Michael McMeekin January 2012
Michael McMeekin

Member Article

Mac’s Rant ? Trains on right track?

My daughter is getting married in August which is another story however I have been invited to my future son-in laws stag in Glasgow. So to be helpful I offered my services to book the train tickets so that all fifteen of us leave Newcastle at the same time and sit together on the journey to sunny Scotland.

I am not sure if we will manage to all get the same train back from Glasgow on the Sunday as I suspect that with some of the group serving members of HM Royal Navy it will be an entertaining weekend and timing will not be a priority.

So back to the story I checked with the East Coast web site on a Sunday and the price was £34 return per person. I could only book up to 10 on the site and it suggested we should call ‘group bookings’ as they offer discounts. I am like the next man if I can get something cheaper I will do.

The next morning I phoned and after speaking to three different people (phones with a press number function are another rant) was told that I should ring Cross Country Trains as they will be running the trains for the dates and times we needed. They also offered discounts for group bookings. Yes it looked like a discount was on its way!

I phoned twice and didn’t get to speak to anyone so I decided as the voice mail message for group bookings suggested complete a web application form. This I completed, pressed send and very quickly a message came back into my inbox to say they will get back to me in 48 hours.

This wasn’t what I wanted to do as I wanted to book the train tickets and then get on with my day time job so I thought I would phone again. This time success I did speak to someone who took my details and promised to call back in 48 hours!

The excitement was building as I thought we would get a group discount and we could then look forward to a weekend in Glasgow. In 48 hours someone from Cross Country came back to me with a price.

The lady from Cross Country was friendly and had all the details prepared so I thought here comes a decent price. She told me the price for a return trip from Newcastle to Glasgow on the dates and times we wanted was £38 per person!

This was £4 a person more expensive with no other benefits or discounts other than sitting in the same area. Now when you get a price of £34 per person for a single booking and £38 per person for a booking of fifteen it doesn’t seem like discount to me.

The lady at Cross County was very helpful but kept saying it was a very good price. Now it is not the additional amount of money for each ticket that annoys me it is the enticement of group booking discount. Why couldn’t they have said pay more when you book a group or two tickets for the price of three?

How do you think I feel towards Cross Country? Are they giving me value? The fact is the tickets are probably a good price but I feel cheated and robbed as the advert promised group discounts. So my rant is why don’t the train companies get their act together and offer real value to their customers?

I don’t want to know the reason behind the ticketing pricing model. All I know is that it costs more per person to make a group booking then it is to book single tickets. It just doesn’t make sense! If they offer a discount for group bookings I expect a discount for group bookings not having to pay more

Think about your own business are you giving real value to your clients. Do they always get value from their dealings with you? One good way is to ask them “What do they value about your work?” This should give you an answer and the opportunity for repeat business. Any way I must go I have a train to catch!

Here are two ways you can improve your sales skills and increase your chances of winning more business. Register for our “10 free sales and marketing activities that will cost you nothing to implement” or if you live in the North East of England book onto one of our “7 Ways to Increase Performance, Profits & Sales” sessions.

To register for “10 free sales and marketing activities that will cost you nothing to implement” click here

To book a place on one of our “7 Ways to Increase Performance, Profits & Sales” click here

For information on Michael McMeekin from Arrow Sales visit www.arrowsales.co.uk or email michael@arrowsales.co.uk or phone 00 44 191 2267366

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Michael McMeekin .

Explore these topics

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular morning National email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read