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(en) France, OCL CA #338 - Travel by train... But "Keep yourself informed"! (ca, de, fr, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Sun, 14 Apr 2024 11:11:12 +0300

The destructuring of the SNCF entity has repercussions on the way "users" are treated when it comes to purchasing a ticket and, even more so, getting a refund. A testimony concerning the Limoges-Toulouse and Bordeaux-Marseille lines. ---- Certainly, on the "non-TGV" network, we find, just like on the TGV lines, a "captain", a "barista" and a "cleaning agent", but the Comparison between the "quality of service" offered by the SNCF in general and, for example, that offered by Air France stops there. The Intercités are thus abandoned, in particular their compartment cars, which are often not heated or air-conditioned, and their toilets, where water, soap and toiletries are often in short supply. When you "benefit" from a discount card and you travel on one of these trains, you inevitably wonder, at one time or another, if it is this card that allows you to be placed so frequently on the worst compartments.
But the deterioration of the SNCF "service" is even more visible regarding the railways. Their lack of maintenance causes a number of fires in summer. And then there are the multiple "signaling problems", and other "possible disruptions... due to work on the track", which will mean you arrive at your destination with more or less delay - especially if you have a connection, because between a TER and an Intercités this is not automatically ensured.

Before getting "on board" this TER or this Intercités, you will perhaps have the joy of being bombarded with SMS messages like: "The delay of your train is now estimated at..." It It is not uncommon to receive five or six in a row, the "estimated delay" becoming a real accordion on which the SNCF plays its role as "great communicator" at little cost.

On the other hand, when, by checking the time at night on your phone, you discover that your train scheduled for the morning has been canceled, the company "forgets" to tell you how to overcome this "inconvenience" - whether for take another train or to have your ticket refunded.
Train delays and cancellations have become so commonplace that it perhaps seems like a waste of time to mention them? For my part, I can testify that, out of 10 trains taken recently, two ran "normally": left on time and arrived the same, incredible! Keep such a score in mind, and you'll feel like you're getting away with it if, upon accessing a platform, you receive on your phone - again - the following information: "Your YZ train could be impacted by work on the tracks. As a result, we anticipate an increase in travel time estimated between 5 and 15 minutes. " So little? Trifle!
But other messages are much less pleasant, when they inform you shortly before the start of your journey: "Your train XX is canceled due to equipment failure" - variants: "due to the unavailability of equipment", " due to an incident occurring during station work", or my favorites: "due to Departure Conditions not being met" and "for Reuse of equipment" (?).
A "liO Train SNCF ALERT" followed by the injunction "Keep yourself informed" brings you to attention in front of your phone - always it - while contradictory thoughts agitate you: "I'm left to stand still in front of the billboard or will I have a coffee? I would head to the bistro, but what if the train caught up a little and I missed it?» Because, if fortunately that were the case... well it would be to your misfortune: not only would you have missed your trip, but you would not be entitled to any compensation.

But console yourself: on this question of compensation, in any case, it is very likely that you will not be entitled to anything... if you behaved like a low earner by purchasing a "cheap" ticket.
Already, you can consider yourself lucky if the SNCF gives you an indication, by announcing the cancellation of your train, that you will have to go through your "usual sales channel" (translation: on the internet or at the ticket counters) to request a compensation. Otherwise, you will have to go fishing for information on internet forums to find out how to proceed in order to obtain it.

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