Anyone trying to take advantage of the £5 and £10 East Coast ticket sale last night 10th Jan 2014 were left feeling frustrated, disappointed and ticketless..... The system crashed and customers were left with unprocessed purchases, with display messages to try later. Today the offer has conveniently expired and the systems are working fully to sell same seats at overpriced rates. Shame on East Coast and what poor customer service.
I have used this site several times as I use the Edinburgh/Berwick to London a lot.
Pros are cheaper than any other website for ECML tickets. I have never had a bad experience. There is a reward scheme (you need to register) every £1 spent = 1 point. 500 points = a return train ticket on the ECML. You can also gain points on other operators tickets and claim the points, subject to a minimum £22 spend if booked via the website. This works out 3 return journeys with ad hoc southern journeys for a free round trip home for me :)
The one con I can see, is that prices are too flexible. For example I have just booked a ticket for this Saturday from Berwick to Portsmouth. Last night it said £67.90, this morning it said £43.60 (which I booked). Looked later this lunchtime it went up to £67.90 again. I have lost and gained about the same amount overall tho.
The website is better than red spotted hanky or trainline and the prices are cheaper. But when you travel you better be double sure you have everything in order or they will be bully boys and demand huge amounts in penalty fares. This penalises innocent and vulnerable people who don't check every single bit cardboard the very second it comes out the machine or who miss a connection or get the. "wrong" train eg. The same destination but different company or maybe the delayed previous train even though it comes in at the time it says on your ticket. They mess up lots eg late trains, dirty trains, missing coaches, missing facilities and that is just our bad luck. We make 1 innocent error and they hit us for hundreds of quid.
I generally buy train tickets via the East Coast website and more often than not I receive a great service. With saving of over £100 when buying 8 weeks in advance I highly recommend this method of buying tickets if travel plans are known. Since my personal and journey details are saved on the site, selecting and buying tickets is a simple and efficient process. I would however like to point out that on occasion when I have selected a forward facing seat I have in fact received a backwards seat. Despite this I don’t think there is a better way of buying tickets when travel plans are known in advance.