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RAIL EUROPE WARNING, READ BEFORE EVERY THINKING OF USING RAIL EUROPE
"Google Reviews of Rail Europe - don't just take my word on it. You would not think you need due diligence when booking a train ticket - think again! It is nothing like taking Amtrak in America. There is not ONE train system. I mistakenly thought Rail Europe was like the Amtrak of America. Amtrak is the company providing the service. Rail Europe of nothing but sleezy brokers - scam artists in my opinion with a flashy website. I have been traveling internationally for business and pleasure for the last 25 years. I pride myself on being well versed on the ins and outs of travel. My travel has been by air. When it came time to book train service through Europe I thought, I would go to an expert. I also thought, be prepared and book my tickets in advance. WRONG, book when you get to Europe, DIRECTLY, with the rail system for each country. I thought I was dealing with the European rail system directly when I was booking with Rail Europe. WRONG. They are brokers!! And the worst ever. Stupid American! I was hoodwinked, and by searching reviews, apparently, this is their companies M.O. based on the number of horrible reviews. While in Europe trying to get help with my tickets in Europe (multiple concierges at 5 star hotels) they laughed when I mentioned Rail Europe "no, no, no you book with trains for each country directly, Rail Europe is no good." Reaching Rail Europe help in the US is hard, if not impossible. And if you do reach them......it's essentially, did you read the fine print (aka - you are screwed). In the event you are reading this review after you were duped as well, I am sharing the contract information below I found. Write to them and make them honor their pledge they put in writing - which is just currently lip service on a website.Zine BelhonchetCEO & President at Rail Europe, Inc. email@example.comCorporate Headquarters44 South BroadwayWhite Plains, New York 10601Phone: 914-682-2999RAIL EUROPE - Our Pledge (EMPTY PROMISES)https://www.raileurope.com/about-us/our-company.htmlWe are all ambassadors for the real Europe which is discovered uniquely through train travel.We take pride in our company's European heritage and are passionate about sharing our experiences, cultures, and insights. We develop our expertise and knowledge in order to provide North American travelers with an authentic European experience.We believe the spirit of train travel is about enjoying simple pleasures, respecting the environment and connecting to people, places and cultures. It is the ease with which Rail Europe brings these together that creates a rewarding experience for both our customers and ourselves.We value always doing the right thing - being environmentally conscious, trustworthy and accessible to our customers and to each other.As trains do, we at Rail Europe continually move ahead. We strive to progress, innovate, and be outstanding in all that we do."
Rail Europe must rate as one of the most dodgy travel outfits anywhere
"Do not use them as you will get nothing but trouble, trying to get a refund is almost impossible as they make up their own rules to avoid it even though the actual rail ticket conditions say you can get a refund or partial refund.They are nothing more than liars and scammers, you have been warned!Bypass them and go direct to the rail companies and book direct."
Hoax, FRAUD, SCAMMER, CHEATER- YES to shut down the railuerope.com WEBSITE
"Negative subzero is good for them as a review. Raileurope is a super SCAM, HOAX, CHEATER and SELFISH. They had ruined our first ever family holiday. We have set our flight connections, lay over, train connection and bought everything online and thinking all set. All the ticket we bought from other online sites were perfect and faced no problem. Except to this hoax/fraud site: raileurope.com it will make you seem real by accessing the site from your country of residence and by tieing up local operational ticketing company. July 12, 2017, I purchased train ticket from Gare de Lyon Paris to Turin Italy for 4person (2aduly, 2kids/ 6&7) price for 304euros including taxes etc. after the payment was processed I am waiting for the ticket on my email since I have selected: "print at home" so I could have everything in file before we live. Until 5 pm still not come and we leave for the airport as our flight time is 830pm, still not. No good answer on their representative who is holding us on calls. Until we reach Paris and we badly needed the train ticket to transfer to Turin Italy since our airplane ticket was issued from Italy back home. From the day we reach Paris, this issue was bugging me and it really ruined our days, we wasted our time having a queue for 2 whole days in Gare de Lyon SNCF office for tracing the tickets but in vain. Raileurope is a hoax, no real offices, simply operating via internet to do their fraudulent action. The same day of ticket purchased 12July2017, our bank confirmed that the merchant was raileurope.com We already complained to our bank and planning to file a legal complaint against this website- the underground mafia stealing the money of people. My strict suggestion to all the people in the world: check the review of the website before you buy anything even small amount. NEVER EVER OPEN NOR SEE THE SITE: raileurope.com NEVER EVER SO wont face problem and no bad feelings and no to ruin holidays. rail Europe is a sucked! YES, YES, YES to shutdown their website"
"Bought tickets online through them, under advice from a travel site. We lost the tickets before use, and were forced to purchase them again, which we did in Europe at the stations (which was no problem with availability). The total that RailEurope charged was $1500; the total we spent at the actual train stations, for the SAME TICKETS, was $566.71. You absolutely do not need to buy tickets in advance for regular trains (might be different for high-speed trains). My tickets were from Berlin-Prague-Vienna-Budapest."
"Do not use this "company". I warn you they are dodgy. They took my money, did not book anything with Thalys from Paris to Amsterdam. I was informed when I got to the train station and was told I had to buy a new set of tickets as mine were not valid. They were double the price! Of course when I go to Rail Europe, they don't want to know about it. Scam scam scam!!!!"
Terrible Customer Service & False Advertising
"On May 4th, 2016, I made multiple bookings online, both outbound and inbound. However, since the outbound booking was denied despite clearly advertised availability after the inbound booking was confirmed (I received a call telling me the seats booked were not available and they tried to upsell me to First Class tickets), I was left with return segments that I have no outbound trips to. I requested a refund mere minutes after receiving notice of this, but RailEurope was unwilling to provide a full refund (they only offered a partial refund). It is ridiculous for rates to be falsely advertised, as well as for RailEurope to not be willing to offer full refunds for inbound fares that were clearly booked in conjunction with a denied outbound booking."
Avoid Rail Europe!
"Avoid Rail Europe like the plague that it is!...Paid $1350.00 for a party of 4 for a round trip ticket from Salzburg to Vienna..We were assured of a particular type of seating arrangement with a table and "gratuities"..What we got were the typical 2 seats one in front of the other with, of course, no table..The "gratuities were 1 small bag of 5 ,yes 5, pretzels..When we arrived in Vienna, I asked a customer service rep about the seating and "gratuities" and was told, "It's not my problem"..To make this disaster even worse, I then asked for the price for a first class ticket for 4 from Salzburg to Vienna, and was quoted about $500.00 less that we paid..I filed a claim with Rail Europe, and after 2 months and numerous requests for a response, I was told what amounted to another"It's not our problem" and offered a $100 voucher for future..I e-mailed them and told them to keep it, as I would NEVER use Rail Europe, again..."
"I bought a 2nd class railpass and a train ticket from the Raileurope before the start of my journey but mistakenly bought a 1st class ticket. I went to Raileurope office and informed them of the error. The staff there told me that the ticket was invalid, and that I needed to buy another ticket and then to request for refund of the the first ticket. I thus bought another ticket from Raileurope, returned the the first ticket and asked for refund (and this request was made at least a week before the start of my journey to Europe. But a few days later,Rraileurope told me that there would not be a refund because I bought the first ticket by mistake. That answer was really unacceptable. If my initial ticket was invalid, this would mean that 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. "
"I booked a ticket on a German Railroad through Rail Europe. Their website is very good and useful. However, when I was en-route to Europe, a Austrian friend warned me that the german railroad was canceling routes to Austria. I called RE and they confirmed the cancellation. They refunded part of my ticket purchase but said I would have to file a web request for the rest. After I returned, I filed the request. They said they needed to confirm with the German railroad that my rail connection was indeed canceled. After I filed, about three or four days wen by and they confirmed the cancellation. They then refunded the balance of the ticket EXCEPT for their $7.95 service fee. Out of principal, I again requested the full refund. Miriam responded that I had used their web site so it would not be refunded!What kind of Mickey Mouse (sorry Walt) business are they running?"
"Its my first time ever writing a review about anything, but this time I felt I must do service for others who might fall into this trap: While this company provides acceptable online service for ordering and buying train tickets in Europe - please take into consideration that they have ZERO customer service (although they send you an email saying that "it is our goal to provide excellent customer service". What a joke!!!! Try making a change, or getting a refund / coupon (if you made the mistake and purchased from them "travel protection plan"....). It took me 3 hours of my life to run after them, beg, cry and finally I got an email saying that I'll get the coupon by email in 2-3 weeks....I wish I could sue them and cause them bankruptcy. I've never in my 54 years encountered any service (or non service) like this. I'll continue buying from them just because that as a Canadian, I have no other options. And I hate it!!!"
"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. "
"I wish I would have read these posts before purchasing my own Rail Europe ticket. I also have EXTREME dissatisfaction with Rail Europe. Long story short, I purchased 2 tickets from the company, got a confirmation e-mail, and then 2 days later get another e-mail from them saying actually the bus you booked is full (Great... 'cause people aren't making plans or anything based on these reservations). I call them up immediately and get put on hold for 30+mins to only then be told that their website is never up to date and that they can't help me right now because their customer service system usually shuts down about an hour and a half before the end of their customer service operation hours. About 10 mins later their system miraculously starts working again so I get a call back. The customer service person tells me the bus isn't full (Ok, then why did I get an e-mail stating it was?) but in order to get our reservation we will have to pay $26 more than the what it said 2 days ago. I'm no lawyer, but I don't think you are supposed to sell something to someone for an agree upon price and then hold that item for ransom until they pay you more money. Say it with me now "Shady business practices!""
"Terrible service. They overcharge for the tickets that can easily be bought online and for much lower price. If you purchase a reserved seat ticket, they get you the worst seats and they refuse to change them.Most of all, never trust a company with no customer service where you can call and talk to a live person. My complaints to them have gone no where through the only option of webmail.You are much better off purchasing directly from the rail companies in Europe which now all have online purchase option and in English and several languages. "
"DO NOT USE RAIL EUROPE FOR IRISH TRAVEL. I have just discovered that tickets I paid $252 for could have been purchased on line from http://www.irishrail.ie for $90."
"DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY to purchase your train tickets for Europe. 1) You will spend twice what the tickets will cost you at any train station in Europe and 2) their agents will tell you anything to get you to buy tickets through them and then if you have a problem, the company will not honor what the agents or a supervisor said. My case is lengthy but read it and beware-this company is a scam and if your travel plans change or are delayed at all-you will lose your money. Bottom line-they are dishonest and should not be in business- my story- in mid-April 2014, I called Rail Europe to inquire about their tickets for the high-speed train between Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden for our upcoming trip in July. I ended up talking to their representatives twice before I purchased our tickets for July 3.My first telephone conversation concerned the different classifications of tickets and policies of use for these tickets. I asked if we were delayed and missed our train, what was the procedure. I was told that we would just exchange the purchased tickets for new ones at the time we needed. I asked if we were delayed into the next day or more what would be the procedure. I was told that we would just need to trade the unused tickets in for new ones for the date and time needed at the train station in Europe. I restated this question and was given the same answer.Two days later I called the same number, talked to a different representative and asked again what the policy for the high-speed train tickets if our flight was delayed and we missed our ticketed time. I was given exactly the same instructions and when I repeat the question about a delay of more than a day, was told again that I would just exchange the unused tickets for ones at the time and date we needed. At that point, I purchased two tickets along with their trip insurance (another scam).On July 2nd, our flight to New York was delayed in Austin, Texas. At approximately 6 pm, I called Rail Europe to notify them that our flight was delayed which MIGHT make us miss our planned train departure on July 3rd in Copenhagen. I was told I needed to MAIL the train tickets back to Rail Europe and get new ones issued or a refund. When I explained that 1) we were delayed and at that time didn;t know if we were going to miss our scheduled train 2) that this was not the procedure that I had been told when I bought the tickets and 3) that I was in an airport, no where near a post office, awaiting departure and could not leave the airport to get to a post office. I then asked to speak to a supervisor and was given a Mr. R. Wissemes, who identified himself as a supervisor. I then repeated points 1-3 listed above and after a rather heated discussion Mr. Wissemes finally said that if I would mail the tickets back from EUROPE, he would issue a refund. I again stated that this wasnt what I had been told when I purchased the tickets and since we would be going directly from the airport by train to Stockholm to board a cruise ship, and that there would be no way I could mail the tickets back until we returned to the states on August 1, 2014. He stated that if I would call the number I was talking to him on upon my return and then relay our conversation, he would mark our file and honor these tickets. He stated that this wasn't the usual company policy but since I had been told otherwise, he would honor it. I took his name, checked the phone number to call, took the address to mail the tickets to and thanked him. I hung up.Upon arriving in Copenhagen after having to be rescheduled to a later flight (arriving on July 4 at approximately 11 am) we tried to exchange our unused Rail Europe tickets in at the airport train station. We were unable to do so and had to buy two new tickets for approximately $360 (a little more than half of the $685 I had paid Rail Europe).On August 1, upon our return to the states and as requested, I called the phone number for Rail Europe and got an agent named Sophia. I relayed what Mr. Wissemes had said and she told me this wasnt company policy. I told her he explained that but that he marked in our file what he told me and that he would honor our unused tickets, that I was notifying her that I was going to mail the unused tickets back.Sophia put me on hold and when she returned she said there were no notes in any file. She then said that our conversation would of been taped and I asked her how I could get someone to listen to this tape. She told me she would do it and promised me she would call me by August 6th after she listen to it.At that point I told Sophia that I was going to call our credit card company to notify them of my trouble with her company. She told me that this would only severely delay any return on our tickets and asked me to wait till she called me back on the 6th of August.On August 12, after not receiving a call from Sophia, I again called the number for Rail Europe and asked to speak to her. She hadnt listened to the tape yet but promised that she would and would CALL me back before the end of the workday. At 5:30 pm, I hadnt received a call. I happened to look at my email and noticed that I had an email from Rail Europe that was sent shortly after my earlier call to this company. It was from Sophia and stated the company policy for refunds and that since I HADNOT MAILED THE UNUSED STAMPED TICKETS TO THEM 48 HOURS BEFORE they were scheduled for use, there would be no refund.There was no mention of listening to the conversation between supervisor Wissemes and myself. Also, the original contact with supervisor Wissemes on July 2nd was already less than 24 hours before the tickets were to be used on July 3rd, well passed the now mentioned 48 hours requirement.. I am now trying to recoup our money through our credit card company. I am not the only one that has been lied to, do your research, read the comments on their own website- I wish I had!"