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I want to request

The Ombudsman mediates disputes that SNCF, Thalys and Eurostar are unable to resolve. The 90-day mediation process is free and confidential. Before you submit your request, check to be sure that it meets the admissibility requirement—it’s fast and easy.

What is

Mediation is a free, confidential proceeding for customers who have not received a satisfactory response to their complaint.

Before you request mediation, you must submit a written complaint to SNCF, Eurostar or Thalys. If the transport provider rejects your complaint in writing or fails to respond within one month (unless the transport provider’s general terms and conditions specify a different deadline), you may ask the Ombudsman to mediate the dispute.

Your complaint cannot be more than one year old.

How does
it work?

There are four steps in the mediation process:

  • Step 1: confirm that your request meets the admissibility requirements listed below
  • Step 2: request mediation
  • Step 3: the Ombudsman will review your case and issue an opinion within 90 days of receipt. If your case is complex, this deadline may be extended
  • Step 4: the Ombudsman will issue his opinion via postal mail or e-mail, depending on the method you used to submit your mediation request.

Still curious?
Here’s more about the mediation process plus relevant legal information

The Ombudsman in action

Learn more about the Ombudsman’s work through these case studies: a protest against a fine, delayed luggage, a stolen ticket, and more.

Read the case studies

What types of disputes does
the Ombudsman handle?

The Ombudsman has jurisdiction in commercial disputes, contract disputes, and fines issued by the SNCF Mobilités railway police. You may submit your mediation request in French or English.

Commercial and contract disputes
These are disputes related to tickets provided by SNCF, Thalys, Eurostar or their distribution networks—a problem with issuing a ticket, for example. The Ombudsman can also mediate disputes involving the contract of carriage, such as a delayed train or a problem with on-board amenities.

You may submit a mediation request if:

  • your complaint is less than one year old
  • you have not filed suit in any court, in France or in any other country, in connection with this dispute
  • you have already submitted an initial complaint, and the transport provider has either rejected your complaint in writing or failed to respond within one month (or within the deadline specified in the provider’s general terms and conditions)

Need to submit your initial complaint to the transport provider?


Fines issued by SNCF Mobilités railway police
This category covers fines for fare violations and/or acts of incivility, such as travelling without a ticket, travelling on a discount fare without proof of eligibility, smoking in no-smoking areas and alarm hoaxes.

You may submit a mediation request if you have already protested the fine by contacting the appropriate collection centre (at the address provided on your fine) within two months of the date the fine was issued.

Important: you may submit a mediation request to the Ombudsman before you pay your fine, but the amount will increase if you do not pay it within two months of the date of the violation.

You may not submit a mediation request in connection with:

  • fines for crimes: if you have received 10 fines within a year, for example, or have insulted on-board agents or committed indecent exposure

or disputes:

  • involving personal injury—you missed a step as you got off your train, for example
  • involving contractual relationships between you and the companies that provide on-board dining services, such as the café-bar;
  • that do not fall under the primary responsibility of the transport provider’s customer service department (travel services); for example, if you live near the tracks and experience noise nuisance
  • that fall under the jurisdiction of another Mediator with whom a jurisdictional agreement has been signed;
  • in which a lawsuit has been brought—in other words, disputes you are already seeking to resolve through judicial means
  • involving services offered by Eurostar or Thalys which are ancillary to the transport contract, and whose performance is subject to technical uncertainties or to uncertainties external to rail operations; for example, if WiFi or newspapers were unavailable in your 1st class coach
  • involving travel packages (train ticket + hotel, for example) that include rail services provided by one of the Transport Providers. These disputes should be referred to the French Tourism and Travel Ombudsman.

Who can request

The following parties may submit a mediation request to the Ombudsman:

  • you, the customer, with assistance from and/or representation by a third party of your choice. If you choose a private individual, the Ombudsman may ask him for a power of attorney in the form of a dated letter signed by you
  • France’s Defender of Rights or his representatives, an accredited national consumer association, a court-appointed mediator, and the European Consumer Centre, provided they are acting on behalf of a passenger

Did you submit your dispute to the Defender of Rights or a representative of the Defender of Rights, to the European Ombudsman, or to an ombudsman for a European railway undertaking? No worries. Your request will be referred to the SNCF Mobilités Ombudsman.



a mediation request

Ready to submit a mediation request? Choose from two options:

  • by postal mail:
    SNCF Mobilités Ombudsman
    TSA 37 701
    59973 Tourcoing Cedex

Be sure to attach copies of all documents showing the steps you’ve taken so far.