If we cannot take up your complaint, we will let you know why. We will also, where possible, suggest alternative options available or transfer your complaint to another organisation that may be able to help you further. For example, this might be Transport Focus or London TravelWatch.
As the single front door for rail complaints, the Rail Ombudsman monitors all complaint statistics. Therefore, even if it is a matter upon which are unable to mediate, we will monitor the complaint category, which could feed into industry improvements.
Every complaint we cannot deal with, we aim to signpost to the most appropriate body, and we are continually working to identify gaps for complainants in this respect.
The Rail Ombudsman’s role is to help resolve consumer-related rail disputes. However, as an Ombudsman, we are also committed to industry improvements, and by monitoring all complaints, whether in or out of our remit, we can do this more effectively. This Case Study relates to a car-park refurbishment which resulted in issues for the consumer regarding their residential parking space.
As the Rail Ombudsman was setup to handle consumer-related issues we are not able to provide mediation on residential issues. However, if you raise a complaint with us, we can monitor the statistics and point you in the right direction.
In this case there was also a claim about the way in which the claim had been handled and as a result of our limited scope in this regard and the fact that the consumer has no clear route to redress, the Rail Ombudsman has made a recommendation to the industry to assist in bridging this gap.
The Consumer complained to the RSP about a car park refurbishment stating that the line markings for residential bays were incorrectly placed and need to be moved.
The Claim and Ombudsman Scope
The Consumer wanted some line markings changed, because they believed they have been repeated incorrectly, and consequently they have a smaller space than other residential properties. The Consumer was advised that it would be beyond the Rail Ombudsman’s remit to consider the parts of the complaint related to residential issues. However, the Ombudsman did consider how the complaint was handled by the RSP.
The Rail Ombudsman also attempted a transfer of this claim to the passenger Watchdogs to see if they had the remit to review more of the substantive complaint, but it was rejected by the watchdog, on the basis that it was too closely linked to residential issues.
It has been noted in the administration of this claim that the Consumer has very limited routes of escalation for a complaint relating to residential issues. Therefore, the Rail Ombudsman also makes an industry recommendation to consider broadening the scope of the Rail Ombudsman, to ensure that such matters have a forum in which to be heard.