• Paul Coster

Our view on the ORR's proposed delay compensation reform

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

The Office of Road and Rail (ORR) is proposing reform to train delay compensation. They recognise the process is confusing and ineffective - only one third of refunds on delayed journeys are claimed. Pre-Covid, over £150m in refunds were unclaimed each year.

The ORR believes intermediaries (that’s us!) are essential to improving delay compensation for train users. We agree, which is why we continue to offer our service.

What’s the ORR’s proposal?

Train operating companies (TOCs) must make it easier for customers to claim. A new delay compensation licence condition and Code of Practice will require:

  • Simplifying the process by only requesting the “minimum” evidence necessary to claim

  • Continual improvement demonstrated via reporting and innovation

  • Enabling passengers to submit via intermediaries, including ticket retailers

Intermediaries must meet new standards. A Code of Conduct will require:

  • Transparent pricing

  • Protections against duplicate and fraudulent claims

  • Participation in the Rail Ombudsman’s scheme for customer complaints

What’s our view?

We’re supportive of the reforms, which make TOCs and intermediaries do better for train users. We’re also pushing the ORR for:

  • Standardised claim webforms and minimum evidence across all operators, keeping the customer experience consistent

  • In time, a national Delay Repay service, and an ‘Open Transport’ API for intermediaries (similar to ‘Open Banking’, making it easier for us to exchange ticket and journey data with TOCs). Our friends at The Open Transport Initiative share this vision.

In absence of these changes, TOCs can continue to make the claims process too hard for customers and intermediaries.

The ORR is consulting on these proposals before making a final decision later this year. The new licence and codes may go into force early in 2021.



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