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Useless e-ticket communication
Author Name: Kate Hamilton
Disadvantages: Bad communication, broken promises, unhelpful station staff
I pre-booked my first class seats from London to Manchester and back because I wanted to guarantee space to work on the way. I have had problems collecting tickets from Virgin machines before, so this time I elected an e-ticket option. The message on the transaction confirmation page said I would receive my e-ticket within 2 hours, so when an email arrived, headed 'your ticket confirmation' and with a sub-head 'ticket delivery: e-ticket' giving all my journey details, I duly printed it off. Luckily, I turned up to Euston early and presented my 'e-ticket' at the first class lounge, to be told that it wasn't the e-ticket and I needed to find an Internet cafe and print my proper e-ticket off. I could go downstairs and talk to them but they would 'tell me the same thing' as i had elected to print out my tickets and it wasn't their problem. He was right, they were just as unhelpful downstairs; I had to leg it with my luggage and laptop several hundred yards down the road to persuade a very nice cafe owner, who was trying to close up, to restart his computer and printer and help me because the company I had paid nearly £300 to wouldn't.
I found the 'proper e-ticket' which had arrived about 11am this morning, a very long time after the promised 2 hour window and long after I left the office. The cafe owner tells me he 'gets quite a lot of these'. So did the very unhelpful station staff, and the very helpful onboard staff. 'They're our worst nightmare, these.', said one of the more sympathetic red jacket I bored with my story.
Surely, it is not beyond the wit of Virgin to make this communication clearer, and to make some provision for the large numbers of their benighted customers who get it wrong. Me, I'm flying to Manchester in future.
Summary: Furious with Virgin, again.
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