Eurostar voucher query

CC 72100

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A question that may or not warrant a separate thread (so apologies if it does):

Last year my trip to Paris was cancelled due to the obvious and I was given a refund in the form of travel vouchers.

As I am unlikely to use the vouchers in the expiry timescale (was hoping to go this summer instead, but consider that very unlikely) is there any way I can now have a straight forward refund?
 
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MattRat

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A question that may or not warrant a separate thread (so apologies if it does):

Last year my trip to Paris was cancelled due to the obvious and I was given a refund in the form of travel vouchers.

As I am unlikely to use the vouchers in the expiry timescale (was hoping to go this summer instead, but consider that very unlikely) is there any way I can now have a straight forward refund?
Why not just ask Eurostar themselves?
 

CC 72100

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Why not just ask Eurostar themselves?

Because with the amount of people on here who may have had similar predicaments, it would be handy to know if I'd be wasting my time or not even enquiring.
 

thejuggler

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From similar tales regarding airline, ferry, holidays etc its a no.

Your 'refund' wasn't vouchers, you purchased vouchers with the money which could have been refunded at the time.

As you purchased a voucher with an expiry date its one of the terms you agreed to it. No different to buying gift vouchers which expire.

If restrictions continue the provider may change policy, but don't hold your breath.
 

Peter Mugridge

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I, along with another forum member, got a refund last year after having first been issued vouchers.
 

HBP

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Have your vouchers not been extended to 31/12/21? Mine have from Aug 2020. Book by date not travel date so into 2022.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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I was given vouchers last year regarding a cancelled return trip on the New Amsterdam service and asked afterwards for a cash refund which I received quite quickly. I suggest that you do apply to them.
 

CC 72100

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Thanks for the responses; in my case I'd be looking to travel well into next year when the vouchers have expired, as it will be beyond 6 months of their (extended) expiry date.
 

XAM2175

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Thanks for the responses; in my case I'd be looking to travel well into next year when the vouchers have expired, as it will be beyond 6 months of their (extended) expiry date.
The expiry date is the date by which you have to use their value, not the date by which you have to complete your travel using them. If nothing else you could use them to purchase flexible tickets and keep rescheduling the trip until you're confident of the date.

But, to be completely honest, without having actually asked Eurostar about getting a cash refund you're just wasting your time here instead.
 

blackfive460

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I had two journeys booked with Eurostar for April 2020. When it became obvious that I wasn't going to be able to travel anytime soon I cancelled them and, as all that was on offer at the time was vouchers, took that.
Later I was able to cancel one of the vouchers for a refund since Eurostar had cancelled the train I should have travelled back on but the outward journey ran so they refused a refund for that one despite my being annoyingly persistent!
I still have the voucher but despite the extensions, I can't see that I'll have an opportunity to use it.
 

Ianno87

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I still have the voucher but despite the extensions, I can't see that I'll have an opportunity to use it.

The trick is to book a ticket anyway before the expiry, and repeatedly take advantage of Eurostar's changes policy until such a time you can.
 

AlbertBeale

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Yes, mine were similarly extended.

Me too - I was pleasantly surprised back in February when they pro-actively told me my voucher was extended to 30 (not 31!) December this year, just when I was beginning to think the "few months'" pandemic delay to normal life I'd envisaged last year was dragging on a bit...! And that's the booking deadline, so assuming the travel situation gets sorted out in the next 6 months, then there'll be scope to get tickets for the first half of next year. I'm happy for Eurostar to sit on my money for now, providing I'm able to use the value eventually. And maybe it's better for them to be flexible like this than having people chasing them for refunds right now.
 

blackfive460

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The trick is to book a ticket anyway before the expiry, and repeatedly take advantage of Eurostar's changes policy until such a time you can.
Quite but Eurostar's 'flexible' policy also includes having to pay the difference if the train you wish to change to is higher.

Terms and Conditions

Flexible tickets:


*Customers can exchange tickets in Standard and Standard Premier as many times as they want without paying an exchange fee as long as tickets are exchanged 7 days or more before the departure date of their outbound journey. Tickets are non-refundable. Where tickets are exchanged for a higher priced ticket, customers will need to pay the difference. Where tickets are exchanged for a lower price ticket, the difference in price will not be refunded.

As my ticket was at the cheapest price they did at the time, that could prove an expensive way of doing things especially doing it with no actual plan to travel anyway.
Even looking as far as up to next May there are no tickets available at the value of my voucher so I'd be giving Eurostar yet more money straight away and then changing that at relatively short notice would almost certainly cost even more.
I've already decided to write it off anyway and the chances are that for my next trip into Europe, whenever that is, I'll probably fly.
 

DBNR

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A friend of mine has had a similar thing, had an expiry for eurostar vouchers in April 21 - he just booked a flex ticket and has already rescheduled it twice to new dates. Might be worth exploring that option if you know for sure you want to travel again when the opportunity comes. If not, I’d contact Eurostar
 

Ianno87

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Quite but Eurostar's 'flexible' policy also includes having to pay the difference if the train you wish to change to is higher.



As my ticket was at the cheapest price they did at the time, that could prove an expensive way of doing things especially doing it with no actual plan to travel anyway.
Even looking as far as up to next May there are no tickets available at the value of my voucher so I'd be giving Eurostar yet more money straight away and then changing that at relatively short notice would almost certainly cost even more.
I've already decided to write it off anyway and the chances are that for my next trip into Europe, whenever that is, I'll probably fly.

Still better to book something with the voucher even if you end up not using it, than losing the voucher completely.
 

blackfive460

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Still better to book something with the voucher even if you end up not using it, than losing the voucher completely.
The voucher is from a £29 standard ticket to Brussels. Currently, booking a random journey is going to cost more than that so I'll be giving E* yet more money to hang on to then, when I actually want to travel, probably at fairly short notice, certainly with less than a month's notice, the prices will be even higher so I'd probably end up paying more on top of the voucher's value than I'd pay if I went with an Interrail pass plus a passholder fare and most probably more than going further by air.

With no likelihood that I'll be travelling in Europe the next 12 months anyway, it's just not worth bothering about especially given my experience of E*'s so called customer service last year.
 

Ianno87

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The voucher is from a £29 standard ticket to Brussels. Currently, booking a random journey is going to cost more than that so I'll be giving E* yet more money to hang on to then, when I actually want to travel, probably at fairly short notice, certainly with less than a month's notice, the prices will be even higher so I'd probably end up paying more on top of the voucher's value than I'd pay if I went with an Interrail pass plus a passholder fare and most probably more than going further by air.

With no likelihood that I'll be travelling in Europe the next 12 months anyway, it's just not worth bothering about especially given my experience of E*'s so called customer service last year.

Ah I see - if you need to pay more money just to book *something* then it's less worth it (though I'd just book a Brussels-Rotterdam single or something on the last day of validity if it were me!)
 

Taunton

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I suspect if they couldn't fulfil their original contract, won't give you your money back, and want to charge more to supply the same service in the future, that breaks consumer law somewhere along the way. Your voucher may be for £29 but it also arises from a commitment for a trip to Brussels; to say that all trips to Brussels to use it on are now £290 or whatever seems to just break the rules.

There are certainly issues currently with airlines where using vouchers is being charged at a higher fare than new bookings on the same flight.
 

Ianno87

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I suspect if they couldn't fulfil their original contract, won't give you your money back, and want to charge more to supply the same service in the future, that breaks consumer law somewhere along the way. Your voucher may be for £29 but it also arises from a commitment for a trip to Brussels; to say that all trips to Brussels to use it on are now £290 or whatever seems to just break the rules.

There are certainly issues currently with airlines where using vouchers is being charged at a higher fare than new bookings on the same flight.

In the case of my bookings, they were Non-Refundable fares booked before Covid blew up. When it did, Vouchers were given for the value of the bookings as a Gesture of Goodwill (which Eurostar were not obliged to do).

The vouchers are not in themselves covering trains that were cancelled, but rather the inability to travel due to imposition of travel restrictions.

Technically, Eurostar (if they'd wanted to) could have given nothing back for non-refundable fares that couldn't then be used.
 

Taunton

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Was your booked train not cancelled? They pretty much shut the service down straight away. And "non refundable" certainly does not cover if the supplier themselves could not provide the service.
 

Ianno87

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Was your booked train not cancelled? They pretty much shut the service down straight away. And "non refundable" certainly does not cover if the supplier themselves could not provide the service.

It (in August) was eventually cancelled, yes, but they were only confirming this a few days before the travel date. Whereas Vouchers were available much sooner if you'd chosen to defer/cancel travel plans earlier than that (late June IIRC in our case)
 

blackfive460

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Was your booked train not cancelled? They pretty much shut the service down straight away. And "non refundable" certainly does not cover if the supplier themselves could not provide the service.
In my case my train back was cancelled by E* and although I accepted the voucher initially offered I did eventually get a refund though it took 9 months to arrive after an extensive and prolonged email exchange eventually involving email to the CEO.
My outward train did run though by that time the situation was clear and I had cancelled everything else connected with the trip.
In fact, aside from a single seat reservation with DB, I managed to get everything else refunded including non-refundable hotels and even 10 months travel insurance.
E* were the exception, everyone else did the 'right thing' for their customers without any argument.
 

Starmill

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I rebooked my Eurostar tickets and declined to accept any vouchers for exactly this reason. A rebooking following a cancelled train is free of charge (i.e. there is no difference to pay). This of course came with the disadvantage that I had to wait until just before travel.
 

AlbertBeale

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I rebooked my Eurostar tickets and declined to accept any vouchers for exactly this reason. A rebooking following a cancelled train is free of charge (i.e. there is no difference to pay). This of course came with the disadvantage that I had to wait until just before travel.

After Covid blew up, and I decided it wouldn't be safe to travel (though it wasn't forbidden at that point), I was content to accept a voucher from Eurostar then for the full value of my tickets (which included onward travel from Brussels), particularly given that the train I was booked on hadn't at that stage been cancelled. I didn't want to risk waiting until the very last moment, finding that the train concerned was still going to run, and risking Eurostar having by then adopted a policy of only refunding for cancelled trains. A bird in the hand, and all that.

Yes, it's true that some prices will no doubt be higher, so I might need to top up the voucher if I want to make an equivalent journey. And it's true that actually getting a usable voucher reference took me months of chasing, because their system couldn't seem to cope with sending a voucher reference by e-mail if the original booking hadn't been by e-mail. But overall I was pleased with their initial flexibility when I first got worried by the pandemic and myself decided to cancel, and by their pro-active extension of the validity of the voucher for a year or so without being asked, and by the fact that it's possible to use just part of the value of the voucher at first, and "keep the change" for a further trip.
 

Ianno87

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After Covid blew up, and I decided it wouldn't be safe to travel (though it wasn't forbidden at that point), I was content to accept a voucher from Eurostar then for the full value of my tickets (which included onward travel from Brussels), particularly given that the train I was booked on hadn't at that stage been cancelled. I didn't want to risk waiting until the very last moment, finding that the train concerned was still going to run, and risking Eurostar having by then adopted a policy of only refunding for cancelled trains. A bird in the hand, and all that.

Yes, it's true that some prices will no doubt be higher, so I might need to top up the voucher if I want to make an equivalent journey. And it's true that actually getting a usable voucher reference took me months of chasing, because their system couldn't seem to cope with sending a voucher reference by e-mail if the original booking hadn't been by e-mail. But overall I was pleased with their initial flexibility when I first got worried by the pandemic and myself decided to cancel, and by their pro-active extension of the validity of the voucher for a year or so without being asked, and by the fact that it's possible to use just part of the value of the voucher at first, and "keep the change" for a further trip.

Yes, I personally find Eurostar's offering with vouchers, extensions, and booking flexibility to be more than reasonable on their part (especially given their financial situation)
 

37201xoIM

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Agree with the above: Eurostar are incredibly difficult to contact (I got help from the amazingly excellent people at International Rail a.k.a. Myinterrail), but once you do manage to get in touch, they're pretty reasonable about refunds.
 

zero

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I am very glad I used my eurostar voucher in December, no tests no quarantine and still sort of in the EU.

They were very responsive and helpful on twitter (contacting companies is the only thing I use it for)
 

lineclear

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I had an email from Eurostar yesterday saying that my e-voucher expires on 30th December and that travel can be booked 11 months in advance. This means that the voucher could be used for travel up to 25th November 2022.
 

Doppelganger

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One of my trains was delayed back in 2016 and I was offered a voucher, which I accepted.

It was valid for something like 12 months, but I realised I wasn't going to travel with them before then, so I called their customer service and they offered to give me cash instead.

Definitely worth giving them a call.
 

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