Rail companies have finally updated their terms and conditions to ensure passengers aren’t put off of claiming compensation, including seeking reimbursement for consequential losses.
In case you didn’t know, the Consumer Rights Act (CRA) and common law give passengers the right to claim for reasonable and forseeable additional losses when a train operator has failed to provide the service with reasonable care and skill.
But last year, we shared the news with you that despite the CRA extending additional rights for rail travel, we’d spotted that train companies were still failing to comply
And so we took action. We wrote to the train companies and worked with the rail regulator to call on the industry and make sure passengers were aware of their rights to claim for these losses.
Fight for rail rights
We asked for train companies to comply by 1 March 2017. Despite our warnings and calls from passengers too, a number of train companies have failed to listen…
You can only claim for the cost of the ticket – additional costs would be considered consequential loss and are not covered as stipulated by the National Rail Conditions of Travel. I'll discuss your case with the customer relations team^Liv
— Arriva Trains Wales (@ArrivaTW) January 30, 2018
Thanks for confirming. We have informed the appropriate team. I'm afraid we don't cover consequential loss. To make a formal complaint you can email full details across to our Customer Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rachel
— GWR Help (@GWRHelp) January 25, 2018
Rail rights delay
As mentioned, under the CRA and common law, rail passengers can claim for additional, consequential losses over and above the price of their train ticket if a journey has been disrupted because of a failure to deliver the service with reasonable care and skill.
This rule came into force in the rail industry on 1 October 2016, but the National Rail Conditions of Travel (NRCoT) and rail companies failed to update their terms to better reflect this.
This latest change means that now, changes to the NRCoT (set to be published this weekend) should ensure passengers are not put off from claiming compensation, including for reasonable and foreseeable consequential losses.
We want to see train companies explicitly state on their websites and in their terms and conditions that passengers can claim for additional losses when faced with a delay or cancellation which is the train company’s fault.
While this is good news for rail passengers, we know the system is still complicated. We’re concerned that while train companies can now no longer hide behind misleading terms to avoid paying passengers, they need to go further and proactively inform passengers about their compensation rights.
If you’ve had a journey recently that has been disrupted at the fault of the train company and you’ve found yourself forking out extra money, or losing out on events, then claim for that loss and let us know how you get on.
We want you to test out these rules and your rights to claim to make sure the system is working as it should be. To help you do this, we’ve created free guides to help you navigate the process and file a claim for consequential loss.
Have you ever been put off from claiming compensation on rail travel – and do you think these changes will help passengers claim what they are entitled to in future?