Credit card charges condemned
March 29th 2009
Rail Users Ireland, Ireland's national rail users organisation strongly condemns the introduction of credit card charges for internet ticket sales and reservations.
At the outset of the introduction of the internet sales it was clearly stated by Irish Rail they wanted a clear simple pricing structure, it appears that goal has be thrown aside and as always with Irish Rail it is the passenger who suffers.
Mark Gleeson spokesperson for Rail Users Ireland highlighted three serious inconsistencies following the introduction of this stealth charge:
A passenger purchasing a return journey at peak times between say Dublin and Cork will be charged €71.00 plus the €2 credit card charge online, however presenting themselves at the booking office paying with the same credit card will pay only €71.00 despite it clearly being more expensive to provide the staffed booking office.
Student tickets bought online with a credit card will cost €2 more than those purchased at the station with the same credit card.
Passengers requiring only a reservation, those with existing tickets or OAP's traveling on the social welfare pass will now be charged €5 rather than €3, despite the fact it costs Irish Rail effectively nothing to provide the reservation.
While Irish Rail will be quick to point out payment by laser card remains free, the laser option of course will not be available to the majority of tourists and other visitors to Ireland, and indeed Irish Rail's booking system was in the past plagued with problems when Laser cards where used.
Of course no one minds paying if they feel they receive good service and value for money in return. Despite the close on half a billion investment in new intercity trains something as simple has having a clear notice of which seats are reserved is still beyond the capacity of Irish Rail.