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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Will, 2 May 2006.

  1. Will


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,432

    Location: Halesowen

    Just a warning for those who consider using, or often use this website too book rail tickets. Consider this...

    In the event that you wish to have the delivery address to which your tickets are sent changed (so that your tickets get posted to a different location from the one specified at the time of placing your order), you'll think, no problem, I'll ring them up to change it...and they'll tell you that its impossible as their computer systems have no way at all of altering this (or other details, such as the date) after the order has been placed.

    If you then want to cancel the order, they'll charge you £10 to do so (apparently they get charged this by the rail companies so have to pass it on to you). They won't let you cancel and place another order at the same time, waiving the £10 per ticket 'cancellation' fee.

    I had planned a journey from Wolverhampton to Leeds, and ordered the ticket more than a month in advance, but my plans changed and I had to go a day earlier. No problem thought I, the tickets haven't even been printed never mind dispatched yet, so I can ring up, give them the order and credit card details, and ask them to change the date on the order - only to be told that they simply can't as they have no mechanisms in place to do so!

    Is it just me that finds that utterly rediculous? Can you imagine booking an airline ticket months in advance then being told its in no way possible to transfer to a flight thats a day later (even if they charged a small administration fee to transfer journeys, and offered such a change subject to availability, I could understand and accept that :)), nor even change the address to which the tickets will be delivered once they are actually printed?

    I've just had to cancel two orders for tickets due to this inflexibility, at the cost of £20 to myself, for no good reason that I can think of! Any other bad experiences using this website? I know I won't be using them again...
  2. Beansprout

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 31 Jan 2004

    Posts: 16,316

    Location: Plymouth

    We've had this too, or something similar at least.

    It's amazing how inflexible, crap, disorganised, crap, inefficient and crap they are.

    Gogo public transport!!
  3. Garp


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,573

    Location: Seattle

    The difference is, when you phone up the airline you're dealing direct with the airline who holds all the tickets.

    Trainline.com is merely a broker, a go-between. They don't hold any tickets at all for the trains, they order them from the train companies themselves. When you place your order, even if the tickets haven't been sent out from Trainline.com they have actually paid for them (and you paid them). Those tickets have actually been bought, and the train companies do charge a cancellation fee. Why should Trainline.com have to put up the £10 fee, when its you that has decided to change your travel arrangements? If they'd changed it, then I would have agreed with you.
  4. Will


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,432

    Location: Halesowen

    I can see the logic behind the £10 cancellation fee to be honest :) for the reasons you describe.

    However, for my second journey which I had to cancel, all I wanted was to change the address the ticket would be delivered to - as such the tickets they had purchased from the rail company would still be okay, the trainline.com would just have to post them to a different place thats all, so no hassle between them and the train companies, just a little bit more administrative work. But rather than have a system which allows them to change such details after the order has been placed, possibly charging a small administration fee, they just......can't.

    Bear in mind these tickets were ordered more than a month in advance of the journey date, so there was no danger the tickets had already been printed and packaged up in an envelope! :)

    So i'm left asking them to cancel, which means they refund all but £10 (kept for the reasons you pertain to). If they'd said 'unfortunately its a £2 administration fee to change the delivery address', I'd have said yes, they'd have had the full £21.80 for the ticket plus £2, and I'd be happy. Instead they've got nothing more than the money they need to cover the cancellation fee charged by the train company, and an unhappy customer.