Miserable Work Commuters Blamed for Disastrous Rail Satisfaction Survey

By Gary Cutlack on at

Over half of the UK's rail franchises scored dismal customer satisfaction scores in a recent survey, with contentment levels at under 50 per cent on 11 of our 19 rail networks -- and one rail company having the audacity to suggest it's because trains take us to work and we hate working. Hence the misery. Nothing to do with being endlessly ripped off, then?

The stats come from a Which? survey of commuters, which found that an astonishing ten per cent of travellers it spoke to had made a complaint about their previous journey. And of those that did complain, over half felt they hadn't been dealt with in a proper fashion and weren't satisfied with the outcome.

The Greater Anglia and Southeastern rail franchises scored worst, with customer satisfaction levels at just 40 per cent and First Capital Connect little better at 41 per cent. Meaning six out of ten passengers are sat there furiously composing revenge-tweets in their heads during delayed and packed trips.

Astonishingly, Southeastern attempted to dig itself out of this hole by blaming the miserable bunch of drones it shuttles relentlessly to and from work every day, saying that train tickets are similar to other hated utility charges like water rates, pointing out that the service: "...takes people somewhere they don’t want to be with money they don’t want to pay."

The answer to making travellers happy? The pipedream of lower ticket prices, with 60 per cent saying that being asked to pay less money than the price of a car for a season ticket might make them a little less likely to batter the social media intern with complaints about sweaty, late-running journeys. But it's not blind fury, though, as many of us would be happy to pay high prices if the service was better, with 53 per cent saying they wouldn't be so sad about ticket costs if the trains ran better and weren't so packed.

There are one or two places in the UK where the trains aren't seething pipes of anger, with travellers on Merseyrail the happiest -- and registering a 70 per cent satisfaction level. [Metro via Which?]