“ Travel - Internet train ticket site „
I've been a fairly frequent train user over the last 3-4 years and I've been using redspottedhanky for around two of those. The site acts as a third party for booking travel and accommodation.
Booking a ticket
It is easy to search for your required journey. First you need to provide details of your to and from points, day/s you want to travel and before/after time. From here the site will provide you with a range of journeys which suit your criteria and various different ticket options with the corresponding price. Special requirements like first class, no changes in train and railcard options are available. It is then up to yourself to select specific trains for each leg of your journey. If you book early enough there are often advanced singles available which can reduce the cost of your journey. Where the train operator provides it you can book a specific seat on the train. You have the ability to request window or aisle seats as well as facing a forward or backwards direction.
Once you have chosen your tickets they appear in a box on the right hand side of the screen, similar to a 'basket' you would find on amazon or the like. This is one point where I think the interface could be improved. When I book several journeys at once it seems to make you go through the checkout process individually. I don't see why this is but I was booking tickets for three different days this week and had them all in the basket but I couldn't just click a single button which would allow me to purchase them all simultaneously. Just a slight grumble but I did find it slightly annoying.
Now you have the opportunity to choose your delivery option. There is post (first class which is free or special delivery) or you can collect your tickets from a self service machine (at available stations). They recommend booking 5 working days in advance for first class however I have found they arrive after 3 at the most. Special delivery will deliver your ticket by 1300 within one working day provided it is booked on a weekday.
Redspottedhanky also operate a loyalty scheme where you gain 1 point for every pound you spend. With the price of train tickets these points accumulate fairly quickly if you are a regular train user. Each point is worth 1p. Redspottedhanky now also operate their loyalty scheme in conjunction with various online retailers. By accessing the retailers through Redspottedhanky you gain loyalty points on your purchases (like a cashback website). The points per pound varies based on the retailer.
At the moment it is possible to exchange Tesco Clubcard vouchers for redspottedhanky e-vouchers. This gives you e-vouchers double the value of your clubcard points. This process is usually pretty quick, the e-voucher is usually in my redspottedhanky account within a couple of days of exchanging. In order to do this your clubcard and redspottedhanky account do need to be registered to the same email address.
I have never had any problems with Redspottedhanky. I usually check train times online before a journey anyway and this site operates the same search function that the train operators do. Ordering tickets before the journey is handy as it is one less thing to do during that early morning commute. The loyalty scheme is an extra bonus, if you're buying the tickets anyway you may as well get some money back on them. The real value is gained from the Clubcard exchange which has been running for a while.
The best companies are ones that show outstanding service when things do not necessarily go according to schedule. RSH is definitely NOT a company that provides customer service. If you happen to book with them and there are no problems with your journey, then you will probably not have any qualms with them. However, if for any reason you need to phone their customer service, your opinion will quickly change. They regularly promise to return phone calls or contact customers via email just to get them off the phone. In no way will they endeavour to help you find a resolution for your problem, even if they are the ones to blame! Avoid!
Redspottedhanky - a rather odd name I would say - is predominantly an internet train ticket service, where you can book tickets for trains up to three months in advance at a discounted price.
To book your tickets, you must firstly do an online search on the redspottedhanky account and chose your journey, route and time of travel, when you have made your final decision then you confirm your order and pay for the tickets, you can either make payment via your bank debit card, or if you have any credit on your RSH account, then you can use the vouchers that you have stored.
How do you get vouchers for your account? This is where RSH is either absolutely wonderful and amazing, or a total let down. One way, which is totally straightforward and has not been known to let you down, is to transfer your Clubcard vouchers into RSH. This is a brilliant way of using your Tesco Clubcard vouchers - as via the Tesco CC site, you transfer your vouchers form clubcard to RSH, which doubles the value.. so £10 of clubcard vouchers is worth £20 of Redspottedhanky credit. Absolutely brilliant!
The Sunday Telegraph is known to release codes for Redspottedhanky too - the newspaper usually announces in advance that on a particular date they will be releasing "x" thousand codes - so on that particular Sunday you dash out quickly and buy the newspaper (or spend a bit of time on the internet googling to see if the code has been posted online) and you enter the details into your account.
Certain Facebook sites are also known to release codes for RSH - the most recent one being Travelodge, who like the Telegraph released codes worth £10. You have to be very quick with these codes though, as only a certain amount of thousand credits are available - and as the saying goes - when they're gone, they're gone. Unfortunately though, recently when the Travelodge codes were released, the people that had suceeded in getting ths £10 credit onto their account have all had them removed. This, we are told is due to people abusing the RSH site and opening up multiple accounts for themselves in fraudulent names - it is a shame that there are people out there that have ruined this fantastic giveaway. RSH are looking into it at the moment, and we are hoping that they will investigate the accounts and re-credit the accounts of genuine people.
When you have purchased your tickets online, you can either arrange to have the tickets posted to you, by signed for delivery, at a cost of £3.95 or you can state which train station you would like to collect your tickets from, and with the booking reference number you are given, you are able to collect the ticket from the machines at your nominated station.
To collect your ticket, you need to put your bank card into the machine (this is to verify your identification) and then tap in your reference details, your tickets are then dispensed.
My summary is, if you are an avid code collector, it is quite possible to collect around £50 worth of free travel, with the various codes throughout the year - and as long as the codes are not withdrawn, this is absolutely fantastic.
I hope that people do not abuse this site and that RSH find a way of keeping a check on genuine accounts, as frankly I am a big, big fan.
My son is at university in London and we live on the South Coast, he has been collecting the RSH codes and has managed to come home on various occasions in the last year at next to no cost at all - he books tickets when they are at their cheapest, at unsociable times, and manages to buy single tickets a couple weeks in advance of travel for as little as £7.50!
Long live Redspottedhanky !
In November 2012 we asked for a refund of train tickets following cancellation of our trains due to flooding. I sent my tickets back to Redspottedhanky, who claimed, first, that they never arrived. After several phone calls, they miraculously found them. They asked for my card details, then, after several months and numerous emails and phone calls, claimed they'd refunded the money. However, there was no record of this in my account, and it then seemed that they'd transferred it into a completely separate account. They could not provided evidence of the transfer; we've sent them confirmation from our bank that no refund ever arrived, and now, SIX months later, we're still waiting for the refund. Their customer service has been appalling from start to finish - totally inefficient, never calling back, ignoring emails etc. I will never use them again and I strongly recommend others to do likewise.
People at their FB are complaining that the vouchers issued to them are removed without notice. RSH representative there admit it and ask people to phone their helpline. I personally think those customers have had a lucky escape: imagine if what is removed behind your back is not a voucher but a ticket to an important meeting...
Had 2 terrible experiences. using tesco vouchers instead of "discount voucher" beware not to hit the wrong button. I did and it cost me £75! they charged the full amount to my card instead of taking the vouchers off. There is a special button for tesco vouchers, but it is very small and the "discount voucher" box comes up on the booking screen only, so i put the references in there. When it came to taking the money from my card the screen said "processing" and did not allow me to check the amount going through until it was too late! I rang immediately but nothing could be done, and I had to return the tickets once they were posted by recorded delivery, which I did on 11th Jan, and to date am still waiting for the refund (less their £10 admin fee of course!) - 2nd Feb. I spent over an hour in 2 calls tracing the refund only to be told first that the tickets had not been received back, and then when I called back with the tracking number they admitted to having received them but the refund office is now closed until Monday! They said they had been inundated with returns and refunds and were a "little behind"!
I will NEVER use the again!
I purchased tickets via the redspottedhanky.com website. Previously I've opted for the self-service ticket machine. On this occasion, I opted to have them posted to me to avoid the really long queues for the self-service machine (I've nearly missed a train previously!).
Tickets arrived 5 days later...in plenty of time. BUT... there was one ticket missing. I called them immediately, and they acknowledged that it was missing...agreed to "re-issue" the ticket. BUT they would only do it to the self-service machine...which is exactly what I was trying to avoid in first place.
They ABSOLUTELY REFUSED to send missing ticket in the post...saying it's "against their policy". Despite there still being 9 days before my travel date, they claimed concern that ticket may not arrive and they would have to re-issue again. If none of the tickets had arrived...fair enough. But they have arrived. Just someone made a mistake. If there were only a couple of days to travel date...fair enough. But it's 9 days.
Eventually, they admitted that the refusal to send by post was more about cost..."it costs us to reissue a ticket" they said.
So they want to resolve THEIR error by causing ME the huge inconvenience of having to go to a train station...at MY cost...and MY time... so they can save on THEIR cost. When it was THEIR error in the first place! Huh?!!!
When everything is automated, and you go to the self-service machine to collect your ticket...it's all automated. No human intervention. So the only time you speak to a person is when something doesn't go right. This is the first time I've needed to do this... and the service has been appalling.
If you don't mind travelling on Monday at 03:45 on a full moon you'll snag a bargain. I searched for a return rail ticket and the website showed it was fine to travel on the times I needed. I subsequently bought the ticket only to find that restrictions appeared on the webpage blocking most of the journeys I needed. So I now have to travel on a late train arriving home at midnight.Tried for a refund, but that costs £10 - robbery.Avoid at all costs.
I commented earlier about the difficulty of contacting Redspottedhanky.However I have now found an Email address and a free telephone number to call to report the fact that 9 days after ordering my ticket had not arrived.Once I had established contact, the ticketing problem was quickly resolved.I now have no problem with RSH!
Have used this site quite a few times now, its easy to search for train times and it gives a choice of tickets, the other week I managed to get a first class ticket of First Great Western £10 cheaper than a standard class for getting a train half hour earlier thanks to it showing up on the search.Payment is quick and easy and you get loyalty points, which while not a lot is better than nothing!As a tip, if you follow them on Twitter you can win various loyalty points, I followed them on a Monday a few weeks ago and the same day won £50 worth of loyalty points! Would strongly recommend to anyone, and have
Being a student, train tickets are something I use a lot of, and I need them as cheap as possible. Having been a bid advocator of thetrainline, I have recently transferred my allegiance with only positive things to report.
Prices of tickets are usually the same to thetrainline from my experience I have found, and as many services available to choose from. I am very fond of saving a pound per booking as well with redspottedhanky as all transactions are fee free - bonus!
As well as saving my beloved pound coin per booking, I am also rewarded loyalty points per booking. For every pound I spend, I am rewarded a single loyalty point. Each loyalty point in turn is one penny. Albeit not a lot, I am being given something for nothing that I cannot be given else where; although I do realise I am going to have to spend an awful lot to achieve any chance of a free journey anywhere!
Searching for different journeys at different times is easy and straightforward when you reach the home page. You can choose the amount of passengers and select any railcards you may have. Once you submit your search options you are greeted with a mix deck. I find this extremely useful and gives the website an upper edge on competitors! This allows you to see all times around the original time you selected and their respective prices. This saves so much time rather that re-submitting different information each time!
Whenever I purchase tickets I also choose to pick them up from the station. I have never had a problem with this method and is so simple anybody can do it! Another option allows for the tickets to be sent to you at an additional charge should you need it.
I would definitely advise using this site in the future!
p.s I currently have 153 loyalty points (£1.53 worth :) )
I tend to be drawn to the little underdog companies. I don't know why but there is a certain satisfaction at not giving your money to the big, well-known, heavily advertised companies. However this is the one underdog I really cannot root for.
I've used them several times, they are okay for basic journeys though I find my ticket never comes until the day before it is needed which quite frankly is cutting it fine. But when you get to more complex journeys just forget it, their FAQ is useless and too basic, the mixdeck that you use to pick your tickets is convuluted and unclear, and their customer services department have two setting - ignore your e-mails resulting in you having to pray to the big guy that you've understood their website, or when it all goes wrong they decide to e-mail you, not explain why their website makes little sense on complex journey purchases and use the incorrect suffix when addressing you even though they have quoted your email where you have used the correct suffix before your name (Which may not seem like a big deal but smacks of unprofessionalism and you would never get this with nationalrail or thetrainline who actually go to the effort of making your custom feel appreciated when you e-mail them and never ignore e-mails).
Sadly after my most recent encounter with them I will never be using them again, as nice as it is to support the underdog, sometimes he needs to be taken to the vets and put out of his misery. Stick with other more well-known websites for your ticket purchases to avoid hassle and get better service (And in all of my cases the exact same price tickets).
I regret to say that I don't use the train as much as I would like to. The latest price increases have kept most train travel uncompetitive with the car, despite the steep rises in petrol and diesel, and it is sadly true for many journeys in the United Kingdom booked in advance that you can get a much better deal by flying.
Ticket prices on both rail and air are hugely variable depending on the time of day, and these days the most reliable way to find out such costs is to go online.
I travel by train a few times a year, often with the ability to book well in advance, and used to use thetrainline.com to get my tickets. This worked well, but I noticed first that there was a booking fee of £1 applied to every transaction, and then that there was a charge of £3.50 for using a credit card. Nasty!
So, back to the internet to find another supplier. Up came redspottedhanky.com: their charming name was a plus, and the discovery that they neither imposed a booking fee nor a credit card charge, I explored the site further. The range of tickets, journeys and prices was exactly the same as on thetrainline.com for any journeys I researched. Furthermore, I found there was a loyalty reward system. Now I like these on principle for any company that I would use anyway, as you can only gain, as long as you continue to shop around. On respottedhanky.com you win back a penny in the pound.
To book your train or look up times you go to the "Mixing Deck". Searching for times is straightforward and similar to thetrainline.com in that you select your departure and destination stations via a couple of boxes with auto-complete facilities. If you know the standard station abbreviation then you can enter that instead. For times, you are asked to complete a "depart after" option. Trains can be booked 12 weeks in advance, as is normal with most train operators - here it should be noted that redspotted hanky.com is operated by ATOS themselves, so you can be confident that the prices are genuine.
After you have put in all your details, including preferences for the route where this is available, and whether you wish to include 1st class fares, or avoid changing trains, you click on "Search" and pretty quickly you see the options ahead of you. Here, I like the screen better than on thetrainline.com because you can see the fares and journey times immediately, rather than having to click to further display. At this point, you can select your journey and go to pay, or go backwards a step to amend your search.
You are offered a plethora of choices regarding you seat. It's almost like ordering eggs for breakfast in America. Aisle or window, individual or table, quiet or not, with or without a view. Surprisingly, there doesn't seem to be an option for choosing between facing forwards or backwards. If going to London, you can include the purchase of a Tube Travelcard at this point.
Repottedhanky claim to fnd you the cheapest fares available for travelling in Great Britain. They do have a Price Promise, but you have to be pretty active to claim it. If you find a cheaper fare by midnight on the same day that you booked with them, then they refund the difference but only in Loyalty points. So this would mean a refund on your next journey - still, that's better than nothing!
Tickets can be sent to you through the post. There is no charge for tis service and they go first class. I have used this twice - both times, the tickets arrived on the first day possible after booking (obviously this won't be the next day if you buy your ticket after the last post has gone!). A nice thing is the presentation of these in a red spotted folder, a little like a neatly folded handkerchief. You can also get your tickets at Fast Ticket machines, located at many stations. I prefer to do this if I can, for security.
If you are a Tesco shopper, there is an added bonus in that Clubcard Rewards can be used on redpottedhanky.com at a ratio of 3:1 - i.e. £10 of Clubcard points can be converted to £30 worth or train tickets. You have to process this first via Tesco's Clubcard site, but that's a marvellous saving. There are also commercal links with SeatWave, BAO and RailEurope, which can work to your advantage.
Other features of the site are good, too. There is a comprehensive and clear range of FAQs about how it all works. On the front page, there are some impressive headline offers. These are typically between major cities and have to be taken on a specified day, but that could be useful if you knew, for example, that you had to get something from Manchester, Edinburgh or Birmingham, and could adjust your plans to include this day. There's also some friendly advice about how to shop around for the best ticket prices.