Two Together booking with Virgin Trains EC - website issue

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Bungle, 4 May 2015.

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  1. Bungle

    Bungle Member

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    I just booked tickets for Mrs Bungle and me to travel Newark - London after visiting family at the end of May, on Advance tickets with Two Together, on the VTEC website.

    We normally travel with EMT as our "home" operator; when booking with them, I select number of passengers as 2, then Two Together railcard and number of railcards as "1". This correctly discounts both tickets.

    Only on receiving the confirmation from VTEC just now, it became apparent that doing the same has led to only one of the tickets having the railcard discount applied - the other ticket has come out as an undiscounted Advance, leading to being overcharged £7.65. (£22.55 vs £14.90).

    The VTEC website obviously expects the user to select a railcard for each passenger to receive the discount. This seems counter-intuitive in the case of Two Together (i.e selecting 2 railcards when only 1 is physically held), particularly when selecting 1 works perfectly well with other operators.

    I've already emailed Customer Services and am awaiting a reply but it may take 10 days. It seems to me the website is not clear - it gives a total price straight away, which is nice, but offers no obvious breakdown of the tickets and makes it difficult to see that only one ticket is discounted. Is this my fault, or do I have reasonable grounds for a refund of the difference?

    Also, in the event of no satisfactory response forthcoming, is this going to to make the discounted ticket invalid (as normally both should be discounted for travelling together on Two Together)?

    Would be interested in the thoughts of the resident experts please!
     
  2. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I think you are in the right here - the Two Together discount should apply to both tickets if bought in one transaction. Other websites don't have a problem with this concept.

    My interpretation of the rules is that you wouldn't be able to use the single discounted ticket by itself, because as you say both passengers have to be travelling together with the pair of discounted tickets.
     
  3. Mike99

    Mike99 Member

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    I wonder if there was only 1 ticket left at the cheaper price so the booking engine has then sold the cheaper ticket and then a second ticket in the next price range.
     
  4. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    That's random; it's never done that to me when I've used my Two Together railcard.

    I also wonder if it has selected one from a higher price tier.
     
  5. Bungle

    Bungle Member

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    Hi folks, thanks for your replies.

    This is what the confirmation email says:
    They were booked together in the same transaction, selecting 2 people for the same journey.

    I guess you might be correct about the price tier - taking 1/3 off the "full" price of £22.55 actually gives just over £15, so the discounted £14.90 ticket could be from a slightly lower price ticket quota.

    The point still remains - the second ticket has not been discounted as it should have been (thanks najaB for confirming what I thought regarding the website functionality compared to other websites) and I'm concerned that we might have trouble with validity if it's not sorted out. We'll see what happens...
     
  6. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    You saw that it was listed as a 16-25 railcard?

    You may find it difficult to persuade them that this was not your mistake in choosing the wrong railcard.

    (It does seem to work correctly if you choose 1 two-together railcard for two people - it won't actually let you select 2 railcards)
     
  7. Bungle

    Bungle Member

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    Ah...... Now I feel daft! :oops: quite right.

    Apologies everyone...
     
  8. PaxVobiscum

    PaxVobiscum Established Member

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    I bungled :D the railcard selection one time myself, but it was East Coast not Virgin EC. I phoned and then, as advised, wrote them a crawling email and (eventually) got a refund after sending the original tickets back. Is there a still a phone number to contact them for problems?
     
  9. Bungle

    Bungle Member

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    Yep. Spoke to them and they've told them refund less the standard admin fee and make a new booking. Haven't picked the tickets up yet so no need to send them back.

    Can't really be bothered to argue with them about the admin fee for the sake of 20 quid - it's my own fault, it's not their problem that I didn't check properly so no reason for them to make an exception to the T&Cs. Lesson learned.
     
  10. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well done for accepting responsibility for your own mistake!
     
  11. Bungle

    Bungle Member

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    It does my nut when people pay peanuts for a restricted ticket and then bleat how unfair it all is when they make a mistake and/or things change and they expect special treatment or exceptions to be made. As an airline employee I see it all too often!

    This is simply what happens when you have too many 4am alarm clocks in one month! Irritating but not the end of the world.
     
  12. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree with you. I've made some very silly mistakes, like leaving tickets at home, or even throwing the return portion away in error, and I've had to live with it! I don't understand why some people expect others to rectify their mistakes without penalty.
     
  13. SickyNicky

    SickyNicky Verified Rep

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    It's worth adding that in cases of genuine mistakes and where the customer goes on to buy the correct tickets, some online vendors will waive the fee (depending on circumstances). TrainSplit often will, for example.
     
  14. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There's no harm at all in asking, and a goodwill gesture is always welcome. My problem is when people seem to think it's their right, and complain vehemently when they don't get what they want.
     
  15. SickyNicky

    SickyNicky Verified Rep

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    Well, of course, if they fail the attitude test then they will get their "rights" in their entirety.

    That'll be £10 per ticket, please.
     
  16. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It's the attitude that often counts against them. In some circumstances, like when I threw away my return portion instead of the sue dup outward portion, it's not really realistic to expect someone to just give you a new ticket. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if one or two people might expect it, especially if they have a sales voucher for receipt!
     
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