We were truly horrified to hear of Molly's recent expereince at London's Euston Station and it must never happen again:
I travelled from Maidenhead to London Euston to catch a train to Warrington Bank Quay.
I am registered DeafBlind and a Guidedog owner, I am a regular traveller.
On arriving to London Euston - an extremely busy and challenging station for anyone with a severe sight loss. Whilst doing my best to navigate the station I dropped my ticket and couldn’t see enough to retrieve it , I have just 5 degrees of sight in one eye, I couldn’t find my ticket - I had lost my ticket. At this stage I was not stressed as I did have a printed receipt and a digital record of both the booking and receipts.
Whilst I was stressed I’d lost my ticket I felt quietly assured my proof of purchase would suffice. I found my way to the assistance section of Euston in good time, I was then escorted to the ticket desk where I was greeted by a lady who was the extremely unhelpful “You have to buy a new ticket” I was shocked, I stood there with my Guidedog. I told her I had dropped my ticket and was unable to find it as I am blind, she could clearly see I was stood there with my Guidedog. I asked for the manager who arrived and suggested “18 months ago I could’ve helped you”. He didn’t explain further. Just stating that any lost/ stolen tickets have to be re-placed and repaid for in full before I could get on the train.”
Once again I explained I’d dropped my ticket and for obvious reasons I could not find it, by now I was in tears, completely stressed and anxious, he just looked at me, not an ounce of care or consideration for my situation. The manager just left, leaving me with this rude and unhelpful woman. I took the opportunity to ask what the relevance of why I would have been helped 18 months ago but not now, he response ‘that’s a conversation with the manager!’
This rude woman was quick to charge me full price for a ticket without even asking if I have a railcard - which I do because I am BLIND.
This woman put the card machine down and all I heard was “put your card in there,” I, was in tears and said to her “I am blind’ where is the card machine? She walked away and just left me knowing I was struggling and getting ever more distressed. ‘I can’t see the machine, I asked for contactless she said no, it’s over £30. “Talk to your bank”. I failed to key in my PIN properly first time as the card machine was inaccessible. The woman was clearly inpatient.
As I was about to leave I asked her about my reserved seats - “No, no seats it’s too late.” I was gobsmacked - she had just booked my ticket knowing I am blind, in need of assistance and space for my Guidedog. In floods of tears I told her how unhelpful she was. I am sat on the train currently feeling very emotional and disheartened. This customer serviced is completely shocking. How dare they treat me such a way.
Virgin Trains this is completely unacceptable and I expect an early response, a full apology and a full refund but even more importantly I want your staff to be fully trained and aware of how to treat people with disabilities.