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Help! Virgin Trains East Coast

I have done everything I can think to do to book train tickets on their site. It inevitably ends up telling me I'm not using the correct billing address for the card I've entered. I know I'm using the right address. Anyone else ever run into similar situations? Am I missing something?

Posted by
32719 posts

Did you notify your credit card provider that you were about to make a purchase in England - before you did?

Did you spell your town differently than the card thinks - like Ft Worth or Ft.Worth or Fort Worth?

Did you put zip + 4 or just zipcode?

Did you change the country tab to United States from United Kingdom?

Did you use the same State abbreviation including caps?

Posted by
16202 posts

We had no trouble booking East Coast trains last year but that was before Virgin took over.

Nigel has some excellent suggestions. You could also try a different credit card, or maybe a different computer.

Posted by
23250 posts

No, we booked tickets last May with no problems. We do have a slight problems in that our zip code is tied to a different town. Sometimes that is a problem for us.

Posted by
340 posts

I booked on line with them about a month ago from the US and had no problem using my VISA card. As Nigel noted, be sure you indicate US instead of UK, and choose pick-up your tickets at the station instead of having them mailed.

Hmmmm, I don't know then. I have tried everything Nigel suggested and a different card. No dice. I've also called and reconfirmed that my bank isn't stopping the charges. It looks like I may need to call and book these tickets because I can't figure out what the hold up is. We've had no other issues booking accommodations or train tickets for other legs of our journey, so yeah, I'm at a loss. Thanks for the suggestions. Makes me feel better to know I'm not going crazy!

Posted by
244 posts

Have you tried buying tickets through RS website? I purchased point to point tickets recently through RailEurope RS. My tickets were London to Edinburgh. No problems.

Posted by
9363 posts

I bought Virgin Trains tickets online with no problem. And I had them mailed to me, instead of picking them up.

Posted by
2501 posts

if you've successfully bought tickets from other UK train company's websites e.g. Great Western or Virgin Trains (which is different to Virgin East Coast) then simply use one of those sites and you will get the same tickets

on no account should you use Rail Europe which is likely to sell the more expensive tickets

the only fields you need are first line of address and town/city - zip codes aren't needed

Thank you so much pfresh3! I booked using the RS Rail Europe site with success! Whew!! That was the last thing on my "to book" list. Now I can tweak the itinerary and get super organized with the biggies off the list.
Thanks to everyone that offered advice and suggestions!

Posted by
23250 posts

I am curious. What did you pay for the Rail Europe tickets? What was your travel plan? When we ordered the tickets last we just printed the tickets from our computer.

Posted by
248 posts

I recently had an issue with Virgin and my Visa debit card. Despite a few repeated entries I kept getting a message to the effect it wasn't the right kind of number for a Visa debit. Used the credit card and all went well. I also noticed there is an option for an e-ticket you can print out. In fact, I think there may be a fee for other ticketing methods (station / mail).

We are going one way from London to Edinburgh. Tickets for 2 adults in regular seating were $147.95 which was cheaper than the Virgin tickets but we didn't get to pick our own seats. It's open seating on the Rail Europe tickets we booked. I have no idea what was going on with Virgin. I tried multiple cards, debit, credit, called my banks, entered in my address differently, etc... all to no avail. So glad I popped on here for some quick advice. This forum is so valuable!

Posted by
2501 posts

"which was cheaper than the Virgin tickets"

I've never seen a cheaper source than the Virgin website - do you mind saying the date and time of your train?

Posted by
4407 posts

FWIW, Rick Steves has nothing to do with Rail Europe. The Rick Steves' Europe website provides a handy link to the Rail Europe website, but Rick Steves' Europe doesn't own Rail Europe or anything like that.

Posted by
2501 posts

The virgin east coast site is currently selling two tickets for your date and time at £79.40 ($124). Unfortunate that you couldn't get it to work, but as you say the most important thing is that you were successful in the end.

Try and sit on the right hand side after Newcastle for nice views of the coast.

Posted by
37 posts

I had a problem booking something in the UK ( I can't remember if it was train or show tickets) and the problem was using punctuation marks in my address and phone number. After I eliminated those it went right through.