Ticket prices were increased last January, and since then the service has become decidedly worse. They weren't great to start with, but now major disruptions seem weekly.
In the past four or so weeks, we've had two cable thefts which have left trains entirely absent for hours and disrupted for the rest of the day, we've had floods, and London Midland had their vast driver shortage, plus all the 5-15 minute delays that seem to occur consistently for no obvious reason. London Midland especially seems terrible. Even when I'm not catching a London Midland train, I have a pretty good chance of my train being delayed because it's stuck behind a late running London Midland train.
I appreciate that not all of these things are under the operators' control, but they are raising prices for a service that they're not actually supplying with any reliability, and they only get to do this because I don't have the option of using a different rail network.
I also particularly dislike ticket barriers. 99.9% of their usage is to inconvenience paying customers. Your train leaves in 90 seconds and someone in front of you can't find their ticket. GOOD LUCK.