Tuesday, 1 June 2010

How FGW fleeces its passengers

Earlier this year, First Great Western, operator of overcrowded trains to the West, found a great way to fleece its long-suffering passengers. Having made great play of simplifying the fare system with a peak and off-peak fare, it decided to divide the off-peak and charge an extra tenner - a 20pc increase - to travel at many off-peak times from Bath to London. To leaven the blow they allowed an extra half hour at both ends of the day, which meant one could go to or leave the capital a little more conveniently. Having got away with that increase, I discovered today that they have removed the concession and reverted to the old hours, price increase firmly intact. A full price standard return costs about £160 - a hundred pounds more than the dearer off-peak. Of course the change also nullifies convenient connections too. And they do so without fanfare. FGW should offer masterclasses in ways to fleece customers.

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