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First Great Western can afford to be useless

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 2 April 2013

The train up to London is overcrowded. Even as we approach Reading there are folks who have been standing all the way from Bristol. We left there on time. We are now 40 minutes late. We have been sitting outside Reading for 15 minutes “waiting to be signalled in.” The train “manager” apologies over the loud speaker now and again but she took sincerity lessons from Tony Blair.

Of course there has been no hint of compensation when we arrive an hour late into Paddington (although I gather that we can claim compensation although I bet it is a real waste of time). There is no suggestion of a free coffee next time we travel on this monopoly service. It is a monopoly and so I shall use this company that I loathe with a passion once again.

It is suggested by a fellow passenger that this is a result of privitization. Saints preserve me. About the only thing that can be said in favour of First Great Western is that it looks like a gold standard customer service provider when compared to British Rail. I just wish that it might treat its customers with a bit less of the open contempt that a monopoly provider can afford to show.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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