Are we really customers in the eyes of rail company’s?

I had an interesting experience on my rail commute this morning.

Unannounced on the train I was given a demand to ‘see my ticket’ by a plain clothed Department of Transport official – reluctant to explain his purpose I asked ‘compliance and quality?’ – he merely smiled and said ‘yes, you could say that…’

Any clues what this is about peeps? The two chaps were very assertive and seemed very confident of their power and authority. The two plain clothed gentlemen whose only ID was a lapel badge challenged every passenger.

You will notice that I am not using term customer here as it seems that passengers only exist as customers in the rail-co fluff and rhetoric and not really what they sincerely believe.

Otherwise why would I as a paying customer feel unease at the unannounced exercise and reluctance to explain the reason for it. I was made to feel as if I had possibly done something wrong.

I’d prefer it if rail organisations were honest instead of drawing from a discourse of customer centricity to present a flawed impression of service reality. Behind the scenes it seems obvious that the rail companies don’t really believe we are customers.

If it is a ‘revenue protection’ exercise why don’t you simply tell us?

Best conspiracy theory gets a biscuit 🙂

2 Responses to “Are we really customers in the eyes of rail company’s?”

  1. Jason Carlton Says:

    Err, if this was on a “popular” rail brand now under direct control of the DfT (I believe the DfT is paying a “reduced” management fee to the operator) there is every possibility the DfT were conducting customer research to work out how much more to cream from the service/customers/passengers. (Jaffa Cakes are currently on offer at Tesco’s)


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