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Swiss Travel Pass refund from HappyRail


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Swede4life
Swede4life
83 posts
active member
Jun 26, 2022 - 5:08 PM

Regrettably we had to cancel our Switzerland trip for this Summer. The only refund we experienced problems with was Happy Rail where we purchased two Swiss Travel Passes. Just poor customer service.

Bottom line: It took 37 days to receive my refund from Happy Rail. You should consider another source if there is a chance you might request a refund.

Nov 11, 2021: Purchased 2 STP’s for Summer 2022.

May 20, 2022: Request for refund of our 2 STP’s.

May 20,2022: Must request formal cancellation to Happy Rail and did request it. Also, 15% cancellation fee for each ticket.

May 20, 2022: Happy Rail stated it will reply 1-5 business days.

May 24, 2022: Happy Rail said they must request a refund from SSB.

June 24, 2022: Received Happy Rail approval of refund request.

June 26, 2022: Refund posted to my bank account.

Anna
Anna
3733 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 27, 2022 - 2:48 AM in reply to Swede4life

Hi Swede4life,

I'm sorry you had to cancel your trip and that it took Happy Rail some time to refund your Swiss Travel Pass.

If you decide to visit Switzerland in the future, you can get your Swiss Travel Pass from any of the other companies listed here: www.myswissalps.com/swisstravelpass/price

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Jun 27, 2022 - 5:59 AM by Arno
Arno
Arno
15583 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 27, 2022 - 6:05 AM

Hi Swede4life,

Sorry to hear about that slow cancellation process! Looking at your timeline, it looks like the biggest delay was caused by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). All cancellations go through them in the background, regardless of where you buy. I have heard of such delays before, but whether it was the major factor in this case is a guess on my part, as I don't know all the details.

Do note that there should not be a cancellation fee. Again, I don't have the details of this specific case, but the Swiss Travel Pass can be cancelled for free, as mentioned on HappyRail's page: https://www.happyrail.com/en/pass/europe/switzerland/swiss-travel-pass-consecutive. Exceptions apply for cancelling too late and sometimes during promotions too, but the promotions in 2021 also included free cancellation. Do ask them if the amounts you spent and received are different (not including exchange rate differences!).

Last modified on Jun 27, 2022 - 7:10 AM by Arno
Swede4life
Swede4life
83 posts
active member
Jun 27, 2022 - 10:16 AM in reply to Arno

Thank you. I will investigate.

Swede4life
Swede4life
83 posts
active member
Jun 28, 2022 - 1:29 PM in reply to Arno

Arno, here is what Happy Rail stated:

Hi Larry,

Thank you for your message.

SBB canceled your passes for a fee of CHF 10. I have just refunded this fee to your bank account. The remaining €28.24 are transaction costs of HappyRail itself. I hope you now understand the difference in price! Unfortunately, these transaction costs will not be refunded to you.

Kind regards,

Daantje

Team HappyRail

PLEASE ADVISE EVERYONE ON THEIR POLICY. Thank you. Larryh

Arno
Arno
15583 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 28, 2022 - 2:01 PM in reply to Swede4life

Hi Larry,

I am looking into this and will get back to you.

Swede4life
Swede4life
83 posts
active member
Jun 28, 2022 - 8:15 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you.

Arno
Arno
15583 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 29, 2022 - 8:46 AM

Hi again Larry,

SBB sometimes applies a CHF 10 cancellation fee. They should not do that for Swiss Travel Passes, but this goes wrong from time to time. You got that refunded though.

As for the remaining €28.24: HappyRail describes that in their mail as "transaction costs of HappyRail itself". That is not what it is. I double checked with them, and they do not take a fee for themselves. What it actually is, is transaction costs by your bank. If you paid HappyRail in Swiss francs, they will refund that exact amount, in Swiss francs. If you bank account is in Euro's, your bank will take a free, or likely two (that's how my bank works): a fee because of the international transaction, and a "hidden" fee because they apply an inflated exchange rate in their favor. This is one of the reasons I often use Wise for international payments: www.myswissalps.com/swissfranc. They also take fees, but much less and it's more transparent.

If you dig into the details of the transaction, you should be able to see the original amount(s) in CHF transferred to you, and how that converts in less Euro's than you may expect. Your bank can help you with that if you can't find it. We've had questions about this before and it always comes down to banking fees.

Note that many web shops allow you to pick the currency you'd like to pay with. In the upper right corner of https://www.happyrail.com you'll see a dropdown list where you can pick EUR, for example. That makes the transaction more transparent if your bank account is in EUR. You still have to pay attention, as it then depends on the web shop how they convert prices. HappyRail does a pretty fair job there usually, but not all web shops do.

I hope this solves the mystery of the missing money!

Last modified on Jun 29, 2022 - 8:54 AM by Arno
Swede4life
Swede4life
83 posts
active member
Jun 29, 2022 - 10:39 AM in reply to Arno

Ok. Wonderful. Now I understand. Thank you. Larry

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