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“Please help me persuade Virgin Trains to give free wifi if a train journey is longer than scheduled.” – Alex Lee Thomson


Alex Lee Thomson

If your train is taking longer than scheduled - anything longer than 45 minutes - it would be a nice gesture to supply people with free wifi for the remainder of the journey, or if they've already paid for a certain amount of Wifi, to extend that service at no additional cost.

This is rather than paying for a Wifi usage, and it running out because of delays, forcing you to pay again.

This would cost train providers nothing / virtually nothing and a nice gesture. Nothing more than good customer service really.

Problem History

  • 1 Alex Lee Thomson reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 17:46 27 Aug 2011
  • 2 Alex Lee Thomson wrote to Virgin Trains close 17:46 27 Aug 2011

    Here is the letter that Alex Lee Thomson wrote.

    Delayed Journey / Wifi Issue

    My four hour train journey, during which I paid for three hours of Wifi, became a five and a half hour one, so I emailed to ask for an extra hour on them, to which they said no. I then had to pay for another hour (as I had to continue working) at nearly as much as the three hours I initially paid. If my train journey is made an hour and a half longer, it would be a nice gesture to give me an extra hour's internet use - surely this costs them nothing. Nice gestures / customer satisfaction is clearly not on their list of priorities.

  • 3 Relations, Customer responded to Alex Lee Thomson close 17:55 27 Aug 2011
    Thank you for contacting us.

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

    We will respond again shortly.


    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.


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  • 4 Peter Dixon commented close 21:26 28 Aug 2011

    This is a great idea Alex.

  • 5 Paul Minett commented close 11:11 30 Aug 2011

    You've got wifi on your trains?

  • 6 Tom Steinberg commented close 22:18 30 Aug 2011

    Hi Alex,

    I'm a regular virgin traveller, like you, and I think this is a fine idea.

    If I was in your shoes, I'd print out a few hand-bodged slips of paper on them, with the URL of your page, and the next time you're on a train running late, just hand one to the nearest person you can see with a laptop.

    I did a really simple version for someone else here:

    Not exactly graphic design genius, but in the right situation, cool. And the URL will work on a mobile phone too. You could even add a QR code if you were super fancy.



  • 7 Virgin Trains responded to Alex Lee Thomson close 14:32 05 Sep 2011

    Dear Mr A Lee,

    Thank you for your email which we received on 27 August 2011.
    Your comments have been entered into our case management system
    under reference 4-2062722 and we will respond to you as soon as

    If it is an urgent matter, however, you may wish to give us a
    call on 0845 000 8000 quoting the above reference. In the
    meantime, we will do our utmost to arrange a swift response.


    Virgin Trains Customer Relations Team

    show quoted sections

    This message has been scanned for malware by Websense.


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  • 8 Ian Morley commented close 13:42 14 Sep 2011

    Great idea - I regularly travel between Manchester and London and approx 50% of trains I travel on have some sort of delay.

    It would be helpful also if Virgin could ensure robustness of the wi-fi service - it only seems to work on every other train and enable sufficient bandwidth to ensure fast download speeds.....

  • 9 Myf Nixon commented close 14:42 14 Sep 2011

    Gosh, this one's taking a while to get a response, isn't it?

  • 10 Spencer Hudson commented close 20:31 15 Sep 2011

    don't think they like the idea of losing money and customer service

  • 11 Virgin Trains responded to Alex Lee Thomson close 13:08 19 Sep 2011

    Dear Mr Lee,

    Thank you very much for your E-mail of 27 August 2011 received

    I was sorry to learn of the delay to your journey and can
    understand your frustration at being unable to continue working
    online without making further payment to access our wifi
    service. Unfortunately this is not something we are able to
    offer at present but I have passed your suggestion to the team
    responsible for future consideration.

    We do offer our customers compensation in line with our
    Passengers Charter for delays and if you can send your tickets
    for this journey to me at the following address, I will be happy
    to arrange this for you. Please also confirm the date and time
    of the train you caught, quoting the above reference number on
    any further correspondence and also provide your postal address.

    Virgin Trains

    Customer Relations

    Freepost BM 6613

    PO Box 713


    B5 4HH

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us and I look forward
    to receiving the requested information.

    Yours sincerely

    Sarah Brassington

    Customer Relations

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  • 12 Andrew Wilson commented close 20:33 25 Oct 2011

    The VT reply is so weirdly vague!

  • 13 Peter Dixon commented close 21:22 25 Oct 2011

    Actually it is very clear. They have stated that they are sorry that Alex Lee Thomson did not get WiFi for his full journey, as he stated in his email to them, has stated that they will pass his idea to the appropriate team and to ask him to send his details for a refund (delay/repay).

    Good on Virgin Trains for using this site and taking advantage of it unlike some other operators.

  • 14 Anna Smith commented close 22:06 25 Oct 2011

    @Peter - Virgin haven't actually apologised for the lack of WiFi, just for the original delay.

    Nor do they appear to have offered to refund the extra cost of the WiFi caused by the delay, just the original cost of the tickets (at least, I'm assuming that, as they don't ask for WiFi receipts).

    And "I have passed your suggestion to the team responsible" doesn't sound especially promising - couldn't we at least know which team it was?

  • 15 Charles Cope commented close 09:46 10 Mar 2012

    It's the least Virgin can do. I think also it should be compulsory to give rail vouchers when the train is delayed. When BR used to run this service, and I had to go to London a lot, I got rail vouchers on every other journey because of delays. When the line was privatized, they stopped doing that.

  • 16 Nathan Phillips commented close 19:39 25 Sep 2012

    Virgin *do* give rail vouchers when the train is delayed by a certain amount - and it *is* compulsary (though you do have to ask).

    The limits will become more generous with the new franchise in line with other rail companies who operate the "Delay Repay" scheme.

  • started 27 August 2011
  • supporters 20
Train route between Carlisle and London Euston operated by ScotRail, Virgin Trains
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