New Virgin East Coast Website

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aar0

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The current offer says "not available anywhere else" - comparing to my preferred booking site (GWR for the nectarz) there was no price difference for either journeys I picked...
 
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Merseysider

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It appears to be only the lowest price tier which has halved in price, and the rest are unaffected. This can lead to some sharp differentials.
 

SaveECRewards

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22 Jan 2015
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Potentially one for the unwary, here.

I clicked on the promotion link, and then later on went back to book some tickets (for non-promotion dates) using the homepage search box. The tickets are for four passengers travelling together, on Virgin Trains East Coast services, and they are eligible for the Small Group Discount. However, the 'Discounted' icon wasn't appearing in the fares matrix.

Opening another browser of a different type, the same search brought up the correct Small Group Discount fares.

Checking promotional fares would therefore appear to be blocking out discounts such as Small Group on other searches.

I've attached the simultaneous screenshots to show how the unwary could have potentially overpaid by £108 in total.
I thought I'd stick it in a video so they can easily see the steps to reproduce, not that they'll take any notice.


The website is crap!
Be careful, the head of eCommerce might sue you for defamation, I think that's what her threats are to me anyway.

This afternoon someone who was visually impaired sent a Tweet to VTEC pointing out that their website is inaccessible through a screen reader so they can't take advantage of the sale. I've pointed the accessibility issue to them before but nothing has been done about it.

So as the head of eCommerce blocked me I decided to get David Horne to pass on the message to get this important issue sorted. I had then been informed by someone else that she was complaining on Twitter about trolls (about an hour or so after I posted that tweet). The timing suggests it was related to my post. One of her comments was as follows:

I think my current view is that if you mis represent someone and spread inaccurate and completely uninformed information to deliberately tarnish someone’s professional reputation that’s got to be right up there
She then posted the dictionary definition of defamation with the comment "I’ll just leave this one right here..."

I don't think I've done anything wrong. I've used a mixture of fact and humour to get my message across (and the humour is mainly a way to stop me getting angry at what a joke VTEC has become).

I'm happy to say I think the website is a disaster and I can cite a number of valid reasons for it.
 

westv

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29 Mar 2013
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I'm don't really know what to say about this latest response from VTEC regarding the lack of a seat map on my route

"Thank you for your correspondence received 15 November 2017 regarding your booking enquiry.
Regarding your enquiry on the seating reservation maps. We have not had any current problems to which need attention with the seat reservation system. The system you are using is connected to the main reservation system to which if this system fails then the site wont work with it and errors and changes will show or not show.
I have made an enquiry on this in case there is any underlying problems but feel as the main system running not owned by Virgin Trains East Coast is affecting your ability to change your seats. Thank you for your time in contacting us."
 

IanD

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I'm don't really know what to say about this latest response from VTEC regarding the lack of a seat map on my route

"Thank you for your correspondence received 15 November 2017 regarding your booking enquiry.
Regarding your enquiry on the seating reservation maps. We have not had any current problems to which need attention with the seat reservation system. The system you are using is connected to the main reservation system to which if this system fails then the site wont work with it and errors and changes will show or not show.
I have made an enquiry on this in case there is any underlying problems but feel as the main system running not owned by Virgin Trains East Coast is affecting your ability to change your seats. Thank you for your time in contacting us."
Is that from RP?
 

jon0844

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I wonder if you need to get in touch with a site that covers things like web security, usability and so on - and get them to do some investigating. Might just kick Virgin into fixing some of these issues if a story is written.

I was wondering if a site like The Register might be a place to try?
 

tspaul26

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9 Jun 2016
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454
Be careful, the head of eCommerce might sue you for defamation, I think that's what her threats are to me anyway.

...

She then posted the dictionary definition of defamation with the comment "I’ll just leave this one right here..."
The problem with dictionaries is that they are not law reports.

For example, would a dictionary define the word 'and' as meaning 'or'? Some law reports do.
 

westv

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I decided to reply:-

"I get the feeling I am being fobbed off. This really isn't good enough. The seat selector map is on the VTEC website so I would expect VTEC to sort it out when it isn't working correctly.
I look forward to hearing that the problem has been resolved rather than being told it's someone else's problem."
 

Hadders

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27 Apr 2011
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7,464
I couldn’t get the seat selector to work properly on Saturday. Managed to change my outward seat with no issue but had to give up on the return as it just kept saying that an error had occurred.
 

westv

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2,684
I couldn’t get the seat selector to work properly on Saturday. Managed to change my outward seat with no issue but had to give up on the return as it just kept saying that an error had occurred.
I don't get an error. All I get is blank screen where the selector map should be.
 

takno

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I couldn’t get the seat selector to work properly on Saturday. Managed to change my outward seat with no issue but had to give up on the return as it just kept saying that an error had occurred.
I got that when I was picking a seat during the purchase process, but I was then able to log back in and change the seat after purchase. No idea why, but it did mean I could resolve the problem
 

SaveECRewards

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22 Jan 2015
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PayPal support has made it into the VTEC site now. They're not the only one that offer it so there must be some demand for it but I'd have preferred Apple Pay support.

I wonder if the number of people who wanted PayPal is more than the number who want cycle reservations?

Anyway as is the tradition now: Virgin Train's [sp] East Coast on the east coast route have put up their page showcasing their innovative 'pay pal' http://www.virgintrainseastcoast.uk/paypal.htm
 

FQTV

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27 Apr 2012
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PayPal support has made it into the VTEC site now. They're not the only one that offer it so there must be some demand for it but I'd have preferred Apple Pay support.

I wonder if the number of people who wanted PayPal is more than the number who want cycle reservations?

Anyway as is the tradition now: Virgin Train's [sp] East Coast on the east coast route have put up their page showcasing their innovative 'pay pal' http://www.virgintrainseastcoast.uk/paypal.htm
Presumably this means that, at least and at last, we don't have to buy eVouchers when we need 'any card collect' anymore.

Having said that, I've had to resort to the Virgin Train's [sic] PayPal system regularly since the new site's launch, so chances are I will still have to!
 

FQTV

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And so a new one this morning, with relevance to the latest Pay with your Pal innovation.

Booked a Virgin Trains East Coast wholly-operated round trip, selecting self-print tickets.

Selected PayPal and went through payment process on that site.

Immediate payment receipt from PayPal.

From Virgin Trains East Coast:

We are very busy at the moment, your transaction is in a queue and will be processed as soon as possible

Click to refresh the page and check the status of your transaction
Clicking as instructed presents, not altogether unsurprisingly, a red circle of doom.
 

91109

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21 Jul 2017
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Paypal is also going to become a method of payment for DR claims, but on verified accounts only. Customers should then receive their money back within 24-48 hours I think it is.
 

SaveECRewards

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22 Jan 2015
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737
Sort of connected to the website as you get them by booking through them. VTEC have been patting themselves on the back as the marketing agency who works with VTEC have won gold in a direct marketing awards for their pre-departure emails.

Those familiar with said emails will probably disagree.
 

moliones

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13 Sep 2017
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So I just received a wonderfully-titled email from VTEC, "Your London Kings Cross trip just got glorious", about how, for example, "Our team will be there throughout your journey, ready and raring to help. You’ll find them at The Foodbar between Standard and First Class." (I wonder, if there's a lack of crew at any point, what compensation I would be entitled to?)

But, I would rather not receive such emails. So I looked for an unsubscribe option.
Oh, I thought; this looks promising: "If you would like to stop receiving information about
your journey please click here."

On the linked page, I select the option "If you would like to stop receiving information about your journey with us please select this box" - the other option for reference is "If you already know how all this works and you don’t need us to give you any information for future trips please select this box".
Both of these seem clear, I won't get more informative emails about this [first option] or this and future [second option] trips.

There is no possibility to enter any other information on that page.

However, on clicking submit, I just get the following helpful message:
"Please correct the following errors:
  • Email: This field is required."
Does anyone know what I could do to stop these emails?
 

43094

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19 May 2010
Messages
730
New one for me...

The last three times I've booked Sleeper tickets online (Caledonian), I've been to a station to collect them. All three times, after entering the reference and pressing collect, the machine has thought for thirty seconds, then given up and a message comes up to try another machine, or try later.

Trying at a second machine gets to the same stage, but then the message states to seek assistance (from ticket office staff).

These were all in the last couple of weeks - No issues before that point.

In all three cases, the staff were great - they said 'the Tribute system had locked the booking', and logged on to the LSM system to unblock it and print the tickets.

They did say other customers had had similar issues (involving tickets other than Sleeper tickets). A (frustrating!) new bug with the TOD machines perhaps?
 
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