Question: I lost an expensive train ticket and hope that you can help me get a refund. I purchased a Eurail ticket that I lost and cannot afford to lose that much money since I am a student.
I have been waiting for a refund of 313 euros from Eurail over a lost train ticket. I purchased a ticket protection plan when I made the reservation so the refund should be covered by that plan. I filled out the paperwork to declare my ticket as lost but I am still waiting for the refund.
I tried sending emails to Eurail but they are not responding and I think they are ignoring my attempts to communicate with them.
I don’t know what to do. I have called the Better Business Bureau but they could not find an address for Eurail so I was unable to file a claim. I did some research on my own and found a valid address for Eurail. I emailed it twice to the BBB but they never responded.
This is really important to me, as I have said before I cannot afford to lose that money. I hope you can do something to help me out.
– Stephanie Sanzo, Hartford, Conn.
Answer: Eurail made a mistake by not refunding you the cost of your ticket right away. You purchased an insurance that would cover loss and the company should honor this agreement.
The policy you purchased, known as the ‘Rail Protection Plan’ says you can ask for a refund for a ticket or a pass ‘that is lost or stolen while traveling in Europe’. You should be reimbursed for the unused portion of the ticket or for what it would cost you to replace it, depending on whichever costs the less. However the policy does not state how quickly you will receive the refund.
Eurail did not reject your claim so I am assuming your claim is still being processed. It has been more than a year since you filed the original claim and delays such as these are not uncommon, even though they are not acceptable and cannot be excused. A company that can process your payment and issue you a ticket within seconds should be able to refund your money in a timely manner, if you ask me.
Using paper tickets in Europe is not a good option, especially since Europe is more progressive than the United States from a technological point of view. If airlines can issue paperless tickets, why can’t Eurail do the same thing? I won’t go as far as to call the ticket insurance you purchased a racket but I think this insurance could easily be made unnecessary by using a paperless pass.
And I don’t think that contacting the Better Business Bureau over this problem is a good option. The BBB will not have much influence in Europe.
Did you purchase your pass with a credit card? If yes, you should contact your credit card company to see if they offer any kind of additional protection on your purchase. Some companies guarantee the purchases you make with your card and you might be able to file a claim with your credit card company to get your money back.
I got in touch with Eurail on your behalf. They sent you the check for 313 euros only a few weeks later.
I also have an update on the Troubleshooter column from last week. Esther Mikula had a problem with an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. She contacted me, Marriott solved the problem and the online travel agency she used, CheapCaribbean.com, also took the time to respond to her and actually refunded the additional fees she had to spend during her all-inclusive stay.