These can include taxi fares to get home when no more trains are available.
A survey by consumer champions Which? found 12 out of 26 of the train companies gave “incorrect or inconsistent advice” over the phone.
And 18 out of 26 websites “failed to provide good enough information to customers about their rights to claim for consequential loss”, with most failing to give any information about when they would consider a claim.
The survey was released as passengers suffer a timetable meltdown on Northern and Govia Thameslink – two of the biggest franchises.
Under the Consumer Rights Act and common law passengers are entitled to claim for losses when a service is not delivered with reasonable care and skill.
In March, operators agreed changes to the National Rail Conditions of Travel, which included removing the term which stated travellers were not entitled to claim for reasonable costs incurred when services were disrupted and it was the train firm’s fault.
The worst offenders for phone advice were Cross Country, Grand Central, Greater Anglia, Heathrow Express, ScotRail and Stansted Express.
On every call, they all wrongly told secret shoppers they could not make a claim.
Five websites – East Midlands, Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express, Hull Trains and Stansted Express – made misleading statements that they were not liable for consequential loss.
Alex Hayman, Which? managing director, said: “This is the latest in a catalogue of examples of train companies treating passengers with breathtaking disregard.
“The regulator must take immediate enforcement action or the Government must step in and stand up for passengers and their rights.”
The rail industry said it was reviewing operator websites and improving training for staff.
Jason Webb at the Rail Delivery Group, on behalf of train firms, said payments rose by 500 per cent in five years to £74million– which was supported by quicker and easier forms of compensation.