Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I purchased two tickets for travel from Edinburgh Scotland to Inverness far in advance of leaving the States. Rail Europe charged my credit card immediately but did not email a confirmation that I had purchased tickets. Their website said they would send an email confirmation but they didn't. I contacted them again before I left the States but they would not respond. Rail Europe's website says it's their policy to respond within 24 to 48 hours. They did not respond to my inquiry and also did not email me a confirmation the sale had been completed. I flew to Edinburgh on July 16 still waiting for the tickets that I had purchased on Rail Europe's website but they would not answer me to confirm I made the purchase or even answer my subsequent inquiry about the missing tickets.
The night before the train ride (July 19) I went to the train station in Edinburgh to see if the Scott Rail customer service representative could find tickets in the system for me. I even showed them screen shots that I had taken of my computer screen and printed out from when I had purchased the tickets weeks prior. Scott Rail could not find our names in the system, indicating there were no tickets purchased for us. I finally had to purchase two tickets for the following morning to ensure we had seats. Rail Europe finally purchased my tickets and emailed me confirmation practically at the last minute (90+ hours after my written inquiry on where my tickets were!) but I had already purchased Scott Rail tickets. Rail Europe refused to refund my money because they sent me the email before the train departed. Rail Europe is run by idiots. Do not do business with Rail Europe.
I booked a ticket on Rail Europe to support a flight I had from CDG. I paid for it and I get my reservation code. The next day I get an email stating that they cannot get this ticket and I am on my own. Do not believe that they have the tickets that they promise - they don't. Do not depend on Rail Europe to get you where you need to be. They won't. All they do is charge you extra for something you can do for yourself at the train station or directly with the train service.
I spent many hours selecting specific dates and times for trains - I did this so I could have a basis for a price comparison between individual tickets and a pass. What arrived via UPS (and it is 2017 - I don't know why there is no electronic print capability) was a stack of tickets that just had destinations and a date range with NO explanation that I could take any train during that time range. Also I had selected a trip Amsterdam to Bruges and the ticket I received terminated in Antwerp. This necessitated a call to the US Office which was a long drawn out press this press that and then a 29-minute wait time. I selected the "call me back" feature. When that call came I had to navigate through another long button pressing process to confirm I really wanted the call. The RailEurope employee explained that the Amsterdam to Bruges included the missing portion of the ticket because it includes one transfer within the same country - How are you supposed to know this?
As far as the other tickets they are for regional trains and we can select any train - Nice flexibility but why did I spend so many hours carefully choosing specific dates and times. Just print up what I selected and if you send this mess instead perhaps an explanation of what I received might be helpful so I don't have to waste my time and RailEurpope's time calling. Probably should have rented a car. I don't think RailEurope is required or programmed to care since there isn't any competition in the train world. I should have looked into the car rental more seriously. Won't do this again.
You cannot change trains in Madrid in 9 min. Don't believe them. Don't buy their extra travel insurance. It is a waste of money. They assured me that 9 min. train changes were the norm. Once I saw the station in Madrid and spoke with the clerks there it was obvious that a 9 min train change is impossible. These people are unscrupulous thieves.
HELLO! Unexpected always happens. You have to accommodate clients.
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This is a consumer beware warning. We had never traveled in Europe and I elected to purchase raileurope.ca TGV train tickets. Terrible mistake. There was no option visible other than to ship to our house. So we did. We ended up having to change our tickets due to a flight time issue. We knew there would be a fee - so be it. We had to pay 20$ to have the tickets shipped back to the company in the US. We then waited and waited. I contacted them to no avail. We are still waiting.
This is a terrible company and you should not book with them. There are better providers who do not charge such outrageous fees and who give easy options to print at the station so you don't run into this fiasco. Please, please, please, trust me and try a different company. Service is terrible and they will never learn until people stop buying their terrible product. I doubt we will ever see our money. If we do, it will be half of what we paid. We literally ended up with nothing and they came out with 350 dollars.
I wish I had read the reviews that have been posted about Rail Europe, and seen the star rating on this site, before booking my train tickets through them. Despite returning unused tickets in the specified period of time, and meeting all of the requirements for cancellation, this company stalled of 6 months before advising that they would not be issuing me with a refund. They have no phone number, so the only method of communication is through email, which they may or may not respond to. My advice to anyone booking rail tickets in Europe is do NOT use this company. Organize tickets when you get to Europe - it is so easy, rather than use RailEurope.com. In all honesty this company should not be operating. I used the rail protection plan, which was just an additional way for this company to make money - there was no protection at all.
On December 23 2017 we travelled from Berlin to Prague via train with our children. There were 4 of us. The tickets cost $479 Australian dollars. I had purchased and paid for the tickets online and elected to print the tickets at the station and not have them sent to us in the mail. We successfully printed our tickets at the station and we're assigned seat numbers 43, 44, 47 and 48. On boarding the train we could only find seats 43 and 44. Seats 47 and 48 did not exist.
The train was overcrowded with individuals and families standing/sitting on luggage and squatting in the corridors. We never saw the conductor until our journey's end, nearing Prague and he was not interested in our dilemma. The train we travelled on in no way reflected what had been advertised on the Rail Europe website.
On returning to Australia I contacted Rail Europe seeking a refund or partial refund and some acknowledgment that we paid for 4 seats and got 2 seats. The feedback from the Rail Europe Customer Service team has been unhelpful and it was very apparent from the onset they had no intention of considering a refund or acknowledging a possible mistake. I intend to pursue the matter to ensure others are not subjected to the poor service we have received. My feedback to anyone considering using Rail Europe is don't!!
On 14 Nov, I requested for a refund of my ticket from Madrid to Toledo as it is impossible to transfer to the train within 5 mins. The platform is at least 15 mins away while transiting from Sevilla-Madrid-Toledo. I already fed back during ticket collection. The officer nonchalantly told me that I should just run to the other platform at top speed. Obviously, she was not a frequent traveller. In addition, the booking system does not permit a later time for the connecting train. Thus, I ended up to wait for another 1.5 hrs for the connecting train and purchase of additional tickets.
Incidentally, I lost my original train tickets via theft at train station in Madrid which I made a police report. All Rail Europe said that I should claim the lost tickets from my travel insurer instead claiming that they cannot process any claim if I do not hold the original tickets. In the first place, I would have utilized tickets should there not be an oversight and unprofessionalism by Rail Europe. Rail Europe overlooked of responding to me after 2 weeks of my email to them attaching a visual of the tickets before my trip. In this day and age, who uses paper ticket? If it is not for ease of mind via an English site and they charged high service fee, I will think twice. There is absolutely zero customer service instead. I urge travellers to avoid buying from Rail Europe Singapore in future.
We are a "mature" couple, i.e., in our seventies who wanted to avoid dragging our luggage around to the ticket counters for our four segment rail trip through England. I logged on to the RailEurope.com site and proceeded to purchase our tickets. The website is a confusing horror - thought I had threaded through the maze after the third try and clicked "purchase". My wife's ticket was omitted and the reserved/nonreserved mess and options would try anyone's patience. I immediately called them and asked them to cancel the entire process. Was informed that they would/could not and I would be billed. At the moment my credit card company is trying to extract me from this mess. I don't know why Google allows them on the 'net.
Unfortunately, I bought the Rail Europe Rail Protection Plan that assured me I could make changes to my tickets. Firstly, SNCF (France) and RENFE (Spain) don't recognize Rail Europe as a partner. Secondly, SNCF and RENFE definitely didn't honor their change policy or Rail Protection Plan. I'm out $300 because I booked with Rail Europe. Choose a country other than US when booking through SNCF! Unfortunately, SNCF automatically redirects you to Rail Europe if you mark that you're a US Resident. HORRIBLE AND DECEITFUL.
Don't trust them. After confirming our train days earlier they emailed me on the day stating they no longer had tickets available for us and every other train was booked. They are useless middlemen.
Unfortunately, I happened to visit RailEurope website and found Stockholm to Oslo train with price of $46. I received the confirmation letter with same price. However, few days later, they said due to the market price, ticket price went up to $202 and there are other options something like $50 2nd class or same price with departing at some odd time. I refused to select other options and then they send me the itinerary and confirmation letter with total price of $202+$50+$50=$302. Wonder if this company is normal business unit. Somebody should stop this nonsense site.
These rogues stole over 600 euros from my 2 credit cards, still waiting on my cash back after 3 weeks. This left me short for my holiday which was ruined. I then had to travel to a strange country and waste 200 euros on taxis and another 360 euros on trains I had paid for before I went. Disgraceful service.
We purchased our France rail tickets from this "travel agent" monopoly several months ago after speaking with a representative. We discussed our exact itinerary at that time and ultimately purchased a 5-day pass. Because 3 of the trips were on TGV, we also made reservations. The first train reservation was made 6 days away from the last. Nothing was ever mentioned, including on the email purchase confirmation that it was 5 days "consecutive." So our return TGV ticket was paid for was worthless as they sold us a ticket for which we can't use and never timely responded to emails, website portal contact or Facebook Messenger chats.
I would not recommend this company and we will never use them again. Better to just book directly with the specific rail service if possible since this company can't do their job well, evidencing why most travel agencies are out or going out of business. Unfortunately RailEurope has a monopoly with several of the European rail companies.
I booked an train from Venice to Rome on 27th of April. When I was at the OTP payment option, the website froze and boot me out of the system. Well, I was shocked by how lousy the system was and went looking through my email for confirmation of purchase. However I saw NO EMAIL regarding the issue, thus I went to contact my bank to cancel the transaction. The bank explained that the credit was on hold and it would not be deducted if the merchant didn't collect it, and it's normal the merchant won't collect the money if product was not sold. Therefore I decided to ignore this matter and waited.
On 5th of May I checked my bank statement. I realize that $80 EUROS was deduced. Therefore, I decided to lodge an complaint for refund as money was deducted without purchase. However the customer service insisted they send me an email on 28th of April and just send me my confirmation letter on the 5th of May. WHAT THE HELL SO LATE? I HAD MADE ANOTHER BOOKING INSTEAD! In actual fact, I didn't receive any email on 28 April. I check inbox, junk mail and spam before I decided to ask for an refund. Even if they did send me an email on 28th April, it was one day late and deem as the sales didn't went through. Their system boot me out which reflects that they are not welcoming of me purchasing from your site. It was the technology glitch that the company should be held account for.
Thus in all circumstances, it was consider a scam. IF I DIDN'T COMPLAIN, I WOULD HAVE PAID YOU MONEY FOR NO SERVICE. However now I am in a situation with double set of rail ticket as Rail-Europe insist of not refunding me for their technical glitch, does not have proof they emailed me and does not reply my email from them on. The million dollar question: Which customer has to "lodge an complain" for a refund before an ticket is issued? Is it an good service? Please show evidence before accusing me and pushing away the blame. Dissatisfied Customer.
I made reservations for train journeys in Italy and paid by credit card. I received a confirmation but shortly afterwards received an email from their fraud department stating that my booking had been cancelled and that any money paid would be refunded to me. No detailed explanation was given... I can only deduce that it was cancelled due to suspected fraud. However, the payment went through my account. A whole stream of emails followed between me and a person with the name of Cijie ** with absolutely no result. The booking was made on 18 April 2016 and as I write this on 12 May 2016, the matter remains unresolved. My advice is... AVOID THIS WEBSITE LIKE THE PLAGUE...
Rail Europe (USA site) is the worst site to get information from. I have received incorrect phone numbers for handicapped services in France. I called several times and was given incorrect information. I attempted to fill out forms that were only available in French and Rail Europe refused to guide me through it, in order to properly fill out the form so that the requested form could be sent. In addition, I received a lot of information from several customer service agents that was incorrect. It frightens me to think that this sole Representative for Rail Europe is so unhelpful.
Be aware of this website, it is a rip-off. I rebooked the train tickets for France and canceled the previous one due to I only could print out 2 E-tickets instead of 6 tickets. They charge me 7% penalty/per ticket plus the booking fee of $7.95. If I go directly to French website (www.sncf.com/en/passengers), their price are mostly lower or the same and they don't charge any booking or penalty fee for the kind of tickets I bought (flexible).
2 days after I bought a ticket for $119, I have got this email from RailEurope: "Thank you for booking online with Rail Europe. Your order has been placed on hold because the requested fare is no longer available. However, we are holding the lowest available 1st class fare for a grand total of $181.95. We are also holding the lowest available 2nd class fare which is $97.95. Please reply to this email within 24 hours to advise us how to proceed." I called them and they said they are sold out. But I check their website and I still get the price as $119.
Do not use RailEurope if possible. I bought a 2nd class rail pass and a ticket from the RailEurope before the start of my journey (at the end of Oct 2015) but mistakenly bought a ticket for 1st class seat. I went to the RailEurope office and informed them of the error. The staff there told me the ticket was invalid, and that I needed to buy another ticket and then to request for refund of the first ticket. I thus bought another ticket from RailEurope, then returned the first ticket and asked for refund (and this request was made at least a week before the start of my journey). But a few days later, RailEurope told me that there would be no refund because I bought the ticket by mistake. That answer was totally unacceptable. They told me the first ticket was invalid - and if so - I paid for nothing. RailEurope ignored my request and even ignored my response that I would tell other travelers about my experience in this case.
Rip off - not full disclosure of additional cost and restrictions. Really impractical/inflexible to make reservations and changes. Cost resulted much higher than buying on the spot. Added stress and frustration.
RailEurope is the worst! We purchased tickets for our recent trip. Paid extra for the protection plan. Our flight was delayed 4 hours so I called to change the tickets per RailEurope's policy (and the only way to exchange tickets), but their offices were closed. They've now denied our claim because we didn't exchange our tickets before departure time. Cost us $333 to purchase new tickets in Paris ---- Do yourself a favor and purchase tickets at the train stations in Europe! It's more convenient, easier to use and you won't get ripped off. #RailEuropeRipOff.
I had purchased five first/second class fare tickets on the Thello overnight train from Milan, Italy to Dijon, France for passage taken in July of 2015. When my family arrived at the Milan train station at 11pm for our passage, we were told that first and second class cars were closed due to no air conditioning and if we wanted to travel on that evening train it would have to be in the economy class cars if we could find a seat. Since we had connecting trains the following morning to complete our journey and not traveling that evening would have made us incur or forfeit another $1,000+, we were forced to board the train and try and find accommodations for our group. We were traveling with our three girls and had paid over $1,000 Dollars for the first/second class passage. We were forced to separate from our girls into two separate cars and my husband and I ended up in a compartment without air conditioning anyway.
The five plus hour journey without air conditioning during the hottest period in Europe that summer caused us to be physically sick when we arrived in Dijon the next morning. The experience was akin to rail travel in a third world country. Upon return back to the US we sought a refund from Thello through RailEurope whom we purchased the Thello train tickets from for either the full fare or the differential between the first/second class fare we purchased and the economy class fare we ended up taking. After several months of fighting with RailEurope and Thello, and RailEurope being completely unresponsive to our request, we received only a $134 refund from Thello. Repeated emails to RailEurope on how they can prove the differential in fare cost is only $134 have gone unanswered. I believe the rail passage in Europe is extremely unreliable, although continues to be very costly to consumers.
RailEurope's lack of response and support in our refund request is unacceptable and should serve as a caution to anyone considering using their firm to purchase rail tickets. You pay a premium to use their service, however receive nothing in regards to customer service or support in return. I would highly recommend against overnight rail travel in Europe, but if you must just purchase the tickets yourself on the rail site and save the additional expense of this unprofessional firm, RailEurope.
On June 1, 2015, Eurostar had to cancel train service to Paris. I bought the ticket on Rail Europe and they will not give a refund. I had to take our group of 4 to Luton to fly to Paris. They keep telling American Express it did not happen but Eurostar gave us documentation about the cancellation and I sent it to them. They tell American Express I did not let them know about it and I have proof of mail delivery to them. I have been on the phone to their "no" customer service line for hours. I do not think it is a real company. DO NOT BUY TICKETS FROM RAIL EUROPE. GET THEM FROM EUROSTAR.
Do not even get involved with this pseudo business. No people on the customer care. You wait 3 to 4 hours for one call. It is the biggest scam in the USA. Good for nothing. Pitiful. I tried to communicate on June 14 telling them that due to the Tropical Storm in Houston I will miss my connection and I will never make to the rail station on time. When I arrived in Munich 11 hours later I saw that they called me. There was nothing I could do. 800 numbers do not work from Germany. I had to buy another ticket for 154.00 Euros. Do not try to buy from this company or you will get hurt. If I could, I will give these company a minus 10 stars. They do not have a C.E.O. They have a stupid idiot running the show.
I made a train reservation with Rail Europe on June 19th for a trip to Europe, while making the booking I realized that there was a booking fee and that should have sent up red flags but I continued with the booking. I had to cancel the booking a few days later (on June 22), so I sent an online request to do so, however I tried to cancel the booking on my own online and I noticed that they were only going to refund me 93% of the ticket price. So I emailed again asking for my ticket to not be cancelled thinking I could find a way to make it work rather than lose $17 between the "service fee" and the "booking fee." Of course, they canceled my ticket, although the clarifying email was sent immediately after.
I got mad and sent an email to customer service and nothing. Then I called and asked to speak to a supervisor. I was directed to send an email and of course the same woman who cancel my ticket told me that the refund policy states that you are only refunded 93% of the ticket price. But this is not an accurate explanation of what is stated on the website. When you buy the ticket online, you are charged a "ticket price" and a "booking fee," and the policy states that if you cancel before 2 days of travel you will get a full refund. And then it states that where applicable you are charged a 7% "service fee," but of course it is never clear when this policy is applicable.
So of course, I called to speak to a supervisor again and am told that it was my fault because I did not read the policy in its entirety. The thing is the policy is written so vaguely that there is no way I (or anyone else) would know that under no circumstances are you refunded your full ticket price. This company has the worst customer service I have ever come across and I strongly discourage anyone from using their service.
I bought rail tickets through the Rail Europe website after the French SNCF website basically threw me out and switched to the Australian Rail Europe site. Having found the ticket I wanted, I clicked on it to buy and got a message saying there was a problem with the transaction and I would have to wait until the charge to my card cleared and try again. When I tried again, it worked (magically) but now the price had increased. When I checked on the SNCF website I could see the same ticket was still at the same price and cheaper than it was offered on the Rail Europe website.
I consider this to be basically a bait and switch routine that appears to have quite often. Complained to Consumer Affairs in Australia who did nothing... Now when I book train travel in France I use the SNCF website and just tell it that I am in France or will pick up the tickets in France (they come as a PDF or code anyway, so you don't need a paper ticket), or I have also used the excellent Capitaine Train website which is really simple and works.
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 okay -- 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 Trenitalia 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.
You would think you are safe with an e-ticket and your credit card debited. NOT with RailEurope --- This is my story: I arranged a trip first class for my 92 years old mother from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Brussels using RailEurope.com website. First, like many other customers I did not receive any email confirmation. I found that suspicious, and I immediately contact my credit card company. The funds were already debited from my account. The next day, first thing in the morning, called RailEurope. If you have to speak with someone in that company, be ready to wait between 30 to 1 hour 30 minutes.
Finally, when I could talk to someone, they could not find my reservation, and gave me total assurance that they did not debit my credit card someone else did. At that time I was sure to be victim of another spam, phishing or criminal operation. Then tried to book directly with SNCF France. Impossible because from US you can't access those 'green numbers'. After about 12 emails and non-sense reply (like automatic reply that have no relation with your questions) and spent about 3 or 4 hours on the phone to contact customer relations, accounting, etc.. Never got anyone on the phone.
Finally I was advised to redo the booking. I did, And you know what? It works. I got immediately a confirmation and a few minutes later got my e-ticket printed. And the next day I got an invoice pro-format printed also. Great. My mother can travel safely. She is now in the plane between LAX and Paris (probably Greenland or Ireland), and will be in the TGV train in 8 hours. Well, you will not believe that... Just got mail from RailEurope.
"We are here to assist you." "I may have canceled your ticket in booking ** in error." "If this is the case, please purchase a new ticket at the train station...." "I am sorry for any inconvenience this issue may be causing you...." "It is our goal to provide excellent customer service." LOL!!!
Conclusions: With RailEurope, you could have an e-ticket, proof of payment be in a foreign country with a cancelled e-ticket. Is it legal? My advice: Stay away from RailEurope, try booking combo airline + train. Will tell you end of story in few hours.
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