April 19, 2020

From the CEO: a message on cancellations

If you have enquired about a cancellation, I want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to process this as soon as possible. You can watch to a message from me here or read on below.

Like many businesses we are deeply impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown. We are facing an unprecedented 100-fold increase in cancellations. We have taken the decision to prioritize processing cancellations for our most financially vulnerable customers. I want to reassure you that even if it takes longer than normal to process your cancellation, the refund is nonetheless backdated to the date of your cancellation request or the last usage date you provided to us. 

If you tried to reach us by phone or email, please accept my apology for the delay in getting back to you. We currently do not have the capacity to offer phone support and respond to every email, because we are spending all our time processing cancellations. We have processed over 2,000 cancellations in the last 7 days, and each day we are putting more automation in place to help us get through the large number of requests. 97% of cancellations are being processed within the agreed 30-day term with an average processing time of 9 days. 

Train companies are expected to process 400,000 refund requests due to COVID-19, of which 6,000 are Commuter Club customer requests. As with other subscription services (e.g. mobile phone contracts), if a payment is taken during the cancellation processing time, it will be credited in the final account balance.

You have my personal commitment that your cancellation will be processed as soon as possible and within the 30 day agreed terms (although we are managing to process many cancellations faster than this). 

We have already implemented several initiatives to minimize the impact of COVID-19:

1. Free cancellation. Standard cancellation remains free, even though the rail industry charges us up to £10. 

2. Online request and ticket submission. We’ve made it possible to request cancellation and upload your invalidated ticket online. Once you do this, our systems begin processing your cancellation straight away. 

3. Fair process. We follow standard industry rules and ensure you only pay up until the last date you used your ticket, which in most cases is the date you get in touch to submit your cancellation. Further backdating is possible, and we will review each request in due course.

4. Processing times. We are doing everything we can to process cancellations within the standard 30 days from when you returned or uploaded your ticket. 

5. Payments. If a payment is taken during the cancellation processing time this will be credited in the final cancellation balance. We depend on rail companies processing hundreds of thousands of refunds, as soon as we receive funds on the unused portion of your ticket from the rail industry, we immediately use them to pay down your loan and refund any outstanding balance. 

6. Lobbying Government. We are lobbying Government to speed up the rail industry cancellation process and make good on the savings earned by hard working commuters. 

The Commuter Club team spent the last five years helping commuters and this remains our priority now more than ever. Our staff are working hard in challenging circumstances to serve you. Thank you for your patience in these difficult times. 

Stay safe.

Irina