WE decided to visit Exeter to look at the cathedral and watch the Exeter v Bath rugby match. I booked train tickets in early October for the 8.40am train straight through to Exeter arriving at 10.15am.
I collected tickets a week later but no seat reservations were supplied for the outward journey but they were for the return trip.
I emailed First Great Western and was eventually told to contact them in November which I managed to do, only to discover I had tickets for a ghost train (it was not running). In the meantime I had bought tickets for the rugby match. 
After several emails I got a full refund from First Great Western. When this came through I booked travel and seats from Bristol Temple Meads to Exeter on Crossrail and Chippenham to Bristol on First Great Western although it meant an hour wait in Bristol.
That was not the end of our trip as when the Crossrail train arrived it was four coaches instead of seven or eight. Our seats were missing. 
The train staff apologised but it was not their fault so we journeyed to Exeter in a overcrowded train standing in a luggage compartment. We did see the rugby match but not the cathedral. 
The train back to Bristol was seven coaches and nearly empty. We should have had a 30-minute wait in Bristol but First Great Western were 15 minutes late. 
I would like to add that it was cold and facilities for waiting travellers are really poor with a lack of warm waiting areas, and it has been announced that fares are going up.
Robert Knight
Via email