Last Updated on 26 July 2021 by Dan
Hello everyone! Today’s article is about one of my favourite simple tips for getting money back when you’re delayed on the tube through a free service called Train Ree:Claim. On my over an hour commute this happens reasonably often and I’ve had quite a bit back using this!
This post will mainly be aimed at Londoners, but those outside read on as the broad principle of the piece applies – and it’s worth checking if your local rail provider operates any “automated delay repay” system. You can also check out this previous article which gives some advice on saving money on trains generally.
What is Train Ree:Claim?
If delayed on the tube or TfL operated train (Underground, DLR, TfL Rail or London Overground) you are entitled to a refund of your journey cost. However in practice you have to fill out a form and do it in a rapid timeframe – so many just don’t bother for the sake of a few quid.
Increasingly train companies have started offering an “automated delay repay” for season tickets where your journey history is tracked against actual trains, automatically refunding the difference. TfL unhelpfully do not do this, so Train Ree:Claim fills the gap.
The service was entirely operational about a year ago before TfL changed their login system.
Train Ree:Claim have been working hard on fixing this and preparing to relaunch, but you can use the service from now as normal in “beta” version where you accept there might be the odd bug.
How does Train Ree:Claim work?
You need to sign up at their website, register your contact details and supply your TfL login. Train Ree:Claim monitor your journeys taken, match it against service data and use your details to automatically register a refund claim if you were on a delayed service.
Can I use Train Ree-Claim if I’ve used an Oyster card or a Contactless payment?
Yes on both, but the refund methodology Train Ree:Claim uses is slightly different.
If you used an Oyster it’ll be refunded as ‘web credits’ which you can use on any top up or purchase or transfer to bank account.
If you used contactless it will go straight into your account but you do need to make sure that the card is linked with your TFL account.
How much does Train Ree:Claim cost?
Absolutely nothing, and they don’t take commission off refunds.
Longer term, they are looking to use a rewards app to show you offers near your common stations and fund Train Ree:Claim through partnering on this.
Is Train Ree:Claim safe?
Wondering if Train Ree:Claim is a scam is an understandable concern given you’re handing over TfL login details and a question I asked myself!
I used the service after discovering it featured in an article in a national newspaper which gave me some comfort, along with finding plenty of anecdotes online and review that it worked.
I’ve also personally used the service for two years and had never had issues.
Is there anything else I need to be concerned about with Train Ree:Claim?
Yes, there’s a few notes of caution that it would be remiss not to flag.
You are giving up some security whenever you hand over login details to anything, and it’s something I’d never usually say you should even think of doing for any service.
I don’t have any credit card details stored on my TfL account as I use an Oyster card rather than contactless – and I would have been a little more reticent on security grounds if I did, albeit it links with only limited card information.
Train Re:Claim publish a promise not to sell your data and states any details you supply to them are encrypted, but there is limited detail on what security protects said data. I believe Train Ree:Claim itself to be well intentioned, but there are other bad folks out there online.
You’re also technically contravening TfL’s terms of service by sharing your password, and need to be mindful that in case of dispute this might cause you issues.
Using Train Ree:Claim should be considered as “at your own risk” then and you should think about if you can accept the concerns above.
Overall Review of Train Ree:Claim
I was so glad I found this service as my morning commute was subject to delays reasonably frequently, and it was a pleasant surprise to get the amount back I did.
I’ve had no issues at all, just a lot of refunds. I therefore have no hesitancy recommending using the service, just bearing in mind the account safety warnings above.
I’m hoping it spurs TfL to launch their own similar service – automated train refunds are not a new thing and I think it doesn’t actually reflect well on TfL that it’s easier to use third-party infrastructure rather than their own service.
If you have any questions or have made some significant savings using Train Ree-Claim we’d love to hear from you! Just drop us a comment in the notes below.
And that’s it!
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