Lothian Buses: The Final Chapter

I received an email from the Customer Services Manager at Lothian buses today, which pretty much answered all of the issues I’d had in my earlier posts Lothian Buses: The Wheels Grind Slowly, If At All and Lothian Bus Ride Of Doom.

For a start, he apologised for the initial incident, he apologised for the way the matter had been dealt with, he explained the reason for the delay in the response (although, as I told him, if I’d been given a timescale I’d not have been quite so narked). He also explained that any disciplinary actions taken remain confidential — which is fair enough — although he did state that the drivers actions were unacceptable, and further information he provided — without giving any details — led me to believe that Lothian Buses did take the incident seriously after all. He’s also offered that the next time I’m in Edinburgh, Lothian Buses will provide complimentary tickets for me and the family to enjoy all of their tours. I’ll just have to make sure I pick up the headphones …

So, if you remember, I said:

  • I want an apology for the initial incident
  • I want to know what disciplinary action was taken against the driver
  • I want an apology for the way that they have (or rather haven’t) handled my complaint
  • I want to know what action they are going to take to ensure complaints are handled better in future


I’ve received the two apologies; I’ve been made aware that the incident was taken seriously, and I’m prepared to give them to accept that it was simply unfortunate that my claim was handled as it was, and that they don’t necessarily need to change their policies on handling complaints. I’ve also been offered free tickets for next time, which is a goodwill gesture I’m very likely to take up.

So, while it wasn’t handled as promptly as I would have liked, I am better aware of the reasons for this now, and I’m prepared to say that — unless someone has suffered an injury that I’m not currently aware of — that the matter has been resolved almost to my satisfaction eventually. … and I’d be prepared to remove the “almost” if I was sure Arthur Johnson had received the commendation he deserved for the calm, unflappable and helpful way in which he handled the initial complaint.

I don’t know whether this would have been resolved anyway, and it would seem churlish not to give Lothian Buses the benefit of the doubt — but it certainly demonstrates to me that if you feel strongly enough about something it’s worth coming over loud and clear — and if necessary, repeatedly about it.

I must make it very clear however that my opinion of Lothian Buses has changed considerably since I read the email I received from the Customer Services Manager. It might have taken longer than I hoped, but they’ve pretty much got there in the end, and I’m happy to try and draw a line under the matter. To be honest, the Customer Services Manager has changed my opinion to the extent that while he got my name wrong in the first place, I’d also like to thank him, and state that I sincerely hope that the next time I’m writing about Lothian Buses, it’s because I’m praising them for some reason.

One Response to “Lothian Buses: The Final Chapter”

  1. Dan responds:

    Glad it’s been sorted to your satisfaction Jack. What you’ve be doing here mostly is reporting the facts, and I think you’re being a bit too charitable when you say:

    they don’t necessarily need to change their policies on handling complaints

    If it’s taken them this long to get an official response to you then they do need to change their policies IMHO. You should at least have had an acknowledgement email, saying they were investigating the matter and would give you a full response in due course. Of course you’ll never know whether posting here (or the emails you may have prompted other people, me included, to send to Lothian) made any difference, but I think you’ve provided a model example of how to go about such matters.

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