Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Monday, April 20, 2009

National Rail Enquiries = Stupid.

"National Rail Enquiries, how can I NOT help you at all?"

I should explain.

On Saturday night, a friend and co-worker of The Darling G, currently over from the US, stayed with us overnight.

On Sunday morning, we were to drop our colonial cousin at Oxford railway station, whereby she would be using the rail network to travel to Stratford-Upon-Avon. We were warned on the Saturday that the connection at Banbury would be very tight (about 5 minutes), and that we could phone National Rail Enquiries on the Sunday morning to confirm from which platform at Banbury the Stratford train would depart. As Aleksandr would say - simples!

Or so we thought.

Below is a transcript of The Darling G's side of the conversation with National Rail Enquiries.

  • Hi, I'm travelling from Oxford to Stratford-Upon-Avon today. I understand I'll only have 5 minutes to connect at Banbury for the Stratford train, I was wondering if you would tell me what platform it's going from please?
  • Oxford, to Stratford-Upon-Avon.
  • Oxford.
  • No, Oxford. O-X-F-O-R-D.
  • Yes, to Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • Yes, it does exist. Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • Yes it does. It's a pretty famous town HERE IN ENGLAND.
  • S-T-R-A-T-F-O-R-D. New word. U-P-O-N. New word. A-V-O-N.
  • Yes, it does exist.
  • Look, there's a train going from Banbury to Stratford-upon-Avon, and I just want to know which platform it will leave from.
  • No, I already have a ticket, I just want to know the platform.
  • No, I already have a ticket. I want to know the PLATFORM.
  • Platform. Where the trains leave the station?
  • No, the platform. You know - the train stops, people get on and off. THE PLATFORM.
  • Could I speak to a supervisor?
  • OK, can you give me the number for Banbury station please?
  • Banbury. B-A-N-B-U-R-Y.
  • Yes, it does exist. Can I please, just have the number?
  • 0845...ok, thank you.
  • No, I already have a ticket. You have a lovely day now. Byeeeee.

And the number we were given? Chiltern Railways Customer Services. Which was closed.

I have since heard that there's more to tell on this story, especially our friend's travails in travelling. More to follow.

1 comment:

Obnoxio The Clown said...

It isn't that far to Stratford from Abingdon, FFS. I'd have thought that even the Saab could have made the journey there and back without falling apart! :o>