Newest Review: ... 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 a... more
Getting more value from your travel
Member Name: black_gold
Advantages: Quick delivery, extra value on tickets
Disadvantages: The site could be a bit tidier
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.
Summary: Good service overall