Has anyone noticed a bug on the TGV site

Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:28 PM
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Has anyone noticed a bug on the TGV site

Hello all:

I got on the TGV.com site today to book some tickets from Paris to Avignon, and then from Bordeaux to Paris. Everything is fine until I choose the date (in this case, Tuesday, April 19th 2005 and Tuesday, April 26th 2005). The booking gives me the correct dates, but keeps insisting that those dates are Mondays, not Tuesdays........

It is the same bug on either the French site or the English version of the site. I even had my husband look over my shoulder to make sure I wasn't crazy. Has anyone else been noticing a problem with the site lately?

I can still afford to wait a bit a try later in the week. Or I guess I could use raileurope.com , but don't want to pay the premium. Anyway, I just wondered if anyone else has noticed any problems?

jpie
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:49 PM
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A few weeks ago, I had this same problem. The date on the sncf site was correct for the date I needed to travel. However, the actual days were wrong. My Sat. appeared as Fri. I posted here, and was assured that this had happened to a few others and not to worry....Well 2 things happened. First of all, I was afraid that prices would go up so I went ahead and booked my trip. I opted to print off the tickets and there is a date but no day on the tickets I printed, so I think I'll be ok...The second and more interesting thing I did was to email sncf of this problem about the days being wrong and a few days AFTER I'd bought my tickets, I recieved the following email:

Dear Madam,

In reply to your e-mail, please find the following information.

To avoid our customers meeting difficulties in Europe, because of the complex rates matched with very restrictive conditions of use (exchange, refund(repayment), conditions to go and return), non-residents of the European Union have access to advantageous rates created specifically for their needs (FranceRailpass, Europass, Eurailpass etc....)

It is so recommended to buy your tickets in your country of origin through the distributive network set up by SNCF.

For the North American countries, Asia and Australia residents reservations with home delivery are not processed by our web site.

You can only make your booking on :

www.raileurope.com

Best regards.


Well, I took it w/ a grain of salt. I already had my tickets, and sncf hadn't wasted any time charging my credit card. I paid for and got the tickets for the date I wanted.

I don't know about you, but I wonder how the lady who sent me this email would feel if I told her that the special fares offered on American airlines were just for Americans....That would be a bit rude in my book.

Anyway, I think you're ok if you go ahead and book at sncf.
http://www.sncf.com
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 12:10 AM
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Yes it is a bug and has been doing that for a while now. Don't worry about it. I have booked and used tickets more than once since the bug and had no issue.

Elaine, it has always been the SNCF's position that US citizens should use rail europe. Of course that response totally ignores your comments about the bug. I am sure you just got some template. ICK!

However, the SNCF continues to allow people in the US to book via their website so your tickets are fine. It's sort of a grey area with the SNCF really. They say "buy from RailEurope" but then don't enforce it. Hopefully they will never get around to enforcing it!
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 01:03 AM
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There's a good (for them!!!) reason why SNCF continually tries to defer revenue toward RailEurope..mainly because RailEurope is the North American arm of the SNCF-Swiss Rail "consortium" set up to market European rail "products" to people in North America.

Every ticket, rail pass, seat reservation, etc., that RailEurope sends out is printed on a sort of SNCF ticket stock with the SNCF logo plastered all over the place.

YET....SNCF continues to allow people to book tickets on line and pick up tickets in France...so who knows what the rationale really is for all of this?
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 01:07 AM
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As above, from the RailEurope site:

"Rail Europe Group is a privately-held company of which French National Railroads (SNCF) and Swiss Federal Railroads (SBB) are the majority shareholders.
Formed in 1991, Rail Europe Group is the successor organization of the US and Canadian offices of the French National Railroads and Swiss Federal Railways, which began operations in North America in the 1930s. Today the company represents 30 European railroads."
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 04:59 AM
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jpie: To back up Elaine's information, while ordering Thalys tickets earlier this week, the 'consult your orders' page showed the weekday as one day prior to the date of travel and also had the order date listed one day earlier than when I was reserving.

The 'confirmation of order' showed only the dates, which were correct including the correct date of booking. I, too, was reluctant to initially book with the error.

I want to add my recent experience with booking through RailEurope vs. Thalys. Based on our needs, which included 2 round trip Smilys and 1 youth one way, I booked on-line through RailEurope. They could seat us together and the price was $230, including all fees. However, RailEurope contacted my husband, since I booked under his email name, and said Smilys fares weren't available for the route we chose but they could offer us the next most economical fare. They offered to hold the reservation for one week and sent an e-mail stating so.

I returned the call their call. Since our return was 'flexible', I asked to change the date to one day earlier but there were no Smilys fares available then either! The rep even asked where I saw these fares! How about "europe on track 2005', the RailEurope publication that was delivered to my home a few weeks ago!

When the best rate was quoted as over $400, I canceled the order and requested an email confirmation from RailEurope, which they provided. FYI, if they cancel for you, the order is just deleted leaving no record.

I hung up the phone, ordered on-line through Thalys, entering the exact legs of my initial request to RailEurope. Thalys provided the seating, although the youth one way is in a different car and charged 177 euros which slightly over $230. BTW, the youth is 18.

Sorry this is long, but here's the real bite to the story. My husband received an e-mail from RailEurope confirming the cancelation of our reservations which totaled over $800. I'm sorry I don't have the exact amount at hand.

Maybe there's a reasonable explanation for RailEurope's ticket availability.


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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 05:05 AM
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As I was editing my post, it posted! Please excuse the errors or please excuse whatever is not working correctly on this site recently.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 05:57 AM
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The only time I used Raileurope.com, I also got an email that the discounted fare was 'no longer available' for my date of travel. Hogwash.

I have booked successfully a couple of times now, right on sncf.com - picked up at a boutique once, printed on my work printer once. No problems either way. (that date 'bug' wasn't in evidence last year)..
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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Wow! Thanks so much for posting your experiences with RailEurope vs. booking directly with SNCF. This is eye-opening information that will be very useful to future rail travelers. Is there a way to repost your information with RailEurope in the title so when people search in the future this information will be readily available? It seems to me that if more people were aware of the significant price differences they would book directly, but the current title of the thread doesn't give a hint about the important information it contains.
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 06:57 AM
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There is definitely a problem with the day/date function lately on the SNCF site. I nearly had a cardiac infarction last week because I was buying 8 tickets (PREMS) for someone else and printing them out and mailing them to them. The site kept insisting on-screen that they were traveling Monday, March 29, when March 29 is actually a Tuesday. I printed out one ticket and there was no day shown on it at all, just the date, so I then printed the other seven with no problem. I was fully prepared to call the SNCF number and screech, though, if the ticket had come out with the wrong day on it!
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 07:40 AM
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I just checked my husband's email (see above post) and here's where the $800, actually $852, 'cancelation' came into play.

After we booked and charged $230 to our cc for RailEurope, which they (next day) could not provide, RE proposed 2 options in an e-mail, one for $469 and one for $397 which equals $866.

Without a response from us, those charges were entered into their reservation/billing system as $195, $195, $267, and $195 totalling $852, which is $866 less 2 $7 booking fees.

I assume, had we confirmed a route, one option and corresponding charges would have been removed.

My apologies for mentioning the $800 figure without getting into his e-mail first. I just remember DH saying he got a confirmation that our reservation for $800 had been canceled.

What a relief to have this over.

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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 09:10 AM
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<<The booking gives me the correct dates, but keeps insisting that those dates are Mondays, not Tuesdays........>>

I had that same problem at the TGV site, but when I finally bought the ticket the day/date was correct.

Liz
Liz
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 12:44 PM
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lizzob, I had the same thing happen to me last November. Right date, wrong day of the week. It totally freeked me out but when I arrived in Paris and went to the SNCF to pick up the tickets, the clerk said it was a computer error (day of the week) so I would just make sure the date is correct.

BTW, I have seen bugs many times on the SNCF. Rats too.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 03:45 PM
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Hi Guys:

Sorry I missed all the action on this thread. Last time I checked no one had responded, so I figured I was the only one with problems. To let you know, I finally tried something that was great. I reset my date and time on my computer to show that I was on Paris time, and voila! The date and time showed up correctly on the tgv.com site. Since I was buying Prem tickets, I could print them out at my computer and don't even have to go to the train station.....so anyway, if anyone has this problem, that seems to be the immpecable French logic-since they are selling in Europe, their server is calibrated with European time...

Also, we have a French carte bleu (debit card) since we live there part-time, so I am not sure if that makes any difference in buying tickets, but for the calendar time issue, obviously that isn't an issue.

Anyway, I thought this little tip might help some other panicy soul. I swear I thought I was losing my mind from too much travel planning
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 03:57 PM
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The SNCF site was down for maintenance part of yesterday--has anyone tried today?
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 04:57 PM
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Hi Underhill:

I just tried it to test it out again, and sure enough when I leave my computer clock on west coast US time, it shows Monday instead of Tuesday the 19th of April, but the minute I adjust my clock to Paris timezone the ticket comes up correctly showing Tuesday as the 19th
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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jpie, thanks for the clock adjustment trick; I wish I had thought of it since the sncf site makes me crazy. I had the same date vs. day problem in December and February and I just assumed it was a technical glitch (the tix were fine when I collected them in Paris). I'll be sure to adjust my computer's clock when I buy my July tix. Have a great trip in April!
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 07:28 PM
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This is the kind of information that makes the Fodor site so useful.
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 03:46 AM
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Jpie, thanks for the tip on the clock adjustment. Oddly, I am in France and have my computer set to Paris time and the day still displays incorrectly. However, there's really no need to play around with the time on your computer. Book your tickets according to date and dont worry about the day of the week that is displayed. The date is the only thing printed on the ticket and it is selling you inventory by date. Having the wrong day of the week displayed will not impact your ability to buy or use the tickets.
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 10:21 AM
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jpie, that is brilliant, I never would have thought of that and was concerned about the same issue.

I used the SNCF site a couple times yesterday, it was working fine later in the day, although I know it was down before that this week.
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