Terms and Conditions

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know that I travel via train fairly frequently. I’ve learned to be fairly savvy with it – I know that one of the biggest train and travel companies in particular will hike up their prices by as much as £100 for travel on the same day as booking, so making sure that tickets in advance are essential unless you want to take out a second mortgage just to pay for travel costs.

So, when they sent me an email informing them of their summer sale, with tickets on offer for £4.00 between Birmingham and London, I eagerly planned a day trip for The Bloke and I, feeling really pleased with myself for obtaining tickets for both of us for the grand total price of £16.00. Bargain.

That is, until I discovered that I’d gone and booked tickets for the opposite journeys that I wanted – I’d done London to Birmingham instead of the other way around. Idiot. Totally my fault, and I was irrationally super-angry with myself for not concentrating and making a rookie mistake.

Now, it’s only £16.00, but for the principle of it I set about getting a refund. After 5 phone calls during which I was waiting for a total of about 45 minutes and eventually resorting to Twitter because nobody answered the phone, I was informed that my tickets were non-refundable because they had been purchased in the sale. Not that this is made clear anywhere on the booking page in advance, but they got me with the fact that they had included this in their Terms and Conditions, at the bottom of a long list and buried in their website.

So, we have had to book another set of tickets, ultimately paying the same price that we would have done without the sale. I wouldn’t mind, as it was my mistake, but I am a bit cross at the fact they have made extra money from me and won’t give it back, which is always covered by the crappy Terms and Conditions. Hopefully, they can use my money (and I’m sure the money from other idiots like myself) into improving the service and getting the trains to actually be big enough to accommodate the amount of people that use them…

What about you guys? Have you ever made a mistake and then been screwed over by the Terms and Conditions?

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21 thoughts on “Terms and Conditions

  1. I get the Adobe suite free from my school on this special one year student license. So last year when I downloaded it, I just assumed that when the year was up, the programs would just stop working. But they never stopped. And then I got a call from my father wondering what I bought with my credit card from Adobe. Apparently, I’d been charged $40 for the last two months because I failed to re-renew my license through the school. While it was my fault for not reading the emails, in my defence, I didn’t think this would happen with a one year student license. So my dad had to call Adobe and he managed to have them refund one month only and now I know to make sure I unsubscribe and then redownload the program next year instead of just waiting.

  2. Can any person not have ever made an error that screwed them over via Terms and Conditions? It’s part of the Terms and Conditions of being human. And yeah, it’s in the fine print, 27 pages of it. By the time you read all that legalese, the sale is over. Gotcha coming and going, bad pun intended. Best thing you can do is what you did: write about it on your blog. Readers will start to generate complaints, and it will eventually result in changes fair to the consumer. Not because the big wigs care about being fair but because bad publicity impacts their bottom line, and businesses always protect their ass-s – oops, their assets!

  3. I hate when companies are this bloody minded to the point they’d rather lose a customer than give back just £16!

  4. Oh mi god. I was away on a trip and only had my kindle when I got an alert that Bleep-on was having a sale on something physical I wanted to buy the hubs. So I quickly order it and then when the confirmation comes, it’s going to our old address. So I try to fix it but because I am on a mobile device, I can’t make any changes. So I call. No they won’t make any changes I have to do it online. I explain my mobile device issue and they say oh… that’s too bad. AGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
    I had to actually call my husband and have him log in from a PC and make the correction for his present. Slaps forehead.

  5. The interesting thing here is that the person reading this ( Me) left the UK when the trains were all owned by a company called British Rail. I don’t recall BR offering tickets on the cheap – perhaps they did and I never noticed. Terms and Conditions!?! I suspect BR did have such a thing but I don’t recall ever hearing about it or seeing them. Anyway, to answer your question, I think we have all been done over by Terms and Conditions at some point. It’s like the Terms and Conditions of Software – if you say no you don’t get the program, so most people just tick ‘agree’ without knowing what the heck they are agreeing to and if the program does screw your computer, phone or tablet – well, contemplate the words of Ma Sheela…..

  6. T’s and C’s have frequently screwed me over. One example is on a car warranty. I used to use the trains as was done over every time I bought a ticket. They have the gaul to call it a service too.

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