Rail payouts to come by cheque
If you ever find that your Virgin Train is delayed, you'll now be getting your money back in the form of a cheque, like it's the 1980s. Still, cash is better than travel vouchers which they previously doled out, so this is good consumer news.
Which!!!, of course, have some views on this: "Passengers are rightly frustrated by the significant barriers that exist when claiming compensation for train delays and cancellations, so it is good to see Virgin Trains setting the pace by offering cash as the default option for compensation," said Richard Lloyd (who else?).
"We would urge all train operating companies to act quickly to implement this, and further changes, to improve the process for their customers."
This follows the scheme where those travelling on the west coast, who had bought advance tickets through Virgin Train's website, got a refund directly on to their payment cards. This cheque service now ensures that every delayed passenger who is entitled to a refund, can get their paws on it.
Compensation for delayed services is based on the 'Delay Repay' system, which around half of train operators now offer. There's different amounts offered depending on which service you use, but the best deals give you up to a 50% refund on a single ticket for delays of between 30 minutes and an hour, and (up to a) 100% refund on a single ticket for a delay of between one and two hours.
Graham Leech, group commercial director at Virgin Trains, said: "We always want to be on the side of passengers. That is why we wholly support the move to offer cash compensation as a first option to customers and why we were the first operator to introduce automatic delay repay."
"We're committed to making claiming compensation simpler and clearer for customers. We never want passengers to suffer delays or disruption but when things do go wrong we want to put it right."