Poundland has won an apology from Thameslink over a tweet comparing the train company’s service with the discounter’s chocolate.

The Twitter row erupted after Thameslink replied to a tweet from a customer about disrupted services by saying: ‘Appreciate at the moment the service is less Ferrero Rocher and more Poundland cooking chocolate. We are working our best to help stabilise the service.’

Poundland responded with a tweet threatening legal action and telling Thameslink: ‘You’re off the rails.’

A statement from retail director Austin Cooke included in the tweet said: ’We couldn’t help but notice that your Twitter team described your failure to provide an adequate service as “Poundland” cooking chocolate.

‘Aside from the breach of our trademark, we think you’re taking the chocolate biscuit.’

The statement went on to highlight major disruption to Thameslink services following timetable changes before adding: ’Frankly you have no right to use our name to describe poor service. We served 8 million shoppers last week and didn’t have to close any store due to leaves on the roof, the wrong kind of rain or a shortage of managers…

’We think we have a pretty good idea about what great customer service is compared to most rail companies. But if we ever fall short, perhaps we’ll describe ourselves as a bit Thameslink.

‘If you don’t want to hear from our extremely twitchy legal team, we suggest you remove your tweet.’

Thameslink removed the offending tweet and replied yesterday: ‘Very sorry team for using your name here.’

The original tweet had been in reply to a customer who wrote: ‘Why, ambassador @TLRailUK, with this fine service you are really spoiling us.’

A Poundland spokesman said: “Obviously we keep an eye on what people are saying and perhaps some should know better than to use Poundland as a term of abuse. The people within the business are very proud of what they do every day and that’s why we occasionally call it out.”

He added: “They did the right thing and I suspect they won’t do it again in a hurry.”

Thameslink’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway has seen major disruption to services since the timetable changes on 20 May, with 455 trains either cancelled or at least half an hour late on Wednesday, representing 13% of total services.

A GTR spokeswoman said: “This was meant to be light-hearted, not cause offence. We have taken down the tweet and apologised to Poundland.”