I have been in London quite a lot recently. East Midlands Trains have a monopoly on how I get there as driving isn’t really an option. Flying is a bit impractical too. So I take the train (and get ripped off parking*!)
I always try to pre-book my train (but not my seat – although they will insist on doing this for me). First Class can be relatively cheap – around £55 return if you avoid peak times and pre-book – which is reasonable value for money.
This week though I got held up on the tube (I have to wait for three carriages before I imitated a sardine) and I missed my train by 4 minutes. On the way to the smoke the day before we were delayed by 15 minutes – so my timekeeping was better than theirs?
Except that it wasn’t.
The miserable lady behind the (contradiction in terms) ‘customer services’ department took some pleasure in telling me my ticket was then invalid – and I had to buy a new ticket. A single day ticket. The cost £136 for Frst Class or £86 for Cattle Class.
I did get the perfunctory apology for them delaying me on the way out – it was due to some signal failure – which made me feel better. To rub salt in the wound, we were 8 minutes late on the way back too.
The cash flows one way only though…
East Midlands Trains – this is nothing short of a disgrace. You employ that great monopolistic place where I have a choice – take it or leave it. If I had a real choice I would not patronise you. Oh, and I do know that I signed my life away in the small print so I have no chance of winning.
It seems there is one rule for them and one rule for me?
* I thought Nottingham was a rip-off for parking but Derby took £25 out of my wallet for 2 days parking…