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Mediation
case studies

Learn more about the SNCF Mobilités Ombudsman’s work through cases mediated.


Case studies

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Ms P.  1ST CLASS COACH, 2ND CLASS TICKET

On 5 August 2014, Mrs P was fined €98 for travelling in 1st class on a 2nd-class ticket between Paris and Bellegarde. She asked the collection centre to rescind the fine, and when her request was denied she asked the SNCF Mobilités Ombudsman to mediate.

 

In reviewing her case, he found that Mrs P.’s scheduled train had been cancelled due to a strike, and that she had been instructed to take a train to Bellegarde with no guarantee of a seat.

 

Finding that all of the 2nd class coaches were full, Ms P., who suffers from a joint disorder, had taken a seat in 1st class.

 

Based on all of these circumstances, the SNCF Ombudsman recommended that the collection centre rescind the fine.

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Mr A.  COMPENSATION FOR TER STRIKE

Mr A. held a monthly rail pass for TER commuter service in Northern France. When the service was disrupted by strikes in June 2014, SNCF offered compensation to affected passengers, and Mr A. requested a 33% discount on his on his next monthly pass, TER customer services refused, and he requested mediation. The SNCF Mobilités Ombudsman found that Mr A. had taken his annual holidays in July 2014 and was thus unable to produce a receipt for that month, leaving him ineligible for the compensation paid to other pass holders. The Ombudsman found it unfair to refuse Mr A, who had suffered the inconvenience of the strikes, solely because he had been on vacation the following month. The Ombudsman thus recommended that Mr A. be given travel coupons equal in value to the discount he would otherwise have received.

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Mr K.  GUARANTEED ON-TIME ARRIVAL

On 29 September 2014, Mr K.’s train from Paris to Brussels  was cancelled due to a mechanical problem. He was authorized to take another train at no additional cost, but arrived nearly three hours late. When he complained to SNCF, his claim was rejected on grounds that the on-time arrival guarantee does not apply when trains are delayed due to unusual weather conditions.

A baffled Mr K. appealed to the SNCF Mobilités Ombudsman, who found that the original train had indeed been cancelled due to a mechanical problem. The Ombudsman thus recommended that SNCF apply the on-time arrival guarantee and pay Mr K. compensation equal to 50% of his fare.

Ms P. 1ST CLASS COACH, 2ND CLASS TICKET

Example

Ms P. was travelling in 1st with a 2nd-class ticket

Mr A. COMPENSATION FOR TER STRIKE

Example

Mr A. was affected by the June 2014 rail strikes

Mr K. GUARANTEED ON-TIME ARRIVAL

Example

Mr K.’s train arrived 3 hours late in Brussels


At a glance

Every year the Ombudsman responds to several thousand requests, striving to find an amicable solution. A few key figures:



Browse a few of the Ombudsman’s opinions—delayed luggage, a stolen ticket and more.

Download the Ombudsman’s annual report

Every year the Ombudsman also submits suggestions for improving customer service at SNCF. Browse his suggestions along with SNCF’s responses.