It’s just over 3 weeks now since I wrote about how I was finally getting somewhere with my problems with Virgin East Coast, so now seems like a good time to update on what’s happening. Here’s the things that the PR manager in the MD’s office said he’d be sorting, along with what happened afterwards:

Virgin would BACS me the value of the cheque they kept failing to send

This happened and happened quickly too. The money turned up in my account (actually rounded up a little) without any fuss or bother.

That said… I did receive a cheque from them anyway that is written to a value that has no relation to the refund I was entitled to and isn’t even similar to the rounded-up value that I received via BACS. I’ve not done anything with the cheque yet; there was no accompanying letter to say what it was for, nothing to explain why it differed by around £10 (more) from what I was expecting and what turned up in my account, nothing to explain why I was getting it at all.

I emailed Mike (the customer relations manager) last Friday and got a reply last Saturday so say he’d look into it when he got back to his desk this last Tuesday (Monday being a Bank Holiday in England and Wales). I’m writing this on Friday morning and haven’t had that update yet (so I have sent off an email to chase this up).

In the mean time I’m doing nothing with the cheque. It seems unfair to cash it if it was a simple error on their part.

Someone with knowledge of the Ticket Wallet App would phone me direct

This happened. Sort of. The day after things started to get resolved I received a call. Sadly I was driving at the time and was in no position to take it. When I finally got home and tried calling back there was no answer. Since then I’ve tried calling the number every day for the first week and a couple of times in the second week; I’ve had no answer at all. Neither have I received a call from the person who originally tried calling.

I let Mike know about this in an email about a week back and he said he’d chase it up. So far I’ve had no word on the subject since (again, I’ve sent off an email chasing this up this morning).

They’d send me 4 First Class return tickets by way of an apology

This happened and happened quickly. I’ve no complaints on this score. Also, Mike has been very kind in allowing me to email him direct to arrange seat reservations each time I’ve needed to use a ticket (once so far, second request went off this morning for the use of the second of the tickets).

The CR manager would keep in contact to update me on how things are being improved

This one not quite so much, but I didn’t see this as quite so important and it wasn’t something I was looking for. What mattered to me was that the refund I was owed got to me and that the apparent problem with the Ticket Wallet app got fixed.

That said… back in the early 1990s a lot of software that I developed was designed for complaints handling departments (used in some pretty well-known companies too). It was all about keeping customers happy, keeping in contact with them, keeping track of how well you’re doing, keeping track of promised contact dates and ensuring they were met (that whole thing of a call to say you’ve failed is better than no call so you appear to have failed twice), that sort of thing. I guess, from this point of view, I do have an interest in how Virgin East Coast handle their customer relations and what systems they have in place so they appear to be competent.

As for getting to chat: Mike did name a couple of dates when he’d be close to where I tend to be working and suggested we get together for a coffee and a chat about this subject. Given we’ve both got fluid diaries (his far more than mine, I’m sure) it’s all a little up in the air but I think there’s a possible date in the next week.

So that’s where I’m at: one problem solved (with an offshoot curiosity that I’m trying to get to the bottom of) and one outstanding.

Not perfect. Not terrible either.