Rail call centre ‘completely incompetent’, says woman
A CORPACH woman has been left outraged after ScotRail’s ‘ complete incompetence’ meant her husband was late for a get-together with friends in Glasgow.
Janice Strachan’s husband was heading to Glasgow for a long weekend last Friday, July 29, to meet friends he hadn’t seen for more than six months.
Mr Strachan had booked a ticket for the 11.21am train from Corpach to Glasgow Queen Street. Following recent train strikes, his wife examined ScotRail’s website around 10.55am to double check the train was still on schedule. Mrs Strachan told The Oban
Times: ‘I checked online because ScotRail had advised to check during the strikes. The train he was meant to be getting wasn’t showing up on the website.’
Concerned the train wasn’t running, she called ScotRail. ‘The first number I called was from ScotRail’s website and I was transferred to three different departments. I was first told it had been cancelled because of staff shortages and then someone else told me the train was running but that it was only going from Fort William station, not Corpach.
‘I was pushed from pillar to post for more than 45 minutes so it was too late to try to get into Fort William to get it.
‘My husband is absolutely gutted – his weekend was been ruined. He took two days off work – Friday July 29 and Monday August 1 – to go and meet his friends.’
Mrs Strachan said her husband had chosen to travel by train as he was taking an expensive bike with him to Glasgow and did not want to put it in the hold of a bus in case it was damaged.
She continued: ‘ We were then told he could have got the train to Crianlarich and then a bus from there, but if he wanted to get a bus, he would have booked a bus. He got the train for his bike and they didn’t even tell us at the time of the booking that he would have to get a bus from Crianlarich.
‘They then told me he could get the train to Crianlarich, get off and press the help button to see what would happen.
‘Why would anyone travel all that way to just see what happens?
‘He would have been better off cycling to Glasgow.
‘They are totally unreliable. It is through their complete incompetence that my husband missed the train. If they had told me the correct information to begin with, he would have never missed it.’
Mrs Strachan expressed her frustration at ScotRail’s refusal to take responsibility for the missed train: ‘ No one at ScotRail is accepting responsibility and no one was willing to help me.
‘They could have offered to arrange alternative transport for him – they should have organised a taxi from Corpach to Glasgow for him. We want compensation.’
A ScotRail spokesman said: ‘The 10.10 Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street service on Friday July 29 had to be terminated at Crianlarich because of a shortage of train crew.
‘The misinformation the customer was provided with came from a call made to national rail inquiries which advised that the service was cancelled, not partially cancelled from Crianlarich onward with alternative transport being provided.
‘The customer then contacted ScotRail’s customer relations
He would have been better off cycling to Glasgow ” Janice Strachan
department to complain about the cancellation, which is when she was advised of the correct information regarding the train running.
‘ We’re always concerned to hear that a customer’s plans have been disrupted due to a cancellation. We do everything possible to alert travellers as soon as we know of any chance to the service. We did so on this occasion through our website, journey check and our mobile app.’
Talking to The Oban Times on Monday, Mrs Strachan said: ‘I ended up talking to someone from ScotRail on Facebook and we found out that his ticket would be valid for the later train just after 5pm. So he got the train in the end. However, the booking for his bike was not valid on that service so he had to take a gamble on whether it would get on and luckily it did.
‘They need to sort their call centre out. If someone from the company tells you the train is cancelled, you’re going to believe them.’