The “Out of Service” screen simply says that. Since it’s a programmable screen, it could have been specified to say anything. An organisation concerned with customer service might have asked the programmers to code the screen with:
- an apology – “We’re sorry that this machine is out of order“
- an explanation – “This is because ...”
- a confirmation that action is being taken – “It’s been reported and we’re working on it” (surely Southeastern have remote monitoring of their TVMs?!)
- information about what to do instead – “You can start your journey without a ticket, but please buy a ticket at the first opportunity on the train or at another station“.
Southeastern have done none of this. All machines fail from time to time, and Southeastern should have thought through what the customer needs to know then. Here they’ve shown a lack of customer focus and a lack of priority to customer communication and customer information.