Complaint: Metropolitan Line Rant

As I type this now, I must admit that the service has been much better this month on the Metropolitan line – or at least I’ve got lucky in terms of avoiding the signal failures.

However, one particular journey stands out from 2018 which was such a clusterfuck that I needed answers.  Would I get them?

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I guess I should be amused that you are trying to charge me £8.00 for the clusterfuck of a journey on Thursday 4th January, that took nearly 3 times as long as it should have.  Surprised you are not charging me for a season ticket just to really rub salt in the wounds.

So last week I was ill.  I’ve had a cold, I’ve had a comedown and a fairly extreme hangover.  I had already had enough when I got to Moorgate at on Thursday evening at 18:06 – a true centre of confusion.  A train was sat at the platform, doors open, going nowhere – though I couldn’t fit on it anyway.

Nobody announcing what was happening (or wasn’t), after a while some people got off the train, so I got on.  Then after a while, the train driver announced that there was a broken down train between Barbican and Farringdon.  So I got off and pondered my options.

At first I tried to get through the staircase to go to the Northern line – but it wasn’t going anywhere.  So I left the station by the other exit (I guess I mustn’t have swiped out), and ended up walking to Bank station.  Queued to get through the ticket barriers, waited for a tube I could get on, and stood close to a rather stinky woman – though I don’t profess to exhale flowers myself come 6pm.

So the Central line at rush-hour is minging.  Who knew?

Then I had a short journey on the Bakerloo line to Baker Street.  Which was actually quite pleasant – hell I even got a seat.  Albeit opposite someone who was either talking to himself or me – I pretended to be oblivious.

One assumed that seeing as the broken down train was between Barbican and Farringdon, that everything would be fine from Baker Street – perhaps a couple less trains.  But no, the whole service had collapsed.

Some mystery services were appearing on platform 2 despite the fact that the service was apparently suspended Aldgate to Baker Street – one assumes they must have been appearing from some parallel universe.  Not that it was any use to me, as I couldn’t get on any of them.

But there were trains on the two non-through platforms.  Due to leave in 1 minute.  This was one, long, possibly ever-lasting minute as both trains that I attempted to catch from Baker Street simply never went anywhere, despite a consistent promise that they were about to.

Your chaps then started advising people to use the Jubilee Line to Wembley Park – where a normal service was allegedly operating from.

Again, crammed on a tube, it eventually made its way to Wembley Park.  Where I then proceeded to wait forever for a Metropolitan line train due in “1 minute”.

I could go on, but this was the most appalling journey home – yet another service failure from TFL on the Metropolitan line.

So, some questions.  Why did the whole service seem to collapse?  Why are there no contingency plans to ensure a good service on the rest of the line away from the broken train?  Why were tube trains just sat there at Baker Street?  Why were trains perennially leaving in 1 minute?

Then I would respectfully like to ask for some refunds.  At the minimum, I should not be charged both the £8.00 and the £4.70 for the way home.  Any other company would offer reasonable additional compensation for distress, disinformation and delay.

Hoping that I actually get some answers to the service failure from last Thursday – I am sure there are many other severely frustrated passengers who would like an explanation too.

Regards

James Winfield

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Dear James

Thank you for your recent email about your contactless card refund.

I understand you sent in bank details to have a refund for a journey and I appreciate you contacted us.

I`m more than happy to inform you I`ve sent £12.70 to your bank account.

This is a manual bank transfer that can take up to five working days to show on your bank statements.

Further on your question automatic refunds are reversed back to payment cards as there is no human interaction but as this is a manual refund we’re not able to do so.

We highly recommend not sending bank details by email for security purposes. In this case there is nothing to worry about as your bank account number and sort code are just used to pay in but keep it in mind for the future.

I do apologise for the time consuming and I wish you all the best.

Thanks again for contacting us. If there is anything else we can help you with, please reply to this email. Alternatively, you can call us on 0343 222 1234 and we’ll be happy to help you.

Kind regards

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Customer Service Adviser
Transport for London Customer Services

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Of course, no answers. Things like this still happen.

Complaint: TFL – Various

The first of my complaints this year to TFL – on a broad range of subjects.

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Dear Sir/Madam

I don’t know where to start with this complaint.  How about GRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZR RGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZR RZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZR RZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZ RRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRR ZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZ RRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZ RRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZR RZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZR RZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZ RRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRGRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRR?

Yes, that was what awoke me on both a Saturday and a Sunday morning – early – very early in the mornings, back in September.

I live close to Rayner’s Lane tube station, with my bedroom facing onto the Piccadilly line.  I quite like being able to see tube trains go past – for some bizarre reason this marginally excites me and I sometimes like to wave at the passengers as they go by.

However my view has been spoiled, as all of the trees and bushes at the back have either been chopped down or completely stripped bare.  I now have an embankment of rubbish to look at with a load of chopped tree branches.  I can understand cutting back trees next to a tube line – but completely removing all foilage?  This is quite disgraceful – let alone the noise disturbance.

Then we had October.  Almost every day it seemed as though there were significant delays on the Metropolitan line.  A couple of mornings I couldn’t even get into work – nearly every morning I was late to work – and quite often late home.  Yes, you did refund some delayed journeys – but others you didn’t.  Maybe some delays were out of your control, but most of the time it seemed to be due to signal failures – why did these keep happening?  What are you doing to ensure that these stop occurring?  I believe that I am correct in saying that all signalling on the Metropolitan line is due to be replaced by 2022 – but does this mean 4-5 years of regular signal failures for myself and other passengers?

Then we had some snow the other Sunday.  Not a huge amount of snow, but enough to wipe out both the Metropolitan and Piccadilly line for pretty much the whole day.  Why did this happen?  Why was there no testing done to ensure this kind of failure wouldn’t happen?  What has been done to ensure this doesn’t happen next time it snows?  Am I safe to go work in central London next time snow is due?

Also the information provided on the website/twitter was dreadful.  Why couldn’t we have been advised of the likely timescale of it being out?  And why were anti-economic messages put out advising people not to travel?

Speaking of going against the economy, and the UK in general, I was absolutely appalled to see advertising for RT.  Russia Today, is a Kremlin-funded (if not Kremlin-run) outfit that wants to subvert our democracy and turn all western countries such as our own into unstable, poorer countries.  They have put out reems of outright lies both about what has happened in this country, and across the world.  This is pretty much the equivalent of advertising for the Nazi Party on the tube in 1940…that didn’t happen did it?  So why allow our enemy of RT to advertise?  Please seriously reconsider the impact on the country of RT – as this will impact on the income from fares too.

And finally, do you realise that removing Uber’s license will mean more people get illegal taxis back from nightclubs?  Is that what you want?  Uber makes many people feel safe on their journey home.  Plus it is safer for taxi drivers themselves as they are not going to get robbed.  Not only an anti-economic decision but an anti-safety decision.  But one assumes the socialist mayor and trade unions are running the show on this.

I appreciate that my complaint is multi-faceted, but I do expect some kind of responses to the questions that I have posed.

Running the transport network for the best city in the world cannot be easy.  There are a lot of things that you get right, and 90% of the time, the service is excellent.  There are great improvements being made, and these are all appreciated.

One more thing – any chance of electronic boards at Rayner’s Lane to see when the next tube is due?

Kindish regards
James

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Dear Mr Winfield

Thanks for your feedback form about your complaints.

I’m extremely sorry to read about the experiences you’ve come across.

I’m sorry to read there have been changes to your view of the tubes from your window.

With regards to delays, as a commuter myself, I can appreciate the frustration and inconvenience caused especially as you rely on the service to travel and punctuality is of essence.

We try our best to run all of our trains to schedule. However, on a network with services as frequent as ours even small delays can cause further disruption to customers down the line.

Having said this, your satisfaction is our utmost concern. Also we want our customers to have a good experience with their journeys on the Underground.

When there is severe weather, for customer safety changes need to be made based on investigation from Train Operating Managers, this is why there were delays and cancellations on the lines.

With regards to your comments on RT, Uber license and information board at Rayners Lane station, I’ve forwarded this so it can be looked into. I can assure you that it’ll be taken seriously as they will investigate it. They’ll also put measures in place to resolve the problem.

I’m grateful that you brought this matter to our attention; we use feedback from customers to ensure that we can consistently develop the services across our network. I also wish you a more pleasant journey on our services.

I would like to again apologise for the inconvenience caused.

Thanks again for contacting us. If there is anything else we can help you with, please reply to this email. Alternatively, you can call us on 0343 222 1234 and we’ll be happy to help you.

Kind regards

xxxxxxxxxxx
Customer Service Adviser
Transport for London Customer Services

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A fairly pointless response.

However – behold the electronic information boards at Rayners Lane:

I’m taking credit.