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Boarded incorrect train - attempting claim money back

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On 19th July 2019 I bought an off-peak return from Crewe to Manchester using my 16-25 railcard. I attempted to board the 10.12 Virgin train from Crewe to Manchester Piccadilly. Through my carelessness I accidentally boarded the late 10.02 Virgin train from Crewe to London that left from the same platform. When I initially looked at the boarding platforms as I arrived for my train it said the Manchester Piccadilly train would be departing at 10.16. Unfortunately this is actually the time the London train ended up arriving, which is partially how I came to make the mistake.
Onboard the train when the conductor came round, I informed him of my mistake and he told me "Don't worry you can alight at Wolverhampton and get a direct train from there to Manchester". He then circled my ticket. I proceeded to do this and boarded the CrossCountry train from Wolverhampton to Manchester, which did not stop at Crewe.
I was then met with the train manager who was most unkind to me in his approach and charged me a £40 anytime day single from Wolverhampton to Manchester.
I have complained to Virgin and here was the response:
I’m sorry to hear that you felt you hadn’t been given the correct information when you made an enquiry.
It’s very important to us that we keep our customers up to date. That’s why all our staff are regularly trained and briefed with the latest information. We’re committed to providing the best service we can, and we’re always looking for new ways to keep our customers informed.
I’m going to pass the details of your experience on to the relevant manager, who’ll review your comments as part of our ongoing efforts to improve the service we provide.
With regards to what transpired, I believe there may have been a degree of miscommunication. I hope you can appreciate that it is the customer's sole responsibility to board the correct train.
Secondly, our Train Manager showed discretion by not charging you for a ticket from Crewe to Wolverhampton (which would have been the first stop of this service). With this in mind, as you were on the wrong train, to travel to Manchester from Wolverhampton you would had to purchase a new ticket. From the information you have supplied, I do not believe you were supplied with incorrect information, unless the Train Manager advised you that your ticket would be valid on the service from Wolverhampton to Manchester. If this was the case, we would have to internally request a report to attempt to substantiate these comments.
At this stage however, we are unable to offer reimbursement.
Lastly, I am unable to comment of the conductors decision not to allow you to use your railcard discount once on-board the CrossCountry service. Should you wish to raise this aspect of your complaint with CrossCountry please follow the link  CrossCountry that will take you to their contact details.
Thanks for taking the time to write to us. We appreciate your comments as they help us to understand how we can improve our services. We look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.
I am not too happy with this.
If he had advised me correctly I could have either bought an off-peak single ticket with my railcard from Wolverhampton back to Crewe and from there used my valid ticket of Crewe to Manchester. Or bought a new ticket from Wolverhampton to Manchester direct from the ticket office, allowing me to buy off-peak and use my railcard, therefore costing half the price and then catching the train that I caught. I am not sure how to respond to Virgin?
I have contacted CrossCountry but have received no response after a month so have chased for an update.

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I would contact Christian Wolmar as the world expert on train problems, his email is searchable.

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