Core complaints data

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We are responsible for the collection, monitoring and publication of rail customer complaints.

ORR is responsible for monitoring compliance with how train operators handle customer complaints, this is known as the ‘Complaints handling procedure (CHP)’. The data we publish is used to monitor train and station operator’s compliance towards these policies.

Complaints data we publish

Every quarter we publish the following complaints data, at both national level and by train operator.

  • Complaints volumes
  • Complaints rate per 100,000 journeys
  • Complaints by category - detail about the type of complaints made
  • Complaints responded to within 10 and 20 working days and the train operators own target for handling complaints

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

Complaints data submission

Train operators must use one of the templates found under related publications below to submit data to ORR.

Guidance to explain the requirements for the data collection can also be found in the related publications section.

Guidance on complaints handling procedures for licence holders is available.

For further information regarding complaints data or if you have any comments, please email rail.stats@orr.gov.uk.

ORR core data compliance reporting

Train operating companies (TOCs) are required to provide us with performance data in relation to their passenger-facing activities. This data provides a way for these companies to demonstrate they are complying with their obligations to passengers in relation to complaints handling procedures (CHPs), accessible travel policies (ATPs), delay compensation, and other consumer-related areas. It also allows us to monitor operators' progress in these areas over time and improves transparency and accountability for passengers.

As part of these arrangements we also require TOCs to sign a letter at the outset of each reporting year to provide assurance that the data they provide has been submitted following the consistent approach set out in the ORR core data guidance and is an accurate reflection of their performance.

Background to complaints data Collapse accordion Open accordion

In 2010, following an agreement with DfT, we took responsibility for collecting the complaints data directly from the train operating companies (TOCs).

Some of the benefits of the change in process were:

  • We received the data on a more frequent basis so were able to carry out more quality assurance on the data.
  • We were able to identify any data quality issues earlier in the process and liaise directly with TOCs to clarify these rather than contact them through DfT.
  • We provided TOCs with guidelines on how complaints data should be collected and processed, ensuring any methodological inconsistencies between TOCs were addressed.
  • We were aware of any delays in the data supply chain and could contact TOCs directly to ensure data would be delivered and there would be no delay to the publication of the official statistics.

Since taking on this role we have worked closely with TOCs to improve the quality of data collected. Further details can be found in the quality and methodology report that is published on the Passenger rail service complaints page of ORR’s data portal.