This morning I called back on the number I’d been given yesterday evening. I explained briefly why I was calling and how I was returning someone’s call but, sadly, ended up back in support script-following hell: they started asking for booking reference and all that stuff again. I stopped them, explained the issue again, and they then started to ask for ticket details and so on.

Deeply frustrating. The problem I had was that I was trying to set everything up so I could even stand a chance of booking a ticket. How could I have a ticket I could tell them about if I’d not even got to that part?

When I made this clear, in as polite but firm way as possible, I was passed onto that person’s supervisor.

As luck would have it he was the person who’d called and left a message last night. He quickly filled me in on what was happening, saying they weren’t sure what the problem was but that the details had been passed to the tech people. He also asked if he could send me an email with some questions in it that would help get to the bottom of things; he said it would ask things like OS type and version, device type, etc. It all seemed to make sense

I said I’d be happy to and we left it at that.

I’ve had the email. This is what it asked:

1 - Origin and Destination

Gah! Here we go again. The whole support thing appears to be predicated on the idea that you’re having a problem getting somewhere. They seem to not understand that if you can’t even use the system in the first place you can’t even have booked a ticket.

2 - Date and Time

Without a ticket, there can be no date and time.

3 - Number of passengers and railcards if any

Seeing a pattern here?

4 - Ticket name and price

I… erm… hello?

5 - Browser name & version

Finally! We’re getting somewhere! Only… my problem isn’t in a web browser. My problem is with logging in with their Android app. I’m sure I mentioned this to them at least once.

6 - Screenshot if possible showing the error

Yay! Finally! We’re getting somewhere! I pasted in the screenshot that was included in yesterday’s blog post. You know the one. The one where it’s just some text that says the username and password are invalid. Because… images are better than the text in them, right?

7 - Name of the TOC

I have no clue what this means. TOC? What the heck is a TOC?

8 - Email address of the user

This I can do! I know this one! (I still suspect that this is the cause of the problem).

9 - Booking ref


10 - Screen shot showing exact error and exact steps to recreate the error

Wait… didn’t I get asked that in question 6? How is this screenshot going to be different from the other screenshot? Still, at least it asks for the steps to recreate now. So I answered that:

  1. Create a new account on the Virgin East Coast website. Ideally use an email address that contains both a full stop and a plus sign, as mine does. Also ensure that you use a password that is the same length as mine.
  2. Log in and look at registered devices.
  3. See there are none and follow the links it provides to the applicable app that will result in a device being registered. In this case the Ticket Wallet.
  4. Download and install on a suitable Android device.
  5. Attempt to log in and, likely, find that you’re told that the username and password is incorrect.

So that’s all sent off now. Now I wait for another call back at some point in the near future.

Curious how the thing it didn’t ask was what app I was using, what version it was, what mobile device it was being used on, what OS, what OS version, etc…