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Unread 04-01-2007, 21:15   #1
Colm Donoghue
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Default What your extra fare gets you.

Today, after increasing the price of tickets but not publishing a new timetable,
IE had a ticket check at Donabate as I was getting off th e17:50 Pearse Dundalk.

There were two guys in dark clothing at the gate from the Northbound platform to the carpark/stairs to the road. We were held up a while getting off the train and down the platform. I had my Ipod on and was walking out past these guys standing in the way when one stopped me and asked for my ticket.
I asked "Who are you?" as they had no uniform or badge on. so I think the guy on the left was a mr Revenue protection while the guy on the right declined to give me his name.
I asked the guy I was talking for his name but he replied where's your ticket.

I had a quick look at the IE customer charter. It says:
__________________________________________________ ____________
9. Our staff

We know how important it is that you receive a satisfactory service from our staff at all times.

So we expect our staff to:

* be polite and helpful
* consider your safety and comfort
* wear their appropriate uniform
* wear an identification badge
* tell you about delays or alterations to services
* give you the best value ticket for your chosen journey
* refrain from smoking when on duty and in contact with customers.
__________________________________________________ _____________

So out of the seven things IE expect of their staff, they failed 2 and if you were my auld principal they would have failed the politeness requirement for standing in the way.

I realise IE need to do some ticket checking but as most people got on at a city centre station, they could have implemented their check at those stations where passengers are inside and it is lit and the staff usually show some semblance of a uniform.
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Unread 04-01-2007, 21:41   #2
Mark Gleeson
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Firstly you are under no obiligation to hand over your ticket for inspection unless the person identifies themselves, now in most cases the attire, uniform, IE high vis jacket solves that.

Complain, the revenue protection crowd have a serious attitude problem

Customer Services
Northern and Eastern
Iarnród Éireann
Connolly Station
Amiens Street
Dublin 1

Contact 01 703 2613

Manager in charge: Cal Carmichael
Manager of customer services: ??

There is a 'union problem' with the name badges
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Unread 04-01-2007, 21:42   #3
Derek Wheeler
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No excuses.

Shabby customer service and a point that IE cannot defend because its endemic across the network. The intricate details of the "do's", "don'ts", "proceedure" etc are irrelevent.

Customer service complaints appear to be the biggest problems featured on this board. What is that telling us?
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Unread 05-01-2007, 01:21   #4
Nigel Fitzgricer
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Quote:
So we expect our staff to:

* be polite and helpful
* consider your safety and comfort
* wear their appropriate uniform
* wear an identification badge
* tell you about delays or alterations to services
* give you the best value ticket for your chosen journey
* refrain from smoking when on duty and in contact with customers.
__________________________________________________ __________
It's some laugh when you read the above list and think about the huge number of nicotine-addicted IE "employees" who go out of their way to break as many of these rules on a minute-by-minute basis as they possibly can.

It also nowhere states that shutters will be pulled down on buffet cars an hour before the final destination and any passenger looking for a cup of coffee will be told to basically get stuffed by the small army of public transport professionals sitting behind the shutters...
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Unread 05-01-2007, 11:30   #5
MrX
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I had a similar experience at a totally empty Sandymount Station late one night. Can't remember the date, but I assumed I was about to be attacked. A guy with no uniform approached me with a really strong accent demanding my ticket. I thought he was looking for my wallet and legged it.

Never even assumed he was from IE ! To this day assumed he was some chancer trying to grab my wallet as there'd been a few incidents like that in England.

I'm a big guy, but if someone who has no uniform, looks and sounds threatening with an accent that I cannot understand approaches me in a dark corridor demanding stuff he can hardly expect to get a pleasant or cooperative response. In fact, there'd be plenty of people who'd react extremely badly.

How's a tourist or foreign resident likely to react? I know plenty of people in the US would would pepper spray someone who did that!

I also remember an incident in Cork a few years ago where a ticket inspector made my then 82 year old grandmother rummage through her luggage as she had her printed ticket from the ticket desk, but he wanted to see her OAP travel pass. She doesn't look like a 55 year old trying to pretend they're 65 and she had serious difficultly rummaging through her luggage. She couldn't remember where she'd put the pass. She gave him a serious telling off and boarded anyway, threatening to call the station master.

And yes, I have never understood why the Dining car / snack car *always* closes on the Cork train (complete with announcement) 1 stop before the final destination. Nor how they can randomly have one level of service on one train and an entirely different level of service on the next e.g. no food at all, yet charge the same price for a ticket.

Last edited by MrX : 05-01-2007 at 11:40.
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Unread 05-01-2007, 11:51   #6
Dave
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Originally Posted by MrX View Post
I know plenty of people in the US would would pepper spray someone who did that!

I think you've just unearthed a way to improve IE staff's level of customer service - pepper spray them if they are rude and unhelpful.

We should start production of Platform 11 Pepper Spay bottles ASAP with the new P11 logo displayed prominently on the bottle. We can distribute these to passengers in train stations accross the country and encourage them to use it on rude staff!

It's a good idea - shame we live in a democracy

Last edited by Dave : 05-01-2007 at 11:53.
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Unread 05-01-2007, 12:50   #7
Nigel Fitzgricer
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And yes, I have never understood why the Dining car / snack car *always* closes on the Cork train (complete with announcement) 1 stop before the final destination. Nor how they can randomly have one level of service on one train and an entirely different level of service on the next e.g. no food at all, yet charge the same price for a ticket.
It wasn't like this in prior to when Network Catering was taken over by CIE and filled with union staff. The company was profitable as well.
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Unread 05-01-2007, 12:54   #8
portarlington_user
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Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post

Manager of customer services: ??
From previous 'apology' letters after a few complaints I think this person is the aptly titled Mr Slowey
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Unread 05-01-2007, 13:23   #9
MrX
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Default The new non-irish staff are fantastic!

I have to say that the difference between the old CIE staff and the new non Irish staff who have come on-board recently is shocking.

There are several guys and ladies from various parts of Eastern Europe, one lady who seems to be Spanish (based on her accent) and a few others from various parts of Africa and without exception the service provided by these people is light years ahead of what I'm used to on CIE trains.

They're poilite, well dressed, well presented and seem to actually care about what they're doing.

I have seen members of "old school" Irish CIE staff in the dining car who just looked like you would not want to buy food from them.

There are also a group of older staff (irish ones) who appear on the CityGold trains doing actual catering who I can only describe as excellent too.

Sadly, it's the few "rotten apples" who can't be bothered doing the job properly who give the whole company a bad reputation. You tend to remember the all too frequent incidents where you're treated like something that someone's just trodden on.

Interestingly too, if you approach the dining car and see a perky new member of staff you can usually be sure that the stock check's been done and that they have food.

If it's one of the "old school" types you can be 99% sure they'll have one slightly soggy chicken and stuffing sandwich (if you're lucky) and that's only if they can be bothered looking up from their newspaper.

They are perfect candidates for that Little Britian "Computer Says No" sketch.

Last edited by MrX : 05-01-2007 at 13:27.
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Unread 05-01-2007, 14:16   #10
portarlington_user
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Just on the customer service stuff -

I buy weekly tickets and prefer going to the station over the weekend and buying it in advance rather than queuing up for ages on a monday morning. The last 2 times I did this I called at about 8 on a sunday evening and was told I couldn't use my laser card cos the machine was 'shut off' and to come back tomorrow. The 2nd time I was asked did I have my ID card, which in fairness I didn't have, but my argument was a) he was the same guy who gave it to me in the first place and b)he sees me with it nearly every day or at least on the days when they check your ticket on the way into the station, AND every other time I buy the weekly ticket from him. When I said all that he shrugged his shoulders, sorry, can't help you, he was very ignorant.

Fair enough, if their policy is that I can't buy it without the ID that's fine, but they should at least enforce this company-wide, as the guys in the ticket office in Heuston let me buy them based on my old annual ticket which has your photo on it anyway. And now that I think about it, why do you need an ID card just to buy a weekly ticket anyway?

On a good note the ticket guy on the 05:30 hours cork train this week is really nice, if he checks your ticket on a monday he remembers you and doesn't ask you for it again for the rest of the week!
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Unread 05-01-2007, 15:07   #11
Mark Gleeson
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I've decided in recent years to adopt a firm and somewhat ignorant (if slightly informed) approach to dealing with IE, it works

Got a upgrade to first for free for myself and 2 others by playing the system

Got delayed by an hour on a DART disembark at Pearse, no one at the gate to check tickets so I walk through I get 2 feet from the door before the ticket checker appears and demands I return with the ticket. Needless to say he never checks my ticket now I walk through no hassle.

I make no apologies for putting staff on the spot if they don't know something they should know, I'm out to expose the lazy shiftless staff. There are some really decent staff out there but they are not getting the recognition they deserve, key thing is those staff are very concerned at the bad show the public see

Note had my ticket checked on Luas this morning, 'thank you sir' its the small things, its a pleasure going to Cork the train managers are nice, friendly, there is a personal thing with names, Happy, Richard, John, Siobhan, Tracy and the rest of the team. It makes such a difference
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Unread 05-01-2007, 15:29   #12
2Funki4Wheelz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Note had my ticket checked on Luas this morning, 'thank you sir' its the small things, its a pleasure going to Cork the train managers are nice, friendly, there is a personal thing with names, Happy, Richard, John, Siobhan, Tracy and the rest of the team. It makes such a difference
I agree, the Luas checkers are very polite, and deal very well with the fare evaders making up names and addresses and being cheeky.

Portarlington train station staff are a mixed bag, have found one guy very helpful on a couple of occassions, don't know his name but he talks exactly like Des Bishop which is very cool

Don't get the ID card thing either unless it's for reduced fares, e.g. weekend or student. My monthly ticket has no distinguishing features, I could hand it to anyone if I had a few days off.
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Unread 05-01-2007, 15:38   #13
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Don't get the ID card thing either unless it's for reduced fares, e.g. weekend or student. My monthly ticket has no distinguishing features, I could hand it to anyone if I had a few days off.
Well that's what I don't understand, I've only recently started the weekly ticket instead of the monthly and only since then I was asked for ID. It's only when you buy it that you're ever asked for it, cos I deliberately don't show it with my ticket just to see am I ever asked, and of course I'm not. Coming up to Christmas I gave some weekly tickets to my mam and sisters etc when they were doing their shopping and they had no problems and weren't asked for ID.
When I stopped using my annual ticket and it was out of date, I deliberately showed that for a good 2 months every day before eventually a Dublin Bus driver copped it was out of date and he was the only person to ask to see a valid ticket (which I always had!). Not one member of IE staff ever noticed.
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Unread 05-01-2007, 15:48   #14
Mark Gleeson
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Well I've never been asked to produce the student travelcard for student ticket on train, normally not a issue since the booking office key in the ID number onto the ticket but you can buy intercity studernt fares online

Lazy staff use the classic override all zero (bank officials here know all about the all zeros bank account)
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Unread 05-01-2007, 15:50   #15
Colm Donoghue
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I was about to adopt the beligerent approach but I thought all those behind me trying to get out wouldn't appreciate it.

I paid attention to the guys in Tara this morning. As well as being told on the train to have my ticket read for inspection, the checker had some uniform and a peaked hat, which while a bit old skool, is still a mark of some authority. The other checker had a high viz jacket. There was also a sign saying ticket check and it was a well lit area.
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Unread 06-01-2007, 15:16   #16
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Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Well I've never been asked to produce the student travelcard for student ticket on train, normally not a issue since the booking office key in the ID number onto the ticket but you can buy intercity studernt fares online

Lazy staff use the classic override all zero (bank officials here know all about the all zeros bank account)
Trust me if your 19 and male theyll make sure you have id!when you buy the ticket, at the barrier, on the train.........
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Unread 08-01-2007, 03:33   #17
Colm Moore
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There is a 'union problem' with the name badges
If anyone doesn't want to be indentified, they can use a stage name.

I knew a girl working in a call centre by the name of Concepta (blame the mother) who went by the name "Jane" to customers. The customers never knew any better, nor did it matter.
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Unread 08-01-2007, 04:41   #18
sean
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she should have had that changed officially ...
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Unread 08-01-2007, 17:28   #19
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When I stopped using my annual ticket and it was out of date, I deliberately showed that for a good 2 months every day before eventually a Dublin Bus driver copped it was out of date and he was the only person to ask to see a valid ticket (which I always had!). Not one member of IE staff ever noticed.
I did that when I used to live beside Tara St. Got sick of everyone getting delayed by the (usually single) ticket checker every evening, for about a month I deliberately showed a ticket from the previous day, or week, or my last trip down the country - any IE ticket I had on me. Did that for a month, one guy noticed once. I always had the correct ticket anyway.

Since they obviously never check the tickets properly, why bother holding everyone up?
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Unread 08-01-2007, 17:52   #20
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the ones in connolly haven't looked at my ticket in about 3 months!
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