Dear readers, I’m sorry if the following article seems a little off point but there are times when being a blogger means nasty companies have to listen to you and today I just had to have a little rant about the shocking way I was treated by Virgin train staff at Euston station this afternoon. Since I know they use buzz monitoring software, I feel that writing my complaint on here is probably the best way to get a response.
The first part of my tale is a mundanely predictable part of travelling in Britain. After checking my train journey to Wembley on National Rail and buying a ticket in the machine I was then faced with a departures board without my destination anywhere to be seen. After asking several station staff, each one told me that the whole line was closed and that I would have to take the tube (they neglected to tell me that the tube was also closed but that is not relevant to this story). I was told that I could get a refund at the Virgin ticket desk, but as I was already late and flustered, I decided not to join the long queue and do this on my return when I would have time to wait.
On my return at 6pm, I was met by a very surly chap who proceeded to tell me that my train was running and that I couldn’t have a refund. This seemed strange as at least five staff members earlier in the day had told me the line was down. Luckily I managed to convince him that this was true and then he countered, “Ha! Why didn’t you get the refund at the time?” Thus I explained the afore mentioned reason and he told me that, “I’ve been here all day, there wasn’t a long queue at any point.” Now considering we’re talking about a London train station, this just seems implausible even if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.
After convincing him to give me a refund, he asked for my card, which I tried to put in the machine but he grabbed it off me and placed it in front of him without explanation. Now I may have been wrong here but I have had my card cloned several times from people memorising the number, so I never let it leave my sight. As he had it away from me for several minutes and then walked off without explanation, I reached over the counter and said, “I don’t like other people having my card, you shouldn’t keep it from me.” He then turned at me, and yelled, “You stupid girl, you idiot, you think I’m a thief,” before storming off.
Being quite a shy and meek person, I burst into tears at this, causing the nice lady next to me to give me a big hug and tell me that he had no right to call me that.
I won’t bore you all with the rest of the story but it involved me crying in the ticket office while various members of staff told me that I couldn’t have a refund and that the guy who yelled at me was a nice person so I must have done something to deserve it. Eventually one nice member of staff realised that the train line had been down for several hours and gave me a refund. The manager then came out and apologised but said that, “He misunderstood what you said and is only human so you can’t expect him to act perfectly.” All the while, his line manager kept coming over and making snipey comments that I had been short with him and deserved it.
Well Virgin Trains I’m not sure that any customer deserves to be shouted at or called names, especially young women being called, “stupid girls.” I really hope someone at your company can see that this is the case and give me a real apology and not just insist that I deserved it. Also, perhaps you should change your policy on taking card details or at least train staff to explain why they are taking someone’s credit card away from them as many people are concerned about their security and would question it too.