The number of customer calls to South West Trains rose by 400 per cent over the winter period, as travellers contacted the company following prolonged periods of disruption.
Enquiries to the company rose from an average of 2,500 per month to 1,000 over January and February as bad weather affected train routes across the south of the country.
Reporting on the news, the BBC commented:
“Before Christmas the rail network on the Isle of Wight was badly damaged because of flooding and currently the firm is dealing with a landslip on embankments in Botley, Hampshire.”
The company carries around 210 million passengers a year and boasts 91,500 Twitter followers. Indeed, over the past 30 days, the organisation’s Twitter account has received nearly 23,000 enquiries from social media users.
While the firm has around 70 customer service executives working out of Southampton, Tom Condon from the TSSA, the union for people in transport and travel, questioned whether more manpower was required for the influx of new customer enquiries. Responding to the criticism, SWT spokesperson Steven Stewart said that the firm was “providing the best service possible” and would deal with many cases within 20 working days.
The news came as South West Trains was ranked 15th out of 18 in the Which? passenger satisfaction survey of British train operators. The survey of 7,000 passengers gave South West Trains a score of 45 per cent.
Merseyrail was the highest performance company in the survey with 70 per cent, followed by Chiltern and c2C.