Eurostar not as good as it should be

There is something deeply unsatisfying about Eurostar. I think the performance of the management is complacent rather than dynamic, and this is shown up in various ways. Take, just as a small example, the computer facilities in the Paris business lounge. They have been out of order or only in restricted use for well over two years. They always apologise but nothing seems to happen. Yes, they now have wifi, but only with some silly system that involves logging in with one of those impossible codes and when I was in a rush the other day, it did not work quickly enough.
Then take the fares policy. Earlier this year I had to buy a ticket for the next train and it cost nearly £200, and I only got a cheaper price by pretending I wanted a return. The same thing happened on Thursday when I arrived at the Gare du Nord on Thursday morning with a friend who had missed his flight in Bologna and needed to get back to London. I had a £59 return ticket but he was being asked for £180. He had jumped on the overnight sleeper, at great expense, but then baulked at paying the price as he was with his son and a friend. So he took the normal train, and a ferry, and a train from Dover, saving himself £170 between the three of them. Of course it took six hours longer, and Eurostar did not get the money.
I am not a keen fan of open access but in this case, I am longing for someone to come along and challenge Eurostar’s complacent attitude. As I have written before, Eurostar is using a lot of facilities built at public expense – the line, the trains, the stations – and yet charges so much for most its journeys – except those booked well in advance – that most taxpayers cannot afford it. Moreover, they are not making sufficient effort to consider new routes, nor have they protested strongly enough about the ridiculous arrangements at St Pancras which adds 5 minutes to my journey every time, as I have to exit in the opposite direction to where I want to go. Yet my tickets, my passport, my luggage have all been checked already.
Come on Mr Brown (Richard Brown, the boss) cut those fares and use some imagine to ensure that most people have access most of the time. It should not be impossible for you to devise a way of making the fares cheaper and simpler, especially for off peak trains which are never full. Why not, indeed, have 20 seats on standby at a low price on every train that is not full – not enough for people who really need to travel to risk waiting for, but enough to cater for a lot of people?

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