Thursday, January 14, 2010

National Express East Anglia - an apology

Don't get excited, it isn't an apology from me to them. You may recall that I lodged a complaint with the shambles that is National Express East Anglia in late November, after another of those deeply unsatisfying trips that they seem to increasingly specialise in. Given that their published aim was to reply to 90% of complaints within six working days, I was expecting a response in the first week of December, possibly the second.

That response didn't come, and still didn't come, and by Christmas, I had begun to start thinking about another complaint. I'm a busy man though, and you know how these things are...

However, I arrived home this evening to find an envelope waiting for me. In it was this letter;

Dear Mr Valladares,

Thank you for your email dated 24th November 2009. I am very sorry that it has taken some time to reply to you.

I am sorry that you had a bad experience when travelling with us on the 19.30 service from Liverpool Street. We expect to provide a reliable, punctual and comfortable journey and I understand that we let you down.

Our aim is to help make travel simpler and a pleasant experience for all our customers, and we were clearly unsuccessful this time. We are working hard to make improvements and feedback like yours really helps.

Given what happened, I am sending you £10.00 worth of travel vouchers. I sincerely hope that your next experience with us is more satisfactory and shows you that we are working to get things right.

Once again, my apologies and thank you for taking the time to get in touch.

Yours sincerely, etc. etc.

In its Passenger Charter, National Express East Anglia states that it aims to answer 90% of all contacts within six working days, and all complaints within fifteen working days. If they cannot give you the full answer within this time, they will send me an acknowledgement and let me know when I can expect to hear further.

My complaint was lodged on the evening of 24 November. Six working days expired on 2 December, and fifteen working days on 15 December, and so I suppose that a reply dated 8 January, and no acknowledgement, represents a fail. In fact, 8 January represents thirty working days, and I find myself idly wondering how well NXEA claim to be performing against that target...

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