Wednesday, 6th August 2014

by Joshua Gaskell

Further to my last entry in the OUD, the other reason that customer is an inappropriate thing to call a passenger on a train is to do with the definition of custom: ‘The practice of customarily resorting to a particular shop, place of entertainment, etc. to make purchases or give orders; business patronage or support.’ None of that pertains if there isn’t actually a choice being made of which company to patronise, and even on a privatised rail network there isn’t, since there’s still only ever one service between any two places. This is precisely why, in the case of trains, the notion of free-market choice is bunk.