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update on trenitalia problem, and a new question

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update on trenitalia problem, and a new question

Old Mar 17th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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update on trenitalia problem, and a new question

So, it appears that my trenitalia account is locked, and the 4 c/c charges are only in
the temp authorization stage. MBNA fraud office contacted us, since it was unusual activity, and stated that trenitalia SHOULD
notice the error, and correct it on their end, with the charges never posting. If they do post, I have been assured that MBNA will handle it on their end. So at least my blood pressure and stress level have been reduced back to my normal level of chaos Now for my new question: Since I would rather chew glass than attempt to book on the trenitalia site, probably futher complicating my life, I plan to purchase our tickets when we are actually in Italy.
Their website has a promo offer, subject to
sale of preallocated quantity, of Eurostar for 29 euros. Does anyone know if I could possibly purchase for the special rate once there? would you recommend purchasing directly at the station, or one of those ticketing agencies I have read somewhere about, or could my hotel even book for me?
could I purchase all of my train tickets (the 2 major ones, florence-rome and rome-
venice) at one time?? thanks for your help and for listening to me vent and think out loud!
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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I don't know the answer to your question but I am about to find out myself next week. I just wanted to say, though, that I know exactly how you feel because I am going through the EXACT SAME mixup with Trenitalia and it has been VERY nerve wracking. I, too, have decided to wait until I get there to purchase my tickets and I can deal with an actual person rather than venture back onto the Trenitalia site.
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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Addicted2travel-it truly is a horrid
adventure, isn't it! I plan to take a printout of train times, but that is as far as I will go on that wretched site!
Please, when you come back, let me know how it went "in person" for you!
we leave in May (52 days, but not counting!
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 02:58 PM
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Yes, it's awful because the particular tickets I was attempting to purchase were $53 each, which screwed up my entire trip budget, and don't even bother attempting to email the Trenitalia helpdesk as you were advised in an earlier reply. I did this and have received absolutely no response. I have resolved not to let the train mixup ruin my trip but it did leave me really hoping that the service on Trenitalia's site is not representative of service in Italy in general. I'm praying it's equivalent to the CDG Airport/Paris comparison--you can't judge the city by the airport(Thank Goodness!). I'll make sure I post an update when I get back, though, to let you know.
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 05:45 AM
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Hi D,

>... Eurostar for 29 euros. Does anyone know if I could possibly purchase for the special rate once there?<

As with any sale, the later you wait to buy, the less likely the goods will be available.

>could I purchase all of my train tickets ...at one time?? <

Of course.

Write down which trains you want and hand it to the ticket agent. Saves time.

Have a nice visit.



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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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daisy58 and Addicted2Travel: Please pardon my confusion but is your problem with trenitalia's on-line purchasing system one which was caused by trenitalia or your credit card company? It sounds as if trenitalia attempted to put the purchase through to your credit card company (as they should have) but they were somehow notified by the credit card company of "unusual activity," thus causing trenitalia to cease further activity with respect to your order and account, and ultimately freezing your account. Is this what actually occurred or did trenitalia somehow screw things up?

The reason for my question is that I, too, was in hopes of bagging the 29 Euro Eurostar tickets myself for an upcoming trip in late-May was intending to use the trenitalia on-line purchasing option as soon as the trains open for reservations/purchases.

Good luck to you and thanks for any clarification you may be able to provide on this matter. Meanwhile, anyone out there willing to post news of any recent success with trenitalia's on-line purchasing option (using a credit card from the United States)????

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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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Yes, a few weeks ago I successfully purchased tickets through trenitalia using my credit card in the states, BUT, only after two frustrating days of not being able to register UNTIL I used a different email address. Apparently, AOL must block the registration email that trenitalia sends, and I never did receive it, and it never showed up in my Spam mail that AOL blocks. I figured out the problem from reading some old posts and registered with a different email account I have. I got my registration password immediately and purchased tickets.
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for all of your advise.
Ira--just to "practice" I went onto
Trenitalia and checked for the 29E
special fare, as if I was wanting to
travel 12 days from now, which is the
time frame from our SML stay to when
we would want our tickets Rome-Venice.
Special fare still available. The standard fare is 57.14 1st class, and
44.93 2nd class, so if I am not able to
secure the 29E fare, I will just go in
2nd class, which will only cost the two
of us an additional approx 19.11 USD
p/p, not something that would change our lives. I just figured, hey if we can get 1st class, then that would be terrific, since it is a 4 1/2 ride. So
I'll just try when I get there. I have already, as you recommended, printed the schedules for the various trains I
wish to take, and I also, as you mentioned, planned to take those sheets with me to the station (probably the Brignole station in Genoa, since we have to buy tickets to get to SML anyway there) and wrap the whole thing up, hopefully snagging the special at the same time. Do the ticket agents speak English, in that I could communicate my request for the special rate? Maybe I should work on writing my request in Italian to bring with me, just in case? Thanks again!
PS-note for others, the site did say that the special fares were available at the stations, not just as an internet rate. Good luck to all of us!
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 07:50 PM
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David, my problem started out as an issue with my credit card company but has developed into a Trenitalia issue. Like daisy58, my cc company put a fraud alert on my account when I attempted to purchase the tickets on Trenitalia. The message that was sent back to me on Trenitalia's site was that my credit card had been declined, which was very confusing to me because I knew I had more than a sufficient available credit to cover the charges. I then got an email notice from Trenitalia telling me that my account had been deactivated for security purposes and that if I wanted to reactivate, I would either need to call them or email the helpdesk. In the meantime, I had spoken to my credit card company, which advised me they suspected fraud because they were unaware that I was planning a vacation abroad, but assured me they had resolved the problem on their end. However, they when they gave me my available balance, I knew it wasn't right because virtually the only thing I had attempted to charge since paying off my balance in preparation for my trip were the Trenitalia tickets. So, I asked them why my available balance was so low and they advised me that I'd had six charges go through that day at $53 each for Trenitalia. I attempted to explain to my credit card company that this was incorrect and that the message I received on the Trenitalia site was that my purchase had been declined, but my credit card company told me that I would have to resolve the issue with ther merchant. So, I emailed Trenitalia's helpdesk with everything I have put in this message and have heard absolutely NOTHING back from them. In the meantime, I have over $300 in charges against my credit card for train tickets that I have no reservation confirmation and no way to access one. Literally, I have nothing to show for this mess, which is the nerve wracking part. Although, I will add that even though my cc company told me the charges had went through, I'm wondering if the individual I talk to was incorrect and that, like daisy58's account, they are simply pending because they have yet to actually show up as charges on my online statement. They have simply reduced my available credit balance as pending charges. Anywyay, I know this was a lengthy reply but I hope it has provided some sort of clarification concerning the situation for you.
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 08:08 PM
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Good grief, now I know why I prefer buying tickets after I get to Italy. What a lot of stress, confusion plus wasted time. Sure hope you both get the battle with Trenitalia worked out quickly.
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 09:24 PM
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LoveItaly, thanks for the sympathy (sniff #39;() MBNA assured me that I have nothing to worry about (I explained no phone # to call outside Italy, email that states they will "get back to me in approx 30 days) and a locked account to boot so I cannot cancel) MBNA stated that if the charges posted (they have not to date) to let them know and "they will dispute the charges on my behalf" and I have zero liability in fraud/error charges. So they are being more than terrific, and ultimately, because of this, I am not worried about the outcome. Another poster suggested I open a new email account and try again,
to which I say "Oh H*** No!!
1) my c/c company is being great now, cannot guarantee they will be understanding if I demonstrate that I am a "slow learner"
2) the possiblity of saving 19.00 US in upgrade of class is simply not worth the aggrevation
3) I have other things to do to prepare for this trip
4) and again, just for the record, I would rather chew glass !
Addicted2travel, what c/c company do you use?
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 09:44 PM
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ps to david-I had in fact contacted my c/c company, to let them know ahead of time of my intended purchases, as well as my future dates of travel ( I always do this), and yet I still had the problem addicted2travel, and others, have experianced. Seems like it's kind of a funky website. I did not experiance anything of the sort when I was booking for our Paris/London trip 2 years ago, and I took the same advance precautions that I did with the c/c company that I did this time, and I had no problem whatsoever then purchasing Eurostar tickets, etc.
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 09:52 PM
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daisy, that is soooo Italiano, they will get back to you in 30 days!

It seems like so many people have problems and frustrations when trying to book on Trenitalia. It sure is nothing that you did wrong. Am glad you CC Co was easy to work with. Just try to "forget" it for now, it will all work out. Just dream about being in beautiful Italy. BTW, you know my SIL was born and raised in Rome, right?
You should hear him to this day rant and rave about the frustrations of trying to do business in Italy, LOL. He is going the rounds with the bank there..I think that has been going on for three years.

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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 10:09 PM
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LoveItaly, I sure love to hear from you, and yes, I am so over the whole trenitalia > website thing! So many wonderful things to experiance in just 50 more days (oops, I forgot I wasn't counting ! This will just be filed in my travel prep memories as a cautionary tale. non importa. And yes, I remember your SIL is from Italy, (that was paramount in my selection of our Rome hotel, and thanks again!) So he is all to keenly aware of the "time frame" issue! Which, BTW, makes me wonder, are we Americans too "hung up"" on time, they not enough concerned, or probably a little of both???
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 10:17 PM
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Hi Daisy, your question is a good one and I think your thoughts that we expect everything "right now" and they mostly live with the attitude "oh domani" is extreme in both cases to tell you the truth. I think there is a middle ground but neither we or the Italians have seemed to have found it.
I can handle the way of thinking as a visitor to Italy but if I lived there I would be a raving maniac to tell you the truth. The redtape, the unnecessary "legal forms", the whole business culture is so different than ours. Now the cafe sitting, the long leisurely meals, the walks with all the beauty around you, oh yes that works for sure, LOL.

I will email you..have been behind on my emails but you have sure been in my thoughts.
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 10:32 PM
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thank you loveitaly,I look forward to hearing from you. I have thought of you often!
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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 12:46 AM
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Thanks for the resonses daisy58 and Addicted2Travel. Based upon your experiences, I think I'll pass on the trenitalia.com 29 Euro special offer and just purchase the tickets once I arrive in Italy. It really doesn't sound like it is worth the hassle you two have experienced to save what might amount to about $100.00. I do, however, appreciate the time and effort you expended in responding to my question and wish you both the greatest of trips!
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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 04:55 AM
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Hi daisy,

>Do the ticket agents speak English, in that I could communicate my request for the special rate?

Many do.

>Maybe I should work on writing my request in Italian to bring with me, just in case? <

Good idea. See http://www.freetranslation.com/



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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 04:58 AM
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Hi all,

I think that the problems have not been Trenitalia or CC companies.

It's the ISP, especially AOL, that is blocking the confirmations.

Open an account at www.yahoo.com or www.hotmail.com, purchase one ticket, see if the confirmation comes through.

Don't make more than one purchase before checking your CC account.

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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 05:55 AM
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Hi Everyone,
Well, twenty hours and counting until I'm off to Italy. I just wanted to thank you all for helping taking the stress off from this whole Trenitalia situation. Just knowing that I'm not the only one in the world who has encountered this problem has helped a great deal. Likey daisy58, I'm so over the Trenitalia website and I'm ready to go. Oh, daisy58, my credit card company is Chase and, like you, I also have had no previous problems using the same card on past trips to Spain, France, Costa Rica, and England...Maybe it's just an Italy thing. I'll be sure to let you all know how purchasing the tickets in person goes, once I get back. To whoever suggested writing the train numbers down and just handing it to the clerk, that was a really good suggestion, I think that is the approach I am going to try first because what little Italian I do know is VERY sketchy at best.
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