Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Virgin Trains

OK, so it's been a while since I've had a rant... but I knew that not too long would go by before something or someone pushes my buttons.
I'm traveling up to the north of the country tomorrow by train. So, because I am hyper-organised about these things, I ordered my tickets back on the 26th of January. Now back in December last year, I traveled by train up north, but instead of taking two and half hours, the train journey took four and a half bloody hours to get to where it was going. As you can imagine, I wasn't happy, so I filled in a request for compensation form, not really expecting much. But, low and behold, I received £60.00 of train vouchers for Virgin Trains. Lovely, thinks I...
So I used £25.00 of these vouchers to book my journey tomorrow, and as the ticket was £30.50 I paid the other £5.50 on my debit card (make a note of that word - it's important). Anyway, when I phoned up on the 26th of Jan. I was told I would need to send in the voucher and as soon as they received it, they would send out my tickets. "What about the extra £5.50" says I. "We will take that now from your debit card and that will be fine". So I went through the process of giving the card details and told "Yes, thats fine, it's been approved and authorised". Now, as you know a debit card takes the money from your account there and then - it's either approved or not. There is no middle ground. Or so I thought...
So I wait for a few days for my tickets to turn up, and... nothing. Right, thinks I, I'll give 'em a call and see what the problem is. "We can't help you at the moment, the tickets should turn up but if they are not there the day before you travel call us and we'll arrange the tickets to be at the station". Hhhmmm - now I do not trust this sort of stuff one bit. Leaving it until the last minute makes me nervous. "Was there a problem with the voucher, or the card payment?" says I. "No, all fine everything ok". So I call back AGAIN a few days later, still no tickets you see. I am told the same thing "All ok with vouchers / payment, tickets should be there, but call back the day before if they are not". So I phoned yesterday. Yes I know, its not the day before, but I refuse to leave it that late. And after 35 minutes on the bloody phone, I was told "There was a problem with the payment. The tickets are not on there way because you still owe £5.50." WTF!? Why the hell wasn't I told this the two times I phoned up before? And if I hadn't phoned yesterday, and just left it to pick them up from the station, there would have been NO TICKETS there. I was not best pleased. I asked why the payment wasn't taken when I know the funds were in my account. They couldn't give me a reason. I was just told "...it was a system error".
Now I am not a racist person. I'm really not. But the call centre is in India, and I have a very strong feeling that the person who took my card details didn't take them correctly, because they couldn't understand me. And I couldn't understand the people I was talking to all the time either - they sometimes spoke too fast, with too strong an indian accent, to make things clear. And I don't like to keep saying "Can you repeat that" because it makes it sound like I'm being rude. *sigh*.
So anyway - I've now been told the tickets will be available from the ticket machine at the station. So I have to make sure I leave enough time to get to the station, get my tickets, and if there is a problem, sort that problem out. VERY frustrated. Why have the facility to order tickets well in advance if you still have to go to the station on the day you travel to collect them? Ridiculous. I've now put in another complaint, and I am waiting to get contacted by Virgin Trains to see what they will do. I will post an update when I get it.
Have a good day people.


russ said...

Result on the compensation.
Bummer on the resulting hassle.

Charlie Naseweis said...

I've had a couple of issues with Virgin Active gym - their customer service isn't the best! Maybe you should complain directly to the top man Sir Richard.

I also once sent a complaint in about a train journey to manchester for one of the first England games at Old Trafford after the old Wembley was demolished. The train was overbooked and I had to sit for the whole journey. I was compensated with, yep you've guessed it, train vouchers!!

Charlie Naseweis said...

*sit on the floor

Colin said...

I'm having the same problem with the gym.

The gym was closed for 5 days because of Electricity problems.

I phone up head office! I'm told sorry you can't speak to anyone you have to email!

I tried to complain again today about the state of the
changing rooms to head office! sorry but our computers are down!

I ask can you phone me back no! sorry this is an in comming call centre only.

What a joke.

Anonymous said...

I hope you will have calmed down by the time you get here ...

Phil Dawson said...

get the train to india and run the joint.

thankfully all australian call centres are still in australia cos we're all convicts