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Author Topic: Seatfrog comes to GWR  (Read 3219 times)
grahame
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« on: August 14, 2019, 05:39:49 pm »

From Railway Gazette a year ago:

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SEATFROG: Venture capital investor Octopus Ventures has led a 񋳹m Series A funding round at Seatfrog, which has developed mobile auction technology enabling passengers to upgrade train and airline seats until the time of departure. Existing investors including Howzat Partners also participated.

Octopus Ventures partner Luke Hakes will join the Seatfrog board. 慔aving seen the impact of dynamic revenue management systems within hotels and airlines, we feel there is a very interesting opportunity in applying this approach to the multi-billion dollar train travel industry, he said on July 9.

Seatfrog launched on the UK抯 East Coast Main Line in September 2017, and now has offices in London and Sydney. 慐very year billions of pounds in unrealised ancillary revenue passes by because of manual, fragmented legacy processes, said co-founder and CEO Iain Griffin. 慦e set out a year ago to prove there is a much better way and we抳e done that.

Now at GWR ... from my mailbox

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Ready to bid for a First Class upgrade from just 10, Graham?   
      
Now you can bid for your upgrade at the price you're willing to pay with our new partner Seatfrog and the free Seatfrog app.
 
Simply place your bid, then let Seatfrog keep you updated during the auction with notifications, so that if you win, you can be kicking back in even greater comfort on your next high-speed GWR train journey (on selected routes)*.
 
Get bidding today!
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 09:27:56 pm »

What happens if your bid is unsuccessful? Will you be charged what you bid?
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 10:05:46 pm »

What happens if your bid is unsuccessful? Will you be charged what you bid?

Surely not .... only the winner of an auction pays.  It's not a lottery ....
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patch38
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 10:56:50 pm »

Goodness me...

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unrealised ancillary revenue passes by because of manual, fragmented legacy processes

How many points does that get me in Bullsh*t Bingo?  Grin
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bignosemac
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 11:27:31 pm »

Surely not .... only the winner of an auction pays.  It's not a lottery ....

Indeed. If you want a lottery then try buying the cheapest valid fare for your required journey from a TVM.

Case in point. A few weeks ago I wanted to buy a 1st Class Off Peak Day Return from Bedwyn to Swanley (49.60 as at July 2019). The TVM at Bedwyn only offered the 1st Class Anytime Day Return (109.20). Try as I might with button presses I couldn't get the TVM to offer the fare I wanted and I knew existed. So I took a chance and boarded ticketless - risking at best a Penalty Fare or at worst a Regulation of Railways Act offence. I would, of course, have argued my corner quite robustly if I had been threatened with any sort of penalty once on board. Fortunately I encountered a sympathetic train manager who willingly sold me me the fare I required.

I complained to GWR via social media. Their response was basically that it must have been operator (ie me) error when using the TVM. Bollocks. I know my fares and I know the limitations and vagaries of TVMs. I double checked the same TVM on my return to Bedwyn. The 1st Class Off Peak Day Return fare I wanted simply wasn't available. Deliberate overcharging plain and simple.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 05:57:19 am »

Surely not .... only the winner of an auction pays.  It's not a lottery ....

Indeed. If you want a lottery then try buying the cheapest valid fare for your required journey from a TVM.

Case in point. A few weeks ago I wanted to buy a 1st Class Off Peak Day Return from Bedwyn to Swanley (49.60 as at July 2019). The TVM at Bedwyn only offered the 1st Class Anytime Day Return (109.20). Try as I might with button presses I couldn't get the TVM to offer the fare I wanted and I knew existed. So I took a chance and boarded ticketless - risking at best a Penalty Fare or at worst a Regulation of Railways Act offence. I would, of course, have argued my corner quite robustly if I had been threatened with any sort of penalty once on board. Fortunately I encountered a sympathetic train manager who willingly sold me me the fare I required.

I complained to GWR via social media. Their response was basically that it must have been operator (ie me) error when using the TVM. Bollocks. I know my fares and I know the limitations and vagaries of TVMs. I double checked the same TVM on my return to Bedwyn. The 1st Class Off Peak Day Return fare I wanted simply wasn't available. Deliberate overcharging plain and simple.

Pragmatically, could you not have just bought the cheapest Standard class ticket and explained/excessed it on the train?

(I absolutely agree with you however about TVMs)
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Clan Line
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 10:23:55 am »


Pragmatically, could you not have just bought the cheapest Standard class ticket and explained/excessed it on the train?


Pragmatically, couldn't that still earn you a Penalty Fare if you sit in First Class with it ?   Wink
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Timmer
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 10:34:30 am »

Pragmatically, couldn't that still earn you a Penalty Fare if you sit in First Class with it ?   Wink
I think so but what happens if you want to upgrade by excessing the fare?
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Clan Line
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 11:29:31 am »

Pragmatically, couldn't that still earn you a Penalty Fare if you sit in First Class with it ?   Wink
I think so but what happens if you want to upgrade by excessing the fare?

According to the "rules" I assume you have to sit in Std Class until your ticket has been upgraded. Which goes against what the "rules" say about getting a Weekend First on the train.......perhaps you only get a Penalty Fare Mon - Fri if you sit in First with a Std ticket ?
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Charlie (in Gloucester)
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 12:18:19 pm »

Pragmatically, couldn't that still earn you a Penalty Fare if you sit in First Class with it ?   Wink
I think so but what happens if you want to upgrade by excessing the fare?

According to the "rules" I assume you have to sit in Std Class until your ticket has been upgraded. Which goes against what the "rules" say about getting a Weekend First on the train.......perhaps you only get a Penalty Fare Mon - Fri if you sit in First with a Std ticket ?

I remember TMs announcing the upgrade and telling passengers to 搈ake their way down to coaches (etc) and will make their way through shortly.
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rogerw
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2019, 06:17:09 pm »

Earlier this year I had a TVM problem at Victoria.  The SE side TVMs were not accepting cards but would sell me the cheapest ticket to Dover.  The  central side TVMs were accepting cards but would not give me, whatever I tried, the cheapest ticket to Dover.  This within the same station.  Fortunately |i had enough cash on me for the fare.
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t0m
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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2019, 06:10:15 pm »

Has anyone tried Seatfrog yet? I'm a season ticket holder and tempted to try it for a trip from Paddington.. but curious how much the seats end up going for. Is it effectively an upgrade for 10 if nobody bids against me and there is space on the train?
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njt
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2019, 06:39:57 pm »

I抳e done it today for a trip from Westbury to Cornwall on the 1503 ex Paddington.  Got the upgrade for 11 on top of a 32 Advance Fare.

On the service I am on there are some seats reserved from PAD to PNZ that state Seatfrog on the reservation label in the seat back.
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infoman
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2019, 07:42:58 am »

Best announcement I ever heard from the TM was on approaching Paddington was if you require a weekend first class upgrade,today(saturday).

Please do not attempt to purchase weekend upgrades when you make your return journey at the booking office

Buy them on the train,as the booking office will not sell them to you if you are about to make your journey back home.

Maybe a big sign in the B/Offices to that effect could be displayed.
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Timmer
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2019, 08:16:11 am »

Best announcement I ever heard from the TM was on approaching Paddington was if you require a weekend first class upgrade,today(saturday).

Please do not attempt to purchase weekend upgrades when you make your return journey at the booking office

Buy them on the train,as the booking office will not sell them to you if you are about to make your journey back home.

Maybe a big sign in the B/Offices to that effect could be displayed.
You used to be able to buy weekend first at the ticket office when you purchased your travel tickets. I can only think the reason this was stopped was when First class was reduced making it even more a case of 'subject to availability'.
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