Should we all start invoicing buses for being late?

2 February 2015

Buses and trains are notorious for being late in the UK, with most people just accepting it as part of the service. However, all that might've changed as one lady made a note of all the late bus services and then invoiced for them successfully.

Elizabeth Thomas sent her invoice to First Buses, which totted up to £103.30 and they gave her a load of free passes.

late travel invoice

She complained about a service in Bristol which had been consistently late, which she said, had been preventing her from spending time with her two children because her commute was taking longer than necessary.

"I've had to start leaving an hour earlier just to be sure I get to work on time, and by the time I get home I'm looking at a 12-hour day most days," she said.

"That’s time I should be spending with my children. Is my time not valuable to First?"

Thomas looked at her Twitter and used the data she collated there, to document late buses (or indeed, buses that didn't show up at all). She added up all the time she waited and put it into an invoice. She found that she'd wasted 11.24 hours waiting for First's buses.

With that, she decided to charge First £9.19 per hour, which resulted in a cost of £103.30. Seeing as Elizabeth Thomas was successful, should we all start invoicing travel companies for late running services, to get some compensation or free stuff? Looks like a good idea to us.

**UPDATE**

First in Bristol got in touch to say this: "The success of this particular claim was due to the fact that there is a customer promise already in place in Bristol, which offers to pay out if a bus (in Bristol) is more than one minute early at a defined timing point, or more than 20 mins late at any boarding point, and the cause of the failure is within the company’s control. This is well publicized locally and means that there was, in fact, no need for an invoice to be submitted at all."

All buses services across the country would do well to adopt this customer promise!

TOPICS:   Travel   Complaints

2 comments

  • Karen D.
    Note, the success of this particular claim was due to the fact that there is a customer promise already in place in Bristol, which offers to pay out if a bus (in Bristol) is more than one minute early at a defined timing point, or more than 20 mins late at any boarding point, and the cause of the failure is within the company's control. This is well publicized locally and means that there was, in fact, no need for an invoice to be submitted at all.
  • Alexis
    Won't work anywhere else. There is no contract in place between the passenger and the bus company - an advertised time would just be an invitation to treat. In any case, the delay would probably be due to circumstance. Even if there was a contract in place, it would become frustrated due to traffic, roadworks, old biddies taking they time etc. etc.

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