East Coast rewards after February 2015?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by andrewkeith5, 21 Sep 2014.

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  1. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    My apologies, you are correct. I've just checked and to clarify you have to have booked travel by 30 September, so 12 weeks from then will be the latest you'll be able to travel on a Rewards ticket.
     
  2. Stats

    Stats Member

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    Last edited: 25 Feb 2015
  3. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Hmmm. Somewhat contrasting opinions from VTEC and Directly Operated Railways.

    Virgintrainseastcoast.com/#loyalty-question-1

    http://www.directlyoperatedrailways.co.uk/PDF/DORReportAccounts2014.pdf

    Generally speaking 32% of customers and 59% of spend is a very high take up rate for a loyalty scheme. I wonder if VTEC are starting to regret their decision on Rewards?
     
    Last edited: 25 Feb 2015
  4. ModernRailways

    ModernRailways Established Member

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    They've been clever with their wording. Most 'East Coast' customers they may have asked might not be Rewards users because they actually book with TheTrainline (or elsewhere) or actually book at the station. However most 'EastCoast.co.uk' customers have a Rewards account. I know I have multiple EC accounts, but not all have a Rewards account linked up.

    Also, when asking people about Nectar they will have likely asked something like 'Would you like to be able to get money off cinema tickets, and other places that accept Nectar whilst booking train tickets' compared to the East Coast scheme of 'Would you like to earn free things after you spend money buying train tickets. Only limited options.' I know which most people would choose.

    And 2,000 people is a ridiculously low amount of people. When you think there are at least 500,000 reward members, not even 1% of customers were asked...
     
  5. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    That sample size is not "ridiculous".
    If the sample is properly distributed over the relevant indicators of behaviour and opinion, then adequately accurate extrapolations can be made. For travel on one of the UK's rail operators that sample size should be adequate to capture preferences and trends.

    I agree. As mentioned previously, the survey would have been constructed to provide support for a decision that had already been made. "Policy-led research".
     
    Last edited: 25 Feb 2015
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    This is consistent with Virgin. Unable to see reality and making things up, and certainly not listening to their customers!
    They will NEVER admit regret, and NEVER admit their mistake. They will assume that everyone will continue to use the site regardless.
    That would give you 135 points spare.

    It may be better value to purchase a £70 evoucher, you will then instantly get 70 points and be able to get 2 x 1st Rewards.
     
  7. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Maybe, maybe not but again Ill ask the question which no one can answer - how many of them used EC services?

    Its a very generous scheme to administer especially if you are only getting commission from selling tickets yet giving out free tickets to travel the length of the country.


    *sits back and waits for 'but the seats would've been empty anyway brigade'*


    Let it go for crying out loud people - its going. Done. Finished. Use up your points and worry about something that actually matters.
     
  8. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I don't get why you're so upset. It is mutually beneficial - East Coast increases their own market share of online bookings and gained a great big chunk of customer goodwill, and hardly have to give anything up at all in return.
     
  9. ModernRailways

    ModernRailways Established Member

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    As has been said it got East Coast business that they otherwise wouldn't have. So whilst it may be a small % of the final price it's still something they wouldn't have had otherwise. Also, remember that to get points on a ticket where you didn't use EC you still had to spend £25 (?), and I'm guessing EC chose that for a reason.

    I also imagine most people booking travelled with East Coast, there may be the odd one who didn't but they will have likely been few and far between and if so, the chances are they weren't using the free EC tickets anyway and redeeming their points on something else.

    I've already started using Southern for their Rainy Day Guarantee because I've no chance of getting enough points (without spending £1-200 on an eVoucher) for a free EC ticket.

    To me, it seems like the guy in charge doesn't really know much about the scheme and what EC have built up. Virgin are used to starting things themselves and being the 'revolution to the line' (WC is the shining example), East Coast however they are taking over from an already well respected company that already has a great customer base and it seems to me like they're not quite sure what to do.

    The fact they've had to put out another statement about the state of the Rewards scheme should speak volumes to them. There's no positives to Nectar over the East Coast scheme other than you can earn points whilst you shop elsewhere.

    But spending £255 on EC Rewards is 'one Free Standard Single', £255 with Nectar gets you £2.55. Which is better?
     
  10. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Im not upset.

    Im not fussed about it either way - doesn't benefit me in the slightest either way Im pointing out that there is no point in crying about it going - people have had good times from it without even travelling with the operator(who with their own advances makes the free tickets more worthwhile).

    Im quite happy just sitting here pointing out that people not using EC were getting a cracking deal for not even travelling with them so you cant cry when its gone.

    Yeah nectar is a poor substitute but these are businesses here and if that concept is a struggle for people then so be it. Shop elsewhere - that's a free market economy
     
  11. Essexman

    Essexman Established Member

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    Unless the full data and methology are release a survey is of limited (if an) value - they are very easily manipulated to give the results the people commissioning the survey want.

    Feel free to delete as off subject if you wish, but here's an article I've recently written on another subject, but that illustrates this point.

    http://www.kumb.com/article.php?id=3539
     
  12. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Going though my emails from my holiday I noticed a survey link from arriva (from cross country) asking questions about loyalty scheme. Next group of TOCs to go to nectar?

    Time to try and use up some of my free tickets if I can find any train which has free tickets available on.
     
  13. ModernRailways

    ModernRailways Established Member

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    Looked to me like they were interested in doing a scheme, possibly like ECs though or joining with Clubcard or Nectar.

    I still think Tesco has the better scheme in Clubcard, but then I'm likely biased on that :p
     
  14. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    So 3 choices of she me then. Guess which one they would likely pick I'm?

    The cheapest one.
     
  15. ichabod05

    ichabod05 Member

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    I know EC have the rule that to get points when booking on other operators, you need to spend £22, but does this apply to vouchers? I'm on 504pts and just need another 6 (which stings a little since a few weeks ago, 504 would have been enough). So I'm wondering if I buy a £6 voucher, whether that'd be enough to give me the 510 I need, and how long it would take to get the points?
     
    Last edited: 27 Feb 2015
  16. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    Quick statistics lesson. There is no clever wording in anything there - read it carefully. Virgin say:

    A significant majority of customers were not members of the scheme.

    You then say 32% of customers were members of the scheme. Which leaves a fairly massive 68% of customers not members of the scheme, which cannot not be argued to be a majority, and which most statisticians would call a significant majority.

    Note how Virgin never mentioned spend. So basically all your statistics are saying is that the people who use EC Rewards are the people who spend the most. Ergo, the people who are loyal already and, given this is a railway and there aren't too many alternatives, are probably going to stay loyal. Id expect virgin to launch something like the traveller scheme for some of this audience, and some of the audience are likely to be people like those on this forum where only a very minor ticket revenue goes to EC. These people are clearly not the priority for VTEC. Sorry.

    I did enjoy the rewards scheme but only ever earned enough points to use the first class lounge once in a while. Not everyone always benefits from these things, and Virgin have clearly now decided they would rather the majority of customers used the scheme but didn't earn as much in value each. Which isn't always a bad idea.
     
  17. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    You can easily get statistics to say anything you want them to say.

    My point is that you have DOR trumpeting the success of the scheme in their annual report, and VTEC then effectively saying something a bit different.

    I just wanted to point out the contrast in views. I've had more than my share of Rewards and am sad to see it go but we have to move on...
     
  18. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    Yes it applies to Vouchers - you either need a £6 EC AP (or £4 First Class) or to spend £22 on other tickets/voucher
     
  19. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    Should be available the next day. I bought an £80 voucher a few days ago to get me to one last standard ticket. That is now showing in my available points.
     
  20. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Well yes the scheme is successful if you measure it by having 500K members and they keep purchasing from you.

    They probably have that amount of people travel on one of their services a week at least though so that puts it in perspective
     
  21. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I purchased an evoucher yesterday to get my points total up to 920. At 7am this morning it wasn't showing in my Rewards account but by 8am it had been updated.
     
  22. ichabod05

    ichabod05 Member

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    Thanks for the replies chaps!
     
  23. Bungle73

    Bungle73 On Moderation

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    Why have VTEC got an image of a train on the front page of their website that doesn't actually run on the EC route? :-?
     
  24. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    The 'new' website is now up. Basically it's exactly the same layout as before with East Coast purple replaced by Virgin red. It even has exactly the same layout etc.

    Anyway, the important bit is that my pending Rewards points have been converted to actual points available to redeem.
     
  25. SteveP29

    SteveP29 Member

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    So I've just had a look at the East Coast site.

    Have I got this right?
    They're giving double points in March (4 points per £ spent), so normally:
    £1 spent = 2 points
    Say a first class return from Edinburgh to London is £60 (I tend to have one trip to London every year and for almost 5 hours, I'd prefer the comfort compared to the frankly awful seats in standard)
    I would need 12,000 points (after June 1st 2015), therefore, need to spend £6000 to get that free ticket.
    Compared to EC Rewards, I could get that journey for 900 points (£900)
    Bit harsh, isn't it?
     
  26. TBY-Paul

    TBY-Paul Member

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    Just had a quick look at the New Website, and came across,


    Does this mean
    1. eVouchers I just bought will expire in 12 months.
    2. I can't use them to purchase tickets from e.g King's Cross to Bristol TM. (I have a free ticket I was going to use from Darlington to King's Cross).
     
  27. dcsprior

    dcsprior Member

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    What do you mean by "just bought"? Do you mean you bought them today, or that you bought them yesterday to take you EC rewards points balance over a certain threshold? If its the former, then I'm not sure, but if its the latter:
    1. No - mine still show an expiry date of 31/12/9999
    2. No - I've just bought an Off Peak Day Return for a journey which is only possible using ScotRail, and paid for it using one of my eVouchers.
     
  28. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I read it about talking about eVouchers "bought" with Nectar Points, not Gift eVouchers bought with money.
     
  29. TBY-Paul

    TBY-Paul Member

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    Yes it's the latter. I knew I was going to Bristol in July, so I bought (Fri) a eVouchers with enough value to get me up to the threshold for a free ticket. I'm planning to use the eVoucher for the KGX-BRI leg.

    I see what you mean, there appears to be two types of eVouchers. I just saw "eVouchers" and panicked. :oops:
     
    Last edited: 1 Mar 2015
  30. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It's a SET (Classes 800 and 801) which will be running on the East Coast route in the next few years.
     
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