October 25, 2007
Transport for London has made it much easier for us to claim compensation from them for rubbish service.
A rare trip on the Piccadilly line left me climbing the (rounded) walls somewhere between South Ealing and Acton Town. Not a word of explanation from the driver as to why we’d sat on the track for 20 minutes, stationary. Of course, were it the DLR, I wouldn’t mind, because there is no driver. But the Piccy line’s customers are, well, pickier than that. Hold our hands, Driver; tell us it’s going to be alright in the end!
Ever keen to mine for silver (lining), I used the time to observe the behaviour of fellow passengers. The British stereotype of making do, not wanting to cause a fuss, obviously never travels by tube itself. There was outrage. Maybe it’s a Zone 3 West thing, but until-then-silent solitary passengers felt moved to air their grievances to the rest of us. Just not in any constructive fashion. “Come ON!” belted into the germ-ridden air of the carriage, followed, upon noticing that everyone else’s heads were overly sunk into their newspapers (even the Metro received attention), by ambiguously enunciated expletives. This is British Rage (never mind British Rail).
In pre-broadband days, if you could be bothered, you could go and queue for an hour or two at the counter of any underground station for a compensation form, to be rigorously filled in, signed, receipts attached, and posted. But these days, broadband-enabled, I just went to the TFL website, clicked on “Refunds”, filled in a form online, and await my voucher to the tune of one single tube journey, all because the train delayed me by more than 15 minutes. It’s no hassle, and, in an odd way, the cashing of the voucher feels mildly rewarding. Complaint achieved, satisfaction guaranteed. And not an expletive in sight.
Click here for the refund part of the TFL website.