Is no Wi-fi an excuse to change advance booked train?

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andykn

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Last Friday (for the third journey in a row) I had no free wi-fi travelling between London and Norwich on an advance 1st class ticket.

It was announced in advance on the twitter feed, would this have been a good enough excuse to get the train before? Who at Norwich (or Liverpool St if travelling the other way) could authorise this?
 
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Failed Unit

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Last Friday (for the third journey in a row) I had no free wi-fi travelling between London and Norwich on an advance 1st class ticket.

It was announced in advance on the twitter feed, would this have been a good enough excuse to get the train before? Who at Norwich (or Liverpool St if travelling the other way) could authorise this?

Ask the guard - but best to ask on the train before so if they refuse then you still have the booked train!
 

transportphoto

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Lack of availability of 'subject to availability' complimentary items is not an reason to change trains. Well, it is, only if you want to pay for it!
 

SS4

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No, you could ask but you'll be lucky IMO.

A strongly worded letter to GA may yield results, especially if you threaten not to travel 1st again until it's sorted
 

142094

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After all it is free/complimentary, so they really don't have to provide it if they cannot or don't want to.
 

lyndhurst25

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How is it "complimentary" if you have to buy a First Class ticket to use it. Surely it is part of the advertised First Class service that has been paid for? Standard Class passengers pay £2.95 and can reclaim the amount if there are connection problems.
 

bignosemac

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Take a look at Greater Anglia's Wi-Fi Terms & Conditions:

http://www.greateranglia.co.uk/travel-information/your-journey/wifi/wi-fi-terms-and-conditions

Paras. 4 and 6 quite clearly cover Greater Anglia should the service be unavailable.

User who've paid for the Wi-Fi can expect a refund for non-delivery of the service outside these published terms - that'd be covered by general contract law. But users who get the service for free (ie 1st Class) would, I suspect, be entitled to nothing outside of a goodwill gesture. Certainly not travel on another service (which would breach the terms of an Advance ticket) unless prior permission was given.
 

calc7

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Legally - fine. Whether or not in constitutes good customer service or business acumen is left as an exercise to the reader.
 

andykn

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Not atall, you pay for the right to travel in first class accommodation. What ever you get ontop of this is a bonus - advertised as Subject to Availability.
...
TP

...only after you access the service, not when you book your ticket.
 

transportphoto

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You don't book a ticket on the proviso of there being Free Onboard Wifi do you? You book a ticket to travel.

TP
 

sonic2009

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The wifi is subject to availability if your train doesn't have it or the wifi doesn't work, you cannot request to change to a different train.
 

ainsworth74

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The wifi is subject to availability if your train doesn't have it or the wifi doesn't work, you cannot request to change to a different train.

I disagree. I think you have every right to request it, but the TOC has absolutely no obligation to grant that request.
 

lyndhurst25

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You don't book a ticket on the proviso of there being Free Onboard Wifi do you? You book a ticket to travel.

TP

You may well book a First Class train ticket, instead of driving or taking the coach, because of the access to WiFi and for the surroundings that allow you to use your computer to work as you travel. It is part of the package.

Imagine if I booked a meal at an expensive restaurant and it was given to me in a polystyrene box to eat on the nearest park bench. "You're paying for the food and you've got it. The table, chair, plates are cutlery are complimentary and we can't manage to provide them today. Sorry.":)
 

sonic2009

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I disagree. I think you have every right to request it, but the TOC has absolutely no obligation to grant that request.

If you can show me where the cost of complimentary wifi is included in the price of the ticket then I will agree.

Yes you can obviously request it, but at the end of the day the TOC may charge you to change.
 

calc7

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I think the main points here are:
  • A TOC is under no legal obligation to supply the "complimentary" offerings *cough * East Coast food
  • Some customer-friendly TOCs (eg. Virgin) will often reimburse FC passengers who make known their dissatisfaction when part of the billed "complimentary" offering is not available. There is no obligation but they clearly understand that a few £ in RTVs that make a customer feel valued and come back again (me included) has a greater benefit than obeying the contract to the letter.
  • Those TOCs who repeatedly do not do the above (eg. EC, EMT) will lose FC custom. (Particularly to the lucrative business market - if you can't access WiFi on your London to Glasgow/Edinburgh train repeatedly, you may just resort to flying).

Either way, it's a cost-benefit decision presumably taken at board level.
 

lyndhurst25

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If you can show me where the cost of complimentary wifi is included in the price of the ticket then I will agree.

Yes you can obviously request it, but at the end of the day the TOC may charge you to change.

Doesn't the fact that Standard Class passengers on the same trains have to pay £2.95 to use the WiFi imply that the service has a value of that amount and is included in the First Class ticket price?
 

sonic2009

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Doesn't the fact that Standard Class passengers on the same trains have to pay £2.95 to use the WiFi imply that the service has a value of that amount and is included in the First Class ticket price?

I agree slightly, but it would be interesting to know from the TOCs how they breakdown the cost of a fare?
 

calc7

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I have been told in no uncertain terms by EMT that the lack of the advertised WiFi in First Class on one of their (loooong) Sunday HST Sheffield-London services entitled me to nothing. Nilch. Nada.

This is the same TOC whose "station controller" at London St. Pancras told me that they "do not accept Oyster".
 

Failed Unit

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I have been told in no uncertain terms by EMT that the lack of the advertised WiFi in First Class on one of their (loooong) Sunday HST Sheffield-London services entitled me to nothing. Nilch. Nada.

This is the same TOC whose "station controller" at London St. Pancras told me that they "do not accept Oyster".

As you said in the previous post, do it too often and you will be heading to Doncaster and using east coast. (although it is poor anyway)

That is the thing, not delivering a product does move you to other TOCs. I am using Virgin a lot more now than I used to (even if it does mean Pendo's), mainly because the wi-fi works and they offer real meals southbound in the evening!
 

calc7

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As you said in the previous post, do it too often and you will be heading to Doncaster and using east coast. (although it is poor anyway)

That is the thing, not delivering a product does move you to other TOCs. I am using Virgin a lot more now than I used to (even if it does mean Pendo's), mainly because the wi-fi works and they offer real meals southbound in the evening!

Yes exactly, the reason I booked that in 1ST over EC/Virgin in Standard was because I thought worst case scenario I have internet and coffee from the trolley dolly for the 3 1/2 hours. When that didn't materialise I wished I hadn't bothered.

But yes, the good folk of Yorkshire and Greater Manchester are lucky to be able to choose which IC provider they travel to London with.
 

Clip

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You may well book a First Class train ticket, instead of driving or taking the coach, because of the access to WiFi and for the surroundings that allow you to use your computer to work as you travel. It is part of the package.

Imagine if I booked a meal at an expensive restaurant and it was given to me in a polystyrene box to eat on the nearest park bench. "You're paying for the food and you've got it. The table, chair, plates are cutlery are complimentary and we can't manage to provide them today. Sorry.":)

Thats a terrible analogy and quite false. You may expect it from a fast ffood restaurant but not a normal one where part and parcel of going there to eat is that you sit down and use the crockery and cutlery, it is part of the package and definitly not complimentary.
 

Nevasleep

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Megabus make it clear on their homepage:
If Wifi is unavailable no refund will be offered.

I guess if they have it hidden in the depths of their T&Cs, then at least theres more leeway in complaining and getting a goodwill gesture.
I'd complain that the wifi was the only or main reason you chose first class, and ask for the difference between standard and first class back.
 

jon0844

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You don't book a ticket on the proviso of there being Free Onboard Wifi do you? You book a ticket to travel.

I might (even if I can't actually get a signed agreement that I am only buying a ticket to get a certain service, and so am pretty stuffed by the terms and conditions).

It might well be the reason I pay for a first class ticket on an Intercity train, so I can be productive.

If it later transpired as my train pulled away that there was no food or drink, the shop was shut and the Wi-Fi was broken, I'd probably be a bit upset if these features were promoted to sell the ticket in the first place.

Still, I'd hope and expect that any half decent TOC would do something as a goodwill gesture.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Imagine if I booked a meal at an expensive restaurant and it was given to me in a polystyrene box to eat on the nearest park bench. "You're paying for the food and you've got it. The table, chair, plates are cutlery are complimentary and we can't manage to provide them today. Sorry.":)

I know it's always risky with analogies like the above, but certainly in any good restaurant, you'd be expected to be told at the start what food wasn't available that night, as well as any specials, and you may well find that you'd enjoy some complimentary starter, drink or dessert if it ruined your enjoyment - either there and then, or perhaps as a way to entice you to return another day if you chose to eat elsewhere.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Doesn't the fact that Standard Class passengers on the same trains have to pay £2.95 to use the WiFi imply that the service has a value of that amount and is included in the First Class ticket price?

Ah, but if due to over crowding the train manager decides to declassify a first class coach, the standard class passengers who were lucky enough would also get free wifi. Infact there are certain trains in this country where it is quite possible for standard class passengers to get free wifi in one coach but have to pay in others in the same train, when all standard class passengers should be paying.
 

voyagerdude220

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Infact there are certain trains in this country where it is quite possible for standard class passengers to get free wifi in one coach but have to pay in others in the same train, when all standard class passengers should be paying.

Are you possibly referring to the type of train seen in my profile pic? ;)
 

andykn

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You don't book a ticket on the proviso of there being Free Onboard Wifi do you? You book a ticket to travel.

TP

If I knew when booking that, say, only the trains departing on the hour had wi-fi and the ones on the half hour didn't, I'd book one with wi-fi.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Megabus make it clear on their homepage:
If Wifi is unavailable no refund will be offered.

I guess if they have it hidden in the depths of their T&Cs, then at least theres more leeway in complaining and getting a goodwill gesture.
I'd complain that the wifi was the only or main reason you chose first class, and ask for the difference between standard and first class back.

One of the reasons I go in 1st with Greater Anglia is that often the difference is only 3 quid, the cost of wi-fi being 2.95 in Standard Class.
 

ralphchadkirk

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You may well book a First Class train ticket, instead of driving or taking the coach, because of the access to WiFi and for the surroundings that allow you to use your computer to work as you travel. It is part of the package.

It is not part of the Contract that is agreed to when you purchase a ticket.
 

cuccir

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If a thing is offered as part of a service, even if not as an inherent part of it, then it's good customer service to acknowledge and appropriately recompense someone when that's not available: whether through other complimentary services, partial refunds, vouchers, or possibly allowing someone to take a later train.

But no there is no obligation to let you travel later.
 
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