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Trouble booking train tickets

I'm tried booking our round trip from Paris - Aix en Provence on both the SNCF and then on Capitiantrain websites. Both times, my credit card was refused...wth...called credit card company and they said no charges were tried to be put through and that they didn't have an problem with with that kind of a charge, other than the site rejected my card. Has anybody had a problem booking online with cc, for tickets. should I just call either one train site and do this over the phone? I'm booking for mid October but it seems to accept the date...I'm at a loss here.

Posted by
32268 posts

Judy,

There have been other posts here recently complaining of similar results when trying to buy tickets, and I'm not sure what the problem is. I've found the Captain Train website the most reliable, as users have to register a credit card on the website. Once registered any purchases seem to go through very quickly.

You could try and clear the Cache and Cookies on your Browser and then try again?

Posted by
16894 posts

For SNCF, they want a higher level of security than many USA credit cards have, although Canadian cards with a chip and PIN have seemed to work fine. Also, when you first visit voyages-sncf.com, you might need to specify correctly where you are located so it matches your credit card. If you see a fare available called Prems (but it's not yet bookable for October), then you should have the option to pay with PayPal, which is easy. Only Oigo and iDTGV are for sale now, so you might want to wait for more departures and fares to come online.

Capitaintrain has not been as picky about credit cards, which is the main reason that people use it. They don't take phone orders.

Posted by
287 posts

Sorry, I don't have an explanation to offer. I used Captain Train just last week to purchase Paris - Barcelona (one way) with my U.S.-issued Capitol One Mastercard and didn't experience any problems at all.

Posted by
306 posts

So far have tried every angle but cannot book with my Canadian ViSA card, and I assure everyone, it's not my nor the banks problem, I have spoken with them. I can only think that..
A- to early to book with captain train
B- iDTGv does not accept Canadian cc
c- wait for more fares to show up and possibly my Canadian card will work with non iDTGv train
d- SNCF - shows to early...wait?
Comments from US citizens doesn't work for me, we have different cards. Ken, from Vernon,do you mean you can verify that you have booked and if so, how far in advance. Hints ? Maybe I just need to wait awhile.
Thanks

Posted by
32268 posts

Judy,

I've never had any trouble with my Canadian credit cards when booking on Captain Train or the rail websites. It's very puzzling on why you're having problems.

For a start, I'd suggest sending an E-mail to Captain Train customer service, as I've always found them to be very responsive. A couple of questions and comments.....

  • Did you try clearing the cache and cookies on your computer?
  • Do you have another credit card that you can try?
  • Did you register your preferred credit card on the Captain Train website?
  • Have you made purchases with C.T. using that credit card in the past?
  • Which bank is your credit card with?
  • Are you able to try a different computer or different Browser to make the purchase (ie: if you have a Smartphone, try the C.T. app as that may work).

One thought that occurred to me (and it's a long shot) is that as Captain Train was purchased by Trainline UK several months ago, maybe they made some changes on their website. Again, a note to their customer service should clear that up.

I expect to be buying some rail tickets in the next day or two, and I'll let you know if I have any problems with that.

Keep us posted on what you find out, as I'm sure others here will be interested.

Posted by
32268 posts

Judy,

I have some news.

I just booked a ticket on Captain Train and it's waiting to in my Inbox to be printed. Here's what happened....

It was very easy to book the train I wanted, but found a slight problem when I was taken to the "Payments" section. I used a Mastercard and the website asked for a Secure Code number before the transaction could be processed. I tried twice to enter the number that I had on file, but it wouldn't work.

OK, time for Plan "B". I changed the payment to another of my Mastercard accounts (a credit union account), one which I had not set up a Secure Code. Captain Train redirected to the bank website, I created a Secure Code and the purchase went through Immediately. I had the ticket in my mail within about a minute.

And now for the important part. Even though it was after midnight, I phoned the credit card support number (CIBC) and they confirmed that they had seen the transactions from Captain Train, but these were apparently blocked by their automated fraud alert system even though I had a Secure Code number. The representative said that's the way their system is set up and there's no way to get around it. Each credit card issuer determines the criteria for allowing or blocking "card not present" transactions. However he's made a note on my account that I may be making further purchases, so I'll try it again tomorrow with another ticket purchase and see what happens.

Even though I'm fairly up-to-date with technology, dealing with stuff like this is a constant learning experience.

Posted by
15684 posts

Maybe this is not relevant, but . . .

I have a US Mastercard through Capitol One. I registered it with Mastercard Securecard and used it for Spain 2 years ago. When I tried a few months ago, I discovered that Capitol One no longer participates in the Securecard program so I am unable to use that card on any site that requires a secure code. Mastercard explained to me that each card issuer (bank, etc) chooses whether to join the program or not.

Posted by
25 posts

I had the same trouble getting denied with the iPhone app voyages sncf. The only card that worked was my capital One Mastercard and with this I was able to book the tickets. I've not tried caption train.
Catherine

Posted by
306 posts

Sorry for late response, so much to do and organize. I spoke with capitaintrain and their response was that iDGtv trains do NOT accept out of country credit card...period. But TGV does on the SNCF website. It just is that the TGV trains are not book able before 90 days out. So , I just wait and things will work out, hopefully.

Posted by
20461 posts

Thanks for getting back. That is an interesting bit of info on iDTGV.

Posted by
11507 posts

Er that must be new i have booked idTGV with my TD Visa .

I did contact idTGV aand they got back to me, saw my card attempts, told me to try again, and it worked.That was two years ago though.

However i booked paris to lyon on sncf just last august with same canadian credit card.

I must be the only person who doesnt like el capitan, tried to book Thalys tickets for last month ,about three months ago, and didnt like the site , booked directly with Thalys

Posted by
306 posts

------this is what I received from Capitain train ----

Hi Judy!

It's because iDTGV doesn't (or often) accept credit cards issued outside of France. We explain this here in more details if you want to: http://faq.captaintrain.com/article/166-payment-not-working#idtgv

You may contact them directly to help you with that, but the easiest solution is to book a TGV (SNCF) ticket instead directly. :)

Best wishes,

Sylvie

http://www.captaintrain.com
##

Posted by
11507 posts

"doesn't or often".. that's a weird statement/answer from El Captian .. either they do .. or they don't.. or they only accept one type of card..

Posted by
63 posts

We gave up and used paypal through Capitain Train. It was frustrating not to be able to use our card, but paypal did work.

Posted by
135 posts

I just booked 2 tickets from Paris to Libourne on Captain Train and had to add the extra security "Verified by VISA" password. Everything went through very quickly once I filled in the password. This extra step is required very infrequently but luckily I have a password manager and was able to find the right answer!