UNDER-fire ScotRail issued an apology on social media every 51 minutes this year.
The train operator has so far said “sorry” to travellers 10,000 times in 2016 – an average of 30 a day.
The astounding number of apologetic responses to irate tweets comes from a new website – https://www.sorryfortheinconvenience.co.uk/ – launched by Manchester-based web developer Omid Kashan.
The 26-year-old’s website works by picking out social media posts from transport companies that have keywords such as “Sorry” or “Apologies” in them.
ScotRail and its developer Abellio have come under fire over the past few months after repeated delays to services.
A petition calling for Abellio to be stripped of the ScotRail contract was signed by over 19,000 people back in October and presented to Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.
Yousaf famously responded to anger over late and overcrowded trains by saying he was not a “transport expert”.
ScotRail had already sent 15 social media apologies by 10AM today (Fri).
Jackie McRandle tweeted: “Why is the 9.10 train from Coatbridge Sunnyside to Queen Street delayed???” to which ScotRail replied: “Hi Jackie. Sorry for the delay, awaiting further update at the moment.”
Brian Young wrote: “Alloa station ticket machine out of order meant 15min queue wait in Queens Street” to which ScotRail said: “Hi Brian. Sorry for any inconvenience caused, I will flag this”.
Malcolm Goodwin posted: “So is the 8:16 LIN to EDB always meant to be three carriages on the new timetable? That’s two days in a row!” and ScotRail responded: “Hi Malcolm. This is due to a unit fault, will hopefully be back to 6 from next week. Sorry”
On social media, Scots reacted with delight after seeing how many apologies ScotRail had sent.
Duncan Buchanan-Macdonald posted a link to the part of the website which lists ScotRail’s apologies, and wrote: “This is tremendous”.
Ryan Malone said: “Think I’m going to write a song “Scotrail apologies for this delay”… I hear it more than any other words these days.”
But Kevin Esther said: “Paying customers need more than apologies and fault message. What was the fault? Explain more customer might then understand.
Speaking to a local newspaper last month, Omid explained his reasons for creating the website.
He said: “You can’t really go a day without hearing an apology.
“I was once reading an apology on Twitter and wondered how long it had been since someone last complained.”
As well as tracking rail companies, it also tracks the online activity of RyanAir and easyJet, as well as several London underground lines and a number of bus companies.
A ScotRail Alliance spokeswoman said: “Customers who contact us via social channels are usually at a station or on a train, which means we often receive several questions about the same issue.
“We believe in saying sorry if things go wrong, but we also aim to explain what we’re doing to fix things as quickly as possible. Customers tell us they appreciate this approach.”