Hardly any railway customers who are not annoyed by delays. But reclaim his money? For far too expensive. The railway now wants to simplify compensation, but does not know how.
It is the major and well-known problem of Deutsche Bahn – the punctuality. Although it does very well in local traffic, but it works on ICE, IC and Eurocity: last year one in four long-distance trains arrived late at its destination. And the travelers involved are entitled to compensation in the event of a delay, but to claim them is bureaucratic and time-consuming. The railroad wants to change that after huge criticism in the future.
The current method is expensive for customers
As announced by the federal government, the compensation procedure must be brought in a modern way, ie brought into the digital age. An application should be possible by clicking on the internet. At this time, customers must first complete a form that they either hand in at the travel center or send by post to the central passenger rights service center in Frankfurt am Main.
The concept for the digital route is missing
However, it is unlikely that it will be until the new compensation procedure, nor does the railway miss a concrete concept of how to redesign the process. According to the company, the company is constantly in talks with the ministries of traffic and consumer protection. The switch to digital paths, however, is "technically and technically complex" and it takes some time, according to a spokesperson for the railroad.
Consumer advocates want automatic compensation
Proponents of consumer rights have long insisted on simpler and faster compensation for train and air travelers. And they even go one step further: according to them, there is nothing against the fact that compensation is automatic if the train or plane does not reach its destination on time. When buying a ticket, the customer sends all necessary data to the railroad or the relevant airline, so that the compensation amount can easily be transferred to the bill.
Consumer advocates also receive support for this requirement from transport minister Andreas Scheuer. It was good that people wanted to transfer to the railways, he told the Germany editorial network. But the train must also create sufficient capacity and guarantee punctuality. In addition, passenger rights must be strengthened. And from the CSU politician's point of view, automatic compensation could be an incentive for punctuality in the railways and airlines.
More travelers are asking for a refund
At Bahn, a customer is entitled to a quarter of his ticket price for a delay of at least an hour. If the train arrives at least two hours late, it is entitled to half the price paid. And even if the previous procedure according to the form & # 39; outdated & # 39; is, as consumer protector Marion Jungbluth put it in the Handelsblatt, more rail customers benefit from this right: in 2018, 2.7 million passengers made a claim for compensation – about twice as much as the year before. The train paid back a total of 53.6 million euros to travelers last year.
And at the moment it will be no less for the railways to pay compensation. In February every fifth train was late, in January it was even worse in punctuality. The CEO of the railroad, Richard Lutz, also saw in the interview with the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung": "We need to get better."
New statistics with new timelines?
The rail network wants to expand punctuality statistics, among other things. It publishes the company every month. It is currently being determined whether each individual train will travel from A to B on time.
According to the draft version of the railroad, in the future the statistics should be designed not only for individual train connections, but also for the route of a customer as a whole: transfers and the transition from long-distance to local transport included. And not only delays, train cancellations must also be included in the comprehensive statistics. The railway wants to evaluate the booking data of around 270,000 travelers to simulate the travel times of around 400,000 customers per day.
So far, a train is considered punctual if it arrives at its destination with a delay of less than six minutes. In the statistics with the new calculation method, a train cannot be considered delayed until it is 15 minutes above the scheduled arrival time. However, the railways first want to discuss this with associations, politicians and customers.