Last year, for the first time since its existence, the ombudsperson office for train passengers reported more complaints about international train traffic than domestic traffic. That is what the 2022 annual report of Ombudsrail indicates.
In 2022, Ombudsrail received 3 395 files for which it is responsible, compared to 2 665 one year before. Almost two out of three complaints (63%) were related to international passenger traffic, compared to 37% for domestic traffic. In 2021, it was 26,9% and 73,1%, respectively.
The most frequently reported grievances were related to the handling of complaints by railway companies (20,4%), followed by delays (19,7%) and ticket refunds or exchanges (11,4%).
In almost 80% of the closed cases, the complainants were satisfied afterward; in 15%, they were disappointed. And in the remaining 5% of cases, the customer or the ombudsperson stopped the procedure.
Delayed and canceled trains
According to Ombudsrail, this significant complaints increase is partly due to various problems international travelers have been confronted with since the summer. Problems, which led to many delayed or canceled trains. The railway companies’ customer services were flooded with complaints, and passengers sometimes had to wait months for a response.
Ombudsrail advocates updating the legal power of the service, in particular regarding complaints about tour operators and ticket (re)sellers. Now the service can only take care of train passengers and users of rail infrastructure.
However, last year, Ombudsrail handled more than sixty complaints about transport platforms and ticket (re)sellers, such as Interrail, Rail Europe, Trainline, Olympus, and Omio.
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