Why do rail companies make us feel like cheats?

We understand that railway companies are commercial enterprises and that they need to make sure people travelling on the trains are paying for that right.  But why do they have to make us all feel like potential fare dodgers?  Ticket barriers everywhere inconvenience us (more queues, tickets that then don't work, etc); staff on trains are now "Revenue Protection Officers" there to police us and watch us.


Perhaps the worst element being the arcane and invisible rules around ticketing.  There are plenty of articles on on people being given the wrong advice by staff and then fined once on the train or falling foul of the "rules" in any number of ways.  Mostly innocent mistakes.

It's not a passenger or customer service orientated approach.

So it was interesting to see on the BBC website, that we are not alone.  Rule changes introduced in Switzerland have produced a similar outcome and are resulting in an increasing passenger dissatisfaction with the service.

With railway companies and governments increasingly wanting to encourage modal shift to rail travel, isn't it about time this major obstacle in customer service was removed?

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DESIGN AND THE HUMAN FACTOR: Why do rail companies make us feel like cheats?

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Why do rail companies make us feel like cheats?

We understand that railway companies are commercial enterprises and that they need to make sure people travelling on the trains are paying for that right.  But why do they have to make us all feel like potential fare dodgers?  Ticket barriers everywhere inconvenience us (more queues, tickets that then don't work, etc); staff on trains are now "Revenue Protection Officers" there to police us and watch us.


Perhaps the worst element being the arcane and invisible rules around ticketing.  There are plenty of articles on on people being given the wrong advice by staff and then fined once on the train or falling foul of the "rules" in any number of ways.  Mostly innocent mistakes.

It's not a passenger or customer service orientated approach.

So it was interesting to see on the BBC website, that we are not alone.  Rule changes introduced in Switzerland have produced a similar outcome and are resulting in an increasing passenger dissatisfaction with the service.

With railway companies and governments increasingly wanting to encourage modal shift to rail travel, isn't it about time this major obstacle in customer service was removed?

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