Following an active campaign ran by one of our members, it seems that Transport for London (TfL) have taken some positive steps to fix their broken complaints system.
Last year Transport for All wrote to the commissioner Mike Brown outlining our serious concerns over some major failings in TfL’s complaints system. This was after TfA member Chris Stapleton complained to TfL over forty times in November about bus drivers ignoring the blue buzzer, but saw no action to address the issue (Chris has now submitted a total of 80 complaints just for this one issue). ITV news reported about Chris’s case and followed Chris on a bus journey:
Chris’s story is not an isolated case. We’ve heard of so many Disabled and older people who have had the same issue with the complaints system, feeling that their complaints were not heard. Many are so fed up with this that they’ve stopped reporting issues they face.
Why do complaints matter?
TfA has been supporting Chris with his fight to fix the failings in TfL’s broken complaints system; arranging meetings with Managing Director Vernon Everitt and with members of the London Assembly transport committee; visiting the complaints contact centre.
A functioning complaints system is vital for ensuring that Disabled and older Londoners can travel with confidence. Transport for London must use the information they receive from complaints to ensure that transport operating companies are running quality services and to improve services where there are problems.
In the case of Chris’s problem there was a very simple solution – the bus company needs to remind drivers on their route to listen out for the blue buzzer. Unfortunately it took nearly 80 complaints and coverage on ITV for this to happen.
TfL must routinely use Disabled and older people’s complaints to improve the service we experience.
We’re pleased to say that following our campaign TfL have informed us of a number of planned improvements to their complaints system:
- Improving the quality of information (with more details) and written responses to customers
- All repeat complaints will be referred to individual case managers to ensure action is taken
- Ensuring complaints centre staff are trained to respond to accessibility issues
- Bus companies will be required to give TfL more information on how complaints are dealt with
- A transparent league tables with the number of complaints received by each bus company.
Hold TfL to their word: Keep complaining!
TfL have promised lots of changes to their complaints system over the next few months and we want to hear your views on how they work.
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 0343 222 1234
- Textphone: 0800 112 3456
- Address: TfL Customer Services, 4th Floor, 14 Pier Walk, London, SE10 0ES
We encourage to copy us (firstname.lastname@example.org) in your communication. You may also want to consider including your local MPs and assembly members in the emails (you can find their contact details at https://www.writetothem.com/)
What are your experiences?
Please let us know your experiences with the complaints system:
- Are you happy with the responses you are receiving?
- Has your journey experience improved?
Let our Campaign and Outreach officer know: Catherine@transportforall.org.uk / 020 7737 2339If you’re experiencing any issues with the complaints system please contact our Advice Line so we can take further action (click here for our Advice Line details).