Report: #1232527

Complaint Review: Rail Europe

  • Submitted: Sun, May 31, 2015
  • Updated: Sun, May 31, 2015
  • Reported By: bridge917 — California USA
  • Rail Europe

    Internet
    USA

Rail Europe Sells tickets that are invalid in Italy Internet

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When my husband and I were planning our first trip to Europe, we wanted to travel by train to get from country to country. Rail Europe had the most user-friendly website, and without independent knowledge of how to coordinate trains between countries, we assumed Rail Europe would be a good place to use. 

We were absolutely wrong. After our purchase, everything seemed ok--we were able to print tickets for England and France at home, and it simply said that when we arrived in Italy we would need to enter our confirmation code to print tickets at the stations. It seemed simple enough. However, when we arrived in Italy, we discovered that all trains were Trenitalia, and that the confirmation codes issued through Rail Europe were invalid. When we first had the problem, we waited in a long line and nearly missed our train to talk to Trenitalia staff. Multiple staff members became involved in our case, and none could figure out the problem or how to use our confirmation codes from Rail Europe. Despite their best intentions and trying to be helpful, the best they could offer was to sell us a new ticket and ask for a refund from Rail Europe. 

We boarded our first train with the instructions from Trenitalia staff to explain the situation and buy a ticket from the conductor when he came by. He never came, so we did not have an issue on this ride. However, in the meantime, we emailed Rail Europe for advice. It was a kind email. When they responded (which was not immediate, so we had to deal with this issue again before we heard from them), they evidently did not read our initial email. We clarified that we did not need a refund, but that the Trenitialia staff didn't know what to do with us except tell us to contact Rail Europe and perhaps get a refund and re-purchase tickets in Italy. Rail Europe denied us a refund we did not ask for. They also blamed us for nearly missing our train, stating that because we booked the first and second legs ourselves, the 25 minute layover was insufficient so it was our fault. They completely ignored the fact that we could not GET our tickets. They also booked us various trips with multiple legs with much less than 25 min layovers. 

I was infuriated to receive their response, which not only did not address our concern or offer any solutions, but in fact blamed us for the problem. I responded stating that their response was completely unacceptable and stated that they needed to respond to me urgently, as all the remaining tickets we had were booked in Italy through Rail Europe. They never responded again. My husband and I wasted valuable travel time getting to every Trenitalia station early to see if anyone there might be able to help us. No one could figure it out. As a result, we rode trains with only receipt/confirmations, but not actual tickets, worrying the whole time that we would be fined for something we could not control. The stress and time this took was ridiculous. 

Finally, the very last station had a man who figured out how to issue our tickets. Unfortunately, his English was not great so we do not know what he did to make the confirmation codes work. We had to handle the entire thing on our own. I NEVER heard back from Rail Europe, despite various emails including stating that I was completely disappointed and would ensure that review sites heard about their unprofessional, unacceptable practices.

So, buyer beware. Book through Trenitalia directly if traveling in Europe. Someone should penalize Rail Europe for taking money from consumers and not providing the service/ticket that they say they are. I hope someone may read this and it may save you the stress, anxiety, and time that we had to spend trying to resolve it. 

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/31/2015 02:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/rail-europe/internet/rail-europe-sells-tickets-that-are-invalid-in-italy-internet-1232527. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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