line. The behaviour you describe falls well short of the standards we expect from our staff.

Good customer service is a priority, and we invest a lot of time making sure our staffs are trained to the highest standards possible. It’s always disappointing when these standards aren’t met.

We take all complaints very seriously, so I have informed the Service Manager responsible for the Central line about your experience. As a priority, they will identify and then interview the Tube driver you described. They will take appropriate action to make sure such behaviour isn’t repeated.

Thank you for contacting us and, once again, I’m sorry you experienced poor customer service. If there is anything else we can help you with, please reply to this email. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our Customer Service Advisers on 0343 222 1234 who will be happy to help you.

Kind regards

4 comments:

Nigel Sedgwick said...

An additional point. Is it reasonable to expect that many passengers would actually know which cars they are it. In over 40 years of using the tube, I don't think I have every 'noted' that.

Best regards

JuliaM said...

"His tone of voice was what you'd expect for that sort of phrasing: annoyed, hectoring, condescending, borderline sarcastic."

Ah, if only he'd been on the tannoy at Bond Street last week when some idiot passenger nearly got herself killed trying to LOOK AT A MOUSE ON THE TRACK!

Face it, SQ2 - a vast percentage of the travelling public deserve to be treated like idiot children incapable of reason. Because that's how they behave...

Cuffleyburgers said...

I agree with sq2. The announcement as reported is totally unprofessional.

These people need to realise that they are talking to the people who pay their inflated salaries.

The very least we can expect seeing that the trains are seldom a) on time b) clean c) long enough to accommodate all the passengers wishing to use them, is that any announcements will be made in aprofessional and courteous way.

Unknown said...

Central line is getting worst and worst day by day, this is the only tube which leaves from ealing broadway after 17 mints (sometimes during the good service). They are slower than a snail after leaving white city, its getting so embarrassing and annoying travelling into central line.