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TGV Tickets by Internet: Can someone *please* help?

TGV Tickets by Internet: Can someone *please* help?

Old Jul 21st, 2005, 06:24 AM
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TGV Tickets by Internet: Can someone *please* help?

Curious to know if anyone's ever purchased TGV tickets by Internet. We have before, but yesterday, the website seemed to have problems. I wanted to choose option of w/drawing tickets at station the day of travel (rather than having them sent to me in USA).Although it said that we had the choice b/t the 2, it did not give me that choice. Instead, I was not allowed to continue before entering my address, which had to be in France (unable to enter any other country). So, I entered my NYC address, with "France" underneath, thinking that I'd have the option eventually to w/draw tickets. The whole transaction went through and I'm now told they'll be sent to me. Problem is, our date of travel is Aug. 6th (very soon) and I have to guess that, if they get here at all (will likely be sent back due to "France" on envelope), it won't be before our trip. I have sent two emails to TGV's help desk (no reply yet), and spoken several times w/SNCF cust. service, who say they are unaffiliated w/Internet site (and that, besides, what was I thinking buying them online?) and gave me 3 different #'s for Internet purchases - none of which work. All I want to do is to be able to w/draw tickets at station, but they said that records will show that they'd been mailed, and that it would be unlikely to be able to convince them... Am thinking of canceling payment on AmEx card and repurchasing tickets via phone. Meanwhile, has anyone experienced similar problems? Would be great if I could get a hold of someone who could help me. I speak French, so it need not be English, but something local would sure be nice (these calls get pricey.). Thank you very much in advance for your help!
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 06:56 AM
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I don't understand why you put in an address in the USA and then left France as the country. The SNCF does not normally mail tickets to the USA - that's why it's not listed as an option. I do recall reading here on Fodors that at least one person DID get tickets in the mail after putting in a US address and leaving France as the country, but I think that's probably the exception to the rule. If you want to pick up tickets in France, you don't put in any address.

Anyway, if they said they'd mailed them to you, I'm sure they have, and they should arrive well before August 1, so I wouldn't worry about it. If you have a confirmation number, and you should have printed that out, and you DON'T get the tickets, take that with you along with the credit card you used to make the purchase and throw yourself on the mercy of someone at the counter at the station.

Bonne chance!
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 07:25 AM
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I used raileurope.com for my TGV tickets. I realize that their service charge adds to the cost, however, I was more comfortable using their website compared to sncf.com. The tickets were Fedexed to me within a couple of days. Tickets in hand, I just walked onto the train car without having to deal with station agents etc. I was pleased with the service.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 07:39 AM
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Hi wrep,

Go to www.sncf.com
Click on the British flag at the lower left.
Click "schedule and booking"
Click "cancel your reservation"

Go back and book your tickets.

When you get to "confirm" select
"To collect your ticket from an Automatic ticket machines (ATM) or in an SNCF station (in France only)".

When you get to France, bring your confirmation number and the same credit card to any station, SNCF boutique or Travel Agent to get your tickets.

I just went through the procedure.


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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 07:44 AM
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I purchased my TGV tickets on the SNCF web site and I was able to print the tickets out myself by downloading a pdf.file that was generated automatically once I entered my CC info. I found the process very easy and am curious why that option was not available to you. I hope you are able to sort this out before you leave. Good luck.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 07:47 AM
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Hi tsk,

You can only print out nonrefundable, nonexchangeable tickets.

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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 07:47 AM
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tskobo:

The ONLY tickets you can download and print out are PREM and iDTGV tickets. wrep apparently wasn't buying PREM or iDTGV tickets.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 08:57 AM
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I suppose it's possible the website did something wrong, in which case you should not have proceeded with doing something you didn't want to do. If you didn't want that kind of purchase, you shouldn't have made it.

Most people who have problems just don't follow the directions or put in addresses when none is required. If you chose to have them mailed because they wouldn't allow pickup, and put in an address (no address is required for pickup), then you can't blame SNCF for not refunding your money if you don't get them in time. You also put in a false address and the date is rather close for mailing (although possible).

The SNCF regulations on the web site state they have no responsibility for "lost" tickets in the mail, or late delivery, if you choose to have them mailed. I don't know why Amex would allow you to renege on payment of a valid purchase, but I don't have their card.

I've never experienced such a problem and I have bought TGV tickets on their site for pickup. I was never forced to put in an address nor forced to have mail delivery. In fact, I just checked the site for a TGV on 8/6, and it did not require delivery nor require my address.

It isn't really a TGV that is the issue, it's the kind of ticket you bought. If you bought PREMs, they are nonrefundable, and there is no option for pickup, that could be what you did. You should have printed them. If it were not a PREM, there is nothing in the box that requires you to put in an address if you want to pick them up. YOu are only required to put in your name and email address, it clearly marks them with a star as the only obligatory fields.

Well, you might get lucky and receive them by mail, otherwise, I think you've lost your money. I have gotten some mail from France recently in a very short time, about 5 days.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 01:23 PM
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Please note: You can cancel your tickets.
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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 10:30 PM
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Maybe wrep was purchasing the same sort of tickets I was, ie. France to another country, the screen is obviously very different to those buying just within France. You HAVE to put an address in, unless you have nominated to pick them up in France. I kept thinking I would get the Print now screen, but of course it never came, and yes they were PREM tickets. I emailed them immediately and managed to get a really good person at sncf customer relations, who actually went in and by hand changed the address from France as the country to read Australia (well Autralia but near enough)I also received another email from snfc different section who told me they had been sent to my address but the country still left as France. She said I would have to repurchase the tickets and try and get a refund from sncf by showing them my credit card slip. all very complicated and not what I wanted to hear. I hung out in hope for the first person who had replied and lo and behold I received them this morning, oh joy oh joy, I skipped back down the driveway from the mail box. I truly thought I was done for. You can buy tickets off their site, but if you are buying to go to another country you cannot print them out Prem or other, it doesn't matter, the only option you have is to say you will pick them up at the station when you get to France. In hindsight, this is what I should have done. Be warned everyone else, you can only print PREMS if you are travelling within France.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 01:25 AM
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Wrep: I would not repurchase them. Wait and see if they show up in the mail which is a strong possiblity. If not, go with the charge info, reservation number etc to the train station and tell them they were never recieved.

As far as printing the tickets is concerned, the website does what it tells you. If it doesnt offer the choice to print tickets then you will not get that choice. If you are selecting your outbound and underneath the fare it says print tickets and then you select your return and underneath it does not say print tickets, you will not be able to print. Both fares must be printable. Like StCirq said, cross your fingers you will probably get them in the mail.

Ira: Only some fares can be canceled. Its hard to know what wrep bought exactly. If they got the choice to print initially they maybe have bought non refundable in one direction and refundable in the other.

Schnauzer:

Glad to hear you got your tickets!!! Thats excellent
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 10:34 AM
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So glad to find all these nice, helpful responses (except for Christina's, which is quite rude,completely unhelpful and reflects an unthorough reading of my previous postings...). I have spoken with various people at SNCF since my previous posting and at Eurostar, even, and am amazed that no one is able to help me w/this. They do readily acknowledge - as though they've heard of it plenty of times - that I encountered an anomaly on the site. The numbers they have given me (four agents and four different numbers, to be exact) are all impossible to call from USA. Continue to be told that they cannot handle reservations done over internet. Meanwhile, no replies to my (3) emails to TGV cust. service... I am French-American, fluent in the language and the culture, and have purchased tickets many this way. Would never have entered my address had I known it would lead to this, but it would not let me proceed otherwise and, anyway, most internet transactions require this info, so it was not unusual to me.
I purchased three nonrefundable first-class tickets by the way (one for our baby, under "forfait bambin," a special
rate for babies under 3years. AmEx told me to call back in 48 hrs, after the payment's been posted. Meanwhile, I'm going to try to follow ira's advice about canceling them, but the woman at Eurostar today said they'd already been sent. I'll let you know how it goes so you can avoid similar problems when you purchase yours online. From now on, think I will only do it by phone.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 10:39 AM
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Ah eurostar. To the best of my knowdledge no eurostar tickets are printalbe.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 10:42 AM
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Just tried to cancel reservations as per Ira's instructions and it did not allow me. Brought me to a screen that read "consult order."
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 10:56 AM
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Oh i forgot you wanted to withdraw them at the train station... A tip for future internet purchases: You will be given the final option for the method of recieving the tickets PRIOR to entering credit card info. If you are not given the option you want before entering CC info then do not proceed. I have noticed that in the english version of the site when i was testing for someone else that it did not present the option to with draw tickets at the train station. Here is what it should say:

Confirm your order by paying online and choose to:

To receive your ticket by post free of charge

To collect your ticket from an Automatic ticket machines (ATM) or in an SNCF station (in France only).


By the way, you must PICK which option you want. There is a radio button that you select next to each option. If the mail option is selected by default you will be forced to enter your mailing addy because you are asking for them to be mailed.

Unfortunately it sounds to me like you had a brief moment of inattention and did not select the proper radio button before proceeding to the payment screen.

Refusing payment on your Amex is very questionable as you did indeed place the charge. I suspect Amex will give you a temporary credit, investigate the charge, and then remove the credit. I would sit back and wait for them to come in the mail and if they dont, work it out at the train station in France.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:04 AM
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Morgan, Thank you for your response. I know it might come across as though it was my inattention but I assure you that I was NEVER given the option b/t the two. I carefully looked at each page before proceeding. Went on it yesterday to see if it did the same thing and everything was working as it should. Looked like a different interface the whole way through, in fact.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 11:13 AM
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Hi Wrep:

I misunderstood your original post. I read this:

".Although it said that we had the choice b/t the 2, it did not give me that choice."

I thought you meant you had seen the choice and then didnt get it after payment. Sorry.

I will cross my fingers for you and hope your tickets show up in the mail. I know it is fustrating but you will unfortunately get no joy from Eurostar/SNCF concerning a refund. Their policy is that you MUST present the tickets for refunds / changes. I think this is because tickets do not have names on them. If they were lost they could be exchanged by anyone that finds them. I personally hate the way they handle the tickets. It is very fustrating. For example, if I want to change my train, I have to go to the ticket window so they can shove the old ones in the machine and print new ones. I think they are working to move away from this old platform but for the time being that is what we are stuck with!

I am sure it will all work out. Just not at the speed of light we are used to in the US. France simply moves slower. I still havent gotten used to that and have lived here for 5 years!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Hi. Just wanted everyone to know that my story with the tickets has a good ending. They -- miraculously -- arrived in the mail today, just a few days after my order (ordered them Weds, I believe). Anyway, I say miraculous b/c the country posted was FRANCE, not USA. Thanks again to everyone w/all your advice.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2005, 06:49 PM
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See? I knew this would have a happy ending. I get mail all the time from France, and it usually arrives in 4-5 days (NOT the case going the other direction, I'm sorry to say).

Happy training in France and bonne route!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2005, 09:56 PM
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wrep,
I have a similar experience. I stopped the process before purchasing, however.

I was trying to buy a PREM as well as non PREM TGV ticket at the same time. After proceeding to complete the order, the screen insisted that I enter a French address, just as you mentioned and did not give me choice of picking up in France.

I cancelled the transaction at this time.

What I ended up doing was to separate PREM ticket purchase from non PREM TGV ticket purchase.

First, I ordered only non PREM TGV tickets. It gave me "pick up at ticket machine" option, never had to supply a mailing address, got the confirmation.

Restarted the ordering process from scratch for PREM tickets; gave me an instruction to print the ticket. Again, I never had to provide a mailing address.
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