Today Virgin Trains became the UK’s first train operator to introduce Automatic Delay Repay (ADR). The system calculates the money due to a customer in the event of a delay and automatically pays the compensation directly onto the card they used for purchase. The compensation is calculated under the existing Delay Repay scheme3.
ADR is available to Virgin Trains customers travelling on the West Coast Mainline who purchased their Advance tickets through www.virgintrains.com or the mobile app. Around 3.5 million customer journeys could benefit from the scheme1.
Many additional passengers could also benefit simply by purchasing their Advance tickets through the website, which guarantees the cheapest fares with no booking fees.
Virgin Trains expect this new system to result in an additional £2.8 million being paid to passengers in compensation within the next year, on top of the existing level of compensation2. This is because many people simply do not claim at the moment, and is based on current website use and levels of previous delays.
Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin commented,“Making it easier to get compensation when trains are delayed is a vital part of our plan for passengers. Today’s announcement is fantastic news for people travelling along the West Coast Mainline. Virgin Trains are making the most of modern technology to improve the service customers get. Our plan is to make sure passengers across the country benefit from schemes like this and we are encouraging other operators to roll out similar schemes nationwide.”
Phil Whittingham, Managing Director, Virgin Trains on the West Coast added, “We’re proud of our record of customer service at Virgin Trains and are always looking for new ways to innovate for the benefit of customers. So we’re delighted to be the first train company to automatically refund cash directly back onto customers’ payment cards should they be delayed by more than 30 minutes. This will be available to customers who book through our website or app, so the more people who book with us, the more we can help in this way. This is just one of a range of innovations we have planned for the coming year, all of which are aimed squarely at the most important person – the customer.”
About Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains is the brand name of Virgin Rail Group (VRG), which is owned by Virgin Group (51%) and Stagecoach (49%). Virgin Trains has operated the West Coast passenger train franchise since 1997, serving key UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. In June 2014 the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded VRG a new franchise until at least April 2017.
Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. We provide the most frequent long-distance rail service in Europe (London - Manchester and London – Birmingham, both every 20 minutes).
Since 1997, Virgin Trains has introduced over 70 new trains at a cost of £1.5 billion. The service carries more than 34.5 million passengers a year and Virgin Trains employs approximately 3,290 staff.
Virgin Trains customers consistently rate the company as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Passenger Survey (NPS) commissioned by industry watchdog “Passenger Focus”.