Yesterday I got the call about the Virgin East Coast Ticket Wallet app that I was promised last week (well, actually, promised a couple of months back). It didn’t go well.

Well, I say “didn’t go well”, the conversation itself went very well, the chap I spoke to was polite and apologetic and helpful, but the outcome wasn’t really very brilliant.

It didn’t get off to a brilliant start when I was first told that the solution to my problem was that I needed to uninstall and then reinstall the app (something I’ve done more than once while trying to get to the bottom of the problem). I asked if that was really necessary and I was informed that it was the only way to fix the problem of the tickets not showing. Problem is… that wasn’t my problem. So I then had to explain the exact nature of the fault I was experiencing (and also explained my guess as to what the cause of the problem was).

After that, much of the content of the conversation involved vaguely confidential information (nothing too terrible or that big a secret – just stuff that isn’t generally known yet) which I’m not going to repeat here. The upshot of the chat though is this: they can’t do anything for me.

Simply put: they acknowledge there’s a problem with the app, the problem is at their end, it’s a problem that needs to be fixed and there’s nothing they can do to fix it any time soon.

The causes of this will sound familiar to anyone with experience of large companies who outsource much of their development and get involved in areas that they might not have much experience with.

I also found out the cause of some of the delay in actually getting back to me: the person who was supposed to originally call me went on maternity leave just after they’d first tried to call and, it seems, nobody thought to pick up their workload. This left me in the bizarre position of trying to call someone who was off work for an extended period of time, and whose phone wasn’t being answered in any way.

Of course, it doesn’t explain why that person’s boss, who I was promised a call from a short while after, never bothered to call.

So, I think, to some degree, that’s the end of this silly saga. Their software is buggy, they can’t fix it any time soon, and I’m out of luck.

As for the extra free tickets I was promised a couple of weeks back now… they’ve still not appeared. Time for me to chase that up again.