Its never really fashionable to praise railway companies. They make commuters like you and me late, miserable and charge a handsome premium for doing so.

One thing that Southern Rail do well though, is to use Twitter as a customer service channel. I have been commuting on their lines almost every day for the past three years, and when they joined Twitter officially, I thought they were, frankly, bonkers.

The tirade of abuse that appeared in my timeline each day, aimed at Southern, was phenomenal. I was sure they would be overwhelmed with angry and less than constructive messages. In fact, they have handled it really well and I have been quietly impressed for some time.

There seems to be someone at the other end 24/7. There is personality, regular updates, apologies, suggestions for alternative routes and commitment to feed back comments and complaints.

Don't take my word for it. Test them with a tweet.

I would love to know if they have measured the impact on customer satisfaction or levels of traditional correspondence.