FOI request detail

Policy on apologising to passengers

Request ID: FOI-1091-2021
Date published: 06 October 2020

You asked

It is quite clear what I require. Your trains were delayed on the 11 August due to a signal failure. As you are responsible for this I'm entitled to claim so I did. To date the payment has still not been received. For clarity I have also requested a copy of TFL's policy on apologising to passengers when your equipment has failed. When I requested this before I was informed there was no policy however several members of station staff have told me that is not true and it's in their internal staff handbook and not for public viewing If that is the case that is fundamentally wrong and if a member of the public wants to see that policy it must under the Freedom of Information Act be disclosed. You may not like profanities being used well it may help if you actually bothered to answer peoples questions. It is a common courtesy to passengers to apologise when your services are not running as scheduled and if it is the case there is a secret instruction telling staff not to apologise that needs to be disclosed. I make no apology for using profanities as it is quite clear what is required and TFL are not giving a reason why it is being witheld, which is an offence under the FOI Act. If TFL can't be bothered apologising when their equipment fails probably due to lack of maintenance then it's hardly surprising that the passengers who pay for the service will get annoyed. I am also told that the fare for that day was credited to me as a web credit. I cannot access that and I believe that was done intentionally to try and avoid paying which in your terms and conditions you have to do. I see now that I have had a response from a manager so it now may be that something gets done. I also raised the issue of TFL sending me customer satisfaction surveys. Under GDPR I am entitled to opt out of receiving these as they are extremely irritating especially when the complaint has not been acted on. It may help if you actually acted on complaints made rather than issuing threats to passengers. I trust now all these issues will be dealt with and I suggest you please get on with it. I also realise the issue over the unpaid fare reclaim may be for customer services but I've tried dealing with it through them and got nowhere so I now require you to deal with it please and don't fob me off onto someone else.

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-1091-2021

Thank you for your email of 12th September 2020, sent to both the Freedom of Information team and Customer Services.

The element of your email requesting specific, recorded information has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. 

You asked:

“I have also requested a copy of TFL's policy on apologising to passengers when your equipment has failed.”

This is, in essence, identical to requests you have made previously under case references FOI-2422-1920 and FOI-3811-1920. Copies of those responses are attached for ease of reference. There is nothing further that I can usefully add to those responses, which explains the position in regard to staff announcements on trains and at stations. Our Customer Services team will address the other points raised in your email.

If you are considering submitting a further FOI request please think carefully about whether the request is essential at this current time, as answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. Where requests are made, please note that our response time may be impacted by the current situation.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely,

David Wells

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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