Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
So, here it is, Mark Thomas and one of his McDemo colleagues hating First Great Western on our behalf. They certainly don't look very happy, but that might be because they had a total of 181 demos to do that day, and I think this was the first.
Still no cheque from First Great Western, but this may be partly due to the postal system collapsing around our ears.
The Insider has posted a very interesting explanation of the madness and complications of the fare system, so if this is your particular beef, go and visit him here. I tried to read it all, but began to lose the will to live about half way down, I'm so glad I'm not the one trying to sell the tickets, the system's a mess!
I'm beginning to feel a bit like a message board, so let me tell you a story instead.
I'm on a late shift again. Last time I worked a late shift on a Friday, there was a drunken businessman being sick next to the departure boards. Let's call him Mike. He wasn't in a good way, and a kind young drunken man was trying to help him get home. Let's call him Jim. Then a much less kind drunk person decided that Jim was patronising Mike, and tried to have a fight with Jim. So far, so typical of Friday nights on Paddington Station.
But then, amazingly, everyone joined in to look after Mike. Once he was on the train, the whole carriage decided he was their pet project for the way home. Despite the fact that he kept disappearing under the luggage rack to be sick, everyone was very nice to him, and made sure he got onto the platform safely at Reading. I'm afraid to say I don't know what happened to him after that, as I didn't really fancy taking him home in my car, what with him being sick everywhere every five minutes and all. The most intriguing thing about Mike was that he was carrying two umbrellas. Jim was very concerned that either he'd stolen the second umbrella, or, more worryingly, that it belonged to another extremely drunk businessman who he'd lost somewhere along the way.
There are two things I took away from that journey. The first is that drunken people aren't always annoying and stupid, though they usually are. That trip was fun, everyone was in a good mood, and the atmosphere was great.
The second is that I thank FGW from the bottom of my heart for the off-peak first class upgrade that will allow me to escape the worst of the pantomime tonight, as it's not usually anywhere near as fun as that.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
My diary informs me that it is now 100 days since First Great Western failed to provide a bus replacement service, and left me beside the side of the road in the middle of the night, forcing me to spend £12.00 on a taxi to get home.
Since then I have written three letters of complaint, and received two rail travel vouchers and a free standard-class return trip to the location of my choice.
What I have still not received, sadly, is the £12.00 which was the subject of my original request.
I'm wondering what comes now, as I pen my fourth complaint letter this week. The apologies have become more and more grovelling, the offers of free travel more and more generous, but still no cheque arrives, so what next? Well, my fingers are crossed for a first-class upgrade, as I am thoroughly enjoying my free three-month off-peak upgrade, (see previous post to find out how to get yours, if you haven't already) but I fear that may be beyond the power of even the most senior complaints manager.
Still, it can't hurt to ask. I'll let you know how I get on.
On another note, it seems more and more people are jumping to the defence of FGW, and setting up blogs to answer our questions and explain the problems behind the delays. This is great, and the sort of thing that the FGW management has been too short-sighted to provide so far. So, please visit In Defence of First Great Western and see if you can get your questions answered.