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  1. #1
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    Victorian train companies


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    We hear a lot about our railway infrastructure and how it's basically Victorian but I hadn't realised that the train companies are basically Victorian ... until yesterday.

    For reasons too complicated to get into, my daughter was stranded in Nottinghamshire with no bank card and no money. If she'd wanted to get a flight back from Europe, I could have bought a ticket and sent it to her phone - no problem but that's not possible with Ye Olde Railway Companye, nor could I buy one over the phone for her to pick up.

    I had to go to Brighton station, queue at the ticket office, buy a ticket and then get the booking clerk to send a fax to the station. But to do that, he has to ring the station and ask for a fax number (a directory or a website with every station's fax number and internal phone is clearly beyond the imagination of the rail companies). There was no answer so he had to ring LNER's customer services, get an internal number off them, call it, get the fax number and then ring through to confirm it had been received). This whole process took exactly an hour.

    If my daughter had been stranded in London, it could literally have been quicker (and a lot cheaper) for me to hop on a train and buy a ticket myself. I'm only amazed that they didn't use carrier pigeons.

    After commuting for so long, I'm not shocked by the incompetence of the rail companies but this sort of administration is a sign that there's very, very wrong in the way they're run.
    Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio

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    • #2
      Members Baker lite's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Gwylan View Post
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      We hear a lot about our railway infrastructure and how it's basically Victorian but I hadn't realised that the train companies are basically Victorian ... until yesterday.

      For reasons too complicated to get into, my daughter was stranded in Nottinghamshire with no bank card and no money. If she'd wanted to get a flight back from Europe, I could have bought a ticket and sent it to her phone - no problem but that's not possible with Ye Olde Railway Companye, nor could I buy one over the phone for her to pick up.

      I had to go to Brighton station, queue at the ticket office, buy a ticket and then get the booking clerk to send a fax to the station. But to do that, he has to ring the station and ask for a fax number (a directory or a website with every station's fax number and internal phone is clearly beyond the imagination of the rail companies). There was no answer so he had to ring LNER's customer services, get an internal number off them, call it, get the fax number and then ring through to confirm it had been received). This whole process took exactly an hour.

      If my daughter had been stranded in London, it could literally have been quicker (and a lot cheaper) for me to hop on a train and buy a ticket myself. I'm only amazed that they didn't use carrier pigeons.

      After commuting for so long, I'm not shocked by the incompetence of the rail companies but this sort of administration is a sign that there's very, very wrong in the way they're run.
      It will be ok once the guards have gone,fares will be a lot cheaper to..


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    • #3

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      Buy ticket via trainline.com and text her the code to print the ticket out. She could go to one of the ticket machines and collect her ticket. Would have taken 2 minutes.

      EDIT
      Although she might have needed bank card that it was paid on.
    • #4
      Members Notters's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Nathan View Post
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      Buy ticket via trainline.com and text her the code to print the ticket out. She could go to one of the ticket machines and collect her ticket. Would have taken 2 minutes.

      EDIT
      Although she might have needed bank card that it was paid on.
      You NEVER need the bank card that it was paid on, even though it says you do. You do need a bank card though.

      My company often buys my train tickets (as I assume most do) but they certainly haven't given me a credit card.

      But yes, you should be able to do this then go to a ticket office and get them to print the tickets.
      Quote Originally Posted by Billy the Fish View Post
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      Are people taking stupidity pills on here today or something
    • #5
      Mod writer Guinness Boy's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Notters View Post
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      You NEVER need the bank card that it was paid on, even though it says you do. You do need a bank card though.

      My company often buys my train tickets (as I assume most do) but they certainly haven't given me a credit card.

      But yes, you should be able to do this then go to a ticket office and get them to print the tickets.
      This. I buy advance tickets using our company's corporate trainline.com account but have to enter my personal debit card when I pick them up. It's never made sense other than as an ID check. But you do need A card.
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    • #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Notters View Post
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      You NEVER need the bank card that it was paid on, even though it says you do. You do need a bank card though.

      My company often buys my train tickets (as I assume most do) but they certainly haven't given me a credit card.

      But yes, you should be able to do this then go to a ticket office and get them to print the tickets.
      FFS never knew that. And that has cost me money in the past !!
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    • #7

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      Quote Originally Posted by Guinness Boy View Post
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      This. I buy advance tickets using our company's corporate trainline.com account but have to enter my personal debit card when I pick them up. It's never made sense other than as an ID check. But you do need A card.
      Used to do this but now we print the tickets at work
    • #8
      Members maltaseagull's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Baker lite View Post
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      It will be ok once the guards have gone,fares will be a lot cheaper to..


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    • #9
      Stupid IDIOT Ernest's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Gwylan View Post
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      We hear a lot about our railway infrastructure and how it's basically Victorian but I hadn't realised that the train companies are basically Victorian ... until yesterday.

      For reasons too complicated to get into, my daughter was stranded in Nottinghamshire with no bank card and no money. If she'd wanted to get a flight back from Europe, I could have bought a ticket and sent it to her phone - no problem but that's not possible with Ye Olde Railway Companye, nor could I buy one over the phone for her to pick up.

      I had to go to Brighton station, queue at the ticket office, buy a ticket and then get the booking clerk to send a fax to the station. But to do that, he has to ring the station and ask for a fax number (a directory or a website with every station's fax number and internal phone is clearly beyond the imagination of the rail companies). There was no answer so he had to ring LNER's customer services, get an internal number off them, call it, get the fax number and then ring through to confirm it had been received). This whole process took exactly an hour.

      If my daughter had been stranded in London, it could literally have been quicker (and a lot cheaper) for me to hop on a train and buy a ticket myself. I'm only amazed that they didn't use carrier pigeons.

      After commuting for so long, I'm not shocked by the incompetence of the rail companies but this sort of administration is a sign that there's very, very wrong in the way they're run.
      How else would you have done it then

      It's a system that has worked well for years and still does work well for stranded and penniless people and apart from the time it seemed to have worked well again for you .
    • #10
      On the BHA rollercoaster Icy Gull's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ernest View Post
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      How else would you have done it then

      It's a system that has worked well for years and still does work well for stranded and penniless people and apart from the time it seemed to have worked well again for you .
      Defending the indefensible. Maybe they could come in to the 21st century, that would be a start.

      Maybe, just maybe take a leaf out of the way airlines operate?

      Gwylan’s tale sounds like he was met with a massive amount of incompetence and lack of customer service in trying to resolve his daughter’s problem. He should have been able to sort this without actually standing up.
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