First Capital Connect compensation chaos continues

PUBLISHED: 06:56 17 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:53 06 May 2010

FIRST Capital Connect (FCC) commuters affected by the recent chaos on the line are continuing to encounter problems with claiming compensation. Following months of disruption caused by the bad weather and a dispute with drivers over pay, FCC succumbed to

FIRST Capital Connect (FCC) commuters affected by the recent chaos on the line are continuing to encounter problems with claiming compensation.

Following months of disruption caused by the bad weather and a dispute with drivers over pay, FCC succumbed to growing calls to hand over compensation and offered the equivalent to 10 free journeys for season ticket holders.

But as well as many maintaining the amount is not enough, commuters have also complained about complications in the claims process.

One of them is Louise Warren who commutes with FCC from St Albans to City Thameslink every weekday to her job in a financial house.

She said that her annual season ticket, which costs nearly £3,000, would run out in a few weeks and she was concerned that she would not receive her five per cent discount voucher before she renewed it.

Louise has had to fill out a form and scan in her season ticket to send off to FCC which is promising to process the claims within 28 days.

But she questioned why customers couldn't simply present their old season ticket at the booth when purchasing their new one to prevent a situation whereby people lost out on the discount this year.

Louise also said that numerous people she had spoken to did not need to renew their ticket until later in the year and were not aware that the deadline to claim compensation was March 31.

She accused FCC of purposely making the compensation claim process as difficult as possible to limit the amount of claims.

She said: "I just have to hope my application will be processed in time. I think it's hopeless. You look at a years travel and for three months we were being disrupted, so five per cent is a bit of an insult. And then they offer it in this sneaky, underhand and unhelpful manner."

Last week, new FCC managing director Neal Lawson told the Herts Advertiser when pressed on the subject: "We have tried to make the process as simple as possible and have had customers and rail user groups in to meet us to road test the scheme and give their feedback.

"We've tried to get the balance right between giving people a choice with discounts or free tickets, keeping it fair (so that they go to the people who were affected) and getting the scheme up and running as quickly as possible.


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