Plaid leader accuses train company of ignoring complaints by passengers


Colin Mann

Arriva Trains Wales has apologised to the Plaid Cymru group leader on Caerphilly County Borough Council over its customer service – but has not explained what went wrong.

 Councillor Colin Mann complained in November after the Wales-Serbia football international  about appalling customer service between Rhymney Valley and Grangetown, Cardiff, railway station, saying the company had let down loyal customers with misinformation.  His Llanbradach ward councillor, Rob Gough, who was with Councillor Mann also complained.

In an email to Councillor Mann, Arriva Trains Wales said: “I am sorry for the delay in you receiving a response from us. We have experienced a significant uplift in contact in recent months.

However, I assure you that we are working hard to reduce our current response times and have put measures in place to ensure that our customers receive a far more timely reply.

“We take customer satisfaction seriously, and whilst it is disappointing to receive complaints about the service we have provided, we value all feedback as it enables us to continue to improve and meet the expectations of our customers.

“I apologise that we failed to meet your expectations on this occasion and assure you that your feedback has been logged, and referred to the relevant members of our management team. Where further investigation is necessary, I assure you that we will ensure this is carried out and that appropriate action is taken to address your complaint.”

Councillor Mann, who has been offered a £25 rail travel voucher from the company, said: “Four months and more to receive a response is totally unacceptable. Arriva has also failed to explain the reasons for the problems we faced.

“I’m well aware of the problems travellers using Arriva every day are facing. They are well documented on Twitter and Facebook. It is time the company got their act together because people are questioning whether they are fit to run rail services in Wales in the future.”

Responding to the apology, Councillor Mann told Arriva in an email: “I do appreciate your apology but unfortunately there is nothing in your response to explain why myself and my colleague experienced a very difficult situation on that particular evening.

“ What happened to us of course also happened to a considerable number of other passengers who were treated in a similar cavalier manner You mention that you have had a significant increase in complaints.  Perhaps the provision of a better service for customers would help to reduce that?”