The founder of Virgin Trains wrote on Twitter: "There is very little that annoys me in life, but people who turn up late really do."

Twitter users, however, quickly criticized the billionaire for the underperformance of his railroad business, which operates trains on the west coast (and earlier on the east coast).

There was also criticism from author Rebecca Reid, who said, "About 30 percent of the time I was late was because of one of your moves."

Lawrence Turner wrote: "After Virgin's east coast was privatized, punctuality dropped from 82 percent to 73 percent."

Steve Morrison also lashed out and said, "Your train was once seven hours late due to a power outage to save you time and money, and my colleagues took taxis closer to their homes than the incoming train station."

Last night, the 68-year-old's initial tweet had more than 700 responses. According to the Office of Road and Rail, the franchise of Virgin Trains had more complaints from passengers than its competitors last year.

However, consumer website Which? The company gave four out of five for punctuality for its commuter services last year, judging it higher than 25 out of 28 franchises. It has the same score for vacationers who rated it higher than 15 other franchises.

A Virgin spokesman said, "We know that punctuality is very important to our customers – and rightly so.

"We work hard to ensure that our trains are on time and we have one of the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the industry, and if our trains are delayed, we believe that customers should receive compensation, which is why we are paving the way for automatic compensation for delays in direct bookers. "


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