New Rail Ombudsman must learn from best schemes to deliver vital consumer protection, says MSE
On the launch of the new Rail Ombudsman, Kirsty Good, Head of Campaigns at MoneySavingExpert.com said: "Passengers not being able to get from A to B on-time because their rail company has messed up causes daily bouts of missed appointments, cold hours spent waiting on platforms, and has even lost some people their jobs. So it's good to see that a Rail Ombudsman is being set up to intervene when consumers have reached the end of the line with the train company in question.
"MoneySavingExpert has long campaigned for improved performance of ombudsman schemes across the board, and the challenge for the Rail Ombudsman is to show that it can learn from the best schemes, and really deliver vital consumer protection in this area.
"Like many ombudsman schemes, the Rail Ombudsman will normally require consumers to wait 8 weeks before they can raise a complaint with it. One major way that the Rail Ombudsman could immediately lead from the front, is to reduce this to somewhere between 2-4 weeks. It must also be given whatever powers are necessary – by Parliament if needs be – to make sure that all train companies must sign up, that its processes are complied with, and that its decisions are put into action."