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samtraveler Apr 18th, 2005 07:12 AM

Trenitalia--has this happened to you?
I was booking the last of 5 train reservations yesterday when for some reason on the credit card payment page (the last step in booking) the system denied payment after I pressed "OK." I double and triple checked my credit card info and made sure all was correct before pressing "OK" again. The second time, same thing, payment denied. I tried again the third time, only this time not only was payment denied but Trenitalia shut down my account thereby locking me out of the reservation system entirely, noting security reasons as the cause. (Trenitalia’s customer service area notes that after 3 unsuccessful attempts at submitting credit card info, your account will be deactivated.) Since I was absolutely certain I had entered my info correctly, at this point I began to suspect that my credit card company (Amex) might be the source of the problem, not allowing this 5th booking on the grounds of suspicious credit card activity (and it's worth noting that I'm thousands of dollars from my credit limit). A few hours later I received emails from Amex alerting me of unusual charge activity. Has this kind of thing happened to others? I've emailed Trenitalia's helpdesk asking that they reactivate my account. Has anyone had their Trenitalia account disabled like this before? How likely will they respond quickly to reactivate my account? I am anxious to get this last train booked, plus I need access to my account while on my trip (self-serve kiosks, any change in reservations, etc.). Any advice?

ira Apr 18th, 2005 07:26 AM

Hi Sam,

Rather annoying. OTOH AMEX is protecting your account against fraud.

Why not just open another account at Trenitalia?


samtraveler Apr 18th, 2005 07:38 AM

I know Amex is trying to protect me, and while appreciated, it seems like every time they intervene in the name of trying to protect me, they end up screwing things up! Anyway, I thought about opening a new account, but then I won't have access to the 4 train reservations I made under the closed account. That makes me nervous. Plus I tried that, and I think I'd have to erase cookies on my computer (or use another computer) to do so, because Trenitalia won't even let me open a new account.

TexasAggie Apr 18th, 2005 11:05 AM

Hi Sam,
I was blocked from my account because I made too many reservations within a 24 hour period. The next day, everything worked fine.
You might try waiting 24 hours to see if you can get in tomorrow...
Good Luck!

samtraveler Apr 18th, 2005 12:17 PM

Well, I tried the waiting 24 hours approach, and even after 24 hours my account is still inactive and I am unable to book a train. I guess getting your account disabled for security reasons (as opposed to making too many reservations) is a more permanent thing! Still no response from my email to the help desk. Any other thoughts?

TexasAggie Apr 18th, 2005 01:04 PM

You might try creating a post to GAC and pasting this message into the body.

He/she is the GURU on the trenitalia's website.

ira Apr 18th, 2005 01:11 PM

Hi sam,

I tke it that you did not get an email confirming your first 4 reservations - yes?

You might have to call the call center.


rfb Apr 18th, 2005 01:23 PM

Amex has absolutely no concern for protecting you; at the worst, your liability for fraudulent use is $50, at best, it is zero. They are only concerned with protecting themselves.

If you don't like the rules that they have established, you need to find a better credit card company.

samtraveler Apr 18th, 2005 01:46 PM

I may very well need to find an alternative credit card company, but that doesn't help me much here.

I did get email confirmations for all my other train reservations.

I am hoping GAC will see this!

TexasAggie Apr 18th, 2005 01:49 PM

You could also post a message and put GAC's name in the title - that way, if he does a search on his name (GAC), he will see your post.

ira Apr 18th, 2005 02:13 PM

Hi Sam.

>I did get email confirmations for all my other train reservations. <


Have you checked with AMEX to lift the restriction on your CC?

If so, erase all of your cookies and open a new account with trenitalia.


samtraveler Apr 18th, 2005 02:22 PM

OK, but what if the account I booked the first 4 trains on never gets reactivated? Will I have problems on my trip, as I retrieve my tickets from the self-serve kiosks or in the event of a unforeseen reservation change? That's one of my concerns (the other being booking the last train).

And I'd erase all my cookies, but that sounds like a huge pain. That will erase all the relavent info for every other website I use with an ID and or password, and there are a lot! Besides I'd really

samtraveler Apr 18th, 2005 02:24 PM

Oops . . .

Besides I'd really just like to resolve the problem with my current account, unless there isn't a risk of the problems I listed above if I don't?

Thanks everyone for your help. This is such a pain and it's so nice to have a helpful place to discuss this!

kcsqueeze Apr 18th, 2005 03:51 PM

Have you called your credit card company? I've read this entire string twice and do not see that mentioned anywhere.

This happened to me a few months ago, the first reservation went through, the second kept getting an error message.

I called my cc company who had put a security block on my account due to the charges being out of the country.

While I had them on the phone, they removed the block and I got approval on the second reservation immediately on-line with trenitalia.

samtraveler Apr 18th, 2005 05:35 PM

No I haven't called the credit card company, but that is not the issue here. I could easily use another one of my credit cards to make this last reservation if Amex continued to deny payment. The problem is that Trenitalia won't let me book because they deactivated my account--they won't even let me get to the point of entering in credit card info. So while my credit card company's fraud protection policy is the thing that precipitated this whole mess, it has nothing to do with getting it resolved.

Patrick Apr 18th, 2005 07:11 PM

I'm really confused after reading your post several times also.

You say that you received an email from Amex telling you about "unusual charge activity", yet you seem to think nothing went through? I'd be on the phone with Amex immediately trying to find out what the "unusual charge activity" was -- sure sounds to me like something went through. Why else would they send you that email?

Marilyn Apr 18th, 2005 07:20 PM

Sam, doesn't AMEX also have a travel agency function? I would contact them and tell them you want them to help straighten this all out, since their hold is what screwed things up in the first place. Let them deal with trenitalia!

samtraveler Apr 19th, 2005 05:34 AM

Good news! I got an email this morning from Trenitalia and they have reactivated my account! I went ahead and booked my last reservation and all is well. I did, however, make sure and phone Amex before making this last reservation to make sure they wouldn't block the charge. The Amex guy took the block off and stayed on the line with me while I made the train reservation. It went through and I am much relieved to have this reservation complete and to have my trenitalia account active again. So if this happens to you, yes trenitalia does answer help desk emails (though I did send 3 emails!). Thanks everyone for your help and concern!

samtraveler Apr 19th, 2005 06:01 AM

Oh and Patrick, yes something did go through, the 4 charges for the first 4 train reservations, which all went fine both on the Amex end and the trenitalia end. Amex alerted me to these 4 charges being the "unusual charge acitivity" at which point they decided to block purchases from trenitalia altogether. I'm not sure why it was that after 4 charges this happened, but that's how it went down. I made these first 4 reservations rather quickly, one right after another and I guess the Amex security alert system didn't kick in until after the 4th one. Whatever, it's all okay now.

TexasAggie Apr 19th, 2005 07:53 AM

Glad you got everything worked out!

Did you ever decide on a village in the CT?

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