Arriva in legal threat over fake branding
ARRIVA Trains Wales bosses have been left redfaced because people Googling the firm are being confronted with a logo with the words “Arriva Trains Fails”.
The German-based transport giant has now threatened legal action against the Facebook page “Arriva Trains Fails – Wales” after search giant Google picked up its parody logo instead of the official branding.
The page, which has more than 4,000 likes, was set up to highlight issues with the beleaguered rail operator. The man behind the page, Steve Fletcher, said it was set up in 2014 and he has never had any problems before. But this week, the administrator of the Facebook page received some unexpected news.
In a Facebook post shared to “Arriva Trains Fails – Wales” page, he said: “I‘ve just been threatened with legal action from Arriva Trains Wales over the banner at the top of this page.
“Apparently if you Google ‘Arriva trains’ it appears as their brand logo! I’ve got until the April 4 to comply otherwise they’ll ‘pursue their legal remedies.’”
Steve says the image has been on the site for around three years. The post added: “My reply? I told them a simple ‘please’ would have sufficed.”
Speaking to us, Steve, from Cardiff, said he has always had a “really good” relationship with Arriva Trains Wales. They use the Facebook page and I am on the passenger panel,” he said.
“They use my Facebook page to see what’s going on, to see what people are talking about and to see what types of things the customers complain about.
“When people are searching for Arriva Trains Wales on Google my banner is coming up displaying Arriva Trains Fails. It’s not my fault.”
Over recent years, Arriva has attracted many highlevel complaints as a result of overcrowding on the Valley lines trains. It is due to lose its Welsh franchise in October after it dropped out of the bidding process.
Steve said he is aiming to seek legal advice before removing the banner.
A spokesman for Arriva Trains Wales said it is important the company avoids confusion with the parody page.
He said no legal proceedings have begun, but said a letter has been issued to Steve explaining it remains an option if the logo is not removed.
Barry Lloyd, head of customer experience at Arriva Trains Wales, said: “We regularly work with Stephen Fletcher as a member of our customer panel and use the feedback gathered by his Facebook group to monitor customer concerns and make improvements. We have always maintained a good working relationship.
“With regard to the logo used on the site, it is important that we maintain consistent branding on platforms such as Google to avoid confusion for our customers and protect the Arriva logo which is trademarked, and with that in mind, have asked Stephen to remove the image which has only recently been picked up by Google’s search criteria.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Stephen and receiving his feedback as a member of our customer panel.”
Arriva Trains Wales could take action against parody site Arriva Trains Fails for using its branding logos