Customer Service, Not.

Can somebody explain to whoever is responsible for training London Underground ticket barrier staff at Paddington that you should never, even answer a question about why a ticket is allegedly not valid with the insulting “What part of ‘It’s not valid’ do you not understand?”.

Especially when the correct answer is “Because Northern Trains failed to print a ‘+’ next to ‘via London’ despite the customer having paid the correct fare”.

I have never encountered such a rude, insulting and offensive attitude from the platform staff of any privatised rail companies. Perhaps it’s because LUL is an old-fashioned nationalised industry that a (hopefully) small minority of staff feel they can get away treating paying customers in such an offensive manner. It’s almost enough to make one believe in privatisation.

I take offense at being treated like some combination of criminal and idiot when I haven’t personally done anything wrong. I find that far worse than the inconvenience of having to queue up just to have the National Rail ticket clerk confirm that I had indeed paid the correct fare and rubber stamp my ticket as valid on the Underground. Even though the latter caused me to miss my connection out of Euston, and add no less than 90 minutes to my journey.

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3 Responses to Customer Service, Not.

  1. I hope you wrote to TfL to report them. But to be fair, the majority of staff are good natured enough.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    Yes, I’ve made offical complaints to both Northern Trains (who made out the ticket incorrectly) and TfL.

  3. Michael says:

    Many years ago now I was called for a job interview at Heathrow airport. I lived in Slough at the time was going on holiday to Ventnor on the Isle of Wight that week. So went to Slough travel office and bought both Slough to Shanklin, and Shanklin to London Waterloo returns. Alas the travel offcie make out a Waterloo to Shanklin return. On the ferry the jobswoth ripped my Shanklin to Waterloo ticket in half “because I had to have failed to hand it in to get onto the island in the first place”. Only the travel office in Slough could re-issue my ticket to get me back to my holiday after the job interview – and the whole point was not to need to go back to Slough! I had been unemployed for some months and I did not need the stress! Ah well, at least I got the job.