Duncan Bayne

Exchange w/ Metro Trains re. Customer Service

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to request a refund for a fare of $5.54, paid through Myki. The trip was yesterday (4th April 2012), from Footscray to Parliament, and then to Springvale, arriving at approximately 18:10.

I had arranged to meet my wife at Westall Station at around 18:00, and then to proceed together to a dinner appointment. To ensure I wasn’t late, I’d performed a search on your trip planning website, and had the results on my mobile phone.

The trip from Footscray to Parliament was made easier by the on-board entertainment. I’m not sure who arranged it, but it was certainly fascinating to see the onboard display’s diagnostic information (memory, serial port configuration etc.). It was certainly a change from the customary (and admittedly far more useful) information about the progress of the train, and it proved a nice distraction from the mass of angry humanity pressed against me by the overcrowding on the service.

Fortunately the automated announcements kept me informed of our location, and I was able to disembark at Parliament. Of course I first had to push my way through a crush of people who, in the absence of any staff manning the platform, thought it appropriate to board the train before passengers had finished disembarking.

Concerned about time, I checked my phone. The instructions were to board a train ‘towards Dandenong’. In the absence of any trains marked ‘towards Dandenong’ I thought of clicking the link promising detailed information about the leg of the journey. “Internal Error” was the only response from your website; apparently it was developed by the same folks responsible for the earlier on-board entertainment.

I was now quite concerned about running late, so I ran upstairs to ask a friendly Metro staff member for help. In the end the best I could do was a scowling inbreed standing by the barrier, who looked as though he had stolen his Metro uniform from the previous owner after killing and eating him. Said inbreed checked a network diagram on the wall and informed me that, if I ran, I could catch a Pakenham train departing platform two in one minute.

“Do you think you can make it?” he asked with a malicious grin. “Not if I take the time to push you down the escalator first” I mused, but thought better of it as his copious bulk would probably have stuck fast in the escalator and delayed even more long-suffering rail commuters.

So back downstairs I ran, and managed to squeeze onto the Packenham train with seconds to spare. The train then departed and passed through several stations. At this point that I discovered the on-board display on this particular train was proudly announcing “Parliament”, despite our having left that station behind some fifteen minutes ago. In addition to the monomaniacal on-board display, this particular train lacked announcements. Combined with the wall of passengers pressed around me courtesy the overcrowding, I found it impossible to see which stations we were passing.

Here my phone came to the rescue; I whipped it out, turned on the GPS, and started monitoring our position. I could see that we were approaching Westall station and, to my pleasure, we were running on time. You can imagine my displeasure when we breezed straight through Westall without stopping.

I called my wife to let her know, and was informed by another passenger that the train we were on doesn’t normally stop at Westall, and that the next stop was Springvale. Significantly, this good Samaritan was blind; I’d introduced myself to him a while earlier by way of stepping on his guide dog. Apparently random blind strangers really do know more about Metro timetables than Metro staff. Although, in fairness, one shouldn’t expect expertise in public transport matters from an homicidal cannibal.

In the end my long-suffering pregnant wife drove through rush-hour traffic to meet me at Springvale, and we were signficantly late to our dinner appointment.

I can be contacted by email at dhgbayne@gmail.com, or called on XXXX XXX XXX. Thanks for your time, and I look forwards to hearing from you regarding a refund for my trip.

Yours,

Duncan Bayne


Dear Mr Bayne

We refer to your email of 5 April 2012. Please accept our apology for the delay in responding.

Your request for a refund of a myki fare due to your experience on the evening of 4 April 2012 is acknowledged.

Your feedback is important to us and we welcome the opportunity to respond.

Compensation

Compensation is not offered for service disruptions, delays and cancellations as outlined in the Victorian Fares & Ticketing Manual.

Outside our legislative requirements, we have produced a Customer Compensation Code, ratified by the State Government, which outlines our offer of compensation to eligible customers based on our monthly network-wide performance.

Full details of our Customer Compensation Code are available on our website:

http://www.metrotrains.com.au/About-us/Service-Commitments/Compensation-Code.html

Ticket Offer

Notwithstanding the above, in recognition of our response timeframes not meeting yours or our expectations, whilst we do not offer refunds outside the terms of our Customer Compensation Code, on this occasion, we are pleased to offer you one, daily zone 1 and 2 Full Fare Metcard Ticket as a once off, gesture of goodwill.

Should you wish to accept this offer, please sign a copy of this letter as an indication that you consider this to represent a satisfactory resolution to your concerns.

You can return this via our postal address:

Metro Customer Service

Customer Feedback

GPO Box 1880

MELBOURNE VIC 3001

Alternatively, you may wish to return your signed acknowledgment via facsimile, to 9610 2406. Upon receipt, we shall arrange for the ticket to be promptly issued to you.

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us.

Yours sincerely

XXXXXX XXXX

Customer Relations Coordinator


To whom it may concern,

Thank you for your ‘letter’ dated May 23rd. I apologise for the delay in my response, but I’ve been hunting in my shed, rubbish pile, under the house and in my car boot for either a printer or a fax machine.

Sad to report, my search didn’t turn up either device.

A further delay ensued as I hunted in all the aforementioned places for a time machine, that I might travel back to the 1990s when printers and fax machines were abundant, and bring one back with me to the 21st Century.

Alas, that search was also in vain.

Might I politely request an alternative means of obtaining my complimentary ticket? I could collect it from either Footscray or Southern Cross station.


Dear Mr Bayne,

if you confirm your acceptance of our offer and provide your postal address via return email, we will send your ticket out.

Regards,

XXXXXX XXXX

Customer Relations Coordinator