Bought a £76 single from Bath Spa to Sutton to travel Monday last week. On the Sunday called thetrainline to say I would not be travelling on Monday (I was ill) and I was told that I could use the ticket for up to 5 days. 

Took the train on Tuesday and when I got to Paddington could not get through the barriers. Station staff refused to give me a ticket to get across London to Sutton. After a long debate a First Great Western member of staff stamped my ticket and explained it would not get through barriers so I would have to explain at each station why I had a ticket that was incorrect – the stamp did not explain this.

I ended up paying £13 for a ticket to get me to Sutton. Thanks for your help guys.

And I have just tried to change another ticket. In the time it took me to call thetrainline.com the fare had changed from £28.50 to £53 – literally right in front of my eyes.

Finally, thetrainline.com charges a £10 admin fee to change a ticket. This requires you to print out your tickets and send them to an office in Edinburgh. That is a huge admin fee to do what exactly?

Book early and stick to the train time and you are quids in – but any need to make changes and it gets costly. And don't expect useful information from the customer service reps.

Surely there should be a fairer and simpler way to purchase train tickets.