Are passengers happy with Virgin Trains East Coast? Complaint numbers suggest not

Virgin Trains East Coast
Virgin Trains East Coast

Virgin Trains East Coast had one of the highest rates of passenger complaints in the country over last summer, according to the latest figures from the regulator.

Figures from the Office for Road and Rail show that between July and September last year the train operator had a rate of complaints of 142.2 for every 100,000 people who travelled. This was up on the same period in 2016 when it was 66.4 for every 100,000.

The ORR said that reporting issues at Virgin Trains East Coast mean that the rate of complaints may be higher and the train operator was dealing with a backlog of complaints.

Nationally the rate of complaints across all rail franchise holders was 28.7 per 100,000 passengers, down by 2.2% for the quarter compared to the same period in 2016.

Across the country passenger concerns included late or unreliable services, ticketing policies, poor facilities on trains, and being forced to stand. At Virgin Trains East Coast the largest number of complaints were about facilities on board.

Most complaints are made by email or an online form. Complaints received via social media are not counted in these statistics as the operators have different ways of dealing with comments on social platforms.

Virgin Trains East Coast dealt with 94% of complaints within 20 days. The target is to deal with 95% of complaints within that time.

But a follow up survey commissioned by the ORR found that 69% of people were unhappy with the outcome of their complaint.