How not to run a railway

// December 21st, 2009 // Corporate Image

trainI travel to London each week, each time buying the same ticket, a super off peak return, but then I am told that if I get a super advance or advance it may be cheaper and the super off peak does not allow me to travel on all off peak trains; for that I’d need an off peak ticket.
The crux of the storey is simple…. I do not understand what the marketing people are thinking.

Do they not realise that their customers don’t have a clue about the bizarre ticketing system. I wonder if it is deliberate… I can only assume that they have worked out a business model which generates more money from confusing a small amount of customers than encouraging more people to use the railways.

Here is an idea. Why not make it really simple for passengers; at the very least publish lists showing which trains are off peak and which are super off peak in accessible places, like the company website   (yes, they do not have this information on their sites ! or anywhere else – how rediculous)

Or maybe simplify it further and have just one ticket, like an airline.

The truth of the matter is that the train operators do not understand what they are providing, either in terms of service or product. They do not understand the need to be customer focused to make things easy for the customers to understand.

The rail companies have a monopoly and because of this have failed to recognise or establish their competitive advantage. People use the railways because the they have to, not because they want to, I think that explains everything.

I think it comes down to Levitt’s marketing Myopia.


One Response to “How not to run a railway”

  1. Erica says:

    London has too many travel restrictions. I could lend you a whole book on them! Marketing people gear super off peak towards students who will travel when you tell them to and by strange longer routes to save their student loans for beer. Ring me next time and i will explain all options, I vote for one ticket price to make my life easier though :-

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