Southeastern’s “good service” is no service at all

Did you fancy taking the train on Sunday? Well, Southeastern’s website boasted a good service on the Greenwich line. No delays, no cancellations.

In fact, not only were there no delays and no cancellations, there were no trains at all!

Full details were available from this professionally produced sign around the corner.

We’ve been here before, of course. It looks as if the “look-up feature“, paraded about by Southeastern’s PR people as the answer to all their communications failures during the snow, is automated when it actually needs a human being to type “line suspended” in there, and to take the lie about there being “no line problems” off the ticker. This really is basic stuff – doing anything else betrays either incompetence at the company or contempt for its customers.

Southeastern has hired a company called CCL to review its communications systems after last winter’s failures. They could have just saved the cash and hired someone to look after its website at weekends…

7 comments

  1. Gary Williams

    Same as the medway valley line where a good service meant a bus service. The look up thing really should have said something about that.

    Mind you, with the amount of hardware failures and signalling issues maybe the bus service is a good service and the franchised rail service atrocious.

  2. Kevin

    It is very clear what the passengers feel about engineering works as very few bother to venture out. I suspect that providing the information in a form that is useful to passengers would mean employing more staff which is alien to Southeastern’s cost cutting culture.

  3. Rebecca

    Having come from Edinburgh yesterday afternoon, I arrived into London Bridge after 5 hours travelling to catch the 23.36 to Westcombe park as Southeastern and TFL websites had advised. When I got there, I couldnt find where the train was leaving from and so went back out to find the info board stating “Westcombe Park: ask a member of staff”. With no staff anywhere to be found, I ended up at the end Platform 4 before I found someone I thought could help. When asked where the train to Westcombe Park leaves from, a member of staff told me this platform, and walked away. I was surprised as I couldnt see any listings for the Greenwich line, so I followed him, and queried it. Only then did he explain that I should go to Lewisham and get a bus. And again, turned his back on me and walked away as I was trying to let him know that the websites did not advise of this. Communication failures on so many levels there…

  4. Maggie

    Southeastern has been doing this for some time – they caught me a month or so back – went to the station and no trains. I was not the only person, some people were actually waiting for trains…which were not going to come.

    Being so defeated by them, I didn’t even bother to complain. I assumed they would tell me that it meant a good service on the buses (and their stop is on the main road, well away from Westcombe Park station).

  5. Chris J.

    I walked past Charlton station at about 0930 yesterday. There were knots of people gathered around staring at the staion closed sign and wondering what to do.

    A bus then drew up at the bus stand and I saw that it was going via all Greenwich line stations to New Cross! Quite a time.

    I felt really sorry for the travellers (such as poor Rebecca).

  6. Chris J.

    I’ve just realised that the logo on the website which I think is meant to be a computer mouse looks uncannily like a spermatozoa (sp).

    Does this mean Southeastern are a bunch of tossers???

  7. Pingback: Crossrail work has begun in SE London | fromthemurkydepths

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