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-   -   Seat reservations possible Dublin-Manulla? (http://www.railusers.ie/forum/showthread.php?t=2763)

MOH 17-07-2007 11:34

Seat reservations possible Dublin-Manulla?
Got the train to Ballina on Friday.

Booked online Thursday night, with two seat reservations in coach C for the Dublin-Manulla leg (oddly, no reservation possible for the return on sunday). Printed off the tickets form the collection machine in Hueston, seat number clearly printed on the tickets.

As I walked up the platofrm in Heuston, asked an IE employee where coach C was. He told me which carriage it was, said I would see some guys 'in white T-shirts'. Found coach C, no sign of any white T-shirts, found our seats where two people were about to sit down. No indication anywhere that the seats were reserved. Told them we had booked the seats, they seemed a bit surprised but moved no problem, ended sitting opposite us.

When the ticket inspector came around, complained that the seats hadn't been reserved. He told me that you can't reserve seats on the Mayo line, only possible on the Dublin-Cork line. Which made me look like either a liar or a fool to the two people opposite me who I'd asked to move.

Can someone confirm whether it is possible to reserve seats Dublin-Manulla/Westport?

On the way back on Sunday the train was roasting, no air conditioning. Ticket inspector advised that the snack car would not be open until a staff member joined in Athlone, so you couldn't even get a drink of water. when it did open, they'd no beer or tea/coffee becasue they'd no hot water.

Mark Gleeson 17-07-2007 11:48

Yes you can book on the Mayo line, all services except the 16:15 to Ballina on Friday and the 14:25 Westport Dublin on Sunday, in fact its laziness on IE's part that those exemptions apply.

This is the problem with seat reservations the staff will do just about anything to avoid taking any responsibility, I've had words with a train hostess on the Cork train and even mentioning that I would take the complaint the whole way to the general manager no change

MOH 17-07-2007 11:53

Thanks Mark, figured he was lying to me.
Pity I didn't get his name, but should be easy enough to find out.
Pointless complaint on the way - who should it be addressed to?

Do I have any claim due to the fact the snack car wasn't open for half the journey back?

Mark Gleeson 17-07-2007 12:02

You have no claim on catering though you might as well get the dig in

Its Customer Relations Heuston you want, http://www.platform11.org/passenger_info/complaints.php

Of course Barry Kenny denies there is a issue so we must be making it all up...

MOH 17-07-2007 12:24

Super, thanks a million again Mark.

I'll let ye know if I ever get a reply, if I can find this thread when IE reply in two months time :mad:

MrX 17-07-2007 13:55

I booked a discounted first class ticket using my student card on the Dublin-Cork train a while ago. I wanted to be able to use my laptop etc. It's an 11.50 supplement and I felt it was worth while as I had a load of work to do and needed the space and power socket.

Anyway, got on, found my seat and was treated with utter contempt by the ticket inspector who seemed to refuse to believe that such a booking was even possible.

He totally embarassed me in front of a large number of passengers, demanded my ID (fair enough). Then wouldn't accept the ticket at face value and insisted on re-calculating the cost and then eventually went (oh! it is correct).

I just thought it was totally unprofessional and unnecessary.

I am sick of being treated like a criminal by IE ticket inspectors. Who do they think they are?! I paid my fare, I don't expect to be treated like royalty, but I do expect that if a ticket says i'm paid up for first class, it's printed on IE paper and that I've complied with all of their online ticket requirements that I shouldn't be given the 3rd degree and made feel like I'm pulling a fast one and sneered at.

I've also had similar horrible experiences with DART ticketing where I have been unable to find my ticket quickly enough when they've decided to do a 'random inspection'. Also, while dressed in a business suit I handed a ticket inspector a ticket which was blank (the machine hadn't printed it properly) yet the magnetic part was encoded as it let me through the barriers. I hadn't actually looked at it and hadn't noticed that it was blank.

Anyway, once again, ticket inspector gave me the 3rd degree. Accused me of dodging the fare. I had to threaten to call the station manager to get away from him.

I think IE have a terrible attitude to customers and I'm completely sick and tired of dealing with them. I have never had anything like this from Luas, London Underground, GNER, the SNCF (French Railways) etc etc.

It's totally unprofessional, heavy handed and damn rude.

Sorry if this is a bit of a rant, but I have just had it up to "here" with this excuse for a public transport operator.

Mark Gleeson 17-07-2007 15:02

Now I have done the student card, standard class ticket plus a first class reservation upgrade, worked for me fine.

I've decided to play hard ball if they get cheeky, last member of staff who got smart with me (and he got really smart) got a good 30 second long lecture which he won't forget anytime some, got plently of acknowledging heads in the other 20 passengers around me. It wasn't rude in anyway but conveyed the point that we where a very pissed off group, we got the bus and despite being told the line was closed trains passed in both directions 10 minutes later.

Best approach here is to demand their name, of which they will refuse, then simply state you are meant to wear a name badge under the customer charter and head office have the roster so they will know who you are.

The troublesome staff know they can't be indentifed well they can, they know no matter how deep trouble they are in the union will block all moves to sack them, thats the problem

MrX 17-07-2007 23:34

You could always suggest asking someone to take a look at the internal CCTV on the Cork-Dublin Express anyway if the staff member couldn't be identified :P

Mark Gleeson 17-07-2007 23:48

On the Cork train the host/hostess will have a name badge and to be honest I can put names on at least 5 on them

And you wonder why the rest of the staff don't wear name badges, they don't want to be identified. I understand there have been some drawn out negotiations.

If you file a complaint all you need is roughly where the train was when you dealt with the member of staff and which train it was, its recorded who was on each train so its fairly easy trace it back

Jister 18-07-2007 09:55

Of course in the age of camera phones its a whole lot easier to take a few snaps of the offending staff member.

CSL 18-07-2007 15:41

AFAIK that's a no-no under IE bylaws ? Mark help me out here...

Mark Gleeson 18-07-2007 15:48

Think its it there somewhere can't find it currently

dowlingm 19-07-2007 19:15

nobody said you had to be obvious about it - especially with a cam-phone.

there could be a website - snapasnottypublicservant.com

Thomas J Stamp 20-07-2007 09:11

without getting into any Philip Marlow stuff, which has dubious legality anyway by the way, the real thing is that they are obliged under the cusomer charter to have a name badge.

Well, I say obliged. As there is no remedy for them not having one, it isnt really much of an obligation. More like a goal. They're not there yet but they're getting there, which is reassuring.

MrX 20-07-2007 12:20

Well, in my opinion if they are refusing to identify themselves it just means they know they're providing a very poor service and are either too ashamed or too scared to have any level of accountability.

We are supposed to be encouraging people to use public transport, for all sorts of socially, economic and environmentally friendly reasons. These kinds of petty problems drive people back to their cars.

Irish Rail either need to get realistic about providing a service or get privatised. Either way, something has to happen to improve this. Its a complete joke.

Also, I think it's about time that CIE bylaws were done away with. We should have national legislation for transport safety and ticketing. Anything else is perfectly governable under normal contract and consumer protection legislation.

CIE hide behind these bylaws all the time as a way of getting out of having to be accountable for bad service.

Colm Moore 21-07-2007 22:31

If staff are looking for something and don't have a name badge, can you refeuse on the grounds you don't know who they are?

Mark Gleeson 21-07-2007 22:40

Thats an excellent point, if the person is in uniform well you have to admit its reasonable to assume they are staff, thats not to say uniforms can't be had on the black market.

Colm Donoghue 23-07-2007 21:28

The customer charter states all staff will wear identification badges when dealing with the public.

If they aren't wearing identification badges, then it's fair to assume they're not IE staff.

And deal with accordingly...

MrX 24-07-2007 09:38

Well, if handing over cash, credit card details or tickets it's reasonable that they would be identifable.

Also, why does Irish Rail insist on remaining in the 1960s when it comes to taking credit card details on-board. They've no terminals! My credit card details were written down on a little form and kept that way. Personally, I wasn't happy about it. Seems very sloppy.

There's no excuse for not issuing a few portable Chip and Pin terminals. Not to mention, the banks shift the liablity over to the retailer (Irish Rail) and won't offer them fraud protection if the chip is on the card and they failed to use it.

Thomas J Stamp 24-07-2007 12:02


Originally Posted by colmd (Post 23587)
The customer charter states all staff will wear identification badges when dealing with the public.

If they aren't wearing identification badges, then it's fair to assume they're not IE staff.

And deal with accordingly...

I hope you're just being silly.

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