DAP Consultancy Limited

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Eurostar say - “It is not company policy to offer compensation if customers have reported that staff members have behaved in an inappropriate manner.”



I have been a long-time supporter of Eurostar, consistently enjoying its service and actively recommending it to friends and family. However, my recent experience on Dec 22nd has drastically altered my perception. While I acknowledge that unforeseen circumstances such as strikes can occur, Eurostar's handling of the situation was extremely disappointing and has shaken my faith in the company.

As someone who travels between London and Paris for business monthly, and who owns a customer experience consultancy company, I understand the importance of service quality. Despite the strikes in December not being directly Eurostar's fault, the lack of effective communication and organisation on Dec 22nddemonstrated a failure on their part. My wife's return journey also being cancelled on Dec 30th added further insult to injury, forcing us to resort to expensive last-minute flights for the third consecutive year, further compounds this frustration.

The events at Gare Du Nord in Paris on Dec 22nd were chaotic and poorly managed. Despite arriving early at 07:30am and anticipating a busy period, there was no clear direction from Eurostar staff. The absence of a structured queuing system led to confusion and frustration among passengers.

I witnessed and experienced many instances of rudeness and abuse from Eurostar employees towards passengers. This behaviour is unacceptable, particularly when traveling with a child, who should not be exposed to such negativity and attitudes, especially not from authority figures.

Travel companies frequently advertise that ‘our staff do not tolerate abuse from passengers’, but Eurostar on this day seemed to forget this works two ways. After an hour of queuing, we finally reached the entrance to the Eurostar terminal at the bottom of the escalator in Gare Du Nord, see below image. We were then rudely asked by a Eurostar staff member, what time our train was, we said 10:11am and were shouted at to join the back of the queue as they need to board earlier trains first, as mentioned there was no clear direction from Eurostar staff and an absence of a structured queuing system prior to this. We received no apology, no politeness and the first bit of abuse. Spoiler alert, more to come over the next two hours in Gare Du Nord.



We stayed where we were as we were not going to do all that again, Eurostar should have done this originally and structured queues based on departure times, we did what was advised on their website and arrived two hours in advance of our departure time.

Then the violent Eurostar barrier team arrived. A man came steaming through the crowd, pushing people and children including myself and family out the way, ‘shouting move, I have a barrier to make’. We were lucky and managed to stay in place at the bottom of the escalator, on the now favoured side of the barrier, he started sending everyone else away saying ‘please leave, it’s too busy here today’. He then even split a family in half leaving a young mother, luggage, and pushchair on one side of his barrier and the father holding their baby on the other side, he then explained that the father and baby must go away as it’s too busy. The Eurostar employee seemed very proud of these actions having a huge power trip, a lot of smirking and laughing with his colleagues.

There was simply no compromise with him or any of the Eurostar staff, when people were trying to explain they had been split up, pushed, or hurt, the only reaction from Eurostar staff was shoulder shrugging and then shouting to ‘move away’. Not helpful at all and taking zero responsibility for their poor organisation. It was no surprise it would be busy that morning given the strikes the day before, they should have planned for this, no excuses.

Over the next two hours there was a lot more pushing and shoving, shouting, and crying, it was chaos and like a riot, not what I want my son to see from anyone, let alone from Eurostar staff. My three-year-old son kept asking me why that lady (the Eurostar employee) was being so horrible to people.  

We were then shouted at again to join the back of the queue; we refused again given we had now been queuing for 1.5 hours now and were not even upstairs yet. After several minutes of negotiating, explaining we cannot stand any longer due to me having a very bad back, we were finally told we were ‘allowed’ to go upstairs and wait there, this was the situation upstairs that we arrived in.



It then took another 1.5 hours to get through security. All in all, it took us three hours to get to the departures lounge, which was hard to stand for with a child, no toilets, no refreshments, and luggage. My son was incredibly scared and upset by Eurostar’s actions and behaviour.

The lack of empathy and professionalism displayed by Eurostar staff during this ordeal was disheartening. Despite enduring a three-hour ordeal to reach the departures lounge, it wasn't until encountering airside staff that the level of service I expect from Eurostar was restored. Our train was then over an hour late departing, and at around 11:30 we were finally onboard and on our way.

I commend the efforts of these airside staff members who went above and beyond to create a positive experience during an equally busy and stressful environment as you can see below, but it does not excuse their colleague’s landside or the Eurostar company itself.



Overall, my experience on Dec 22nd has left me questioning my loyalty to Eurostar. Despite my previous enthusiasm for the company, I am now hesitant to continue using their services, unless absolutely necessary.


So what did Eurostar say about this ordeal?


I first called their passenger care team and explained everything above, they then told me someone would be in touch. A week later someone was in touch and asked me to put it in writing. I spent about an hour writing my full detailed account and replied to the email I was asked to reply to, it bounced back. I then called their passenger care team again and explained this, they said ‘oh sorry, yeah that email address doesn’t receive emails anymore, please send here instead. I then sent to there. Two weeks later I received the below reply:


Dear Daniel,

Thank you for getting back to me, I apologise for the delay in responding. 

Thank you for your very detailed account of the situation in Paris Gare du nord on 22nd December. It sounds like it was a very stressful situation for all involved, and I am very sorry that your young son felt scared and upset, I personally apologise if you felt the staff in the station were rude and abusive towards you, your family, and other passengers. 

Eurostar prides itself on delivering the best service to our customers. Our customer facing teams are recruited to demonstrate our company values everyday. I am sorry to hear that the experience in the station on 22nd December fell below your expectations. Please be assured, I have passed this feedback on to the station team, along with the Senior Management team, who meet regularly after we have had a disruption to our service (which I believe is the reason things appeared to be the way they were in the station on that day) to assess the way we handled things and look at how to improve things moving forwards. In particular with this scenario, how we better manage the flow of passengers in the station when there is a significant increase in numbers as result of displaced passengers. This will likely include some additional training for the teams in the stations. 

It is not company policy to offer compensation if customers have reported that staff members have behaved in an inappropriate manner. We do take matters such as these very seriously, and we pass the information to the relevant manager(s), if we are able to ascertain teams in question. In this way, the manager can investigate the incident and address the matter in whichever way they consider to be appropriate. As mentioned, this may involve additional training, or they may decide to start the disciplinary process.

I realise that you may have been hoping to get confirmation of how the managers chose to proceed on this occasion, but this is not possible, as we do not get notified ourselves. Any disciplinary matters remain confidential between the manager and the staff members in question, 

I really hope that you will consider this a one-off and not reflective of our usual levels of service, as situations such as this are thankfully extremely rare. I hope we may still welcome you back onboard Eurostar again soon, when I am sure you will experience the usual excellent service, we pride ourselves of providing.

With regards your point regarding your wife's journey back on 30th December, I understand this was again a very frustrating position to be in, however, all trains to and from the UK were cancelled as a result of a flooded tunnel in London. The tunnel is not owned or maintained by Eurostar and so we are at the liberty of the network owner when something happens to the tracks we use. I am terribly sorry that your wife was impacted by this, if you need documentation to support an insurance claim, please do let me know and I will be happy to arrange that for you. 

And finally, thank you very much for your positive feedback about Jade in our Customer Care team. I have shared this information with her and her manager and she is thrilled that you took the time to share these comments, positive feedback is always very appreciated. I have also passed your comments on about the staff on board the 9019 on 22nd December and I am sure they will be equally as pleased to hear that you were happy with their service. 

Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with,


Kind regards,

Eurostar Traveller Care


An extremely disappointing response and cements my lack of faith in Eurostar. They offered nothing to compensate for the ordeal and nothing to encourage me or my family to continue using them, whereby I usually take about 20 journeys a year with them.


How could they have handled this better?


To address this complaint effectively and restore my faith in Eurostar, the company should have taken the following steps:


  1. Acknowledge Responsibility: While it's understood that the strikes were beyond Eurostar's control, take full responsibility for the mishandling of the situation by Eurostar staff. Assure the customer that their feedback will be taken seriously to prevent similar incidents in the future.
  2. Compensation: Offer appropriate compensation for the ordeal endured by the customer and their family. This could include full or partial reimbursement for the cost of the Eurostar tickets.
  3. Follow-Up: Assign a dedicated customer service representative to follow up with the customer personally to ensure their concerns have been addressed satisfactorily. Encourage ongoing communication and feedback to continue improving services.
  4. Token of Appreciation to encourage future use: Consider offering a token of appreciation, such as complimentary tickets, loyalty points or a voucher, as a gesture of goodwill and to encourage the customer to consider Eurostar for future travel.


Taking responsibility, goodwill gestures and personal follow ups go a long way, especially if a poor experience has affected customers financially, timewise, or emotionally. See here another article I have written around the importance of creating goodwill with customers.

Happier customers mean filled seats. By taking these proactive steps to address my concerns, provide appropriate compensation and assurances, Eurostar could have worked towards restoring my faith in the company and retaining my loyalty.

However, they chose not to.



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