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trenitalia tripple charge

With the assistance of an Italian guide, when in San Marghirita, Italy I thought I purchased a Trenitalia train ticket from Florence to Venice for Sunday September 29, 2013. The ticket agent appeared to have some difficulty with her computer and was having a hard time printing out two adjacent seats. Most of the conversation was between her and my Italian guide in Italian. At some point I know I heard him say in Italian Sunday, but I also looked on my calendar to confirm the date. I may have made a mistake. I paid 90 euros for two tickets for the one way trip. On the Sunday train from Florence to Venice two people were already in our seats, but plenty of room so took two empty seats. Conductor comes by to see tickets: ours were for 28.09 or the prior day!! So in checking the seats--coach number etc I missed the date mistake, but plenty of seats so I thought no big deal. Wrong--he demanded we buy two more seats and to add insult to injury added an additional 50 euro each. Hence we paid a total of 280 euros instead of 90 euros.
I just tried going on the Trentitalia web cite to complain and to try to resolve and could not sign on as every country but the USA is an option. I am sure I contributed to the mistake, but am very disappointed in the way the Trenitalia ticket checker responded. We had a ticket--there was room--we obviously had not used it the day before and now I can't get on the cite. Note a later ticket checker shrugged when I tried to explain the problem, When asked if there was anyone else I could talk with they both said no. I've attached a copy of the origional ticket and the further on train payment. Any thoughts or suggestions

Posted by
9109 posts

I know the whole thing has left a bad taste in your mouth etc, but there is nothing more you can do about it:( Just write it off, and dwell on the good experiences you had in Italy. These unexpected expenses happen from time to time to everyone who travels.....right or wrong.

Posted by
32268 posts

martin,

As Ed so succinctly mentioned, you're out of luck on this one.

You stated twice in your description that "I may have made a mistake" and "I missed the date mistake". For future reference, it would have been prudent to have checked the ticket you were issued to verify the travel date and other details before leaving the ticket office.

As mentioned here on the HelpLine in MANY posts and on various websites, tickets for "premium trains" such as the Freccia high speed trains from Florence to Venice are specific to a particular train, date and departure time. Travelling without a ticket and reservations for these trains will result in penalties.

When you boarded the train in Florence, you DIDN'T in fact have a valid ticket and were therefore travelling without tickets and reservations, so the Trenitalia staff charged you for:

  1. Two tickets for the specific train you were riding on for €90.
  2. Fines for not having tickets or reservations for the train you were on, which as I recall are €40 PP in Tuscany plus the cost of the reservation which is €10 PP, a total of €100.

Those are the rules and I've witnessed both Italians and other tourists get nicked with fines, so it can happen to anyone. I've also been fined in the past, and the best way to approach it is just treat it as a "learning experience" and move on.

You will NOT get any refunds by complaining to Trenitalia, as the Conductor was doing his/her job and assessed penalties according to the rules.

Cheers!

Posted by
10358 posts

Martin, I feel your pain. I'm always doing things like that. Last year we missed our flight home by a day. I suggest you get rid of the tickets so you don't think about it and and just chalk it up to a travel lesson.

Posted by
12172 posts

Welcome to Italy, where the customer is pretty much never right. It's hard to adjust to, coming from our mindset.

Posted by
1054 posts

That's they way they operate over there. On my High Speed train from Milan to Venice, these 2 guys asked if anyone was sitting in the seats in front of us. I thought it was weird to ask since you needed reservations. I told them no but someone else may since you need seat reservations for this train. They looked at me funny. Sometime around Padua the conductor came and busted them for having a reginoal ticket and they had to pay extra to stay on the train.

Posted by
3696 posts

Unfortunate... but I have to agree with others...it's over and just best to forget it. I recently held 2 hotel rooms in NYC for 1 day in Feb....6 months before the actual date of travel. I then cancelled, however they only cancelled 1 of the rooms, so 6 months later I get billed for one nite. Tried to fight it but to no avail. Even though I still remember it, I try to pretend I spent that $300 on some serious dinners... over, done, gone...

Posted by
2829 posts

In most of Europe, trains are mass transportation services first and foremost, not leisure rides for tourists. As any other mass transportation services, they need to rely on a set of preset rules to manage systems that transport millions every day. Think - say - of any airline carrier: pretty much everyone knows you are out of luck if you buy and don't check a wrongly scheduled ticket, if you arrive late at the airport because of congestion etc. Assume train operators in Europe are like "airline-on-rails", the burden of complying with fare and ticketing rules is on you, and exceptions to hard-set rules are uncommon - then adjust your mindset to it. Seriously, how many people would try to make an argument that if you miss a flight because - say - you bought a ticket for the wrong date, you should still be able to travel next day just because airplanes are taking-off with empty seats?

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for all the perspectives and good advise. However, does anyone know why I can not file a complaint (even if a waste of time) on the web site. When I try to enter my address Italy is in the box and can be changed to any country except the USA. What am I doing wrong?? Promise I will go back to good memories of trip once this is done. Lessons learned, but some venting still needed. Gillato, Wine, Gillato, Wine, David, Venice, Pieta, Gillato (improving slowly).

Posted by
23471 posts

But what is the complaint? What is there to resolve? How is it obvious that you had not used it the day before? Have been on more than one train where our ticket was not checked by anyone. So does that mean that I can use it the next day? It is unfortunate but you are trying to make a case out of nothing.

Posted by
4411 posts

I'm with Bets on this one. Gather all tickets, receipts, etc., get some matches, a bottle of wine, and light those babies up! Buh-bye, Stoopid Reminders! Enjoy the wine (Italian if possible), and have fun reminiscing about your trip - the Good Times.

Posted by
4411 posts

Wow, Keith - you're the Ultimate Time Traveler!

You win ;-)

Guess you packed very lightly...

Posted by
19170 posts

Your problem is that you went to Italy, where the national pastime is ripping off tourist. Not only the criminals do it, the government does it as well (note ZTLs). You paid 90€ for the two tickets. That's base (or full) fare. In Germany you could have used the tickets on a later train without penalty, although seat reservations would not have been good.

That's why someone said, "In hell the Italians run the trains."

Posted by
8293 posts

Well, there was your real mistake, Martin. You should have gone to Germany. Let that be a lesson to us all.

Posted by
4411 posts

Martin, travel is dangerous. You should've just stayed home and watched Rick's "Travels in Europe" DVDs ;-)

Burned those papers yet?!?

Posted by
2081 posts

Martin,

I made a mistake on my recent trip. I booked a train from London to Leeds. Unfortunately i didnt catch my mistake sooner, but in essence i was to leave for Leeds the day i arrived in London. Wasnt happening. The REALLY REALLY NICE LADY (NATIONAL RAIL?) in the ticket office was able to refund my return trip (since i didnt take it, yet) and then was able to rebook me for the same price that I paid for them months ago, but i still had to eat 90 pounds. IT was better than buying a 1 way ticke for more.

as others have said, consider it a learning experince.

happy trails.