‘Steal From The Poor To Give To The Rich…’ Virgin trains excessive fares and rip off wifiAs Robin Hood never said but is definitely the modern mantra for buck toothed scoundrels and grinning uber rich cash bullies… ‘steal from the poor to give to the rich…’

There are several different definitions of getting mugged or robbed.

There is the classic ‘hoodie’ with knife job in a darkened city street and then there is the far worse corporate crime that can vary from bankers lifting millions in bonuses with their nimble fingers or the daily grind of big companies stealing from you in increments.

This can vary from that 21st century phenonomon of shit service where nothing works and the back up ‘helpline’ that doesn’t work leaving you penniless and cut off to Virgin Trains various schemes for robbing you with stealth.

If it’s not enough to crank the train fares on the Manchester London line to an outrageous amount before 8.35 in the morning and then dare to pretend that this is somehow ok and that the rest of the days overpriced ‘standard’ fare is doing you a favour and then to charge this comedy amount to return from London to manchester from 3.20 in the afternoon to 7 in the evening before the first cheaper train where you have to battle with 5000 people for a seat then there is the small question of the £6 wifi that just doesn’t work.

With the trains virtually set up so the 3G doesn’t work they leave you little choice but to use their wifi if you want to do STUFF – it’s the modern world and wifi is part of our lives but in the steam powered world of robber barons and their money trench train sets it seems to be a luxury too far.

Up it pings on your page with a big chummy page…Virgin wifi! from £6 upwards you can use the train wifi and yet nowhere does it say it does not work or works occasionally as it flickers on and off – albeit more off than on…infact off for about 90 per cent of the journey.

Wearily yet kindly they apologise when complaints are made on twitter and give the email address of a refund/complaint service which we even more wearily reply to knowing full well that no reply will ever come- that’s 21st century ripoff Britain for you- a place where we know where we sit in the digital fuedal system and are trapped into travelling at extortionate prices and then fleeced over and over again by the big corporate wolves.

It’s time to own up Virgin – remove the wifi from the trains or make it work but stop charging for something that simply just does not work. Maybe try and justify those ridiculous train fares that look like plane fares or how about all the empty first class carriages when everyone is standing on ‘second’ class…

All this just to pay for one of grinning Dickie Branson’s billionaire islands…as a former employee of Branson was snarled at the end of the last Sex Pistols gig … ‘have you ever got the feeling you have been cheated…’

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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