Yesterday .. Friday April 11th .. I had written a long Post up-dating my Thursday Post about my Rail Ticket Drama. Then the Internet crashed here in Kodaikanal and I lost 95% of the Post. So the below is all new.
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Below are two photos of the Indian Railway Ticket Counter in the Government of India Post Office here in Kodaikanal. The below two photos were ‘snapped’ at 5PM in the afternoon. The Post Office CLOSES at 3:30PM in the afternoon. HENCE no one is in the photos. The Post Office ‘doubles’ for ‘other things’ so the building was still open.
Thursday .. down at the bottom of my Post titled .. FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH .. I went into some detail .. THIS IS INDIA! IT CAN BE FRUSTRATING! .. about my attempts to get a .. CONFIRMED .. OFFICIAL TICKET .. ISSUED BY THE INDIAN RAILWAY .. to get from Chennai to Agra Cantt when I leave Kodaikanal early in the month of May.
The ‘bottom line’ was this .. it seems to me that the official web site of the Indian Railway System will NOT accept International credit cards despite allowing you to jump all the hoops to attempt this.
I tried two Visa cards .. one Master Card .. two debit (cash) cards .. and two separate American Express (AMX) cards. I come prepared when I come to India. All to no avail.
Then I found in my e-mail two messages from the Indian Railways saying that AMX had declined my efforts. I called Patti and Patti called AMX and AMX told Patti that I needed to look in my e-mail in-box. I did and sure enough .. AMX told me that they had declined two charges attempted by the Indian Railway System.
So (with the exception of my two Visa cards .. one Master card .. two debit cards that also did NOT work!) in-a-way India Rail was off-the-hook.
I called AMX. It went like this:
– I called you in late January and told you I was going to be in India.
– AMX said I did not need to do this because the AMX cards are International.
– I said why did you not honor the charge attempts.
– AMX said because they were originating in India.
– I said BUT I told you in January I was going to be in India from 6 Feb to 13 May.
– AMX said my two cards were re-activated and they were sorry for any inconvenience.
I did NOT .. raise my voice .. swear .. curse .. cry .. bite my finger nails .. pick-up-a-drink .. slam down my phone .. wet my pants ..
I WANTED to do some of them .. I did NONE of them.
Patti said for me to go to a professional travel office. I did. Parveen Travel my old friends. They got into the internet and fussed around and resolved nothing EXCEPT to tell me that I had better NOT deal with any travel agents because in case of a dispute .. I was in trouble. I needed to deal ONLY with India Rail.
What Parveen did-for-me was to show-to-me and explain-to-me the India Rail internet codes .. codes I had seen but did not know what they meant.
As one-for-instance .. I had been trying unsuccessfully to purchase a ‘wait list’ ticket. In-the-end it was good that I could not purchase tickets that I would not have wanted. I wanted CONFIRMED. I did NOT want WAIT LISTED.
With over .. with OVER .. with OVER .. two and one half hours of internet experience searching and scouring their trains for berth availabilities .. I returned to the Internet and armed with my knowledge of the India Rail codes I discovered that..
TRAIN NUMBER 12621 TAMIL NADU EXPRESS HAD ONE AVAILABLE BERTH IN AIR CONDITIONED FIRST CLASS ON TUESDAY 7 MAY 2013.
OH MY GOSH .. I HAVE A CHANCE .. I DID NOT TRY THAT DATE WITH THAT TRAIN.
So yesterday I was at the Post Office to deal with the India Rail lady once again. Note in comparison with the above photos there were people ahead of me during working hours!
In India they do not necessarily ‘queue’ in one direction.
It took over one hour to-get-to THE lady. I gave THE lady my completed form. THE lady did her thing and looked up at me and said “There is only one available berth!”
I did not REACH over the counter for her throat. I calmly said “Please confirm that one berth immediately!”
THE lady did and that ..
IS THE END OF THIS STORY EXCEPT ..
No matter what I did before I left the US ..
– I have with me multiple credit cards and debit cards with many different banks.
– Before I left the US I called each and I called every one of them including AMX and told them of my travel plans.
– I had used several of them here in India with no problems.
MURPHY’s LAW ALWAYS WINS.
I sit ‘clueless’ as to what I could have done to prevent the above.
AMX all-but-said-this to me!
I did NOT really want to go into all of this .. but it could help one of you.
I CAN NOT TELL YOU THE RELIEF I FEEL HAVING TWO CONFIRMED TICKETS TO AGRA AND TO NEW DELHI.
SEE MY TRAVEL ITINERARY FOR ALL THE DETAILS!
Over And Out .. Cap
A POST FOR PATTI FOLLOWS THIS POST BELOW ..
- A WHOOP AND A HOLLER FOR PATTI ! .. SLAP YOUR KNEE !
- MY CAMERA WOES UPDATE !