Come back GNER, all is forgiven

A short while ago Simon Collister asked me on Twitter what I thought of booking tickets with National Express East Coast, compared to its predecessor GNER.

The title of the post, should give you a clue.

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I can’t recall the GNER site ever being unavailable, whereas the National Express site is very flaky. On the surface the National Express site looks fantastic, with lots of AJAXy goodness, but it all counts for nowt because it is so anti-customer.

The most irritating thing for me is that it is DELIBERATELY designed to STOP you buying tickets. Tickets from Leeds to London are usually very expensive, but there is a perfectly legal way to usually cut the cost, and that is to split your tickets. So by buying tickets from Leeds to Peterborough (or Grantham or Stevenage) and then Peterborough to London you can end up paying less for exactly the same job. On the old GNER website it usually even allocated you the same seat reservations.

National Express has deliberately (I suspect) made this process harder than it should be by forcing you to artificially wait between booking tickets. It also makes it harder than it should be to book journeys for more than one day. Why would any company want to make it harder for you to give them business?

I guess, if they can be bothered to read this blog and respond, that they will have some excuse to do with “security”, but for me I was quite content with GNER’s clunky old website.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.