trainline

Nine things I love about the Trainline app

Trainline is doing everything right at the moment.

You may have noticed a rebrand in August 2015 alongside the launch of a refreshed mobile app. The app has now been released for iPad, too. And, relief, there’s an Apple Watch version for travellers in first class (I’m joking, don’t take me for a Corbynister).

Virgin Trains releases a poor iPhone app

Virgin Trains released an iPhone app recently, which is a bit of a disappointment and, judging by the low ratings it has received so far, the users seem to think so too. 

The app gives information on Virgin Trains services, and that’s about it. The opportunity was there to create a useful app for customers, as thetrainline and Cross Country trains have done, but Virgin has missed this chance.

Site review: Virgin Trains revamp

Virgin Trains relaunched its website yesterday with an updated look and feel for the site, which apparently aims to ‘convey the brand’s new positioning of train travel as superior to other modes of
transport’.

I’m not sure whether it does that, but it does look a lot better than the previous version. I’ve been comparing the site with the old version…

Grand Central relaunches its website

Grand Central, which operates rail services between London and the North East, came in for some criticism on this blog a few months ago for the shocking customer experience when attempting to book tickets online.

The company has now relaunched its booking engine so I’ve been trying it out to see if Grand Central has managed to make the site more usable than before.

UK rail websites fail usability test

Thanks to overcomplicated and unreliable websites, two thirds of people were unable to book a rail journey from the UK to European cities.

Just 33% of users in the study managed to complete the task, compared to 98% who tried to book the equivalent flight online. Rail tickets also took nearly twice as long as flights to book. I’ve been looking at a couple of rail websites to see what was so difficult.

Right to reply: Webloyalty / ShopperDiscounts

Webloyalty / Shopper Discounts right to reply; image thanks to altemark via FlickrEarlier this week on this blog Graham Charlton discussed whether or not retailers should promote third party shopper discount schemes at the end of the checkout process. 

The way this usually works is that you buy something, and after having your order confirmed are invited to accept a ‘£10 off your next purchase’ or similar. The schemes are operated not by the retailers, but by a partner.

Graham bought some train tickets via TheTrainline.com and stumbled across one of these offers at the end of the checkout. He found it confusing, and he’s not alone… many consumers have also complained (‘I was duped’, ‘I’m another victim’, etc).

Naturally the discount scheme operator, Webloyalty, is not thrilled with our coverage, and marketing director Gill Hynes has written in to complain.