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National Express, late then cancelled service

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National Express, late then cancelled service

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
4 replies 1.6K views
GussGuss Forumite
71 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
National Express, late then cancelled service
I was due to travel from London Victoria to Rotterdam via a booking I made thru the National Express website. On my ticket I noticed the carrier was a different bus company called Ouibus.
At the time of travel the bus ended up being reported as running late and we were told it could be up to 90 minutes delayed. At about 8:30 I overheard other people saying they'd got an email stating the service had been cancelled. By the time I'd realised what was going on and the fact nobody was going to offer support it was 9:00pm. In the end I was lucky to book onto another service leaving an hour later to Rotterdam with another company called Flixbus.
Another National Express service was actually leaving for Amsterdam at 9:30pm but we couldn't book thru the NE website due to website problems and though they had seats available they would not take us unless we made a booking online via the website. Not even the ticket machines in Victoria bus station were setup to take bookings to European destinations and the ticket office was closed.

I'm wondering what kind of recourse do I have for compensation. The last minute ticket I had to buy for my travel with Flixbus cost me nearly £70 and the original ticket I bought from National Express was £22, so it was costing me substantially more. To have abandoned my travel plans altogether meant travelling back home to the south coast from London which in itself would have cost nearly £40 in last minute fares. I'm really angry as nobody representing either National Express or Ouibus came to support us or offer any kind of help or transfer options as regards onward travel, basically we were left to our own devices and to make our own way late on a Friday night.

Basically my view of Victoria Bus station is it's a [email protected] that needs modernising and brought into the 21st century. The gate areas become so easily overcrowded it's hard to get around, the info screens showing all dep gates are few and far between and the gate displays are often are not showing correct information. Quite clearly the whole operation is run on a budget.

Replies

  • agrinnallagrinnall
    23.3K posts
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    Send a bill to NE for the cost of your replacement ticket. If they decline to pay then send a letter before action then start a small claim using Moneyclaim Online.
  • GussGuss Forumite
    71 posts
    Thank you didn't think of that. I have sent an email to NE letting them know what happened so will await their response but I'm not expecting much, at least I've got an alternative route to go down now. Thank you for your help :)
  • JumblebumbleJumblebumble Forumite
    897 posts
    500 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
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    agrinnall wrote: »
    Send a bill to NE for the cost of your replacement ticket. If they decline to pay then send a letter before action then start a small claim using Moneyclaim Online.
    And don't forget to say that you tried to mitigate your losses by taking the 21.30 bus but that NE would not let you do so despite the fact that you suspect the driver could easily check on your story with his control and obtain permission to take you on your existing ticket but was presumbaly too lazy to do so.
  • GussGuss Forumite
    71 posts
    Just to say this issue was resolved with National Express. I was little disappointed that I also had to ask for my original booking fare to be refunded as well before they gave it to me. So in the end I got compensated for the replacement ticket that I had to book with another company and the fare I originally had with them.
    But it was also disappointing they didn't make a small additional inconvenience payment as a goodwill gesture.
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