Congratulations Benjamin Kaube

By | Category: Travel rumblings
automatic repayment at least comes from Virgin Trains. Image © Virgin Trains

automatic repayment at least comes from Virgin Trains. Image © Virgin Trains

According to the Evening Standard in London, the Imperial College PhD student became so annoyed with the complexity of getting refunds from rail companies that he has built his own app.

According to the newspaper, the app, TrainTrick.com, uses a mobile’s GPS data to work out the passenger’s journey details. You upload a photograph of the ticket, the app submits a refund request to the train company if a journey is delayed by 30 minutes or more. The money is refunded to the passenger via PayPal after a 10 per cent admin fee is deducted.

Paying a 10% fee for avoiding all the brouhaha in getting a refund seems good value to me especially when companies are charging close to 30% for getting refunds due to PPI mis-selling and compensation for flight delays. Kaube deserves to get a dollop of cash from this clever and useful idea and I don’t begrudge him a penny of what he will earn.

Kaube has also calculated how much some train companies are not passing back to travellers largely because passengers can’t be bothered to claim. He says Southern “owe” £3.3 million just since April although the rail company disputes this.

Network Rail pays compensation to train operating companies whenever there is disruption on the track, but only a fraction of this was passed on to passengers last year. Whilst commuters are due the large amount of the refunds, holidaymakers still use trains in huge numbers for day trips and to get to their holiday destinations. Losing hours can make connections missed and holiday time wasted especially if you have arranged to pick up keys at certain times..

The newspaper reports that  the MP, Will Quince found that Abellio Greater Anglia received £8.5 million from Network Rail but paid out £2.3 million, Southeastern received £7 million but paid £1.35 million and Southern got £28.5 million and paid £1.6 million .

Will all other train companies now join the likes of C2C and Virgin Trains who pay automatic compensation?

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