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Buying SJ tickets from USA via internet?

Buying SJ tickets from USA via internet?

Old Mar 13, 10, 7:24 pm
  #1  
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Buying SJ tickets from USA via internet?

Hi there!

I'm trying to buy tickets on the SJ website (www.sj.se) but so far, without success. I've gotten to the screen where I put in my payment information, but it then says that there's a problem with the card and won't accept payment.

Here's where it gets weird. The card itself is not blocking the transaction - I called the issuing bank and they have no record of any attempt by SJ to process a charge. The card definitely works for overseas transactions (confirmed both by the bank and by successfully using this card on the DB website). I am not close to the credit limit. So... what gives?

I had heard from a travel agent (when buying my Viking Line ride for later in the trip) that SJ's web site sometimes didn't work unless you had a Swedish phone number - but I tried putting in the phone number of a friend in Sweden, and that didn't change the error message.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
shaggy_mutt is offline  
Old Mar 14, 10, 6:20 am
  #2  
 
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Try this link in English
http://www.sj.se/purchase/booksearch...2219:108:69245
kanopemainer is offline  
Old Mar 14, 10, 10:25 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by kanopemainer View Post
Tried it. Same error message:

1 error occurred. See details below:

* The transaction could not be completed. Please check your card details and try again.
shaggy_mutt is offline  
Old Mar 14, 10, 12:40 pm
  #4  
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It could be worth calling your card issuer to see if they've declined the transactions. If they haven't reached them at all, then at least you know the problem is happening further down the line.
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Old Mar 15, 10, 6:06 am
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
It could be worth calling your card issuer to see if they've declined the transactions. If they haven't reached them at all, then at least you know the problem is happening further down the line.
Good suggestion. I had indeed called, and the bank states that they have no record of a charge (or an attempt at a charge) from SJ. It wasn't declined; it simply never reached the bank. The bank also confirmed that they aren't aware of anything about the card (geographical restrictions, etc) that should cause the charge to be rejected anyway.

That's why I was wondering if anyone else here might have also had a similar problem, since apparently my card itself is not the main problem?
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Old Mar 19, 10, 3:13 am
  #6  
 
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SJ.se is notorious for acting up.

First, are you using an approved credit card to make the transaction? Here's the list: http://www.sj.se/sj/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=238&a=322&l=sv# (in swedish) and in english: http://www.sj.se/sj/jsp/polopoly.jsp...en&intcmp=1322

I remember trying with my American Visa card and had a lot of trouble before giving up and trying a Swedish card. SJ may just hate American cards. I check all over the site but didn't find anything confirming that though.

You can also try: http://www.swedenbooking.com/

Will look again for you.
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Old Mar 19, 10, 1:39 pm
  #7  
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Yeah, it's a MasterCard issued on a US bank. Unfortunately, I have to use this card as the travel is paid for by my work - though I don't know if switching cards would do any good anyway, since my other credit cards are also from US banks.

I'm going to try calling SJ and see what they say.
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Old Mar 26, 10, 11:34 pm
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http://www.sj.se/sj/jsp/polopoly.jsp...en&intcmp=1322

Not based in Sweden?

If you live outside Sweden you can contact the travel agency Sweden Booking. They'll help you with information on times and prices via phone, fax and e-mail and can also send tickets to foreign addresses. Telephone: +46 498 20 33 80. Fax : +46 498 20 33 91
E-mail: [email protected]
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Old Mar 28, 10, 11:37 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by spdickey View Post
Not based in Sweden?

If you live outside Sweden you can contact the travel agency Sweden Booking.
This is unfortunately another example of SJ not being very up-to-date on their website, because when you click the SwedenBooking link, you get:

We no longer offer train reservations, please go to www.sj.se for timetables and on-line reservations.
Thanks for trying to help, though. I'm probably going to call SJ sometime this week and see if we can figure out why the card doesn't work.
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Old Apr 20, 10, 4:37 pm
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I had the same issue when I tried to book my tickets with my Visa. But when I switched to Amex it went through with no problem. I think their system is just finicky! I also tried calling (before I switched to the Amex) and their call system dropped me.

BTW, have fun in Sweden but be warned that train travel there is subject to delay (very different from German/Swiss trains) and the bistro cars have VERY limited food offerings.
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Old Apr 23, 10, 6:53 am
  #11  
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Interesting! I did manage to call the SJ phone line (you press 6 for English) and this is what I found.

First off, the booking agent was helpful and spoke decent English. We didn't bother with the Malmo-Copenhagen side trip because that train runs frequently and has a fixed price (no discount for buying early) - so I figured I'll get there when I can, if I can. We initially got as far as the mailing address, at which point we came to a bit of an impasse. There are a few ways to get tickets from SJ: you can pick them up at an SJ station (or at certain businesses in Sweden), or you can use an e-ticket, or you can have them mailed to you. However, the e-ticket option is not valid for the night trains (at least not this international one) and they can only mail the tickets within Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

This, to be blunt, is a bug in the system: for a route where they clearly expect travellers from all over the world (it's promoted at berlin-night-express.com as a suggestion for Eurailpass holders) they don't seem well prepared to sell tickets outside Scandinavia. I realize I can go through a travel agency (albeit at additional cost), but when SJ goes to the trouble of having an English website, why have such an arbitrary limit on where tickets can be mailed?

Anyway, I spoke with my friend in Sweden and she agreed that the tickets could be mailed to her and she'd forward them to me - an arrangement that SJ had specifically said would be fine. When I went to buy Berlin-Malmo and Malmo-Stockholm, the SJ rep (same one as the prior day!) said that the credit card was rejected with an error message about the charge being too high. With nothing else to try I suggested that she try processing the two trips separately. She processed Berlin-Malmo, which worked! Interestingly, Malmo-Stockholm (much less expensive) was still rejected with the same error.

I called my bank, who stated there was no problem on their end and no records of any rejected charges, so the problem must lie within SJ's computers. At this point I didn't worry about it, because the SJ rep was able to reserve my Malmo-Stockholm ticket and stated I could just pick it up when I pass through Malmo. Price is locked in at the current price.

So in other words, the SJ rep was friendly and helped me find a workable solution, but I do hope they work out some of the bugs in their international system.

Solicitationsbox, thanks for the heads-up. DB's night train from Köln-Copenhagen was actually over an hour late (this despite being DB!) and so I'm not holding my breath for the night train to be on time, and booked substantial leeway into my connection. Unfortunately one consequence of technically having two separate bookings is that I can't just get on the next available train if the night train is really, really delayed... so hopefully there will be some upper bound on how delayed things get.
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Old May 2, 10, 7:14 pm
  #12  
 
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AmEx works but nothing else does

I've been having trouble with this for years and have also found that only my AmEx card ever works when buying SJ tickets from the US over the internet. My Visa and MasterCard are always rejected.

Same thing happens every time I arrive in CPH and try to buy a train ticket for Malmö in the ticket window at the airport - all cards except for my AmEx are declined.
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Old May 3, 10, 7:04 pm
  #13  
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An update

Boy, am I glad I called back!

So my friend got in touch with me and wanted to know what SJ was doing. Considering that I'd ordered the ticket 2 weeks ago and it was going to her, I wanted to know the same thing! I called SJ and found out that:

1. The ticket was mailed to the wrong address.
2. The connecting ticket was improperly booked, and thus auto-canceled.

Fortunately the original ticket could be re-mailed, and the price of the connector hadn't gone dramatically up. It had gone up by 80 kronor (about $11) but the following train had doubled in price!

The SJ rep finally clued me in to the main problem with the credit cards for my itinerary: there's a certain limit on foreign credit cards on any given day, because there was apparently a big fraud problem. She didn't specify what the limit was, but my $270 charge went through and a $340 charge didn't, so it's somewhere between those figures.
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Old May 7, 10, 8:34 pm
  #14  
 
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Hi all

This thread has been helpful or at least knowing that I am not alone. I too have been trying to purchase tickets via the internet. I've tried my Amex and it originally got declined by my bank because they flag it as possible fraud. So I know at least one time SJ tried to charge my card. But after telling my bank that its ok, I have not been able to get pass the error message. we then tried Visa at got the same error again. So we called our bank that issued the visa card to see if they also flagged the transaction as fraud, but like everybody else they did not see any attempt to charge the card. So maybe the poster that said sj.se is touchy and we have to get it at the right time. We will try the AMEX again latter or we may just call.
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Old May 11, 10, 10:29 am
  #15  
 
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Buying SJ tickets from India

Hi

I tried buying SJticket and was successful using my American express card in morning. However, when I tried to book another ticket using same card, I am getting the error "The transaction could not be completed. Please check your card details and try again." I have tried multiple times with same result.

May be I should call them...

~cheers
sameep99 is offline  

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