Saturday, 17 March 2012

Manners Cost Nothing

In terms of information, us travellers have never had it so good.
Websites, Twitter, Facebook, text alerts - you name it, our gadgets are vibrating and bleeping with updates.
Some operators are better than others. Some don't tweet at all. Others are burning the midnight oil to keep us updated in the dead of night, helping us complete our journeys from A to B.
The immediacy of social media like Twitter helps break down relationships between user and provider. It's often informal too, proving that whether you're a passenger or someone bashing away at the keyboard with updates good or bad, we're all human, ultimately.
And yet - and I know I have virtually no chance of seeing this happen - I wish some people would have a few manners when interacting with transport providers. Some of the comments I see are quite frankly disgusting.
Late or cancelled trains and buses are frustrating. We all accept that. We have important meetings to attend, jobs to get to, all manner of important journeys - and when things go wrong, it messes up our plans. Passenger Focus highlights the need for transport operators to up their game when it comes to providing information, especially during times of disruption. Again, some are better than others, and in the world of trains, all operators are signing up to a pledge to improve.
But there's nothing more depressing than seeing a string of blatant abuse from some individuals who hide behind their keypads and think they're being clever by venting their spleen. Their offending words say more about them than the disruption they face on their journey. If I was a prospective employer, I wouldn't give them the time of day.
This should be the quid pro quo for transport operators. By all means, accept that passengers are frustrated, upset and angry that they face delays and cancellations.
But basic manners cost nothing. If individuals resort to using foul, abusive language, including swear words, they should just ignore that individual until they can show some self-restraint and manners. There's nothing big or clever in acting like a petulant child, frustrating as the delay may be. Let's show some respect to those trying to help on social media. And let's hope, in many cases in vain, that these silly individuals show some respect to themselves.


  1. Thank You Please

  2. Well said, although there are some transport operators who need to think about what is involved in becoming engaged in Social Media. There are some very professional sites out there which I have interacted with - Yellow Buses (Bournemouth) being one which springs to mind, and that being both before and after a change of ownership. On the other side of the coin there are some transport operators who need to realise that social media is a two way door. The Train Operating Company which responded with silence when a next train indicator was showing a train due on time at 08:30 and a train passed through the (notoriously narrow) platform at 08:30 without stopping might wish to think about the consequences of their actions.