Customer Service thread
RE: Customer Service thread
https://twitter.com/gonortheast/status/8...1060636673

The irony! Couldn't have timed their tweet any better.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'

RE: Customer Service thread
Given the very poor customer service at GNE, one can only hope that the apprentice isn't disadvantaged with any future customer service roles in the future! As someone whose job includes helping council tenants with employability, I'm a big fan of them (although there are some companies who do use them as a source of cheap Labour). However, they are only as good as the company they are with.

RE: Customer Service thread
This nearly went in the 'What made you happy' thread!
I was that impressed!
Anyway, my car broke down fairly recently. Not too complicated or expensive to sort fortunately.
Despite this all being during the evening rush hour and it happening in a fairly dodgy place, I was able to ring my breakdown company and explain the situation.

Fast forward 25 mins and the patrol man got in touch to say he was nearby.
5 mins later, he pulled up behind me.
Got sorted within 10 mins and I was home exactly 60 mins after the breakdown.

Got chatting to the fella (as you do) and it emerged he had just came on shift, had one previous job and got mine.
To cut a long story short, I tweeted the breakdown company in question to express my satisfaction.
The company replied, asked for my car details via DM and explained they would pass the message on.
Never thought anything of it, until an email arrived in my inbox this morning.
(I've redacted a few bits)

Quote:Dear xxxxx
Thank you for your recent social post following your call for assistance on xxxx November 2017.
 
We really do appreciate you taking the time to contact us and tell us about your experience. Customers are at the heart of everything we do so your feedback is vital in ensuring we learn and continuously develop the service we deliver.
 
Your comments will assist in inspiring our colleagues to be the best that they can be. Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us.

It goes without saying, that I would expect a more personal response if I had tweeted my dissatisfaction.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to see the company take the time to contact me and acknowledge my praise.
I wish all companies operated like this. It may get annoying, having a cluttered inbox, full of 'thankyou' messages, but it gives the impression that the company care about the feedback they receive.
Imagine getting one of those messages from one of our local bus operators?!
It is hard enough getting an acknowledgement to a serious issue. Never mind, a detailed response/reply.

A quick look at the breakdown companies twitter feed, indicates they are pretty busy dealing with queries/complaints/compliments.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'

RE: Customer Service thread
https://m.nvqjobs.com/jobs/jobDetails.asp?vacID=72795

Nice to see training/development opportunities for drivers.
Hopefully passengers see the benefit and it doesn't become a 'ticky box' exercise.

It is interesting to see which organisations were involved in developing this apprenticeship. Of the numerous transport organisations involved, there were three major bus operators, TfL, Merseytravel and also two smaller operators.
One of the bus operators is based in Sunderland and another has an operating base in Sunderland.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'

RE: Customer Service thread
(28 Mar 2018, 6:45 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: https://m.nvqjobs.com/jobs/jobDetails.asp?vacID=72795

Nice to see training/development opportunities for drivers.
Hopefully passengers see the benefit and it doesn't become a 'ticky box' exercise.

It is interesting to see which organisations were involved in developing this apprenticeship. Of the numerous transport organisations involved, there were three major bus operators, TfL, Merseytravel and also two smaller operators.
One of the bus operators is based in Sunderland and another has an operating base in Sunderland.

I notice SNE are advertising for apprentice bus drivers, rather than trainee drivers at the minute.

RE: Customer Service thread
(29 Mar 2018, 12:16 pm)Chris 1 Wrote: I notice SNE are advertising for apprentice bus drivers, rather than trainee drivers at the minute.

https://www.indeed.co.uk/m/viewjob?jk=7eb4a04a76650807&from=serp

Indeed they are. 
Not a bad salary, considering that they should be sitting in a classroom for 1 day a week either.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'

RE: Customer Service thread
(30 Mar 2018, 10:32 am)Andreos1 Wrote:
Not a bad salary, considering that they should be sitting in a classroom for 1 day a week either.

Still just around £30/week better off than minimum wage (40hr week). And realistically not much room for progression long term. As services are cut and depots are closed there's steadily less management roles available. The larger groups are increasingly training managers from grad schemes, who generally just have to sit their PCV as a exercise in context - likely to only really be behind the wheel in dire emergencies.  

The market has cheapened what once once a career for life, and the industry will soon find itself in a right mess. For a young person these days, pursuing a career in bus driving just doesn't add up, they'd make more money doing almost anything else.

RE: Customer Service thread
(30 Mar 2018, 10:39 pm)James101 Wrote: Still just around £30/week better off than minimum wage (40hr week). And realistically not much room for progression long term. As services are cut and depots are closed there's steadily less management roles available. The larger groups are increasingly training managers from grad schemes, who generally just have to sit their PCV as a exercise in context - likely to only really be behind the wheel in dire emergencies.  

The market has cheapened what once once a career for life, and the industry will soon find itself in a right mess. For a young person these days, pursuing a career in bus driving just doesn't add up, they'd make more money doing almost anything else.

The minimum wage for apprentices over the age of 25 is £3.50 ph.
So, when you take in to account the salary on offer and apply the 20% off the job training rule that apprentices must follow (meaning 8 hours doing theory from a 40 hour working week), then I don't think it's bad at all.

I agree with some of your comments about the market cheapening a career for life, but I think we all appreciate that a proportion of drivers don't want progression. They're happy doing the driving and having seen examples of some of the stories shared on the forum about drivers retiring after 40 years behind the wheel, I don't think the lack of progression is necessarily a new thing.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'

RE: Customer Service thread
(30 Mar 2018, 10:32 am)Andreos1 Wrote: https://www.indeed.co.uk/m/viewjob?jk=7eb4a04a76650807&from=serp

Indeed they are. 
Not a bad salary, considering that they should be sitting in a classroom for 1 day a week either.

Do you know what the difference is between a trainee driver, and an an apprentice driver?  Does this mean there is no longer a bond for the driver?

On the face of it, it appears to be a good thing.  I'm just not sure if I'm being unduly cynical in wondering if this is just a way for Stagecoach to get someone else to pay their training costs?

Interestingly there are now similar schemes in the haulage industry.

RE: Customer Service thread
(04 Apr 2018, 1:16 pm)Chris 1 Wrote: Do you know what the difference is between a trainee driver, and an an apprentice driver?  Does this mean there is no longer a bond for the driver?

On the face of it, it appears to be a good thing.  I'm just not sure if I'm being unduly cynical in wondering if this is just a way for Stagecoach to get someone else to pay their training costs?

Interestingly there are now similar schemes in the haulage industry.

There have been incentive schemes in the haulage industry for a good few years, even before the latest apprenticeship revision.
One particular scheme targeting under 21 year olds was rolled out about 15 years ago, but seemed to fizzle out.

With the new Apprenticeship scheme for bus/coach/train drivers (it's the same, just with specialist elements for each sector - such as loading vehicle, delivering customer service etc), all employers who pay more than £3m in wages, must contribute to a levy.
They can claim moneys back, if they have staff who undertake an Apprenticeship programme.

So in Stagecoach's example, they pay the levy, recruit drivers under this programme, train them, put them through the qualification side of things and pay them a wage.
How they or others then manage any loyalty or penalise leavers, is up to them.
I can't comment on how Stagecoach are managing their process or measures being put in to place to manage loyalty.

I suppose the difference between the current and new scheme, is the requirement to do a formal qualification within the initial period of employment.
Appreciate things differ between groups, but it could be CPC, driver training and then an NVQ at some point further down the line.

edit: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...d_Rail.pdf
Qualification element that needs to be completed.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'

RE: Customer Service thread

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/improving...5246245276


Customers, customers, customers!


No idea what or who this fella is, but it's a start.

Just got to listen and see what the customers want now!

'Illegitimis non carborundum'

RE: Customer Service thread
“Due at a vehicle breakdown the 18:56 service 55X from Hartlepool (Blackhall Rocks 19:14, Peterlee 19:26, Hetton 19:51, Houghton 19:59, Sunderland 20:24) will not be operating. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.”

This is pants service. Breakdowns happen but cancelling the last service without replacement is poor.

Restart the service from Peterlee using a Solo just finished from the indigos and arrange ticket acceptance on the following Arriva 24.

RE: Customer Service thread

(24 Jul 2019, 10:30 pm)James101 Wrote: “Due at a vehicle breakdown the 18:56 service 55X from Hartlepool (Blackhall Rocks 19:14, Peterlee 19:26, Hetton 19:51, Houghton 19:59, Sunderland 20:24) will not be operating. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.”

This is pants service. Breakdowns happen but cancelling the last service without replacement is poor.

Restart the service from Peterlee using a Solo just finished from the indigos and arrange ticket acceptance on the following Arriva 24.


Where is the driver going to come from? How is the bus going to get back to Peterlee? How much money are they going to pay Arriva for ticket acceptance of, let's face it, not many people being left "stranded".


RE: Customer Service thread

(24 Jul 2019, 11:41 pm)deanmachine Wrote:


Where is the driver going to come from? How is the bus going to get back to Peterlee? How much money are they going to pay Arriva for ticket acceptance of, let's face it, not many people being left "stranded".



A customer focused operator would have the systems in place for this to be an easy process. There's no point in providing a poor service and then managers scratching their heads as to why patronage is dropping. One cancelled last-bus on one of the hottest days of the year could be the final straw for someone to turn their back on bus travel for good.


RE: Customer Service thread

(24 Jul 2019, 11:41 pm)deanmachine Wrote:


Where is the driver going to come from? How is the bus going to get back to Peterlee? How much money are they going to pay Arriva for ticket acceptance of, let's face it, not many people being left "stranded".



Its irrelevant whether it is 1 or 100 customers you've left stranded. Its piss poor when it is the last service of the evening.


Most businesses have continuity plans for such events, and although the cost is additional to the budgeted operational cost, it is seen as the exception rather than the norm.

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RE: Customer Service thread
"Go North East @gonortheast: Due to a breakdown the 19.30 service 25 from Newcastle will not be operating many apologies for the inconvenience"
https://twitter.com/gonortheast/status/1...2633792513

I don't know whether or not I'm surprised that this keeps happening. Not the breakdown, but the sheer lack of disruption information provided to customers.

The 19.30 is the last full service 25 of the day. The later (20.30) service terminates at Chester-le-Street. The tweet offers no alternative to customers intending to travel to Portabello, Sacriston or Langley Park. Not to mention that some customers will need to purchase two tickets, incurring extra expense, at no fault of their own.

It's all good and well introducing all these fancy new liveries, but lets get some of the basics right too...
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RE: Customer Service thread

(16 Aug 2019, 7:46 pm)Adrian Wrote: "Go North East @gonortheast: Due to a breakdown the 19.30 service 25 from Newcastle will not be operating many apologies for the inconvenience"
https://twitter.com/gonortheast/status/1...2633792513

I don't know whether or not I'm surprised that this keeps happening. Not the breakdown, but the sheer lack of disruption information provided to customers.

The 19.30 is the last full service 25 of the day. The later (20.30) service terminates at Chester-le-Street. The tweet offers no alternative to customers intending to travel to Portabello, Sacriston or Langley Park. Not to mention that some customers will need to purchase two tickets, incurring extra expense, at no fault of their own.

It's all good and well introducing all these fancy new liveries, but lets get some of the basics right too...


Like the 55x example above, it's pretty poor.

As you say, there's no alternative for some places once the 25 clocks off for the night.


Tocs are made to convey passengers to their ultimate destination in similar circumstances.

I'm not saying bus ops must do the same, but I'm of the opinion they need to do something.


'Illegitimis non carborundum'

RE: Customer Service thread

"Go North East @gonortheast: Due to a breakdown service 689 from Hexham at 17:16 will not be operating."

https://twitter.com/gonortheast/status/1165295620380344320 ;


Another interesting example... the next bus after that is not until after 1pm on Tuesday, yet no guidance posted on what alternatives are available.


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RE: Customer Service thread
BBC News - Megabus mix-up annoys Newcastle to London passengers
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-49461162

Megabus battery goes flat due to driver leaving the engine running!?

RE: Customer Service thread

(25 Aug 2019, 9:38 am)Tyne_Traveller Wrote: BBC News - Megabus mix-up annoys Newcastle to London passengers
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-49461162

Megabus battery goes flat due to driver leaving the engine running!?


I'm surprised they don't have some sort of agreement with Stagecoach operations, whereby they can loan a decker (if available) to allow passengers to make their journey?


Also the article mentions that the coach was actually overbooked, which I'm not sure how it can happen, when they guarantee you a seat...

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