Help! SNCF Won't Take My Credit Card

Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 09:54 AM
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Help! SNCF Won't Take My Credit Card

I am in the US. I have been trying to buy tickets on the French version of the SNCF website. I called my credit card company and told them what I was doing and had them on the line while I put in all my credit card information and hit the Buy key. However, the website would not take my credit card. I even closed the website, re-opened it, and tried again. Still no luck. The tickets are way cheaper through SNCF than on the Rail Europe website. Any suggestiions for how to get SNCF to take my credit card?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 10:27 AM
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Hi Tom -

One of the members here (MorganB) posted a detailed way on how to buy tickets from SNCF. Go to this link:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-version-2.cfm

I bought tickets this year following his instructions and had no problem.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Usually, the problem is your credit card company. You have to speak to the proper person. Ask for the fraud department or call the "if your card is lost or stolen" number. Some has to remove the fraud protection from your card for the transaction to go through. Often, whoever answers the usual customer service phone number just does not know what they're doing.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 10:36 AM
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PS Once your credit card has not gone through on the SNCF website, sometimes you have to wait 24 hours to try again.

Also, it's much easier to use

http://www.tgv-europe.com/en/

Fares will be the same, but everything is in English. For "Select your country", select Great Britain.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 01:45 PM
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Thanks, folks!

djkbooks - I took your advice and went into the tgv-europe.com/en website. You're right - it is easier. However, when I put in my credit card information, this site wouldn't take it either. So I used another credit card (which I guess I should have done in the first place - duh!) and voila! it worked! I called my first credit card company back but they said there was no problem with my card, so I'm not sure what the problem was. However, I would recommend the tgv-europe website to any English speakers wanting to buy advance tickets for SNCF trains. Also, remember to use "Great Britain" as your home country.

And when I finished, I printed the tickets with no problem.

Thanks again for your help!
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 01:29 AM
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The French Railway Service SNCF and idTGV are very, very frustrating.

We used 4 different VISA and Mastercards (one of them from the FRENCH BANK SOCIETE GENERALE !!!) in 2 different names. After 2 days of frequently trying to buy tickets online, we achieved to get one way through.

Now all of our cards are charged with several hundreds dollars of unauthorised payments, which I hope will be deleted soon, as all of these payments were rejected by SNCF and idTGV.

So the only way to get tickets is to go to the train station and pay roughly 150 Euros more...

Very, very frustrating. What's it worth to have a VISA and Mastercard in France, if the railway service does not accept them online???

On the phone the service center (you get charged per minute for that call) they told me there is limits of 2 (or 3) payments per day, and 300 (or 600) Euros per payment. Now that SNCF and idTGV have stuffed up the payment, all four of our credit cards are blocked for 24 hours, and they can't do anything about it.
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 01:34 AM
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One more thing:

We've been in contact with VISA and our banks, and they say from their side all is fine. On the phone SNCF admitted that it is their side which causes the problem.
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 04:40 AM
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Doesn't SNCF own Rail Europe? I think they are trying to force you to pay the higher prices on Rail Europe along with all their fees.
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 05:13 AM
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Here's a recent thread you might find helpful:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...edit-cards.cfm

Note the last two posts about SNCF using the Verified by Visa and Mastercard Securecode systems.

Good luck!
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 06:36 AM
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mbm007,

>>>
Now all of our cards are charged with several hundreds dollars of unauthorised payments, which I hope will be deleted soon, as all of these payments were rejected by SNCF and idTGV.
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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They do accept them online, there isn't some evil plan going on. I've bought SNCF tickets online every year since that was available and have never once had a problem using an AMerican CC. I can't explain why some people do, but there is no concerted evil plan to not allow US CCs. Lots of times people are doing things themselves that cause the problem.
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 10:04 AM
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I have bought literally hundreds of SNCF tickets online using an American cc and never had a problem. I have to believe it has something to do with some error on the part of the purchaser, not the SNCF site...though I'm willing to be corrected. I do think it helps if you read French and just use the French site for all transactions.
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