Anything and Everything

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Here is the place to chat about anything you want
Not sure where to put this but

http://www.corgi.co.uk/shop/corgi-direct...-auckland/

looks good =]
This seemed like the most appropriate place to put this and it isnt meant to offend in anyway shape or form...

Everyone is entitled to their opinions and I noticed one of the names has been mentioned in a post on here earlier - but the meerkat fella.... Does anyone know the guy or know why he goes on the way he does on the GNE facebook page?
Yes, he helps with queries in some instances, but at other times he seems to go out of his way to upset or antagonise people.
I know of several who have complained to GNE about him, yet nothing seems to change or improve - much like some of the GNE routes and timetables! Bdum dum!! (Bookings welcome for Christenings, Weddings and Bahmitzvas!)

This isn't a personal attack against the guy, just wondered what others thought about him.
If you mean Ian Hignett, I'll just stop this before anyone does say anything that may offend him... He is a member of this forum.
Ian Hignett has done alot to answer passengers questions on GNE Facebook page, even though many passengers should look at timetables online or paper format and work out the timetables for themselves.

As I said, it wasn't meant to offend at all and I did say he does help a lot with queries - some times beyond the call of duty.
Sorry if this isn't the right place for it (feel free to move guys) but I'm interested in what people think of the Go North East Facebook page?

Whilst I think it's great to have such a strong online presence, to a visitor or first time user, the page really doesn't give a great impression of the services as people tend not to write on a wall to say

'21 turned up a few minutes late, driver was polite, bus was clean, got to Chester Le Street on time'

It's especially harmful when GNE go offline and posting becomes un-moderated because people (kids I assume) get really rude and brutal about the service. I don't like the concept of online complaints because it's not always suitable to discuss or resolve online because people expect different outcomes (a user suffering regular issues might get a weeks travel pass, a one time minor issue might get an apology)

And what do people think of the enthusiasts that post there? I find that whilst they are helpful they often inflame the situation and stick far too much to the policy, which a customer service professional wouldn't necc do.

And they do post there constantly...do they do anything but? I'm sure you'll know who I mean.

Just my 2 piece on this sunny and warm Bank Holiday weekend.

Happy Spotting Folks
I think that Go North East's official Facebook page is an incredibly helpful facility given by GNE, but I do feel that it is often mis-used by both members of the public and bus enthusiasts alike (especially, as you say, when the page is not moderated during their offline hours).

It's a shame that very few users of the page choose to compliment specific drivers or services. Someone who has stumbled across the page would immediatedly assume so badly of Go North East, and that's simply down to the fact so many people use the page to criticise services through that facility.

Having said that, if the complaints made to Go North East through this source of social media were to be passed onto the Customer Services department if the person complaining did not want to receive a reply, and only for a service's problems to be resolved, I think it could have the power to actually get Go North East thinking realistically about resolving the issues. I personally do not like contacting the Go North East customer services department through the use of e-mail because you always get the same bog standard pre-written response back. It's incredibly irritating, and while I do admit they must have a lot of complaints to deal with and there just aren't enough hours in the day, it really makes you wonder whether the issue has actually been resolved or not. Perhaps if these complaints were publicly voiced and they received several "likes", Go North East would be more inclined to do something promptly.

As for enthusiasts posting there - it depends on the context. If enthusiasts are posting there for general public enquiries, fair play. If, however, the context of the post is something which should not be dealt with publicly as it's not what the page's purpose is for, then that's wrong. I've previously asked Go North East questions through the use of the messaging system, as I've felt that they're not entirely enthusiast related questions, but they have perhaps drifted out of the public inquiry zone. An example of this would have been the QEH shuttle bus: I asked for timings, if there were any. They said that they didn't have a timetable for that service though, available for public release, as the service is for QEH staff only (which I'd gathered already). Another example is, after a visit to GNE's Deptford depot and having been told to contact Go North East to gain access to the depot rather than to take photos from outside on the public road which I was previously doing, I asked through which medium would I have to contact Go North East to ask for permission to visit the depots. This was most certainly not a public inquiry, so I didn't see why it should have been available for public showing on the page - hence the messaging system. I was given a telephone number I believe and an address to write to. Having said that, I totally disregarded that advice and e-mailed GNE, to receive the reply that it wasn't allowed due to it being a 'health and safety hazard'... Another matter - all depends on who you know on the inside, as always!
I dislike it when enthusiasts try to help Go North East out during their online hours. They're not there to moderate the page and answer questions - Go North East are. During their offline hours, it is good to have an almost 24 hour facility there, but advice given by an enthusiast can often be incorrect or based on opinion, rather than fact. Some enthusiasts have quite a name on that page as their name is seen on an almost day-to-day basis. Members of the public have started to criticise these people rather than be appreciative of their help. Perhaps these rude remarks being passed off by members of the public to the enthusiasts should be a wake-up call to back off a little - but I don't think so! It does make you wonder whether these people have anything else to do when that's all they do, though.
I raised the same point on another part of this forum about people or a person who regularly posts on the page. This advice can range from good advice or it can inflame the situation as mentioned previously.
One of the people is a member of this forum apparently (it was pointed out to me in a reply).

Whilst everyone is entitled to free speech, it seems strange that GNE allow this people to seemingly antagonise certain types of passengers, others are banned for replying and antagonising these 'helpers'.

I totally agree with the comments above about posting specific complaints on their page or on the discussion boards in the past, simply in the hope it publically shames the company into doing something about it.
Similarly, by using twitter, I have made a complaint (to East Coast, local authorities or whoever else) available to the public domain. I have had a lot of success doing this, where in the past, emails or correspondence is lost or ignored.
If GNE were to see the importance in good customer service and use social media as a tool to improve services or the public perception of the company like East Coast Trains or Arriva (in the days of the bod, where he seemed to do everything in his power to solve or find out the causes of a problem), then surely it is only a good thing?
Since he left, the system, PR and goodwill has been left to rot quietly (his blog the other week mentioned the power of social media...).
The way GNE are using facebook and twitter at the moment, is leaving themselves open to trolls or whoever else to post whatever they like.
They dont update service cancellations or traffic problems, blaming traffic control for failing to communicate, complaints are fobbed off onto a telephone helpline that is jammed 24/7, trolls complain about single parents and their pushchairs when they mention an old decker has turned up - which then turns into a slanging match, millions of enquiries a day for timetables, queries about buses running next week when it snows... sometimes the place just turns into a 'free for all' and I lay that firmly at the feet of GNE.

(29 Mar 2013, 1:34 pm)Daniel Wrote: On another note, forgot to give references to the photos I was talking about in previous posts...

Go North East's "East Durham" 536 was rather unusually pictured in Go North East's Saltmeadows Road depot yesterday. More commonly associated with Deptford for maintenance and repair, it did make me wonder what on Earth she was doing so far away. Her registration plate has been removed and it looks like a new (bright yellow) rear bumper has been applied - unless it's always been like that and we've not noticed it until now when we've seen a rear photo! Also in the background of the photo I'm talking about, we can see 4993. Unique to the fleet, she has been on the pits for a week now. Enthusiast Matt Williamson and I were discussing 4993's future when he'd first spotted 4993 on the pits just 8 days ago, and an interesting suggestion that she could be a vehicle to be receiving branding to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Northern General was made. I'd love to see this happen, given that 4993 is unique to the fleet and is presently used on a wide variety of Chester-le-Street based services. At the moment, no definitive information is known amongst enthusiasts about 4993 though - unless someone would like to enlighten us now? Wink
536 and 4993 in the depot (danielgrahamm)

And also, not as a particularly hefty point of discussion - an odd working as I'd given notice of yesterday.
"The Highwayman" branded 4940 on "Citylink" service 58. (danielgrahamm)

And another which I hadn't (phone was going to die!):
"South Tyne" branded 8246 on "The Orbit" service 51 - a rather common sighting this week. (danielgrahamm)

And finally (almost forgot), a "Diamond" branded Citaro was pictured in Go North East's Sunderland Road depot yesterday - NK08 CGV. I have a photo, but it has not been uploaded to my Flickr photostream.

It will be about 2/3 weeks ago, but 4993 was on a 28/a and it was really struggling up the bank in Pelton Fell. Not sure whether this was down to the gears or an engine problem - it may be connected with it being on the ramps, or it may be a total coincidence.
It seems strange work is being carried out there, rather than Chester.
The Facebook page is completely out of control in my opinion. There's no structure to it, and they just seem content in inviting complaints, rather than attempting to resolve them then and there. Then there's the trolls - it seems GNE only want to apply the rules when they see fit. Trolls can flame customers who feel they're making a genuine complaint, yet any one fights back, and they're either warned or banned.

(29 Mar 2013, 1:52 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: It will be about 2/3 weeks ago, but 4993 was on a 28/a and it was really struggling up the bank in Pelton Fell. Not sure whether this was down to the gears or an engine problem - it may be connected with it being on the ramps, or it may be a total coincidence.
It seems strange work is being carried out there, rather than Chester.

Interesting. Around about the same time, I had seen it broken down in Durham Bus Station with 50 on the front blind. I've never seen it since.
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Thanks to everyone who put their thoughts forward on the GNE Facebook page, was interesting.

To that end, I've come up with a few proposals to improve the service.

- Close the wall out of office hours. Arriva used to do this. When no-one can moderate the page is when it's at its worst

- Ian et al, are not paid customer service professionals. Ban them from commenting. They are encouraging conflict. Customer Service is not about pointing to rule A.45 and defending everything. Sometimes it's about hands up and saying 'Sorry' not ' Sorry but what do you expect?....'

It doesn't present a strong brand image when enthusiasts (no offence as I'm one!) are seen as representing your company, why are they even there? Do they have lives? (It's every night...all night!)

- Make it clearer it's not a complaint website and provide better information. When people ask 'What time is the 28A?' Don't give them a link, they want a one stop shop of information.
(29 Mar 2013, 8:44 pm)gtomlinson Wrote: Thanks to everyone who put their thoughts forward on the GNE Facebook page, was interesting.

To that end, I've come up with a few proposals to improve the service.

- Close the wall out of office hours. Arriva used to do this. When no-one can moderate the page is when it's at its worst

- Ian et al, are not paid customer service professionals. Ban them from commenting. They are encouraging conflict. Customer Service is not about pointing to rule A.45 and defending everything. Sometimes it's about hands up and saying 'Sorry' not ' Sorry but what do you expect?....'

It doesn't present a strong brand image when enthusiasts (no offence as I'm one!) are seen as representing your company, why are they even there? Do they have lives? (It's every night...all night!)

- Make it clearer it's not a complaint website and provide better information. When people ask 'What time is the 28A?' Don't give them a link, they want a one stop shop of information.

Interesting, gtomlinson. I'd actually been thinking along the same lines for quite some time now.

Something additional that I had thought of was suspending posting during the likes of bad weather. It's not practical at all trying to answer every single post asking the same question - simply have bulletins every half hour/on the hour, and nothing else. After all, you can only prepare a meal for someone. You can't force them to eat it too.
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Prime example of what we were talking about the other day...
http://www.facebook.com/simplyGNE/posts/...4478715710

Found the use of the word 'simples' in the poster's first comment (after Ian's) terribly ironic, given the meerkat... Wink

That argument has prevailed massively as a result of enthusiasts posting. I do think it's time that someone brought this to Go North East's attention..!
(30 Mar 2013, 8:28 pm)Daniel Wrote: Prime example of what we were talking about the other day...
http://www.facebook.com/simplyGNE/posts/...4478715710

Found the use of the word 'simples' in the poster's first comment (after Ian's) terribly ironic, given the meerkat... Wink

That argument has prevailed massively as a result of enthusiasts posting. I do think it's time that someone brought this to Go North East's attention..!

That's shocking really. The original poster made it clear that he attempted to deal with the matter in private before posting, yet this guy feels the need to dive in for the attack. It's really got nothing to do with him and I can't understand why he feels he needs to make a point of responding. It's nice to see GNE applying the rules as they see fit again though.

Oh and they love that 'open forum' line Smile
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I've just read it Daniel and I agree with you, I personally think that Ian Hignett and Andy Clifford should be banned from using the GNE Facebook Page, They do nothing to help customers with there queries they just make them into complaints to make GNE look bad and anger other users.
That exchange aboive is exactly what I was talking about.

Utterly laughable that GNE allowed Ian's initial response to stay on. Obviously are doing this Facebook thing very half heartedly

I've said it before but again, I find both Ian and Andy's attitudes disgusting and I'm appalled by the pair of them. I may even write to GNE (I never write/email to companies) to pass it on. They are acting like trolls to be frank
(30 Mar 2013, 9:44 pm)gtomlinson Wrote: That exchange aboive is exactly what I was talking about.

Utterly laughable that GNE allowed Ian's initial response to stay on. Obviously are doing this Facebook thing very half heartedly

I've said it before but again, I find both Ian and Andy's attitudes disgusting and I'm appalled by the pair of them. I may even write to GNE (I never write/email to companies) to pass it on. They are acting like trolls to be frank

I don't blame you. I've just written to them, but I'm not holding my breath. I'll post the response once I get it.
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(30 Mar 2013, 10:28 pm)aureolin Wrote:
(30 Mar 2013, 9:44 pm)gtomlinson Wrote: That exchange aboive is exactly what I was talking about.

Utterly laughable that GNE allowed Ian's initial response to stay on. Obviously are doing this Facebook thing very half heartedly

I've said it before but again, I find both Ian and Andy's attitudes disgusting and I'm appalled by the pair of them. I may even write to GNE (I never write/email to companies) to pass it on. They are acting like trolls to be frank

I don't blame you. I've just written to them, but I'm not holding my breath. I'll post the response once I get it.

I know of one instance when he commented on a young girls query, mocking her because of her spelling and poor grammar. GNE were told, nothing was done. It was only when GNE were advised that Facebook would be informed, that action was taken and his comments removed.
Obviously a ban wasnt forthcoming.
At the time, it was pretty obvious, even by looking at her profile picture, she was under 18 and the spelling, grammar etc indicated to everyone, she obviously had some sort of learning difficulty.

Rather than contact customer services, who will be aware of him - anyone who doesn't like his posts, comments or attitude, maybe the best form of action is to take it higher.

please see copy of extract of message below sent to GNE which I have seen personally.



xxxxxxx: Hey GNE I normally dont get involved in the petty 'remove the post by...' comments - but the post by the odious, arrogant and ignorant Ian Hignett regarding Morgan Mad Dodds and her spelling is offensive and needs removing. He seems intent on winding up and causing offence with his blunt comments, but he has gone too far this time - bearing in mind, it looks like Morgan has some sort of learning difficulty. Pretty sure if anyone else had discriminated against
him, then he would not appreciate it one bit. 24 November 2012

xxxxxxx: I notice you havent removed Ian Hignett's post re Megan Dodds. Please be aware that I will be contacting facebook regarding his blatant breach of Facebook terms and conditions and your failure to act on it. The poster is obviously under 16 and has some sort of learning difficulty, you have been notified of the post, the inflamtatory nature of the post (bearing in mind his previous history) and have not acted on this. Had the post been directed towards you and included swearing or obscene language, then I am sure it would have been removed...
24 November 2012

Go North East: Thanks for alerting us to this post, it has now been removed
24 November 2012 · Sent from Web
Had a look on the page ( for the first time in quite a while) earlier and as usual, plenty of people having a go and patronising passengers.

For once, the guy mentioned several times on here, didnt seem to be the main culprit.
(06 Apr 2013, 9:37 am)Andreos1 Wrote: Had a look on the page ( for the first time in quite a while) earlier and as usual, plenty of people having a go and patronising passengers.

For once, the guy mentioned several times on here, didnt seem to be the main culprit.

Shame that he didn't keep it up...
http://d.pr/i/stgu

Has anyone had a reply from their letters or e-mails to Go North East regarding their Facebook page getting 'out of control' while unmoderated during offline hours?