We booked a return journey from Stansted to Victoria station. On the day of our travel we were informed of an accident occurred on the freeway which would make our 1 h trip to a 4-5 h trip. So the National Express representative said that we would be better off taking the train (at 2x times the cost of our already purchased ticked to the coach) as they couldn’t even guarantee that the coaches would make it in the 4-5 h.
As the train was considerably more expensive we tried to get our money back from National Express with no success.
They did however offer a 50 % discount on our next fare, but I won’t be using that any time soon.
Recently I purchased a ticket to travel from Glasgow to London Victoria on the same day for a last minute interview. Following making the booking the interview was cancelled, so I phoned and tried to cancel the booking 20 minutes!!!!! after booking to be informed that I wasn't entitled to a refund and couldn't cancel the ticket as I wasn't giving them 72hours notice. Unhappy I emailed my complaint to be told that under their terms and conditions my complaint did not apply - So unless you can guarantee what you are going to do 72 hours in advance, don't bother! All I can say is I will never travel with them and its a cheating way to gain money off of customers, especially when I tried to cancel when the money was barely out my account!!!!!!!!!!!! If I could have given them no stars I would have and I didn't even travel with them!
I have used National Express in the past with no problems, but today I lost faith in them. I had bought a ticket online to travel from Cardiff to Gatwick South Terminal. The best price I found had one change of bus at Victoria bus station. I very rarely travel but after past experience I thought everything would be ok. And it was fine, on the outward journey, but on the return journey the same cannot be said. There were delays on the M23 due to an accident, which delayed our coach, this meant that it was going to be very tight getting the connection in Victoria station. However we just made it, got to the right place, at one minute past our boarding time to find the coach still there. We waved to the driver, he acknowledged us but wouldnt let us get on the bus. He left without us. We went to the infomation desk, where our ticket was renewed for a later bus, some 3 and a half hours later. This would have meant that We would have arrived in Cardiff sometime between 1 and 1.30am. There would have been no way for us to get home, we rely on buses and trains. Due to the drivers unwillingness to let us board the coach, the only option for me was to go to Victoria Train Station and buy a train ticket to Cardiff. This meant numerous changes of trains but we got home safely before 10pm. All this cost me an additional £65.25 on top of the £67 I had paid to National Express for my journey. Not really sure I want to travel with them again if I have to change coaches on the journey, they know of the delays but do not take them into consideration, even though they have a list of all people expected on each coach. My ticket clearly stated it was for one adult and one child, pick up point , drop off point and connection point, along with times of arrival and departure. Not good at all.
A friend of mine was complaining the other day when he was trying to buy tickets online.
Today I had the same frustration. First I tried to book tickets using my ipad. Not al the elements on the page will appear and the interface is not completely ready for mobile devices.
Then there was a SSL certificate error.
I finally got to the point where I could pay for the tickets, after inputing all the details, it simply said sorry but the tickets I was trying to buy were not available.
I took the PC and tried again, to get to the last step and get the same message about tickets not available.
I don't understand why you let me select the ticket, input all the credit card and personal details to then check if it is available? Logically that should be the first step.
If you ever need to make a change to or cancel your booking, this company is appalling. They charge you 10p per minute when you dial in on their customer service line and leave you listening to a recorded message for ages (I've tried a couple of times and hung up after 30 minutes of being told that someone would be with me "shortly"). When a company has the gall to charge people for customer service on top of change or cancellation fees, then they should at least provide it!
I guess you always get what you pay for. Never travelled with National Express before, so made a mistake when booking seats to Gatwick (I booked via Heathrow) I immediately realised my mistake but still got charged a re booking fee less than 5 minutes later. Now the airline has changed its return slot and another re booking fee has been paid to National Express. I suppose thats the way they make a profit, but............
Watch for an update after my trip - at the moment Im not impressed.
Just returned and the entire outward & return journey's were an absolute joy, both coaches were spotlessly clean and VERY comfortable (for a six footer).
Both drivers couldn't do enough to help with loading/unloading luggage and were extremely friendly and their arrival times were spot on. This for me, relegated the re-booking fees into total insignificance.
I am a regular customer of National Express, but only because I have to be. I have found that their ticketing system and policies are terrible. As a result I have been penalized any time I have had to amend a ticket (for any reason), I have also been left behind by a bus driver I see on a regular basis when I was unable to provide cash for a new ticket and my phone was not working.
I also had friends who missed a coach at Gatwick Airport because their plane was late and they had to buy entirely new tickets for the next service.
I will never recommend this company again.
As well, the coaches tend to be freezing cold or incredibly hot.
It seems clear that National Express does not really care about their main customer base nor do they care about providing a positive experience.
I hope that National Express updates their ticketing policies and their policies for drivers. No driver should fear being punished for helping out a regular customer.
I would recommend using another company or mode of transport.
Although I prefer travelling by train, sometimes I need to travel at short notice and this means I can only really afford to go by coach. National Express has always been my choice as I find other companies – eg Megabus confusing to book with.
Obviosully a coach would take longer then a train so keep this in mind before you book, and check how long the journey is as some journeys make additional stops etc.
In terms of the National Express website – it is very straightforward but I would say that sometimes inputting the dates on the National Express Coaches page will sometimes take you to the train bookings which is annoying! But on the plus side – you can view prices over a month so if you are flexible on dates – you can always choose the cheaper tickets, rather then checking each date.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is every now and then they will do cheap ‘funfares’ as low as £1 each way so its worth signing up to their newsletter to nab a bargain.
Truthfully though, I would only recommend using the coach if you don’t mind a longer journey and its significantly cheaper then travelling by train.
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