Anyone wanting to book a ticket on Virgin Trains would be well advised to wait a little while as the company is currently unable to sell its discounted tickets, though its website will happily service travellers willing to fork out the full fare. Register reader Graham Finlayson was trying to buy a ticket from Edinburgh to …
We need a new law, maybe
We already have a law which obliges train operators to sell passengers the lowest-priced ticket available for their journey. (In theory, if you were sold a ticket for a journey and later find that you could have bought it cheaper, you could take them to court and reclaim the difference. In practice, nobody does because it's too much bother.)
Perhaps we need an extension to this: if for any reason the train operator is unable to sell passengers the lowest-priced ticket for their journey, they should be obliged to allow them to travel for free.
It would be better, though, to ask *why* the same journey can be sold at so many different prices in the first place?
Privatisation really was the worst thing to happen to the railways since they were nationalised!
Shafted by Virgin
Rail fares start to come close to reasonable when you employ some kind of discount card (Young Person's, Family, Network, etc.) that usually gives about a third off the price. If you don't own one of those you're just considered a walking wallet (or purse) by the rail companies.
Still, thank goodness the shareholders are being taken care of.
Perhaps they've caught the bug off South West Trains
Their machines conveniently are unable to sell the best value tickets. SWT manage to get away with this (amongst other sharp practice) because the above mentioned law does not extend to machines... Probably the same for web sales?
Re: We need a new law, maybe
If you think rail prices are bad, take a look at flight prices. Practically everyone on an aeroplane has paid a different price for their flight, and nobody bats an eyelid. But try to apply the same variable pricing structure to any other service and there's uproar. I know as I work in theatre, and even if there's a special offer, people compare prices and complain if they've paid more than the person sat next to them!
Moral: Seat pricing is never about finding the customer the cheapest price, it's about finding the highest price they're willing to pay. If Virgin find people are buying anyway during their 'computer problems', expect to see discounts withdrawn in future!
Re: Perhaps they've caught the bug off South West Trains
Curiously enough, SWT and Virgin Trains both have Stagecoach as a major shareholder.
This must be a mistake because Stagecoach aren't known for ripping people off, are they?
Presumably SWT decided they would make the queues very long by only selling expensive tickets so that users would give up and board without a ticket so that they could fine them...
So the sudden unavailability of cheap tickets yesterday had nothing to do with the fact that the trains on the West Coast lines were really busy due to the disruption caused on other lines due to flooding in other parts of the UK yesterday?
Who Actually Needs Trains?
"If you don't own one of those you're just considered a walking wallet (or purse) by the rail companies."
They can consider me whatever they want, I simply don't consider them at all. Rail is a 19th century transport solution that just wastes colossal amounts of time and money in the 21st.
What's a train?
A train is far too expensive any way - With three people, sometimes two - it is cheaper to go by car even with riduculous parking fees. And you don't have to sit next to some Norbert on his damn phone talking crap or some 'soon to be deaf' youngster with kerching kerching emmanating from his his lug-holes - rant over
Rail has it's place
Consider the many 100s of 1000s of commuters into London, imagine them all trying to drive in ...
Hi Yes this is Richard Branson - Can you please bend over I have something for you....
Yes.... another good shafting!!
I am sick of Virgin, Telewest was awesome, they were cheap, their downtime was next to nothing, their staff (mostly) on the ball, their engineers a laugh and corruptable but now what do we have within the space of 3 months?
My telephone service has per minute billing, my broadband is throttled, my TV has lost the one channel that I like, the signal on said TV is less than favourable, I have monkeys on the end of the phone, engineers who dig up your garden and then decide that your drive actually looks better when the soil is put on top of your nice new crazy paving rather than the other way round, also they have seem to have taken a liking to cutting all of the wires connected to my ex-sky installation (come back Sky - im sorry, im sorry, it meant nothing to me), the Cablemaster -> ICOMMS changeover lost half of my notes, put me on a stupid telephone tarriff and removed call barring from my phone number which had to change when I moved because the local switch was just out of reach and they couldnt extend cabling, complaints take 5 times as long to get sorted and now to top it all off I get ass raped when trying to get a train ticket that should cost me £19.20 to over £50.
You suck! and that is being polite, Give Telewest back to us, Even NTL was probably better than the chaos you have created.
At least as RB is donating all his profits from the Virgin travel groups to combat global warming its a silver lining on the expensive tickets? :P (Ref: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5368194.stm)