TGV Europe won't take my credit cards!!!

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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:03 PM
  #1
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TGV Europe won't take my credit cards!!!

I have been trying to book tix Paris to Avignon for June for 6 people. I have been on the computer for HOURS! We called our Capitol One card to tell them we are booking on a French site but TGV - Europe lets us get to the end and will not take either Capitol One Visa or AmEX cards. What the heck? NOW what do I do?
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:10 PM
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I read that after being declined, it takes 24 hours to be able to try again.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:11 PM
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What site are you using to try and book??
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:21 PM
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Call Capitol One again - U.S. banks are idiots when it comes to international transactions. And if that doesn't work, call the SNCF: 011-33-8 36 35 35 39

Someone here recently reported that s/he didn't have to wait 24 hours to be able to re-try after being declined, but I can't give you any personal experience with that. I've never had a problem booking online.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:21 PM
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What is the total?

If you're using SNCF, I believe there is a €150 transaction limit.

True, once a card is declined, you must wait 24 hours.

You might want to double check with Capital One. Phone the "if lost or stolen" number or ask for the fraud department. Often, whoever answers your call doesn't really know what you're talking about.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:28 PM
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Capitol One called us! They asked about this transaction even though we had called and told them to look for it only an hour before! So we told them the story and they recommended waiting till morning to try again. (We also tried AMEX without contacting them first and they sent a paniced email immediately.) Yes, I am using the site that is the tgv-sncf that everyone here recommends. Sheesh, this is a pain.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:28 PM
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It well may not be Capital One, as DebitNM points out indirectly, it could well be the site.

Usually, one goes to the actual website that owns the tickets and buys from them. They should be the most reliable, rather than resellers.

rbnwdln needs to tell folks where he/she is trying to buy the tickets.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:37 PM
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Rasta, we know where he's been trying to buy the tickets from - the SNCF website.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:42 PM
  #9
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Yikes, I thought I told the site I was using. It is http://www.tgv-europe.com. I am doing the English version of this site (not rail europe, etc). My husband theorizes that the secure server they use is down at this time of night in France. Not sure if this is the reason or not. Grrrr - frustrating. It is exactly 90 days out and I know that is the best prices, but the site is saying there are only a few seats left at the better prices....
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:45 PM
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No, the server should not be down. Maybe I'm wrong about the 24-hour wait. Wait and try again, or call the number I gave you earlier.

Don't panic. The fares you are trying to snag are not going to disappear in the next few hours. It will likely be days before you'd encounter a situation where you can't get those fares.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:46 PM
  #11
 
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I had the same problem last June, contacted SNCF and got the following email answer:

"Je tiens à préciser que pour les cartes bancaires émises à
l'étranger, les paiements sont désormais limités à 1 transaction
par tranche de 24 heures pour un total de 300 euros par semaine (150 euros par jour).

A noter qu'en cas d'erreur de saisie et toujours par mesure de sécurité,
votre carte bancaire est bloquée 24 heures."

In brief: Foreign credit card payments are limited to 1 transaction per 24 hours for a total of 300 euros per week (150 euros per day).
Note that in case of an "erreur de saisie" (input error?), for security, your bank card is blocked for 24 hours.

Your six tickets could very well have exceeded the €150 per transaction limit.

By the way, I was only trying to buy two inexpensive tickets. I was using my Capital One card and had notified them. The next morning (before hearing back from SNCF) I tried again and it went through immediately with the same Capital One card. Strange.

Good luck.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:55 PM
  #12
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Well, yes, our tickets were over 700 euros for the six of us. I can't trust my idiot family members to book their own tickets! What do I do?
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:58 PM
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Call on the phone??
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:59 PM
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What about splitting the cost over a couple of cards [use the family members cards for their tickets]?
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 07:01 PM
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I booked 4 roundtrip rail tickets through SNCF in December from Paris to Aix-en-Provence and a return from Valence to Paris. The total fare was $540 and we booked through Amex. We did not have a problem.

I am convinced that there are a million reasons that a credit card does not go through the first time. It could be as simple as a transmission glitch or a fraud alert that is unknown to you. I am not an expert, but I would not panic and try again tomorrow. If necessary, call the CC company and ask them to do a manual (gasp!!!!) transaction.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 07:19 PM
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<>

CALL THEM.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 07:49 PM
  #17
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But if I call them, can I use one American credit card to pay for all the tickets or is there a limit of 150 euros there also?!
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 09:23 PM
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I have no idea, but if you CALL THEM, they'll tell you!
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 04:43 AM
  #19
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Thank you, St. Cirq. We do not have international cell service but my husband is willint to call them from work (I am the travel planner, so this strikes a bit of fear in my heart - we could end up in Tajekistan) even though he doesn't know a lick of French. Frankly, we are considering cancelling the Provence portion of our trip and just spending the week in Paris. Thanks so much for all your great advice!
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 05:54 AM
  #20
 
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Twice now, I've just hit the "retour" button and completed the transaction immediately after calling the credit card issuer and getting the fraud block removed. Most of my information was still saved on the SNCF site including our seats. I think it's more a factor of whether the block has been cleared on the credit card issuer's end rather than any actual enforcement of a 24 hour wait on SNCF's end.

That said, I've never made a transaction over 150 euros.
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