Rail customers are indignant as a result of the refund of the fare was refused regardless of the coronavirus lockdown – your rights are defined
What to try if you are unable to get a refund?
1. Complain formally to the ticket seller. Explain that it is currently illegal for you to travel and as such you should be eligible for a full cash refund.
Watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), didn't specifically comment on pre-sale tickets when we asked, but said you should be eligible for a refund if a lockdown law prevents a contract from being executed.
The problem is that the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents railway companies, has told us that they only offer cash refunds when they cannot provide service and will continue to operate routes in the event of a blockage.
2. Address your complaint to the Rail Ombudsman or Transport Focus. If your complaint concerns a railway operator, you can submit it to the Rail Ombudsman. You can only do this after you have given the operator 40 working days to resolve the complaint or if you have received a "deadlock" letter which means that your complaint cannot be processed further. You can contact them by phone at 0330 094 0362 or by email at [email protected]
The decisions of the Rail Ombudsman are binding, which means that railway companies can be forced to make payments to consumers.
However, you cannot file complaints with the Ombudsman through third-party ticketing websites. If your complaint is from an independent seller, you must contact Transport Focus.
3. Report the company to the CMA. If you have no luck with the company itself, you can also report this to the CMA via email. You are unlikely to receive an individual response, but you can compile complaints to see if more extensive action is needed.
4. Try a chargeback or Section 75. This way, you will get money back through your debit or credit card company. However, there is no guarantee of success, especially because the railway providers are still active in most cases. This means that technically you can still get the service you paid for, although it might be worth a try.
Under chargeback – which is not a legal requirement, just a customer service promise – your bank will try to get money back from the bank of the company you bought from. This applies to debit card purchases and credit card purchases under £ 100. You must make a claim within 120 days. Also note that the company can sometimes dispute the money with the bank once you have paid it and that the money will be claimed back later.
If you pay for something that costs between £ 100 and £ 30,000 on a credit card under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, the card company will also be liable if something goes wrong. Please see our chargeback and Section 75 manuals for full details.
5. Your last resort is to go to court. You could pursue a case via the Small Claims Route, but you need to weigh carefully whether it is worth the hassle and cost between £ 25 and £ 300. However, this will be refunded if you win. For more information, see our guide to the Small Claims Court.