Currently, I’m on the (Virgin?) Cross-country service 11:05 service from Edinburgh to Birmingham New Street. Marianne the Cuddly Pig is safely in my big rucsac, with a packed lunch featuring tidbits from last night’s feast from the Indian Cavalry Club.
I bought my tickets online – total cost £43. At no point in this process was I offered a chance to book passage for my bicycle. (I intend to start cycling around Edinburgh.) Later I phoned Virgin’s telesales line to see if a human could offer me a booking. After a number of attempts to tell the customer-service-bot my booking reference, we got to my real question: could I add a bike to my return booking? The flatly-delivered answer was ‘no’. I asked why I couldn’t amend this booking and was told ‘You had the opportunity when you phoned to make your booking.’
I explained that I had booked online and that no such opportunity had arisen. This was met with nothing positive.
I asked the CS-bot to convey to his company my dissatisfaction with the lack of opportunity to make or add on cycle bookings. This was met with apparent incomprehension.
At the end of the conversation, the CS-bot asked if it could ‘help me further’. Pointing out that the CS-bot hadn’t yet provided any help and so was logically incapable of providing **more** help would not have benefitted my blood pressure of its comprehension of simple logic so I ended the call.
This morning I turned up at Edinburgh Waverley, hoping to talk face-to-face with a human. I was served in the main advanced-booking office by Mr James Davidson. He booked my bike’s travel very quickly and was polite, decent and understanding. I’d like to commend him and his colleagues to all out in cyber-land.