Thursday, August 02, 2012

My Complaint to Metro Trains

I complained, or rather requested to know why, to Metro Trains about a problem I faced at Richmond Station. This was back in May. Last week I sent them a polite reminded that they had not answered my query. Very quickly they did then reply with an apology that cited an administrative oversight.

Briefly, it was mid afternoon and I was at Richmond Station wishing to go to one of the City Loop Stations. I have used Richmond Station often enough, although not enough to say I am familiar with it. I do know which platforms some suburban trains go from. All the indicators informed me to catch the next train to Flinders Street and change there. I did so and because I left the train near the De Graves Street Subway, I walked down that ramp to check which was the correct platform. I had to walk outside the ticket barriers to find a board that told me, then go back up another platform.

I am sure the train I boarded to go around the City Loop had just come through Richmond Station. Why couldn't I find this out at Richmond? I am sure the information used to be displayed and I am sure the trains used to display City Loop via Flinders Street.


We advise that weekday City bound services departing Richmond station, which operate in the afternoon (approximately 12:50pm onwards), are scheduled to travel direct to Flinders Street station, and do not travel via the City Loop. Yes, I knew that.

As such, we can confirm that all customers wishing to travel to a City Loop station from Richmond station after approximately 12:50pm will be directed to board any service to Flinders Street station, and then change to a City Loop service.
That is what I am on about. Why can't I know what time and which platform the next City Loop via Flinders service is? I was happy to wait as I was already exhausted from so much walking, like a few kilometres.

Customers travelling from Richmond station to a City Loop station prior to 12.50pm can view the Passenger Information Display Screens at Richmond station to locate the next service which is scheduled to operate via the City Loop. Not relevant.

We fully acknowledge that you may not have been aware of the above and sincerely regret any inconvenience you may have experienced at the time.

No help whatsoever. I wanted to know why they do not display the next City Loop via Flinders Street service and I did not get a satisfactory answer. No doubt if I don't find out the information in advance, I will continue to be inconvenienced so I take Metro Trains' sincere regret with a grain of salt.

17 comments:

  1. The experience at Richmond today (2Aug12) was a complete mess. I've previously written to the complaints area, and I feel that given we have no other option the system has no real motivation to improve.

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  2. The reason they don't tell passengers where a train is going after Flinders Street, is because even the people in charge don't know where it will be doing!
    http://www.danielbowen.com/2012/05/29/metro-operations/

    For years they never actually told passengers this, they finally starting doing it recently:
    http://railgallery.wongm.com/advertising-and-promotions/E111_2049.jpg.html

    Of course, it doesn't help that the display screens at Flinders Street are virtually useless, as none of them tell you exactly where to go for the first City Loop train.

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  3. Thanks Marcus. I understand now. I have also remembered that more suburban stations used to show City Loop via Flinders Street and they don't now. I can imagine changing the train destination at Flinders Street would be quite rare. Surely an announcement over the train would be enough, if that happened and of course the internal PIDs would display something different. All in all, it is not very customer friendly. I understand DoT is in charge of station PIDs, so perhaps I may well write to them. You should at least be able to get off a train at Flinders Street and find out which platform the next loop train leaves from without having to leave the ticketed area.

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  4. Oh yes, included in the email was noted that all Flinders Street Platform 1 trains travel around the loop, but I am sure there are more than that.

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  5. Andrew, don't you love the way they are always talking about customer focus. I suggest you just keep on complaining. We have a right to decent public transport.

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  6. Once upon a time there was an immigration minister named Ruddock. Deluded, I wrote to him and asked some specific questions about policy and certain events and received a reply within a week.
    It was a generic piece of spin with no mention of any of the aspects of policy to which I had referred.
    It was a tad disappointing, of course, but by gum they were efficient in his office.

    If I were to write to Metro the letter would consist of the word "grrr" repeated about a hundred times. Thanks to you I know there is little to be gained by bothering.

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  7. FC, on the face of it, it is pointless, but number of complaints are noted, and if you can keep them unresolved, even better. Ruddock was a dreadful person. He exemplified the worst about the Howard government....oh, except for Reith.

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  8. Despite its flaws, Richmond station is still one of the better ones. I wish Flinders street station had a similar set of monitors telling commuters which trains were heading towards southern cross (and in how many minutes).

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  9. Ad Rad, it seems there is a lot to be done as far informing passengers with useful information.

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  10. I'm sure they reply like that on purpose, so you get either baffled or disenfranchised and don't bother to complain again.

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  11. I did reply Fen, but I doubt I will get a follow up.

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  12. FYI: http://moorabbin-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/have-your-say-southland-station-in-doubtr/

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  13. I'm sure it will be built Fen, eventually.

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  14. Anonymous6:32 pm

    Hi,
    My problem is not at all related to this topic bit still o am posting this in your just to make aware of that how bad is the timetable for metro.
    I am travelling from prahran station toward pakenham usually i catch 6:10 from prahran to south yarra. Then 6:13 from south yarra to pakenham but i have been missing my train since last week sometime it get delayed in prahran station and sometime train goes early so if i miss that i have wait another 18mins whih is so frustrating for the guy like me. Who have a family and at the time i reach home i got no time for my kids

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  15. Anon, it only one station but three minutes to travel and change platforms is very tight, I reckon if you can do that, then feel very pleased with yourself when it works.

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  16. Anonymous8:17 am

    I am really very very annoyed & upset about the metro train driver, who drove Berwick at 8:02am train. I came to the platform quite early & about to get in, but the driver shut the door. He should have punishment for this & I should get proper refund for my delay caused by him

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  17. Anon, can you give further details? Did other people get off and on? You were the only person on the platform to catch the train, yet the driver opened and shut the doors in your face. Very odd. Might I suggest that you were a runner for the train and you missed the train. The service and a few hundred people were not delayed by the train driver waiting for you.

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