Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Virgin Trains' putrescent, vile, dreadful, amateurish website will be the death of me

aaaaarghvirgintrainspainsgivemestrength I leave it to you, dear reader, to figure out whether the title is meant figuratively. With my blood pressure where it probably is right now, I wouldn't bank on anything.

The trains are quite nice, it's a very useful service, and the people who work on them are lovely. So why has the website been designed by incompetent hyenas? They shouldn't be allowed anywhere near anything with money involved. Ever.

At this point I could write down a blow-by-blow account of why the above opinion has just been strongly reinforced by yet another encounter with the uselessness that is Mr Branson's personal vacuum-tube interface to your wallet. But why should I bother? Who cares? The website is rubbish; it does not work properly; you can upset it, apparently to a terminal extent, by simply using it as it claims to be usable; they do not maintain it properly (hint: it is now June). They are fools. I am currently quite dependent on this train service and its smelly, useless booking system but honestly it is enough to make me want to fly, and damn the expense and the ozone layer because the airline's booking system has GOT to be better than Virgin's wheezing, fragile, sensitive, pathetic, wilting little flower of an offering. Thanks Rich: you da man.

NB No smiley faces. None of this blog entry has cheerful lighthearted intent. I am not happy.

PS BUT ... two staff at the much-maligned offshore call-centre were nice and helpful and spoke excellent English, and strove to sort out what the website couldn't, as it was just sitting weeping quietly in a corner by then while still trying to steal my money. There you go, one nice thing.


Anna said...

Could you book elsewhere? I presume this is for trips to Manchester. I find National Express East Coast's website reeeeasonably easy to get along with. Though it is of course still a train company's website and, therefore, still useless at its core.

Strawberryyog said...

Hmmm, interesting question. I know, or think I know, that much of it is from the same source (possibly The Trainline) with a company-specific wrapper, but I don't know how much of the dreadfulness and incompetence is, as it were, installed locally by Virgin and how much comes with the package. Certainly it is Virgin who could do with noticing that the month has changed (duh) but some of the horrible, dreadful non-functionality may come in from outside.

I just dunno, really, but you are probably right that I ought to at least try another site. If there were a real alternative I would be very thrilled.

And yes, it is Manchester. We are currently keeping Virgin Trains solvent on this run. :)