A train company that compared its service to Poundland cooking chocolate in a tweet has been threatened with legal action by the discount retailer.
The spat on social media erupted after a disgruntled passenger named Kevin tweeted an image of a departures board showing cancelled trains, and wrote sarcastically: “Why, Ambassador @TLRailUK, with this fine service you are really spoiling us.”
Thameslink replied: “Very sorry Kevin. Appreciate at the moment the service is less Ferrero Rocher and more Poundland cooking chocolate.”
Poundland’s retail director Austin Cooke issued a scathing response to Charles Horton, chief executive of Thameslink’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), describing the train operator as “off the rails”.
Image: Poundland threatened Thameslink with legal action over the chocolate tweet
Mr Cooke wrote: “Aside from the breach of our trademark, we think you’re taking the chocolate biscuit.”
He said GTR has “no right to use our name to describe poor service”, stating that the budget chain served eight million shoppers last week and has a “pretty good idea about what great customer service is”.
“But if we ever fall short, perhaps we’ll describe ourselves as a bit Thameslink,” he continued.
“If you don’t want to hear from our extremely twitchy legal team, we suggest you remove your tweet.”
Very sorry team for using your name here. I have removed the offending Tweet. ^Neil
— Thameslink (@TLRailUK) May 30, 2018
Thameslink deleted its original message and tweeted: “Very sorry team for using your name here. I have removed the offending tweet.”
Image: Thameslink has apologised for the ‘offending tweet’
It comes as the rail operator has been dogged by disrupted services after a major shake-up of its timetable which has seen the rescheduling of more than four million trains and the introduction of 400 new daily services.
Passengers have been left confused and frustrated by delays and cancellations every day since its launch on 20 May.
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On Wednesday alone, 10% of trains were cancelled and 14% were delayed.
GTR has apologised for “any convenience caused” during the initial stages of the timetable change which it insists will lead to a “significant boost in capacity with a 13% increase in services”.