• Virgin East Coast 18

    Late on last week some progress was made with the issue of no longer being able to contact Mike at Virgin East Coast. After chasing up via twitter (mentioning the MD as well as the normal support account) I finally got a reply from the support account, saying they’d get a message to Mike and let him know what was going on.

    I wasn’t really very hopeful about it, if I’m honest. If I couldn’t get a reply from him via the channels I’d normally used what hope was there that I’d get a reply this way?

    The following day was mostly spent traveling but my phone was on and always to hand. I never received any call. However, late in the day I did get an email! This was the first direct contact, that replied to an attempt to contact him on the current issue, I’d had from the Customer Relations Manager since the previous month.

    Here’s what he said (quoted in full):

    My sincere apologies for the silence, I have been away and it was remiss of my not to advise my regular contacts, of my colleagues details.

    If you can leave this with me I will certainly be in contact early next week to try and get this resolved once and for all. In the meantime I will pop a further couple of tickets in the post for you, just so you have them incase you need to travel urgently.

    My apologies again David, and I look forward to chatting early next week.

    I am, of course, a little skeptical of this at the moment. A few times before I’ve been told they’ll be in contact “early next week”, or something similar, and nothing has happened. It’ll be interesting to see if this will be different.

    Will I get an update? Will I finally get a call about the Ticket Wallet app? Will the extra tickets turn up?

  • Virgin East Coast 17

    The Virgin East Coast Trains saga gets more and more odd. Following on from yesterday’s update I thought I’d give Mike an actual call. As in, a call on the phone.

    I don’t generally like calling people. I’m one of those people who gets a little anxious about using the phone and much prefer email. I’ll use a phone as a last resort and, given how long this was going on for, I thought it time to break my normal “no phone” rule and pick mine up and call to find out what the hell is going on.

    Turns out the number is no longer available!

    The last email I have that was sent from Mike was on September 25th. The number I used was the one in the footer of that email. It doesn’t work. There’s also a land line given. Calling that gives the same result.

    As of now, if I try and call the customer relations manager for Virgin East Coast Trains, someone who I was referred to by David Horne (the MD), I get a message that the phone isn’t available.




    So, given that, I thought I’d drop David a direct message on twitter. We’d spoken that way back on August 9th when he requested my contact details. Nope. Can’t send him a DM any more. Guess I got unfollowed.

    So I’ve tried tweeting him instead:

    This did get a reply from @Virgin_TrainsEC and I let them know what I was after. They say they’ve sent him an email too now:

    Really, this is a silly mess again. My query is simple and straightforward. I’m simply chasing up two promises that were made by Mike, on behalf of Virgin. All I seem to be getting now on those two points is complete silence.

    I’m really not in the business of telling people how to do their jobs but… wouldn’t customer relations involve actually talking to customers and delivering on promises made to them when you do talk to them? That strikes me as the sensible thing to do.

  • Virgin East Coast 16

    It’s now almost 2 weeks since I last posted an update here and, frustratingly, I don’t really have much progress to write about.

    What had been a promising start (well, middle; the actual start of this process was as frustrating as hell; it was only when the MD got involved that things actually started to happen) has turned into more of the same: broken promises and lack of actual results.

    Only, this time, I’m not dealing with some call center. This time I’m dealing with the office of David Horne.

    Since I last wrote I’ve emailed Mike Ross three times. The first time was to chase up what was happening with the promised phone call regarding the Ticket Wallet app. Here’s what I wrote 12 days ago (on 2016-10-06):

    Hi Mike.

    Just wanted to try and chase up what’s happening with being able to speak with someone about the original problem with the Ticket Wallet app. It’s now around 2 months since I missed the single call from Katie Fisher (which I attempted to return every day for a week after, and a couple of times the second week after – never able to leave a message because there was no voicemail system). It’s now also over a month since you said that a David Ridley (you you said was Katie’s boss) would contact me and I’ve still not had any sort of call.

    With respect, this is exactly the sort of thing that I initially found frustrating about dealing with Virgin East Coast Trains: the promises of calls to get things sorted that never happen and the constant need, on my part, to chase things up to even try and get something happening.

    It’s also nearly 4 months since I first ran into the original problem and I’m still no nearer getting an explanation as to what the problem is or any nobody would initially believe the problem I was reporting.

    Could I please get an honest update on what’s happening with this?

    This got no reply whatsoever. Now, I appreciate that people can be busy, but when you have an ongoing issue to resolve with someone it makes sense you at least say something like “I’m sorry, my attention is elsewhere at the moment – I promise I’ll get back to you as soon as possible”. That’s not an ideal thing to do, especially if your job us customer relations, but at least it lets the customer know you’re there and listening.

    But, no, nothing.

    So 5 days ago I replied to the above, with a little chaser:

    Hi Mike. Sorry to trouble you but given it’s a week since I wrote, I wanted to chase this up.

    And still nothing.

    Later this week I’ll be on the trains again and, despite getting no sort of reply whatsoever from Mike, I decided to drop a line anyway and ask for seat reservations to be made (as had originally been offered). These were done in no time at all.

    While that is great it also tells me something rather odd: my emails are being read and acted upon – at least when they’re a request for a seat reservation – but they’re not being replied to.

    And here’s the thing that’s even more frustrating about this. The email where I requested the seat reservations had this on the end as a PS:

    PS: Did you receive the catch-up email I sent last week? Seeing as how I’m about to use the last set of tickets you provided me I’m very keen to get to the bottom of the Ticket Wallet app problem so I can finally resolve the problem of getting WiFi on the train and working without having to spend £10 extra every time.

    That has to have been read and… given the lack of reply I can only conclude that it was ignored. I like to think it wasn’t really ignored but a lack of reply looks exactly like you’re being ignored.

    At this point I don’t know what to make of this any more. It’s a simple problem I’m trying to get to the bottom of. I’ve been made plenty of good promises, almost all of them broken. On top of that I can’t really escalate the issue any more because I’m already receiving the best help that Virgin East Coast’s MD can offer, apparently.

    Anyone got Richard Branson’s phone number?

  • Virgin East Coast 15

    It’s now a week since I last wrote an update and, given that I’m sat on a Virgin East Coast train right now, I thought I’d do another.

    As mentioned last time, I’m currently waiting for a call from someone at Virgin East Coast regarding the ongoing situation with the Android Ticket Wallet application. It’s now over 3 months since I first ran into the problem (and, of course, ran into all the issues of trying to get some sensible help and response from them) and nothing has really improved:

    Still can't log in

    It’s now around six weeks since I was promised a call from someone who works on the application; a call that did come the once but I couldn’t answer at the time (I’m not the sort of person to fiddle with a phone while driving) and which I attempted to return for the better part of 2 weeks afterwards but never even got an answer to the calls.

    It’s now also 3 weeks since I was told that I’d get a call from the boss of the person who was originally supposed to call me. I’ve yet to receive a call from them too. I’ve mentioned this to Mike Ross on a couple of occasions now and haven’t had any sort of direct reply as to what’s going on with that situation.

    While I am enjoying the benefits of the tickets I was provided as compensation from the earlier troubles (and also very much appreciating Mike’s reserving of seats for me when I need them – I do find that booked seats take a lot of stress out of traveling) I’d really love to get to the bottom of the problem with the Ticket Wallet app.

    Frustratingly and amusingly I suspect I’ll finally get an answer around the time I don’t need to use the train quite so much.

  • Virgin East Coast 14

    It’s now about 3 weeks since my last post about my exploits in getting a problem solved with Virgin East Coast so now’s a good time for a little update.

    Two things were “outstanding” the last time I wrote about this. One was that Mike (the customer relations manager in the Virgin East Coast MD’s office) wanted us to meet up for a coffee and a chat about my issues and how things were progressing, etc. Sadly I wasn’t able to make the original date we’d picked out as a possible so another date was arranged. At least, it was kind of arranged. It was noted that this week might be a good time to meet and I’d written back to him to say that Wednesday 21st would be good. Since then I’ve had no reply at all.

    The second thing that is outstanding is having someone call me about the issues with the Ticket Wallet app. I’ve yet to receive a call from the person who originally phoned me and who I missed (and who I chased up every day for a week afterwards). I was then told by Mike, about 2 weeks or so back, that that person’s manager would call me instead and that I should expect a call early last week.

    That call didn’t happen. Didn’t happen early last week, late last week, at all last week. It’s now Thursday this week and I’ve still not had a call.

    Just this morning I’ve chased up both of the above.

    It’s now over 3 months since I first reported the Ticket Wallet app problem and I seem to be no closer to seeing it resolved, or even having an explanation as to the cause of the problem.

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