Monday, February 18, 2008

How National Express let us down.



Almost forgot to blog about a disappointing incident that happened two weeks back. My wife was in Nottingham for two days for a workshop at the University of Nottingham. She had booked a bus ticket with National Express for her return journey. The bus was supposed to leave Broadmarsh bus station, Nottingham at 10:05pm.

I was home with the kids and had just put them to bed when my wife rang me up around 10:30pm. She told me that there was no bus to Coventry around and asked me to check her email - just in case there had been any cancellations. I opened up her account and didn't find any emails from the company. However, I did find a number on the e-Ticket which was meant to be for "emergency situations only". My wife called the number and found out that the particular bus had been cancelled because she was the only passenger to Coventry. As you can very well imagine, we were really pissed off. Instead of apologising, the person on the line actually made it seem like it was our fault. According to the person, they had sent an email to my wife informing about the cancellation. We have yet to receive that email. At first I thought that it might have ended up in the spam box. No! It wasn't.

Our money was refunded promptly but that is not the point. This could happen to anyone. What if you didn't have enough money to stay in a hotel for the night? What if you couldn't call anyone?

Fortunately my wife was able to call up a friend who lived in Nottingham and the friend kindly picked her up and my wife waited at their house for me. I had to wake up my sleeping kids, bundle them in the car and drove up to Nottingham. The journey took about an hour and I was lucky that there was a can of Nescafe around. The journey back and forth took about 2 hours and by the time we got back, it was nearly 1 am. We have travelled with National Express a number of time but this incident really left a bad taste in the mouth.

A few lessons we learnt:
- have enough money in the pocket always
- have enough credit in the mobile and enough juice in the batteries (recharged) always
- have some loose coins just in case
- call the transport company at least a day before to make sure that there were no cancellations.

1 comment:

neomesuff said...

oh boy..twas quite an 'experience' there...thank goodness everyone is safe and sound..

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