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Customer contact and service

Information about the use of your data when you interact with us.

What personal data do we use?

We may need to use your data in order to answer your questions or to assist you. You provide this data yourself. Examples include your contact details and your card number. In some cases, such as for remote assistance, we also need to know the location of the ticket machine. We may need to use your bank details for matters such as processing a complaint or a request for a refund. We may also process health data, such as the type of aid you need if you are travelling with a disability. 

When you request a duplicate or replacement for a personalised OV-chipkaart, we may ask you to submit a passport photo to print on the new OV-chipkaart. If you have given consent, we will store your passport photo for use on a duplicate OV-chipkaart or future card/carrier.

We use a chatbot to communicate with you. Chatbots are useful for answering simple questions about matters such as the timetable, a travel product or an e-ticket. For more complex, personal questions, you will be handed over to an NS employee, and the chatbot will only help by asking for your name and customer details. We may use pseudonymised personal data provided via the chatbot for analysis purposes and to improve the quality of the chatbot. We also process your IP address for security purposes.

We also make use of outbound calling (outgoing telephone traffic) by engaging an intermediary who may call you for telemarketing purposes, as long as you have not exercised your right to object. We comply with the Code for Telemarketing 2021 (Code for Telemarketing 2021 (CTM) - Stichting Reclame Code) in this respect.

What do we use your personal data for?

We use your data for customer contact and service, including answering questions, processing complaints, reports and disputes, and returning lost and found items. 

The basis for data processing is: performance of the contract.

When you ask NS Customer Service a question or submit a complaint at the station, or contact NS Customer Service or NS Zakelijk Customer Service via telephone, e-mail, social media, chat or post, we may ask for your contact details in order to process the question or complaint and to respond with additional information. We will only use these personal data for this purpose, and your personal data are only accessible for those persons within NS who are charged with processing your question or complaint.

The principle for data processing is: legitimate interest.

We may record phone calls or online conversations between you and NS Customer Service or your written correspondence with us in order to improve our services. We will not use these conversations for other purposes, and we ensure that the conversations are only accessible to those persons within NS who use the conversations for training purposes. If a bomb threat is made, the call may be transferred for further investigation. For the purpose of improving our services, we may contact you for customer satisfaction surveys, e.g. after a customer service phone call. We may also use market research companies working on our behalf for these purposes. Customer satisfaction surveys are performed with the purpose of improving our services. We may also approach you to find out whether you are satisfied with our products.

Finally, NS uses transcriptions of customer touchpoints for sentiment analysis. This process involves analysing digital text to determine whether the emotional undertone of the text is positive, negative or neutral. NS also converts a large part of its recorded customer phone calls from speech to text in order to improve customer service. NS subsequently analyses these texts to quantify and investigate the behaviour, sentiment, frustration, effort and overall satisfaction of customers and customer service employees after the fact. This serves the purpose of automatically detecting trending topics based on frustration detection and sentiment, which NS uses to improve the contact of its customer service and products. Reports only contain aggregated data.

Processing this data is in the commercial interest of NS: it gives us the opportunity to optimise our services, and to improve our services or address incidents as necessary. We take every security measure necessary to prevent or limit violations of your privacy.

The basis for data processing is: consent.

With your permission, other carriers may also view your travel information in order to provide services to you. We may also process medical data if you are travelling with a disability. In that case, we will always ask your consent first.

With whom do we share data?

With your consent, other carriers may also view your travel information in order to provide services to you. With your consent, we will share your information with the relevant carrier or carriers. We have made agreements with the other carriers regarding the processing and storage of data.

We contract third parties to provide IT services. These third parties process our data solely for our own internal use, and for no other purpose. We have made agreements with these parties pertaining to the processing of personal data.

Some NS Customer Service activities have been outsourced to a party with sites in the Netherlands and Suriname. We have made agreements with this party to implement the standard provisions required by the European Commission.

How long do we store your data?

We store questions, complaints and contact data for a maximum of 18 months after processing the request or complaint, unless the nature of the question or complaint requires us to store the data for a longer period.

We store recorded telephone conversations for a maximum of 59 days. We store recorded chat conversations for up to 18 months.