Are you being served – by London’s transport providers?

12 March 2015

70,000 complaints a year are handled by Transport for London (TfL).

That’s over 1,300 complaints per week.

Contactless payment, ticket offices closures, social media and new regulatory requirements are creating unique challenges for customers and operators alike. TfL’s relationship with its customers has to change. Passengers need to know what standards of service they can expect, how to complain when things go wrong, when their complaint will be dealt with and what they’re entitled to.

The London Assembly Transport Committee Deputy Chair, Valerie Shawcross CBE AM, has completed a review [2] of the customer service offered by TfL.

The investigation has highlighted a number of inconsistencies, which are noted in her ‘TfL Customer Service: Next Steps’ report [1].

Why is there not one single customer charter covering all Transport for London services?

London Underground has no customer charter at all.

London Bus services have several different charters covering each bus operating company.

Tramlink, DLR and London Overground have their own, separate customer charters.

Cycle Hire scheme has nothing.

Deputy Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, Valerie Shawcross CBE AM, said;

“What’s missing – is a bit of common sense. Multiple different customer charters for London’s various modes of transport are confusing. Give us a straight-forward set of service standards and processes that apply regardless of whether we use the bus, the tube or any of TfL’s services. That is all we want.

Staff behaviour, timeliness and standard of responses to complaints, as well as commitments to levels of assistance available at stations - should all be covered, for all modes, under one umbrella – it should be that simple.”

The report makes eight recommendations to TfL, including;

Reviewing the design of the complaints web form and allowing passengers to complain via text message or a direct email address

Appointing an external organisation to carry out an audit of its response to complaints

Agreeing a new Alternative Dispute Resolution body for TfL service users

Designating a single Board Member as the customer champion to represent the interests of TfL’s customers at Board level.

Notes for Editors:

Read the report: ‘TfL Customer Service: Next Steps’ (attached)

The Transport Committee published a report on the standard of customer service at Transport for London in January 2012 – this is a follow-up report.

Valerie Shawcross CBE AM, Deputy Chair of the Transport Committee, is available for interview – see contact details below.

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London Assembly Transport Committee

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

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