German consumer association calls on Deutsche Bahn to offer delay refunds
Though a beloved method of transportation, and often closely associated with the country, Germany's trains are not up to customer standards. To coax the company into action, the head of Germany’s Federal Consumer Association has called on Deutsche Bahn to offer customer refunds if a train is delayed by more than 30 minutes.
Germany’s Consumer Association calls for DB refunds
Deutsche Bahn has just had its worst year for delays in a decade, with one-third of the company’s trains arriving late in 2022. In response, the head of Germany’s Federal Consumer Association (VZBV) has called on the train company to implement a new refunds policy, whereby passengers would be compensated for their journey if their train is 30 minutes late.
Currently, Deutsche Bahn trains are considered late if they arrive at their destination at least six minutes after the scheduled time. If your train is delayed by 60 minutes or more you are entitled to a refund.
The refund amount is calculated based on the original price of your ticket. If your train is delayed by an hour, you are entitled to receive 25 percent of your original fare as a refund, and if the train is delayed by two hours you can claim 50 percent back. If you bought your ticket online, all of this can be done on the Deutsche Bahn website before the money is transferred to your bank account.
Passengers could be offered vouchers as delay compensation
In the wake of Deutsche Bahn’s consistent delays during 2022, the VZBV has suggested that passengers on trains delayed by 30 minutes should be compensated with a 10-euro voucher. Speaking to Handelsblatt, customer protection officer Ramona Pop said that these vouchers should be issued automatically, rather than passengers having to apply for the voucher.
Spokesperson for the Federal Ministry for Environment and Consumer Protection, Steffi Lemke, told Bild that liberalising Deutsche Bahn’s delay compensation scheme is also an important step in creating a more reliable train service, an important part of Germany’s sustainable mobility transition.
Thumb image credit: Timo Nausch / Shutterstock.com
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