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Can I Complain About Prices?
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# 1
Old 09-12-2012, 3:59 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4
Default Can I Complain About Prices?

Hi everyone

Yesterday I got a train from Milton Keynes Central to Leeds, connecting at Manchester Picadilly which cost me 58.40 for an advance return with a young person's rail card.

Normally, I'm pretty good at getting the best deal, but on this occasion, I just completely forgot to take the extra minute to see what I could do. Then while looking at my advance return tickets to Manchester for next weekend, I noticed it cost only 25.70. That means that the short distance (only 2 or 3 stops) between Manchester and Leeds effectively cost me 32.70 - more than the cost between Milton Keynes & Manchester!

A bit more digging around on the TheTrainline website revealed to me that had I have bought it as a series of single tickets (I used a Saturday a few weeks from now to get the closest, but not exact equivalent price for an advance ticket), it would have cost me 25.05. This would have saved me 33.05! Sadly Mr Lewis' Tickety Split app doesn't work in this instance.

I'm lucky to be in the fortunate position where this has just proved to be a tough lesson for me to learn, take a sharp intake of breath through gritted teeth and go and sit on Mr Lewis' naughty step, but there are countless people out there for whom this would be a big deal.

Is there someone I can complain to about the fact that the best prices require investigation, otherwise you have to pay significantly more? In my case more than double. I did some research and I can find ways to complain about pretty much everything, right down to the catering, but there was nothing there about something as fundamental as pricing.

Some advice suggests that I should complain to the train companies, but on their own, Virgin Trains and First Transpennine Express are very reasonable on the basis of singles, even on joining two returns, their services were on time and I got a seat, so complaining to them would be unfair on them. It's somewhere in the integration of everything that something is not right and that is where I would like to send my complaint. Any suggestions?

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# 2
Old 09-12-2012, 4:02 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 19,146

I believe Parliament made the decision that led to the current madness.

Try your MP.

Or just research it better next time.
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# 3
Jeff Bridges hair
Old 09-12-2012, 7:56 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,950

Seems you got a flexible ticket probably off peak which gives you a range of trains to travel to and from on.

With advance purchase singles you would be on a set train for the man to mkc portion of the journey with no flexibility.

You can complain both it'll get you nowhere as by your own admission you only researched it after your journey.
If you don't do the work in advance then its yourself to blame
"If you no longer go for a gap, you are no longer a racing driver" - Ayrton Senna
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# 4
kerby crawler
Old 09-12-2012, 9:26 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 103

Originally Posted by Jeff Bridges hair View Post
If you don't do the work in advance then its yourself to blame
This is the basis on which large companies base their pricing structures
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# 5
Old 09-12-2012, 10:29 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 13,001

Originally Posted by smithm9 View Post
It's somewhere in the integration of everything that something is not right

The problem is that the government wants (or says it wants) both integration and competition. Trouble is they are incompatible aims and trying for both either doesn't work at all or leads to massive complexity or both.

The present system isn't really 'madness' - it's perfectly logical within the bounds that have been set.

Last edited by dzug1; 09-12-2012 at 10:32 PM.
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