Dear Cross Country Trains,
I am a frequent customer of your services between various cities. I am usually satisfied with my trips with you, even though I find the latest price hike not entirely value.
I’m typing today as forced to by a rather upsetting journey yesterday. I booked a seat in 1st class as a treat to myself after a hard weekend, I travelled this way before and it was most relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable (I like the single seats especially, free WiFi and friendly service). However yesterday was severely distressing.
As I boarded the train I did so at a further carriage and thought I would make my way up to A internally. Well, that was the worst thinking I could have had.
I squeezed past about 2 carriages of people stood should to shoulder, most of whom were understanding and kind enough to allow me past, though others stood blank faced and rigid despite my polite yet assertive requests for movement. But I digress, on reaching the join between the last coach and coach A I reached a stand still. The euro backpackers were friendly enough and tried to move aside but apart from these, and other people whom I can only imagine had not booked any seats –unlike myself who so carefully had and does – there was the catering trolley –wedged between carriages. It was actually the catering rather than non reserved passengers who created the blockage and forbade my first class seat, well in fact the having of any seat!
After this long haul with my heavy baggage (almost wrenching my wrists from their sockets when hoisting it above heads to get past people) I had to give up. Perspiring and frustrated I was left standing the whole way from one city to another, almost falling over as I was stood central carriage with nothing to hold onto. I have never had such a terrible journey.
Finally I was left with the only option to jump out at a stop and run (with said very heavy baggage) up the platform into Coach A. Imagine if I had not run and missed getting on? Or had put my wrists or shoulders out, and not been able to lift my bag or get help?
I spent the last about 10 minutes in my correct seat (whom a gentleman had sat himself in, understandably as he thought the rightful person was clearly not getting on!).
In standard class I have noticed many non- reserved passengers having to stand but as a permanently reserved person I always book a seat, and successfully get to that seat.
As a 1st class passenger this was a total let down, and feel deterred from trying to book 1st again. What was supposed to be a real treat and relaxed journey turned into a nightmare.
I hope you can see that your tag line of “Relax and Enjoy your journey. It’s as easy as that” is totally untrue and unfitting, in this case at least!
Subject: Case Reference: XC141013BBH9
Dear Ms S
Thank you for your email, received here on 13th October 2014.
I am sorry to hear about your experience on board on 12th October 2014.
It’s fair to say that we expected a more even spread of customers using trains throughout the day. We even planned our trains and carriages to accommodate this spread of customers. However, on this occasion we got it wrong and I am sorry that your train was so busy and uncomfortable.
I understand that this caused you to be unable to take your seat in the First Class Carriage. I know how important it is when you reserve a seat and it must have been particularly frustrating as you had planned ahead when you booked the treat for yourself.
As you were unable to sit in First Class for the majority of your journey I would like to offer you some compensation in rail travel vouchers for the difference in cost between a First Class and Standard Class ticket. Please can I request that you send me your postal address in reply to this email and I will get these vouchers to you.
Please be assured that I have recorded the details about your journey and will ensure they are passed to our train planning department. They will do all they can to make sure we get it right next time to prevent issues like this happening again.
Once again please do accept our sincerest apologies for this disappointing experience and I will await your contact details.
Customer Relations Consultant
Phone: 03447 369 123
Fax: 0121 200 6004
Rate my response at http://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/crsurvey
Hello there Rahimah,
thank you for the gesture of the price between standard and first class, although its true to say I didn’t have even a standard seat, rather only standing on my feet for that journey. Thanks none the less!
and I’ll be travelling this same way again on Sunday so I pray for smooth passage!