FixMyTransport is now closed to new submissions. The site is available as an archive for you to browse, but you can no longer report problems. Find out more…

“Please help me persuade Virgin Trains to be much more understanding for genuine mistakes” – Josephine Ward

Description

Josephine Ward

My daughter attends Carlisle University and I regularly book her train tickets for her to come home and travel back again. I unwittingly booked her train tickets this time not knowing that her railcard had ran out. She embarked on the train at Crewe this morning at 5.57am. When she had her tickets checked, she pulled out her railcard and only then realised the railcard had expired. The railcard made £2 difference to the price of the ticket originally when booked. She was told by the ticket master to pay the full price of £51 for a completely new ticket or she would be thrown off the train at Warrington. I was telephoned by her, completely in a panic and very upset. Luckily, she gave him her debit card and had to go into her overdraft facility to pay this amount. I am absolutely gobsmacked that a heartless employee of Virgin Trains would do this to a young girl/student. Why can they not ask for the £2 difference it would have made to the original ticket she was holding? I have written an email to Virgin and am about to telephone them when their phone lines open at 8.30am.
I think that sometimes if a ticket is bought and the ticketmaster can genuinely see that a mistake was made, then the difference to the amount should be paid, not another full amount for a completely new ticket. A young 20 year old girl being thrown off a train at a station far from where she lives is not the answer!!!!
Mrs Josephine Ward

Problem History

  • 1 Josephine Ward reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 07:16 06 Mar 2012
  • 2 Josephine Ward wrote to Virgin Trains close 07:16 06 Mar 2012

    Here is the letter that Josephine Ward wrote.

    Nasty Ticketmaster

    My daughter attends Carlisle University and I regularly book her train tickets for her to come home and travel back again. I unwittingly booked her train tickets this time not knowing that her railcard had ran out. She embarked on the train at Crewe this morning at 5.57am. When she had her tickets checked, she pulled out her railcard and only then realised the railcard had expired. The railcard made £2 difference to the price of the ticket originally when booked. She was told by the ticket master to pay the full price of £51 for a completely new ticket or she would be thrown off the train at Warrington. I was telephoned by her, completely in a panic and very upset. Luckily, she gave him her debit card and had to go into her overdraft facility to pay this amount. I am absolutely gobsmacked that a heartless employee of Virgin Trains would do this to a young girl/student. Why can they not ask for the £2 difference it would have made to the original ticket she was holding? I have written an email to Virgin and am about to telephone them when their phone lines open at 8.30am.
    I think that sometimes if a ticket is bought and the ticketmaster can genuinely see that a mistake was made, then the difference to the amount should be paid, not another full amount for a completely new ticket. A young 20 year old girl being thrown off a train at a station far from where she lives is not the answer!!!!
    Mrs Josephine Ward

  • 3 Relations, Customer responded to Josephine Ward close 07:20 06 Mar 2012
    Thank you for contacting us.

    This is an automated email acknowledgement confirming receipt of
    your email.

    We will respond again as soon as possible. However we are
    dealing with a high level of correspondence at the moment so
    this may take longer than usual.

    If your enquiry is urgent or you are due to travel in the next
    few days, please contact us on 0845 000 8000 (08:30-18:15
    Mon-Fri, 09:00-16:00 Sat, closed Sundays).

    Regards,

    Customer Relations
    Virgin Trains.

    show quoted sections

    ________________________________  
    ****************************************************************************************
    The information in this email is confidential and/or privileged
    and intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is
    addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not
    read, use, copy, print or disseminate the information - please
    advise the originator immediately by reply e-mail and delete it.
    Although this email and any attachments are believed to be free
    of any virus, or any other defect which might affect any
    computer or IT system into which they are received and opened,
    it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that they
    are virus free and no responsibility is accepted by Virgin
    Trains for any loss or damage arising in any way from receipt or
    use thereof.

    Any opinions expressed in this email message are those of the
    sender and do not represent those of Virgin Trains or affiliated
    Companies in any way and reliance should not be placed upon its
    contents. Unless otherwise stated this email message is not
    intended to be contractually binding. Where an Agreement exists
    between our respective companies and there is conflict between
    the contents of this email message and the Agreement then the
    terms of that Agreement shall prevail

    Thank you

    [email address]

    Virgin Trains is the trading name for West Coast Trains Limited
    (a subsidiary of Virgin Rail Group Ltd), a company registered in
    England and
    Wales (number 3007940) whose registered office is at The School
    House, 50 Brook Green. London. W6 7RR
    ****************************************************************************************

    This message has been scanned for malware by Websense.
    [2]www.websense.com

    References

    Visible links
    1. mailto:[email address]
    2. http://www.websense.com/
  • 4 Virgin Trains Customer Relations responded to Josephine Ward close 08:17 06 Mar 2012
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Thank you for your email which we received on 06/03/2012 07:20.
    Your comments have been entered into our case management system
    under reference VT-0120306-RTD and we will respond to you as
    soon as possible.

    If you are making a claim for compensation or refund in line
    with our Passengers Charter, please reply to this email with the
    information listed below. This will help us to process your
    claim more quickly.

    There is no need to reply if you included this information in
    your original email.

    ·         Your full postal address;

    ·         A scan or photo of your tickets, or:

    ·         If your tickets were not purchased through Virgin
    Trains website or telesales office, some other proof of purchase
    (e.g. a copy of the email confirmation for your booking).

    If it is an urgent matter, however, you may wish to give us a
    call on 0845 000 8000 (Mon-Fri 08:30-18:15, Sat 09:00-16:00,
    closed Sundays, Christmas Day and Boxing Day) quoting the above
    reference. In the meantime, we will do our utmost to reply as
    soon as we can.

    Regards

    Virgin Trains Customer Relations Team

    show quoted sections
  • 5 Josephine Ward added an update close 10:27 06 Mar 2012

    I telephoned customer service at Virgin Trains and was abruptly told that because my daughter's railcard was a week out of date, the ticket that she purchased was not a valid ticket either. I tried to explain that the ticket was valid but the railcard was not and i'm afraid I got nowhere with the conversation.
    He told me that the ticket master was in all rights to make my daughter get off the train and said that the ticket master was not obliged to talk to me over the telephone at the time.
    My advice to anyone travelling by Virgin, don't!!!!!!!
    Especially if you have young teenagers or young adults that can make genuine mistakes like this. Virgin Trains are not an understanding and symathetic company at all. So, after already paying for a ticket to Carlisle from Crewe, my 20 yr old skint student was made to pay another £51 for a completely new ticket!!!!!
    Beware of Virgin Trains, we won't be using them again!!!!!!

  • 6 Josephine Ward wrote to Virgin Trains close 10:30 06 Mar 2012

    My daughter attends Carlisle University and I regularly book her train tickets for her to come home and travel back again. I unwittingly booked her train tickets this time not knowing that her railcard had ran out. She embarked on the train at Crewe this morning at 5.57am. When she had her tickets checked, she pulled out her railcard and only then realised the railcard had expired by a week. The railcard made AL2 difference to the price of the ticket originally when booked. She was told by the ticket master to pay the full price of AL51 for a completely new ticket or she would be thrown off the train at Warrington. I was telephoned by her, completely in a panic and very upset. Luckily, she gave him her debit card and had to go into her overdraft facility to pay this amount. I am absolutely gobsmacked that a heartless employee of Virgin Trains would do this to a young girl/student. Why can they not ask for the AL2 difference it would have made to the original ticket she was holding? I have written an email to Virgin and am about to telephone them when their phone lines open at 8.30am.
    I think that sometimes if a ticket is bought and the ticketmaster can genuinely see that a mistake was made, then the difference to the amount should be paid, not another full amount for a completely new ticket. A young 20 year old girl being thrown off a train at a station far from where she lives is not the answer!!!!
    Would it be possible for my daughter to have a refund for the AL51 she was made to pay for this morning?
    [Contact details removed but sent to Virgin]
    Mrs Josephine Ward

  • 7 Relations, Customer responded to Josephine Ward close 10:31 06 Mar 2012
    Thank you for contacting us.

    This is an automated email acknowledgement confirming receipt of
    your email.

    We will respond again as soon as possible. However we are
    dealing with a high level of correspondence at the moment so
    this may take longer than usual.

    If your enquiry is urgent or you are due to travel in the next
    few days, please contact us on 0845 000 8000 (08:30-18:15
    Mon-Fri, 09:00-16:00 Sat, closed Sundays).

    Regards,

    Customer Relations
    Virgin Trains.

    show quoted sections

    ________________________________  
    ****************************************************************************************
    The information in this email is confidential and/or privileged
    and intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is
    addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not
    read, use, copy, print or disseminate the information - please
    advise the originator immediately by reply e-mail and delete it.
    Although this email and any attachments are believed to be free
    of any virus, or any other defect which might affect any
    computer or IT system into which they are received and opened,
    it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that they
    are virus free and no responsibility is accepted by Virgin
    Trains for any loss or damage arising in any way from receipt or
    use thereof.

    Any opinions expressed in this email message are those of the
    sender and do not represent those of Virgin Trains or affiliated
    Companies in any way and reliance should not be placed upon its
    contents. Unless otherwise stated this email message is not
    intended to be contractually binding. Where an Agreement exists
    between our respective companies and there is conflict between
    the contents of this email message and the Agreement then the
    terms of that Agreement shall prevail

    Thank you

    [email address]

    Virgin Trains is the trading name for West Coast Trains Limited
    (a subsidiary of Virgin Rail Group Ltd), a company registered in
    England and
    Wales (number 3007940) whose registered office is at The School
    House, 50 Brook Green. London. W6 7RR
    ****************************************************************************************

    This message has been scanned for malware by Websense.
    [2]www.websense.com

    References

    Visible links
    1. mailto:[email address]
    2. http://www.websense.com/
  • 8 James McCollom commented close 13:39 07 Mar 2012

    I made this mistake back in around 2003 - I bought some advance tickets with my railcard, but failed to take into account that my railcard would expire before the return journey took place. In that instance, the train manager allowed me to continue my journey but confiscated the (now out-of-date) portion of my railcard to ensure that I could not use it again without renewing it.

    This seems like a much fairer solution, especially if the date of birth on the photocard makes clear that you are still young enough to purchase a new railcard - because with the savings you can make it would be stupid not to do just that. It does rather depend on how out-of-date the railcard is though - if a day or two then fair enough, but I could understand why a train manager might be less sympathetic if the railcard is several weeks out of date (unfortunately there are people out there who abuse the system by using out-of-date tickets)

  • 9 Josephine Ward commented close 14:06 07 Mar 2012

    Hello James
    My daughters ticket was a week out of date. We booked the tickets whilst the rail card was still in date. So it ran out of date whilst she was home, just before she caught the train back.
    I think that the ticket master that dealt with your situation was very fair and this should have been applied to my daughter. But to threaten to make her get off the train at an unfamiliar station miles from her home with no money was totally unacceptable. What an awful company Virgin are, extremely heartless and far from understanding.
    My two daughters are both at University away from home and use their service regularly. They both have railcards and this is the first time we have overlooked the date! I will not be booking trains using Virgin again!!

Comment
  • started 6 March 2012
  • supporters 2
Train route between Carlisle and Crewe operated by Virgin Trains
Problem Reporter
Supporters (2)
Top of page