Good news for Southeastern commuters

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Rail passengers will no longer pay a price for ticket machine confusion in a new Southeastern refund scheme.

This follows widespread criticism of transport firms giving customers a large number of ticket options for a single journey.

Customers have complained at being left out of pocket when, in their haste to board a train, they have mistakenly selected a more expensive option.

For example, when using a machine to get a ticket for Tonbridge to London, passengers could be asked if they would prefer an option ‘not valid for High Speed 1,’ by ‘any route,’ or ‘via Redhill’.

It may not be immediately obvious which of these is the most expensive.

Recent UK research by watchdog Office of Road and Rail found that 6 per cent of passengers paid more than necessary on journeys last year.

Southeastern, the franchise holder for the Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge line, has now committed to help.

Last week the firm introduced their Ticket Machine Price Guarantee.

A spokesman said: ‘This means that if you purchase a ticket from one of our ticket vending machines, but find that you’re then able to find the same ticket elsewhere for a lower price, we’ll refund the difference.’

Office of Road and Rail also found that 91 per cent of those surveyed bought the correct ticket, which was an 11 per cent rise from the previous year.

This was also partly put down to a clearer use of language.

Stephanie Tobyn, of Office of Road and Rail, said: ‘The industry has made significant progress and we want to see companies acting on the results of our survey and continuing to roll out improvements to ticket machines to provide a better service to their passengers.’

Southeastern has asked customers looking to claim a refund to get in touch by writing to the company, including copies of the ticket bought.

Their full address is: Southeastern Customer Services, PO Box 10422, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, LE65 9EL.

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