First Capital Connect compensation row continues

OUTRAGED First Capital Connect customers who were trapped on a packed rush-hour train for over three hours are continuing to contact the Herts Advertiser about “inadequate” compensation payouts they say they’ve received

One season ticket holder from Harpenden was offered a “derisory” �5.28 after a five-week wait. Gary Bray, who was so outraged by the offer that he has written to the rail company to question it about it, said it appeared to be the standard “Delay Repay” compensation, not the elevated compensation that he was promised.

He wrote: “This is despite the clear indications on your [FCC’s] website in the immediate aftermath of this debacle, that special compensation arrangements would be made – reneging on this very public commitment is unforgivable.”

Another passenger, who did not want to be named, said he received a rail voucher worth �4.50 but the two promised scratch-cards were not in his original mail. He contacted FCC who apologised and issued another rail voucher for �3 but the scratch cards were again missing.

He said: “At the third attempt, FCC actually managed to send me the two tickets. I’ve emailed to ask why I was only offered two and not five like other passengers.

“The use of scratch cards is actually a pretty cynical way of avoiding costs. They only cost to FCC is the actual cost of printing the tickets. FCC will suffer some loss of revenue if customers use their scratch cards instead of buying tickets but I suspect that many will be used for leisure journeys that would not otherwise have been made.”

Gary was among many commuters trapped on the St Albans-bound train which stalled outside Kentish Town station on May 26. The train stopped halfway inside the tunnel.

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The rail operator maintains that compensation is worked out on a case-by-case basis.