Moral obligation

PUBLISHED: 12:12 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010

SIR, — First Capital Connect (FCC) are being disingenuous in claiming that Kim Shand (Herts Advertiser, February 28) should have looked at the departure boards on the day of travel. When she booked, the company — if not the booking clerk — already knew th

SIR, - First Capital Connect (FCC) are being disingenuous in claiming that Kim Shand (Herts Advertiser, February 28) should have looked at the departure boards on the day of travel. When she booked, the company - if not the booking clerk - already knew there would be engineering works on her day of travel, even if the exact timetable hadn't been published. They should therefore have advised her at that time that there would be engineering works and either to check arrangements in the week preceding her journey or to arrive at St Albans station in plenty of time in order to ensure she caught the right train. Furthermore they should train their booking clerks properly to give such information without being asked.

While regular travellers from St Albans are likely to be aware of upcoming engineering works and to look carefully at the departure boards on the station, the same may well not be true of occasional travellers. Furthermore the board in the ticket hall is not very easy to read.

Finally, if Mrs Shand had any luggage, she would probably have passed through the staffed gate, being required to show a ticket, in which case the staff member admitting her should have advised her of the best train to catch. FCC are simply abdicating all responsibility for informing intending passengers of potential disruption to their journey. The same applies to Marc Edney's story in the same issue where incorrect information was provided by FCC. Ms Shand's response shows that FCC are willingly driving away potential customers.

FCC are morally, if not legally, obliged to refund Mrs Shand in full. If they still refuse to do so after all this publicity, she should take up the matter with London TravelWatch, 6 Middle Street, London. EC1A 7JA.

PHILIP NALPANIS

Lyndon Mead, Sandridge.

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