New Virgin East Coast Website

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by csilke, 7 Jun 2017.

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  1. 91109

    91109 Member

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  2. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    Hopefully most WebTIS booking have now finished so the numbers of people needing refunds will be small.

    I am surprised you've had access to WebTIS for so long, I have had issues with eVouchers not moving over (the email I got with eVoucher codes was not correct, it had one voucher missing, but I wasn't sure of the exact amount) so it should have been easy for this to be checked. Instead, I'm still waiting for it to be sorted.
     
  3. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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  4. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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  5. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    With the 24-week booking window, there will be WebTIS bookings for travel on dates through to mid-December.
     
  6. Chrism20

    Chrism20 Established Member

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    Definitely as far ahead as December 18th going by the bookings I have although I think they may actually go into the new year as that was booked on July 30th so possibly the end of January.
     
    Last edited: 2 Oct 2017
  7. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

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    I've noticed that the new VTEC site doesn't appear to offer journey cancellation insurance, which the old site used to offer for £2 per single journey leg.

    Until recently the new site offered the option of collecting tickets at the station, having them posted, m-tickets (mobile tickets) or print-at-home tickets. But I have just booked a ticket from Sheffield to London King's Cross via Doncaster for December, and the print-at-home option seems to have disappeared.

    Back in August I booked a couple of journeys for later this month, and decided to give the print-at-home option a try for the first time.
     
  8. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    Both the insurance, and the print at home option, are available only for "Advance" tickets.

    For flexible tickets, insurance isn't really needed as you can get a refund for the price of an admin fee.

    And print-at-home only really works for Advance tickets as they tie you to a particular seat on a particular train: print-at-home for flexible tickets would potentially allow multiple copies to all be used.
     
  9. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    We haven't had Self Print for a multiple leg journey. Only VTEC to VTEC calling point.
     
    Last edited: 3 Oct 2017
  10. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

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    It was an Advance ticket that I booked today, but it didn't appear to offer the insurance or the print-at-home option.

    Not that the latter matters to me particularly, as I usually go for good old-fashioned paper tickets.
     
  11. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    It wasn't insurance (that opens a whole can of regulation) and we no longer offer it. Self print is still offered but see my previous comments.
     
  12. IanXC

    IanXC Emeritus Moderator

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    If it looks like insurance and barks like insurance just saying it isn't doesn't change anything!

    Interestingly the firm VTEC contracted to sell these products is regulated along exactly the lines one would expect for a seller of minor insurance policies.

    I would speculate that VTEC no longer offer it because they have realised that they were not doing it compliantly and that selling it compliantly would not be commercially viable!
     
  13. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    eCommerce Show North 2017 is happening 11-12 October in Manchester and VTECs head of eCommerce and Retail is speaking on the 2nd day about "How brands can maintain authenticity and customer loyalty in the age of automation" when she should really be doing a talk called "How to annoy your customers with an ill conceived rollout"

    Unfortunately I can't make it, I'd be genuinely interested in what she has to say as well as hoping to be able to catch her afterwards to see if I can find out any more about their plans to hopefully fix all the current issues.

    If anyone is around Manchester on the 12th and can pop by to the event I'd be interested in what you thought.

    In the meantime I've written a blog post: Virgin Trains EC flawed eCommerce strategy (note how the social media team back in June were using "it's a beta" as an excuse for missing features, but they never made it into the site when it went live)
     
  14. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    The talk has happened today and I just have to wonder how they can consider asking anyone who works for VTEC to talk on the subject of loyalty particularly the person responsible for annoying many people with the badly planned website launch.
    To mark the occasion I've collected together a bunch of Tweets giving feedback about the new website to highlight the issues.

    Take a look: VTEC satisfaction - in Tweets
     
  15. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    I got a lovely offer today to "upgrade" to a flexible ticket.

    As in, buy a walk-up fare.

    Hmm.
     
  16. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    I've seen that great 'offer' before as well. There was a bug that if you accepted the 'upgrade' it would not reserve you a seat on that leg.

    I documented it here, even included a video to precisely show the issue: http://saveecrewards.co.uk/web-feedback/reservation-upgrade-bug

    UPDATE: I've checked and this issue appears fixed.

    I did notice that if I selected an advance fare that was higher than the super off-peak single it didn't offer the cheaper fare, I'm sure it used to!
     
    Last edited: 12 Oct 2017
  17. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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  18. 91109

    91109 Member

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    The running joke within Web Support is that "Phase 2" of the website is actually a myth. No one tells us anything, so we're left to our own devices mostly when customers query functionality.
     
  19. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    You could always ask the people who know. ;) At least some of the staff in Gosforth know our email address.
     
  20. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    So is it a myth then? I think it's more likely the features will appear gradually over the time - particularly if it's developed in sprints, although even in that case it'd still be possible to hold the features back from production.

    The Twitter poll results weren't good. In the end 98% said it was worse than the previous site! Of course the results wouldn't be that extreme with the general public but it does show that those who are familiar with both sites aren't able to see an advantage to the new site. Hopefully we can be proven wrong.

    As for phase 2. Virgin Train's [sp] East Coast on their east coast routes is very close to phase 2 now, with full details and booking form for their booking by fax service. The future is nearly here! Green Shield stamps may not make the cut for this release :'(
     
  21. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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    Just seen that SeatToad are supporting 10 digit booking references from today
     
  22. D6700

    D6700 Member

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    I have to say I like the refreshing honesty of the new website.

    Investigating the possibilities for making a one way journey from York to Newcastle on Saturday 9 December, departing around 07:00, I was presented with the usual mini spreadsheet and "help" options:

    "Go Cheaper" - VTEC recommend you travel with TransPennine Express

    "Go Classier" - VTEC recommend you travel with TransPennine Express

    "Go Faster" - VTEC recommend you travel with CrossCountry

    Based on their advice, it doesn't appear Virgin have anything worthwhile to offer!
     
  23. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    I was booking Newcastle to Darlington on Saturday (I was only booking on the website to see if any improvements had been made), the way it lists fares (the TPE only ones are cheaper) it made it look like there were no tickets available on the VTEC trains as the only fares visible on the screen were TPE only.

    When VTEC complain about not meeting projected targets they're really shooting themselves in the foot here.

    Perhaps FirstGroup sabotaged the project ;)
     
  24. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    The only reason I ever use them is to choose seats. Today that didn't work - their advice was to call their helpline for new reservations or visit a staffed station. I bought from TPE - they couldn't choose a seat but they don't charge to post tickets to me and have the interface I like.

    Annoyingly, when I deleted my tickets from my basket on EC it did not release the tickets until the 2 hours was up so I had to wait to book them.
     
  25. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    Also, of course, their suggested option of going to the station to change your seat is also available if you book on your preferred site. Not having the map to select from removes the main reason for booking direct.
     
  26. takno

    takno Established Member

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    When I booked last week it wouldn't let me pick a seat before purchase, but would let me change it after purchase. No idea if that's a thing or just how things were going that day
     
  27. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    The way some of their fares are priced, it appears the intention is to deter potential customers from travelling with them.

    The way some of their staff (especially in customer "services") treat customers also backs this up.

    I don't think I know anyone who thinks the company is doing a good job (except possibly some of the people who work for them do, though I know some certainly don't!)

    Not all their ticket office staff will do this, either!
     
  28. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    On the plus side, the new VTEC site is the only online journey planner that I know to be selling tickets to Edinburgh Airport via Transport for Edinburgh services from Waverley, Haymarket, Edinburgh Gateway or Edinburgh Park (seems to work from Stirling and Leuchars, to try two random origins, also Carlisle and Inverness, but not Berwick-on-Tweed/Glasgow/Dunbar/Newcastle-upon-Tyne). Maybe Scotrail will catch up eventually.
     
  29. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    I don't know, perhaps that was something they implemented because of my feedback.

    I noticed the two Scottish airports I use Edinburgh and Glasgow weren't listed and neither, surprisingly was Heathrow rail at this point (but Heathrow Und was). Heathrow was a surprise because it has stations. I sent an email asking for them to be included and it happened a few weeks later. So at the time I thought they were taking feedback seriously and wouldn't remove the old booking engine until this one was reasonable.

    Although I noticed that ZCW (Canada Water) which was also on my 'missing' list of stations was not added. Can anyone think of a reason why this may have been left off? Perhaps someone else already reported the missing airports? APN (Newcastle) was already on there when I first tested the beta.
     
  30. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    In the past, ZCW was a duplicate CRS code and was also used for Canary Wharf. The latter has now been changed to ZQC. But if there is an out-of-date station list involved somewhere in the background it may still be disabled to avoid the clash with the duplicate code, I suppose.
     
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