If there's one train ticket website that really drives me to distraction, it's thetrainline.com.
If you're anything like me you probably hate paying out a fortune every time you want to travel by train. But if there's one train ticket website that really drives me to distraction, it's thetrainline.com.
Interestingly, I've discovered I'm not the only one.
Over the past couple of weeks the company has been given the big thumbs down over its advertising campaign. In fact, the Advertising Standards Authority has even gone as far as banning thetrainline.com's TV and poster adverts after receiving several complaints.
And I can't say I'm terribly surprised! After all, as the Guardian reports, the adverts exaggerated the savings that its customers could make, implied that cheap advance tickets could only be bought on the thetrainline.com website, and suggested that special advance tickets for some journeys couldn't be purchased online.
But this just isn't so! There are several other websites you can use when booking your train journey. The National Express East Coast website, for example, allows you to buy tickets to all UK destinations and sometimes even offers discounts. And of course you can also buy tickets on the websites of train companies such as South West Trains and Virgin Trains.
What's more, unlike thetrainline.com, these websites don't charge you for the privilege.
Oh yes, the trainline.com has the audacity to charge you a £1 booking fee as well as an extra £2.50 if you use a credit card! This might not sound like a massive amount, but why would you even want to pay it when you can use similar sites free of charge?
So when I recently booked tickets for a trip to the sunny West Country, I avoided thetrainline.com like the plague. Instead, I chose the First Great Western website as I knew that's who I'd be travelling with.
What I really like about this site is that provides you with your cheapest options immediately - in my case, this was two single tickets. The trainline.com, on the other hand, will merely suggest that two single tickets 'could' be cheaper, but you have click through further just to find out - which just wastes time.
And of course, I only paid for my tickets - nothing more. Plus I have to say I was really impressed with how quickly my tickets arrived. I ordered them early on a Friday morning, selected first class delivery (rather than paying for next day or same day delivery) and hey presto, they were sitting on my doormat bright and early on the Saturday.
So my advice is, if you want to save money on your train travel, don't go anywhere near thetrainline.com!