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Author Topic: Railcard website failure left / leaves people without the ability to renew  (Read 514 times)
grahame
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« on: February 05, 2020, 06:51:36 am »

A story from The Guardian just before Christmas - but echoed here at it was reported to me just a few days ago by someone frustrated in helping his daughter renew here railcard, and it sounded ongoing

Quote
Thousands of rail passengers could be left out of pocket in this year’s great Christmas getaway, the transport watchdog has warned, after railcard applications and renewals were delayed when the national website crashed.

Over the last two weeks, Transport Focus has been inundated with complaints from worried passengers who need to travel over the holiday period but have been unable to buy or renew railcards that give them discounts – typically of one-third – on train tickets.

On the eve of the mass festive exodus starting this weekend, the watchdog is urging the industry to take urgent steps to fix the problem. In the meantime it is seeking reassurances that staff will be advised to treat passengers affected “with understanding” and to not issue penalty fare notices or charge full fares if passengers have bought but not received their railcards.

It sound from the report I got that the only way to get certain railcards (3 year ones?) is online and that emails go unanswered.

From Trustpilot

Quote
Excellent      3%

Great      1%

Average      1%

Poor      4%

Bad      91%

Quote
1 star: Bad
6 days ago
It is a pity we cannot use a negative…
It is a pity we cannot use a negative star. Trying to renew but Railcard website will not let me login. Tried several times. Also tried to register afresh and failed. Tried to use the link for forgotten password but no e-mail arrived.

Quote
2 days ago
Poor in every respect
I rang the right number but was told I had to ring back because I selected the wrong option (out of two options). The online system doesn't work so if you get a new phone the app won't work. Incredibly poor in this day and age that you can't reset something like this yourself. This also happened to my other half and it's been like this for months with no sign of any progress. If you happen to select the right option (1) then you wait on hold forever and ever while they play messages saying 'you can do everything online' (just to rub it in).

and the very latest review

Quote
4 stars: Great
16 hours ago
It's up and running again.
Disabled Railcard website is is now operational, after nearly four months . Went through as sweet as a nut.
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Timmer
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 08:08:35 am »

The Railcard site is very poor. Had to renew our Two Together card in December. The previous year it was seamless but this time I had to start the whole process all over again including having to take and upload photos so a very poor customer experience. Not only that, I had intended to use Tesco Clubcard points to pay for it but that was out of action as well magically reappearing in January  Angry
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stuving
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2020, 08:13:46 am »

There are two massage boxes on the landing page today. The more permanent-looking one says:
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IMPORTANT NOTICE
An essential upgrade was recently carried out on our website and we’re aware there are some technical issues. 99% of people are not experiencing difficulties but if you’ve bought a Railcard online and haven’t yet received it or are experiencing difficulties, we offer our sincere apologies. If you’re due to travel shortly, please show the email confirmation of your Railcard purchase together with photo ID, so that staff can validate your discounted ticket and you can continue your journey. Most 1-year Railcards can be bought via our Railcard websites or at any staffed National Rail ticket office (renewals online or by phone only, see individual Railcard websites for details). If you’re having issues with your existing Railcard or purchase, please contact us on Twitter, Facebook, phone 0345 3000 250 or email railcardhelp@nationalrail.co.uk. We’re working hard to respond as quickly as possible to each case individually; please bear with us as there may be longer waiting times. We’re aware of the issues and are working continuously to resolve any difficulties. Please see FAQs here: https://www.railcard.co.uk/help/
We are extremely sorry for any inconvenience.

Further downpage, what I think is a Facebook message says:
Quote
Facebook Logo LATEST POSTS Dear customers,
We're aware that some customers are still experiencing issues and we are extremely sorry about this.
The best way to get in touch is to DM us directly with your full name and email address and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible.
Thanks for your patience, Railcards Team
1 week ago

None of which really matches the experiences reported (I've not needed to use it).
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JontyMort
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2020, 09:54:19 am »

There are two massage boxes on the landing page today. The more permanent-looking one says:
Quote
IMPORTANT NOTICE
An essential upgrade was recently carried out on our website and... [as usual with IT the upgrade has knackered the whole shebang]

If anyone is interested, although the website says you can only renew three-year cards online, I did recently manage to renew my three-year old f*rt card on the phone. To be fair, the person I spoke to was very helpful, and got it sorted quickly. He said they were aware of the serious problems with the site.

The problem with the phone line is of course actually getting through. I had to hold for an hour.
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bobm
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 02:38:39 pm »

I had similar issues with the website not recognising my password and a reset link not arriving.

However as others have reported I too was able to renew a three year railcard over the phone and it came the next day.   I phoned during the lull between Christmas and New Year and got straight through.
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JontyMort
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2020, 03:09:54 pm »

There are two massage boxes...

Presumably the massage is to soothe the pain of waiting... 🙂
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2020, 06:44:32 am »

To be fair, the person I spoke to was very helpful, and got it sorted quickly. He said they were aware of the serious problems with the site.

The problem with the phone line is of course actually getting through. I had to hold for an hour.

You are very charitable.  I'm afraid I would add that hour on hold to the actual time talking to the agent and my abiding memory and review would be based on a total experience time of 65 minutes or so, on top of how long it should have taken via the web site.
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stuving
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2020, 09:31:04 am »

There are two massage boxes...

Presumably the massage is to soothe the pain of waiting... 🙂

I think a massage box is more to avoid any pain ... assuming it's a kind of solid protective Freudian slip.
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bobm
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2020, 10:51:00 am »

Prompted by this thread I had another go at accessing my on line account.  It didn't recognise my password so I asked for a reset link which generated an email saying the system couldn't find account connected with my email address.  I therefore tried to set up a new account with that email address but it told me I couldn't because there was already an active account with that email!

So I emailed customer services and despite the acknowledgement warning me to allow 20 working days for a reply I received one within 12 hours.

It seems it is a known problem - but offered details of two other sites where you can buy on line - which may be useful to others.

Quote
We are aware about the issue on our website, and I assure you that it will be fixed at the earliest.

In case you are looking to purchase the Railcard, I'd advise you to visit the below-mentioned websites:

East Midlands Railway: https://www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/tickets-discounts/get-a-discount/railcards

Avanti West Coast: https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/ticket-and-discounts/ways-to-save/railcards

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eightf48544
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2020, 02:31:06 pm »

Applied to renew Monday card arrived today. i did have to do a password change to access the new system but my previous card details were all there.
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JontyMort
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2020, 07:13:26 pm »

To be fair, the person I spoke to was very helpful, and got it sorted quickly. He said they were aware of the serious problems with the site.

The problem with the phone line is of course actually getting through. I had to hold for an hour.

You are very charitable.  I'm afraid I would add that hour on hold to the actual time talking to the agent and my abiding memory and review would be based on a total experience time of 65 minutes or so, on top of how long it should have taken via the web site.

Indeed, but as I implied, it isn’t the fault of the operative that people have to wait so long. Overall experience not good.
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