It's been a while, I know.  Again, not been keeping this going.  Bad me.  Anyway, Southern Railway.  What a joke.

The service is bad, the reliability is bad and nothing is being done.  So I decided to take pot luck and start tweeting them about the problems.  It got so bad that I had to raise an official complaint this week.

On Monday, the trains were cancelled because of over running engineering works.  They consistently blame Network Rail for this and try to wash their hands.  But if you're spending over £2000 with them per year, this isn't a very good response.

So I started by asking for someone I can complain to that isn't in the customer service area.  I wanted someone senior, someone that might do something.  I was given the email address  Not a Southern Railway email address which seems strange, but I am assured it's a special team that deals with complaints.  So just to be sure, I tried copying in a published email address of their MD, Chris Burchell as well as some publicly available addresses from Go Ahead, the owners of Southern Railway.  So far, I found, and  They're a number of directors there so should be aware of the issues.

I received a fairly quick response back from Liam Ludlow, the Customer Service Manager, assuring me that Chris Burchell has read the complaint and asked him to deal with it.  Sadly, Chris Burchell's email address that I found didn't work, but the others did so I was kinda happy.

I patiently waited the two working days I was quoted for a response and to be honest, with the service and reliability of the train service they run, waiting is something I'm now very good at.

In fact, I waited more than two days and still no response or follow up.  I can only assume that the company runs permanently late and so I've had to follow up with another email of complaint to them.  I tried a variation of Chris Burchells email address to try and make sure he received a copy.  Failed again.  One final try and it made it.  Sadly, I then received an Out Of Office response from him as he's on holiday.  So did he really read my email from the other day ?  Or was that just Liam Ludlow deciding to try and placate me that something was being done ?

At least now I have his email address and a contact number for his PA Sam.

I look forward to getting this all looked in to and sorted out properly.  By 11.02 am today, still no reply from anyone.  Hopefully this can all be resolved without having to refer them to the Office of Rail Regulation.

Finally, I'm trying to trend #southernfailuk which I think has a nice ring to it and is very similar to @southernrailuk twitter name.
I just don't get it.  What on earth does putting a paper plate of shaving foam on to someone else actually achieve ?  So perhaps he doesn't like Rupert Murdoch, BSkyB or News International.  So don't subscribe to the satellite channel or buy the newspapers or just plain ignore the man.  There are some ten million people who subscribe to Sky.  If everyone was so anti-Murdoch, then peoples principles would stop them getting the dish.  But either people don't have those principles or they don't care about Murdoch.  So that begs the questions, what's the point ?  Perhaps the comedian was looking to get some publicity on a struggling career ?

Either way, he's managed to achieve nothing apart from a few minutes in the limelight before hopefully passing in to the same obscurity from which he came.  And no, I won't help him by linking to him.
So its congrats to Tom Pellereau for winning this years Apprentice.  Is it me or did the actual win seem a little less interesting as it was really just like watching Dragon's Den ?  If they all had a business case / plan and needed £250k of investment and have an experienced entrepreneur support them, it seems like that show has already been done before.
Apparently, according to the email I received today from Weebly, traffic is skyrocketing here with a mammoth 22 visits.  Thank you to each and everyone of you who's bothered to come here !
So here's the first thing I've properly got to mention and it's already a day late.  13th July 2011 was 200 years since Sir George Gilbert Scott was born.  A fantastic and not necessarily well known architect by name, most people will recognise his styles and certainly some of his buildings.  One of my most favourite is the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station.  A beautiful, iconic building.  The sheer number of buildings credited to him is astounding and all of them as incredible as the next.

So I've tried to create websites in the past but never had the time or inclination or found anything of interest to put on it.  Looking around the web, I would say that's the same for many other people.  Only they still publish.  So I think I might try too.  This blog isn't the first I've ever started and probably won't be the last.  No idea if I will be regular as clock work or just let it fade.  Anyway, here goes.......
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