Groundhog Day on Virgin Trains

July 13, 2015 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment


I am a fan of Virgin Trains. I am a fan of Virgin Trains, despite Virgin Trains, but because me teeth are old enough for me to remember the days before Virgin Trains.

I remember when I was a Virgin Train virgin – taken in by the bright lights, the swish interior, the bright red uniforms, the tilt, the edible food, and trains that arrived on time, more often than not.

It used to be that the only things I had to complain about was the poor mobile phone connectivity; the constant failing of the seat reservation system with its ensuing bouts of train rage; the inconsistency in the number of sausages that would be present upon my sausage sandwich; and, those little sachets of HP brown sauce (is there any other), which had a tendency to explode upon opening, when wearing your best tie.

It still irritates me that the staff insist on asking me for rubbish, even before I have taken my seat, and, block the carriages while setting tables for their next onward journey at precisely the time you want to visit the toilet or make your way to the door to get a head start on the rush for the taxi rank at Euston station.

This makes me feel the same way as when I was a teenager, desperately waiting for my parents to go to bed on a Friday night so that I could gain control of the TV remote. My dad would insist on plumping the cushions on the sofa I was sat on before leaving me to my teenage angst and solitude and anarchy on the box……

But Mondays have become somewhat repetitive. Groundhog Mondays. The early start. The dash to Crewe and the futile search for a parking space wide enough to accommodate a modern vehicle. The shiver on the platform awaiting the train – whatever the temperature in the real world, it is always minus five on platform five of Crewe station.

And, once seated on board (thankfully, even with the regular failure of the seat reservation system I have never failed to find a seat in first class), I whip my iPad out and spend the rest of the journey failing to get a wi-fi signal.

My Monday routine now consists of tweeting Virgin Trains to complain that the wi-fi system is not working; Virgin Trains tweet back advising me to call their engineering help desk; I respond, saying I cannot phone as I am in a Quiet Zone; they respond, telling me to contact a member of staff; I tell the nice smiley lady who serves me my cup of tea and she says she will tell the train manager; she doesn’t; I wait until the train manger comes to check my ticket and I tell him myself; s/he reboots the system and subsequently drops the wi-fi connection for all those people who had already been logged on by virtue of having got onto the train at an earlier station, so that no-one has wi-fi connection for the rest of the journey down; I tweet Virgin Trains to tell them that this is not good value for the small mortgage I have taken out to pay for a first class ticket for the complimentary wi-fi; they reply saying yes it must be frustrating; I respond asking why we cannot tweet the engineering department so that they can reset the wi-fi; they compliment me for the idea and say they will pass it on; they don’t; and we do it all again next Monday.

Groundhog Day.

Usain Bolt, you are a fraud…..

Fix the bloody wi-fi Mr Branson!


Entry filed under: business travel, humour, middleman, poor service, rant. Tags: , , , .

What’s wrong with the garden centre? A long way from home….

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