Can You Get A Refund On An Online Train Ticket
My Birmingham-based partner from Epic SEO regularly travels on the train for meetings.
Great Deals On Train Travel Through Online Booking
He has the process down to a fine art: booking online, collecting the tickets from the machine at New Street Station and travelling at the best times to make the most of the many deals on offer.
In some cases, he has been able to make the journey from Birmingham to London, across London and out to Essex for less than it would cost me to get from Essex to London! There are some great bargains to be had and the journey can often take less time than by car.
What Happens When You Make An Error In Your Booking?
However, sometimes things go awry and you need to change the ticket and hopefully get a refund. I don’t know about you but I find those drop down calendars to book dates far easier to make mistakes on than actually typing in the day and date you want yourself. You always have to check that the month you are being shown is actually the one you want to book a journey in.
Which may sound obvious but if anything else goes a bit amiss in the booking process, it can be very easy to lose track of where you are – especially if the software is having a bad day and decides to reset itself further back up the process.
This happened recently when he was booking a ticket late at night. He somehow managed to book a return journey for the day he wanted in the following month. Less than 12 hours later, he was on the phone to try to rectify the situation.
Can You Get A Refund On An Online Train Ticket?
Since he was calling within 24 hours of the original booking, the operative from Train Line’s Indian call centre – don’t get me started on the Data Protection Act and whether he had been asked if his details could be made available to companies outside the UK – helpfully found out the best way for him to change the ticket without losing his money but that’s when things all became very complicated.
Bearing in mind that he was due to collect the tickets from the station, it was a bit odd to be told that he still had to collect them and then post them by recorded delivery to an address in Edinburgh, upon receipt of which they would sanction a full refund without a booking charge with five to seven days. Failure to follow this process would cost him £10 on a £12 ticket.
But I haven’t collected them yet and I’m not due to travel until for six days?
There was no shifting customer service. This is the way the system has been set up and the tickets can’t just be cancelled or amended – although the new ones can be ordered and available for collection straightaway.
The phone call took about 15 minutes, including a discussion with his superior about the best way to handle it. The cynic in me couldn’t help noticing that Trainline’s number is an 0871 number which costs 10p per minute. Although, of course, being very anal about such chargeable 0844 and 0870 numbers, he had searched saynoto0870.com and found a landline number that he could ring as part of our package.
It just seems ridiculous that it is not possible to amend a ticket that is still virtual. Or if it is due to issues with the refund process, surely it should not still be necessary to collect the incorrect ticket. There must be an easier and more efficient way of just emailing the need for a credit note to their accounts department with the reference number for that ticket?
The cynic in me also wondered whether the hassle of the process makes most people not bother on tickets that have a similar value – adding a regular supply of £10 charges to the company’s coffers.
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