Trouble with SNCF site

Mar 19th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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Trouble with SNCF site

I was successful with buying tickets on the SNCF site using Ira's clear directions on another thread. I was buying and paying for each ticket separately and doing fine. However, out of nowhere, it started telling me that the credit card I was using was not approved by my bank. Huh? So I switched to a different VISA card which worked fine, and then it got rejected. Now, for my very last ticket, neither card works, no matter what (they're fine for all other transactions). Any ideas?

Is it really necessary to have tickets for Dijon-Borgoine Jallieu in June? Can I just buy them in Paris a few days ahead of time?

Also, what's the difference between the tickets that are dispensed by the machines (how does this work, by the way?) and the ones I get at the counter by presenting my confirmation form? I believe I have one of each. I also was able to print an actual ticket on my computer, if I'm not mistaken, for one leg of my journey. I just want to make sure I understand everything I need to before I go. Hope I've been clear...Thanks!
Cimbrone is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Cimbrone is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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I don't know what your problem is with your credit card as I've never had one using SNCF, and I have a US CC. Maybe they have some limit that on the internet they don't allow the same card to be used multiple times repeatedly in a few minutes or something (or maybe your bank does). That would actually make sense for fraud protection.

AS for the tickets, the machines are mainly for convenience so customers don't have to queue up at the windows, and to save time for both the clerks and customers. It's like any machine, it has instructions, but a lot of directions, buttons, etc. I have never once gotten them to work with my US credit card, so don't think you will, either. I don't understand what you mean by you having one of each ticket, I've never heard of any ticket where it is REQUIRED you use the machine rather than the clerk. Maybe I'm behind the times on that, so, just never heard of it.

If you have to go to the counter anyway, I don't see why you can't do all your business at that one time.
Christina is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 09:31 AM
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Thanks Christina. There are actually two icons that you can choose from, one a picture of a machine and one a picture of a woman at a counter. I forget exactly why I chose the ones I did when I did. Something written on the site, though. Anyway, with the documents I have, I suspect that I should have no problem getting the tickets from a live person, as you say.

I guess I should call my cc company. If it is fraud protection, it seems strange that the card is still working everywhere else.
Cimbrone is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 09:31 AM
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Be careful that your cc isn't charged anyway. We used the machines in Roma Termini (I know this is a little different) and the machine said it rejected the card and the process had to be re-done but it still printed the ticket. The ticket was usable and the cc was charged even though it said it was rejected.
Ann1 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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The SNCF machines require credit cards with the security "chips" embedded in them. You would need to go to the window.

I've gone day trips from Paris to Reims, and Lyon to Chambery, purchased day of. Part of the decision would depend on the flexibility of your train plans, i.e. how many trains are going to your destination...if there are hourly or semi-hourly trains, then I would not worry.

Michel_Paris is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for the additional replies.

Guess what...there was a fraud alert from one of the credit card companies on my home answering machine. It seems that they allow no foreign transactions without advance notification. So it's good this happened as I would probably have forgotten to let them know I'm leaving the country. Anyway, they lifted the restriction, so I should be able to purchase the tickets at home tonight.

Still doesn't explain why the other cc company allowed 2 transactions, but not a third. They had no record of the declined purchase.
Cimbrone is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 11:48 AM
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I had the same thing happen - said my bank wouldn't authorize the transaction but when I phoned VISA they said they had no record of an attempt even. It was very weird. I tried a Mastercard and that worked, no idea why the Visa didn't...
Amanda23 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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Well, it all went through perfectly. I'm tempted to start a thread reminding all Fodorites to notify their credit card companies before they travel or attempt to buy train tickets, etc.
Cimbrone is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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Hi C,

Glad you got it sorted out.

ira is offline  
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