Depending on how severe the failing is, you can claim back up to 100% of the price you paid.
If you’re paying to travel by train, coach or ferry you’re purchasing a service, and it must be provided with reasonable care and skill.
In practice this could mean that you can claim a full or partial refund for things like delays, where these are caused by something the service provider has done.
You can claim a refund of up to 100% of the price paid. But, for example if a delay was short, or short in relation to the overall journey time, you may only be able to claim a partial refund.
You can use our guides to find out more about other delays and cancellation compensation schemes:
If you claim a refund under the Consumer Rights Act it may mean you can't receive compensation from other schemes, as there’s generally a rule that you can't be compensated twice for the same thing. But you’re still free to start both claims.
If you feel the service you’ve received falls way below the standard you’d expect, you might be entitled to claim a full or partial refund in the following circumstances:
You’ll need evidence to prove your claim, and be prepared to argue your case.
There are some things that may cause a delay to your journey that are likely to be outside of the train company’s control. Examples of this include:
It is unlikely that you will be able to make a successful claim if the issue which caused your detail was not a failure on the train company's part to provide the service with reasonable care and skill.
Under the Consumer Rights Act you can claim for consequential losses. This means you can claim for financial losses you have suffered as a result of the failure by the transport service.
To make a successful claim you’ll need to demonstrate how your losses are linked to a breach of contract by the service provider.
Your first port of call should be to write to the company asking for compensation. You should explain how their service was in breach of their contract with you and how that breach resulted in further losses to you.
For example, due to a delay or cancellation you may have missed a connecting journey and had to pay for an alternative service.
It’s a good idea to seek out legal advice if your claim is particularly high value or complicated.
You may find that simply threatening to go to court will prompt the train company to take action and deal with your complaint.
Which? doesn't believe this is fair on rail passengers and we’re calling for a statutory backed ombudsman to deal with rail passenger complaints without the hassle or expense of going to court.
Coach and bus complaints
If you need to escalate a bus or scheduled coach journey complaint who you contact will depend on where the service was operating.
If you spend more than £100 and less than £30,000 on your credit card for goods or a service, your card company is jointly liable if something goes wrong.
You can make a Section 75 claim at any time if your travel service hasn’t been provided with reasonable care and skill. But be aware that your card company may refute your claim, so be prepared to argue your case.
If you are successful in claiming a refund, or damages for consequential loss, this must be paid within 14 days and in the same form you paid for the service. So if you paid in cash, you should be refunded in cash – not vouchers.
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