13 May 2012

Why can I not get Customer Service

I understand, appreciate and actually support the striking train drivers on East Midlands Trains. However the customer services, urgent emails and website information is not helping me with my travelling anxieties.

East Midlands Parkway

The train they have booked me on does not seem to exist anymore so I cannot determine if I will be travelling the Nottingham to Manchester leg of the journey by train or bus. I actually don't care which it is as long as I get to Glasgow. But they have raised my anxiety by sending me an URGENT ATTENTION email in red asking me to find out more.

I have phoned them only to be told I can find out at the station on the day whether it is bus or train. Well that is no help at all - I already know that. I was on hold for more than 5 min on a premium rate phoneline to be told that!

Oh and the best bit they offered to let me travel on a different day on their trains. However the rest of the journey, which isn't on East Mids trains, I cannot change the day! ha ha ha ha Is it me or does this not make sense at all?

The result:
  • I know less than I did before I was made aware of the strike
  • My phone bill will be higher
  • I am slightly annoyed

Have just worked out it is 5 hours in the car (6 hours on train). 
I have to change trains 4 times on the way up and 3 times on the way back.
It is 285 miles - so petrol would only cost about £10 more than the cheap train ticket I managed to get. 

Guess what?

Next time I am driving up. I wont have to worrying about how much kit I'm taking. I can visit cousins on the way. I can be in charge of it all.

I got swayed by the romance of train travel only to find out it is no better than one of the sheep you see crammed into a trailer on their way to a slaughter house - but let's hope I don't get pissed on - rain is fine, there's going to be plenty of that. 

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