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Northern Fail day 2

December 3rd, 2010 tj Leave a comment Go to comments
For the second day in a row your ‘service’ has been so awful that I am moved to complain.  A copy of my original complaint is appended to the end of this email.
 
This morning I became aware that the 8.07 from Mossley to Manchester Victoria had been cancelled.  Luckily I hadn’t left my house yet.  So I set off later with the intent of catching the 8.27 instead.  When that train finally arrived at around 8.35 it was only two coaches long and was already full, meaning no one could get on at Mossley.  The advice from the guard was that he had been told that as there is apparently a bus service from Mossley to Manchester the service was not a priority.  I then had to wait in sub zero temperatures until the 8.55 train arrived (on time, a miracle in itself).
 
Quite frankly I am appalled at the contempt with which you treat your paying customers.  I do not pay £80 a month to be to be inconvenienced by you and then told to spend my money elsewhere on an inadequate replacement.  For what it’s worth, a few commuters seemingly did try and get a bus but the bus was too small and the driver said the route is so long and slow that it would make more sense to wait for the next train.
Do you really think that this is an acceptable service?  Do you honestly believe that I am getting value for money?  Because I don’t.  Yet no doubt I will be forced to pay increased costs as of January.  I am surprised that you have the bare faced cheek to have still been checking tickets at Victoria both yesterday and this morning.
 
I have not been using this route long but speaking to other commuters who have, these problems are not uncommon.  However, in the relatively short time I have been using the route I have regularly had to contend with overcrowded and late running trains.
 
Ask yourselves this question.. would you put up with this kind of ‘service’ if it was affecting you?  Unfortunately I have no other option.  Do you think that this ‘service’ is acceptable and worth £80 a month?  Would you pay £80 a month for overcrowded trains that you mighit not even be able to get on?
 
Even your turn around on complaints leaves a lot to be desired.  Four weeks?  How can you say that this is reasonable?  Or are you so swamped with complaints about your non-existent service that this is as quick a turnaround as you can manage?
 
Regards,
 
John Hyde
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  1. Dan
    December 19th, 2010 at 20:45 | #1

    John,

    I would have been one of the people crammed on to your 0855. That would have been one of very few occasions during the past month when it turned up on time, though in fairness to Northern Rail delays are not always their fault, and their trains are often held up for late-running expresses run by First Trans Pennine.

    It might not feel like it, but at Mossley you’re one of the lucky ones. You have an electronic information display (ok, only as good as the quality of information they feed into it), and you have a waiting room that doesn’t double up as a wind tunnel.

    For real Northern Rail incompetence with added hypothermia, come to Slaithwaite. The train might turn up – then again, it might not.

    There’s a loudspeaker. Northern Rail’s management acknowledged as long ago as 2006 that it needed replacing. Sometimes it works, a lot of the time it doesn’t. It was out of order for nine months covering the whole of last winter. Apparently they were waiting for a replacement part from Germany. I offered to go to Germany to collect it, but they didn’t take me up on my offer.

    According to the company, it’s now working. Except that it’s rarely used, and when it is used they never bother to announce whether it’s late. Usually if it’s late they just keep quiet, and hope the waiting passengers will get bored and decide to drive into work instead.

    Then there’s the fares. Just as well my mortgage is paid off.

    The rest you know about – the overcrowding, the absence of any evidence of train cleaning.

    Yesterday I travelled on five company’s trains – Northern, Trans Pennine, Cross Country, Eat Coast and the Tyne & Wear Metro. Four of them were clean and well maintained with friendly and helpful staff. Guess which wasn’t?

    It doesn’t have to be like this, and in fairness to Northern Rail, it isn’t. From time to time I travel on other bits of Northern Rail – to places like Halifax, Leeds, Ilkley and along the Durham Coast. Same ancient trains, but a much better quality of service, helpful staff and evidence of train cleaning. Perhaps whoever manages the trains runing out of Manchester Victoria could learn from their counterparts in Leeds and Newcastle.

    Finally, because we all need a laugh after travelling on dear old Northern Rail, you might like to know about their latest purchase. No, not a mop and bucket. According to allwhois.com, northernfail.org was snapped up on October 5, along with northernfail.com.

    Given the trashing they take on northernfail.co.uk you can perhaps see the reason why.

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