Complaints data

We are responsible for the publication of national and official statistics on complaints. Until 2010, the Department for Transport (DfT) was responsible for collecting the data from each of the franchised train operating companies before supplying the information to us. Read further information on the transfer of responsibility and improvements to the complaints data.

Current complaints data

We require each train operator to regularly provide complaints data via a complaints pro-forma, which contains data on the volume and type of complaints, the speed of response and the method of complaint. The pro-forma helps to ensure we publish accurate and comparable statistics for all train operators.

We publish a range of complaints data, including the overall complaints rate for Great Britain and the complaints rate for each train operator (rates are calculated per 100,000 journeys), the type of complaint customers are making and the train operator's performance at responding to customer complaints.

Due to concerns over data quality, we no longer publish data on appeals opened or complaints received by Passenger Focus or London TravelWatch. Data on the number of appeals resolved is published on Passenger Focus' website.

The complaints data can be accessed on our Data Portal, with statistics made available by quarter and financial year.

Complaints statistics should be interpreted with caution as the data are dependent on the train operator's medium of complaints. For example, if a train operator does a poster campaign with details on methods to complain, you might expect their rate of complaints to increase, yet their actual service level stays the same.

Improvements to complaints data 

In 2011 we were asked to publish more disaggregated complaints data by the Prime Minister in his letter on transparency and open data (published 7 July 2011).

From 1 April 2013 the current level 2 complaints categories were aligned with the National Passenger Survey (NPS) categories, helping to create a consistent industry-wide set of complaints categories which will allow users of the statistics to directly track complaints data with NPS satisfaction scores. We consulted the train operating companies through a series of meetings to ensure their support for these changes and are continuing to work with them to improve the quality and comparability of the complaints data.

The first set of quarterly complaints data under the NPS categories were published in October 2013.

We have produced a short presentation providing more information on the mapping of current ORR complaints to the NPS categories pdf icon PDF, 427 Kb.

Alongside this we have created a mapping document xls icon XLS, 44 Kb for train operators to use as a guide on how to map the complaints data from the lowest level of granularity to the NPS categories. This will help to ensure that all train operators are recording their complaints on a consistent basis.

For further information regarding complaints data or if you have any comments, please email rstats@orr.gsi.gov.uk. Last updated - 24 April 2014